Holden's new hatchback in NZ
Holden has started selling freshened up and facelifted versions of the Barina hatchback supermini in New Zealand.
The freshen, which makes the car more of a Holden and much more contemporary looking, includes a welcome safety upgrade, with both three- and five-door versions adding side impact airbags to the outgoing car’s front bags.
Barina prices start at $16,990, and changes to the body styling add a distinctly Euro flavour to the front fascia and rear end of the car known in a former life as a Daewoo Kalos.
The previous model Barina was a slightly restyled Kalos with some Holden tweaks to its lines and a bolder colour range than the Korean maker had offered when it sold the car here.
The freshened styling for 2008 includes what Holden calls a “signature radiator grille”.
It’s flanked by large curved and jewelled headlights.
“Sporty contours” flow from the bonnet to the A-pillar with prominent shoulder lines. There’s a rear roof spoiler and a rear bumper fascia surmounted by clear round taillights.
The 1.6-litre car’s interior gets an updated instrument panel, console and new fabric trim. A new instrument panel features a matt chrome-trimmed four-circle instrument cluster.
Air vents on the new centre console repeat the circular theme and the fully integrated audio unit is MP3-compatible.
Heating and air-conditioning controls are large and designed to be user-friendly.
The side impact airbags for driver and front passenger extend upwards to provide head as well as thorax protection.
The engine is a 1.6-litre DOHC multi-point fuel injected unit producing 76kW of maximum power at 5800rpm and developing peak torque of 145Nm at 3600rpm.
Holden says the new Barina will return fuel economy of up to 7.0 litres/100km with manual transmission and 7.6 litres/100km with the automatic.
Ventilated front disc brakes are standard with alloy wheels and a four-channel ABS braking system.
Holden is selling the Barina in a choice of paint schemes: Arctic White; Chilli Red; Fayence Uni (metallic); Impression Blue (metallic); Urban Grey (metallic); Mercury Silver (metallic); Horizon Blue (metallic) and Carbon Flash Black (metallic).