It was only a month ago I had a laugh about the Safety Rating of the Holden Barina and encouraged no one to even consider it as a car (given that it is based on the miserable Daewoo Kalos). Now it seems like Holden has had enough beating from the public about this issue and are looking at other options for their Korean made Barina.

I am concerned by the publicity. First of all, I was not surprised at the Australian NCAP results as the Euro NCAP results were very similar in Europe a couple of months earlier. But it was a little surprising to our technical community. We had a better internal result. Both tests are exactly precise yet there’s variation in the results. Let me say, though, I am very confident of the safety of the Barina. That’s one test.

The car is a five-star over in North America, which is a different test. These tests measure chest ‘G’, they measure head-impact criteria and physical intrusion … and these are the kind of tests that end up in the consumer’s scorebooks, so to speak. I’m very confident where that vehicle is from a safety standpoint. It is a little misleading when you compare it to the old Barina, which was tested under a different test procedure, by the way. So there are a lot of variables here.

I’m not trying to be defensive because the result is what it is. We have been working with the Australian NCAP and our engineers … to see if there is anything else we want to do.

Mr Mooney Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden

Don’t be fooled by his comments about how the old Holden Barina was under a different test. Sure it was different, but not that different and if they put the old Barina under the current test, there is no question that it would give a better result! But Mr Mooney isn’t convinced. So confident in the Barina’s safety he has put his own and his daughter’s life at risk:

I drive the car, I have my daughter drive the car and there is no problem.

Well Mr Mooney, for a start, I don’t believe you drive a Barina to work everyday – and I love the way he says “I have my daughter drive the car” – is it by force Mr Mooney? Secondly it seems like not many other people are willing to put their children’s life at risk. The sales of the New Barina are not only lower than average (by around 400 cars this month) but they are also lower than the old European made Barina which sold until last year!

So can you tell the difference between the Daewoo Kalos and the Holden Barina? Except for the badge? (click on the pictures to see a larger version).

 Daewoo Kalso 2006


    i just bought a new holden barina and i dont see or feel anything wrong with it… if this car does fail me then i will be taking it up with holden but you cant just got by ‘tests’ my hyandai died afetr 10000k’s (not good) and who cares if it looks similiar to a daewoo… it isnt

  • alborz

    But it is, its a Daewoo, rebadged a Holden, that the point of the article!

    Of course you cant see anything wrong with it, but wait till you have an accident.. than just pray you can still see anything at all.

  • Franz Chong

    I remember looking at one of these Barinas last year when it came time to find a replacement for my 2002 Mazda 323 Astina.I did not get much further than that and after much looking around and shopping elsewhere I ended up at a Nissan Dealer with a Tiida ST Automatic hatchback after checking out the opposition over at Ford,Volkswagen,Hyundai and Mazda most of which gave me silly prices or were not keen to do business.I did the right thing buying something similar in size to my old Mazda with slightly smaller dimensions by a few millimetres which I feel very confident and safe driving around in.

  • James Ford

    My partner has one of the last Spanish built Opel Corsa Barinas sold here, and that was a reasonable car for the price. We have since had a look at the new cheaper Daewoo Barina out of curiosity – and the difference in quality is remarkable. The Daewoo ‘Barina’ is truly apalling – Rough engine, flimsy panels, cheap plastics, harsh ride, floppy steering, awful transmission, noisy, squeaks, rattles… Eurgh. And I believe the rear brakes are drum brakes.

    The car wasn’t popular when it was a Daewoo, it deserves no more attention with a Holden badge on it.

    And to the owner who complained their Hyundai died after 100,000kms – Well what did you expect! They’re both cheap, Korean built cars!

    You DO get what you pay for – buy a Honda Jazz or Suzuki Swift instead.

    • daMystery1

      Re. the Hyundai death…. It said ten thousand, NOT 100 thousand.

  • Hugo

    It’s reassuring to know that, using Mr. Mooney’s reasoning, my recently purchased Barina XC would score a safety rating of 7 out of 5 in North America.

    Which, frankly, is still two better than the current Barina :P.

