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by Tim Beissmann

The decision for consumers in the market for a light car will get even tougher in November when the all-new 2012 Holden Barina goes on sale in Australia.

The new five-door Holden Barina hatch will start from $15,990 before on-road costs, and the optional six-speed automatic transmission adds $2000 to the price, making it $17,990 before on-road costs.

A special price of $16,990 driveaway will apply to the five-speed manual Barina for the first few months of production.

Initially, these will be the only two variants available. The new Barina sedan will arrive in local showrooms a few months later around the beginning of 2012.

Until then, Holden will continue to sell run-out models of the outgoing Barina sedan alongside the new hatch, as well as run-out models of the outgoing Barina hatch, which is now badged as the Barina Classic, and priced from $14,490 driveaway.

The entire Barina range sits above the sub-light Barina Spark, which is currently available in two manual-only variants: the $12,490 CD and the $14,490 CDX.

At 4093mm long, 1735mm wide and 1517 tall, the new Barina hatch is 213mm longer, 65mm wider and 22mm taller than the model its replaces, making it one of the larger cars in the class.

The 1.6-litre petrol engine produces 85kW of power (at 6000rpm) and 155Nm of torque (at 4000rpm), up from the old model’s 77kW/145Nm output.

Combined cycle fuel consumption drops to from 7.2 to 6.8 litres/100km for the manual model and from 7.8 to 7.3 litres/100km for the automatic.

The new Barina has already been awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP crash test rating, and employs six airbags (dual front, side and curtains), electronic stability control, traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution and a number of other active and passive features.

The Barina will score 15-inch alloy wheels, and despite coming standard with a space saver spare, Holden will include a full-size steel spare on demand at no extra cost.

Measured with the space saver, the Barina offers 290 litres of boot space, which expands to 653 litres with the rear seats folded flat.

Standard features of the well-equipped solo model include ‘follow-me-home’ headlights, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, USB input with iPod integration, and steering wheel controls.

Seven paint colours will be offered from launch: black, white, grey, silver, red and two shades of blue.




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