2004 Holden Barina SXi 1.4 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Big fun for little money


Horn button connection on right side.

Right side indicator relay.

General Comments:

This car has been brilliant from day one. The horror stories I have read about buying a car brand new have (so far) been unfounded. I bought it in August 2004 when they were on run out, so the price was very good. They were normally NZ$23,000, but I got this one for NZ$16,000. It was the last of the NZ spec Barinas (Opel Corsa), with the 15" alloys, rear disc brakes etc. I replaced the 185/55R15 Pirelli P6000 tyres with Bridgestone Grid III's - I would definitely recommend it. Grip increases by 100% and noise decreases by the same - just the finishing touch to the car's impressive dynamics. Steering, gearchange, comfort and interior space all very good, engine willing, not a rocketship, but not a slouch, either. Fuel economy is magic. 500km-plus around town, over 700km on a long drive. Big fun in corners, you can just give it heaps through the bends and you can actually get oversteer out of it. Yes, oversteer. There is none of the old-school FWD ploughing. Car feels solid, well built. Dealer service very good, too. Doors close with a nice thunk, not a Korean ting. Unfortunately, Holden decided to replace the European Barina with a 3 year old Daewoo (Kalos). They are UGLY. This is the reason I selected "Don't know", nothing to do with the car itself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st November, 2005

2004 Holden Barina SXI 1.4 16v from Australia and New Zealand


Small car with a big car feel


Nothing has gone wrong with the car, the vehicle feels the same as the first day we picked it up, the transmission has worn in nicely.

General Comments:

Once seated inside the Barina, it feels a lot larger then it is, it has the weight behind it, to make it feel like a larger vehicle, it feels safe and secure, wet or dry, all the controls are to hand, though the indicator could have been positioned on the right hand side, as most Australian vehicles are.

The 1.4lt motor has in my opinion enough power for the average person, it holds 110kmh easily, 5.8lt per 100kms, economy and great handling, even with 3 people on board.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2004

2004 Holden Barina SRi 1.8 EFI from Australia and New Zealand


Great car with good performance


The horn buttons didn't work after picking up the car from the dealership. The first 1500 km service fixed it.

Nothing has gone wrong with the car.

General Comments:

The car is great to drive. The steering has a good feel to the road, very direct at times.

First and second gear is a little notchy at times, but gear shift is good most of the time.

The Barina SRI based on the Spanish made OPEL Corsa is a good car, for a small car it has good room. The boot is great when you lay rear seats flat for a 2 tier boot.

Some options:

Traction control, it has a good feel

ABS brakes, with the Dunlop 16" 195/45 tires - it handles very well in the wet and stops just as well

Cruise control, very nice

Electric windows and side mirrors

Sports suspension, handles great

The New 2004 Model SRI has a redesigned front spoiler and grill; it's not as low as the old one

Interior design is good, Air con and dual air bag.

Overall it's a much underrated car, I am very happy with.

If it had around 110-120 kw (20% to 30% more power) it would be a serious Hot Hatch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2004

25th Aug 2005, 21:18

Glad to see you are pleased with your Barina. You have got good taste when it comes to cars. Good News is Holden will still be importing the Barina in, The Bad News is instead of it being an Opel Corsa, It now will be Korean and a Daewoo Kalos Badge Enginerred. Cheaper for Potential New Car Buyers out there bad news for you with your SRI. I bet there will be an angry mob outside the Holden Dealers demanding why they changed the source of Barina from Spain to Korea.

21st Nov 2005, 03:54

But wait, it gets better. Holden, in their very finite wisdom, dropped the Opel Astra and it too is a re-badged 5 year old Korean. And they've called it the Viva!

7th May 2006, 06:43

Just have to say guys, I bought the "all new Holden Barina" and I am very pleased with it, it handles well, around town and in the wet, got all the bells and whistles, for not much cash, electric windows, mp3 player, rear spoiler etc... my only gripe, is that it takes a bit to get going, but then it flies quickly, I love it, so give it a chance, hey!!! the brakes are fantastic, nice and firm, it's great, OK it's a botch job, of a Daewoo, but we've gotta give it a chance, don't we.

28th Jul 2007, 04:38

I would be all for giving the "all new" Barina a chance, if it weren't for the fact that a) it's an old car being touted as "all new" (if that isn't false representation, it cuts VERY close IMO), b) it, as you yourself say, is a botch-up of a Daewoo (the fact that it's even possible to botch up a Daewoo amazes me!) and most importantly c) where the Euro model had a 4 star NCAP rating, the Kalos/Barina rates a pathetic 2 stars. If you ever needed proof that cheapness comes at a price, there it is right there.