HOLDEN Barina 3 Doors
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
After GM bought the remains of the Daewoo Motor Company, it rebadged some of its small-sized cars and sold them in Australia as Holden Barina in three body shapes.
Holden used the Barina nameplate since 1985 for a Suzuki-licensed vehicle. Later on, it used the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa platform, and after General Motors bought the Daewoo, the T100 platform was used for the Daewoo Lanos/Chevrolet Aveo/Kalos. The 3-door version was a practical little car, especially preferred by pizza-delivery companies. It was easy to park, reliable enough, and with a low purchase price. Comfort and performance were not some of the car’s strong points.
Italdesign signed the car’s look, and it rushed to apply a “Design by Giugiaro” on the sides of the bodywork. It might not have been the famous Italian styling company’s best result, but it worked better than Daewoo’s original design. With its big, angular headlights, the Barina tried to look more convincing, at least from the front. From its sides, the 3-door version featured an ascending beltline that ended into the C-pilar with an up-kick. In the rear, the taillights were installed just above the bumper.
Inside, the 3-door version offered enough room for the front occupants, with regular seats and a few adjustments. It was cramped with virtually no legroom in the rear, if the front occupants pushed their seats to the back. The simple dashboard design with four dials in a binocular styled instrument cluster offered enough information for the driver. The AC was available as an option for the base trim-level and fitted as standard on the upper ones.
For the engine compartment, Holden offered a choice of three engines paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The Barina scored just 2-star protection in the Asian NCAP crash-test. The result was improved to four stars after the 2008 facelift.
The fourth generation of the Holden Barina was based on the European Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, and it proved to be a successful recipe.
While the first two generations of the Barina were based on Suzuki platforms, the third and fourth generations were based on the second and third generations of the Opel Corsa. The idea was to keep the manufacturing prices low and the money inside GM. It was a good idea, and the car was good for in-city use. It was available in three or five-door configurations.
The three-door version looked sportier but also appealing for delivery companies. It was cheap, reliable, and easy to fix if anything went wrong. Its sharp-looking headlights, with a small, black grille between them, gave the car a far better personality than its predecessor, a re-badged Suzuki Swift. The rear window was triangular, with a curved back-side, and inspired a sportier look for the car. Since the Europeans had a bigger experience with crowded cities, the high-mounted taillights were a good idea.
Inside, the car featured good amenities for its segment, even though the base model didn’t feature power-windows or air-conditioning. The Barina featured a long options list, including a CD-player, power-windows, or on-board computer, moving up to the trim level and options list.
The Barina was available with a choice of engines ranged between 1.4-liter and 1.8 liters. They were paired to a standard, 5-speed manual gearbox for the entire range.