  • Christian

    I bought an XC MY05 Barina last year.I went to the holden dealers, this is when the new TK came out. They tried so hard to stop me from buying the XC. I test drove the new TK and the XC, and fuck the difference was huge. Powerwise the same really, but finish quality, ride, visability, the euro XC kicked its ass. So far my barina has been GREAT! My family has had 3 barina’s so far, and they’ve all been amazing. Our last SB Barina from 99 is still kicking. It’s lagged so much shit around, done HEAPS of KMS and its still a GREAT car. I’m glad I bought my barina, thank fully i didnt listen to the dealer tryna sell me the TK. Shame they didn’t continue with the euro barina, the euro barina is HOT.. wish I had that one!

  • Lil

    I have had this car for three years, no major problems, great city car, good on fuel consumption, panels are a bit of concern, but it feels good to drive. Previously i had a daewoo lanos sports which was written off in major car accident. I have strong beliefs this car saved my life due to side panel protection.

  • Al Juraj

    Yaris, Jazz, Colt, Swift and even Getz. I’d really consider these names first before that Barina. They’re not much more expensive but way better than the extra dollars they ask for. They also look much nicer and perform better (note that Barina has a 1.6-liter engine but slower than those others that have no more than 1.5). And given the 2-star rating, Holden should recall them for Australia’s sake.

  • B.P.

    I bought my TK barina in December 05, the new TK one just came out and when i drove it i thought it was great, considering i drove a 1994 commodore for the previous 2 years.

    I have since put 30,000km’s on it and it is the biggest piece of crap i have ever driven, it makes more noise inside and outside than my old 1990 nissan with 190,000kms on the clock. so i am going to hate to see it when it hits 190,000km’s, that’s if it is still working.

    Every time i go over a bump or put my brakes on i get some god awful sound like the wheels or shocks are gonna collapse and i will go straight into a tree.

    i will definitely be telling holden about it at my next service and hopefully the warranty will cover it.

  • Melissa

    I bought a 2007 Barina New and the automatic has had a solanoid go in it four times. I feel as though it is constantly being returned for repairs and the inconvenience is rediculous. So much for a warranty – I’d like a refund on this lemon but instead I have to just keep taking it back. Can you think of any other faulty item you would have to keep taking back for patching and instead of getting your momney back you continue to lose thousands. I’d like to sell it but I couldn’t do it privately – I’d feel like scum.

    • Julz

      Hi Melissa,

      we are having issues with our Barina as well, brakes, abs, fuel anything you can think of. Keep taking it back to Holden and they are giving me nothing.

      You still have problems with your one?

  • Alicia

    i bought a 2006 barina and i have had the solanoid go three times so far and have also encountered a problem with the engine. It is in getting repaired right now. I am furious i want a refund and want this problem to be over. I still owe money on the car and it would be a waste for me to get rid of it but it is causing so many dramas. I live in a country town and there is no holden dealer here so i have to take it an hour away to get it fixed. What are our options how can we can our money back….

  • Alicia

    Melissa my email is send me an email i am having the same problems.

  • Allan Penhall

    Wow, some of you guys have problems,but our 2000 Barina just keeps on keeping on, how-ever,can anyone tell me how to key in the radio code in a Holden Barina 2000 model. Required after battery died. Cheers steptoe111 Allan

  • Brooke

    I brought a 2006 barina and have only done 23000klm and have had nothing but problems with it. my spark plugs and valves in my head needed to be replaced, my oil warning light was faulty, airbag control has burnt out (twice and now they’re trying to make me pay for it!), back wipers seized up, back passenger window motor burnt out. this is just to name a few. Holden customer care won’t do anything about it, either will the service department where I got it! something needs to be done about this. does anyone know who we can get in contact with to sort this out?

    • Erina

      Hi Brooke,

      Have just been doing a bit of research as I to have had major problems with my barina.  Just wandering how you got on with this.  Same story no one wants to know.

  • nickdl

    I saw one of these and a Swift on the side of the freeway after an accident. The Barina had rammed the back of the Swift (probably due to no ABS) and it was a write off. The Swift could have been driven away. I bet the Swift owner was happy to have paid 3 grand more.

  • Jodie

    My Holden barina tk 2006 won’t accept my code. The dealership says it is the right code. Any id