• Great car for women, affordable, fuel efficient, hip, easy to drive
  • No automatic transmission - yet. Barely adequate straight-line performance.

5 / 10

2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
by John Cadogan

The Holden Barina Spark is aimed squarely and unashamedly at Generation Y females. Emma Pinwill, Holden’s marketing manager for the small car segment describes it as the “sexy, ‘gotta have’ small car”. It’s equal parts transportation and fashion accessory. So don’t worry: Your bum definitely won’t look big in it.

A smaller, secondary group of consumers at whom this car is targeted is women who remember their fortieth birthdays.

It would be easy to have a series of cheap, blokey shots at the Barina Spark – purely based on its positioning. One of the seven colours in the range is actually called Luscious Kiss Pink. But, when you think about it, though, it’s positioned exactly like the Holden Ute – albeit in relation to the opposite gender.

(Holden Utes are aimed almost exclusively at men. Less than 10 per cent of buyers there are women. Same thing with the Barina Spark – only the gender proportions are reversed.)

According to Ms Pinwill, the top five items on the Generation Y female’s automotive ‘must have’ hit parade are: exterior design, interior design, safety, being ‘fun to drive’ and value. The Spark certainly ticks all of those boxes – in the context of the likely customers.

Styling is an exclusively subjective thing – it’s in the eye of the beholder – but the design is also very clever and quite practical. It’s clever because the car looks as cool as a two-door coupe when you look at it side-on. It’s practical because it’s actually a five-door hatch, with a concealed black door handle on the rear doors to trick your eye. For any men still reading this review, the practicality of this feature derives from it being much easier to emerge from the rear seat of a five-door with your dignity intact while you are wearing a short skirt. Personally, I can’t attest to this, and I can’t see myself ever giving it a go (but you never know…). Whatever; the Holden chicks I canvassed on this matter all nodded sagely and referred to this functionality as being “short-skirtable”, which is something you’ll see in the Barina Spark advertising campaign. Paparazzi will detest it.

2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review

Another clever/practical trick: the instrument cluster, which is clever, cool and based on a motorcycle’s instruments, and which features a linear-style LCD tacho and a conventional analogue speedo, is attached to the steering column – so it rises and falls as you height-adjust the wheel. It’s the one point of commonality between a Nissan GTR and a Barina Spark. There are also dozens of places inside the car to store essential female items (or lose them, if you’re a man).

The control layout is easy to understand and instinctive. It all just works. There are a variety of audio inputs (USB and 3mm audio jack) – but not Bluetooth streaming for music. Bluetooth for mobile phone is optional.

The Barina Spark is a very safe car for a young driver. It ticks the most important boxes there, with electronic stability control and six airbags as standard equipment across the range. Brake assist, brakeforce distribution and traction control are also standard. Holden deserves considerable recognition for packing this lifesaving potential into the car even in the entry model, because elsewhere in the market such safety equipment is optional – and buyers overwhelmingly elect not to spend the extra money on the safety pack. It would have been easy to drive the entry price even lower by deleting some of those safety items, so the company deserves the biggest of ticks for putting the public interest ahead of the quest for every last sale.

2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review

According to James Soo, the Barina Spark vehicle performance manager, the Spark was crashed by Euro NCAP and has earned a four-star safety rating in Europe. Mr Soo told us the actual structural performance of the European car was adequate to earn a five-star rating. The reason it didn’t was that the Euro-tested car lacked electronic stability control, which is a five-star prerequisite. So it will be interesting to see what happens when ANCAP crash tests the Barina Spark locally, given that ESC is standard here.

The bottom line is of course that a car like the Barina Spark is significantly more likely to protect a young driver than a typical Australian young driver’s car (that is, a second-hand dungbox more than 10 years old, lacking current life-saving safety features).

That leaves ‘fun to drive’ and ‘value’ on the Gen Y woman’s top five list of vital automotive attributes. For some of us, ‘fun to drive’ involves a list of prerequisites like ‘more than 250kW’, at least 225mm of rubber at each corner and paddles behind the steering wheel. However, according to Ms Pinwill, the Gen Y woman’s definition of ‘fun to drive’ prerequisites includes things like being ‘zippy’, having more storage spaces than a closet full of Prada handbags and being easy to drive and, importantly, park.

2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review

A few points on all of that. The Barina Spark is not exactly zippy in relation to its straight-line performance. It’s adequate to keeping up with most city traffic, but it won’t set any kind of speed record in the foreseeable future. It struggles on steep hills. Even though its weight is under 1000kg the engine battles at times with the car’s inertia. The 1.2-litre produces 59kW and 107Nm – with peak torque at a fairly high 4800rpm. If you’re a keen driver, it won’t excite. But if you’re more of a car-as-fashion-accessory type, you probably won’t mind the borderline adequacy of its performance at all.

On the plus side, all the controls are quite light and the car is dead easy to steer, with benign handling – you just point it where you want it to go and it goes where you tell it without much fuss at all. It’s not a driver’s car or an inspiring performer, but it is quite capable in terms of conservative driving.

The Barina Spark is easy to park – although you can’t see the bonnet at all as you sit behind the wheel. The controls are all really light in weight (probably a real plus for the target consumers) but importantly they all provide adequate feedback, too. Your boyfriend will probably hate it. For the same reasons you probably don’t.

Two model grades are available: CD and CDX. Both come with the aforementioned ‘works burger’ of advanced safety features. The main difference being 14-inch seven-spoke alloys wearing 155/70 rubber on the CD and 15-inch five-spoke alloys with 165/60 tyres on the CDX. This alone is a reason to step up to the CDX because the extra rubber and lower profile really helps the CDX’s roadholding and steering feedback (and the bigger wheels look better, too, for the fashionistas). The difference between the models is $1500 – pretty cheap for a set of bigger alloys and lower-profile tyres. Plus, you also get a fair bit of additional equipment (as well as style bonuses).

2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review

CDX Barina Sparks also feature a Sportec-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel, which is really nice to hold, and colour-coded Sportec seat trim. The CDX’s seat trim colour combinations are defined by exterior colour and range from a conservative silver (on white, silver, pink, blue and green exteriors) to outrageously in-you-face red (available only on red exterior and black exterior cars). Sportec is an easy-clean water-repellant faux leather finish.

CDX also gets power windows all round, while CD languishes with old-fashioned hand-wound windows in the rear (remember those?) and electric windows in the front – an obvious concession to price.

Aside from that, the CD is remarkably well equipped – inclusive of engine immobiliser, keyless entry for doors and hatch, body coloured door handles and mirrors, rear spoiler, fog lamps, trip computer, auto headlights off (so no flat battery from that on the cards any time soon), power mirrors, audio controls on the steering wheel, 60:40 split fold rear seats, vanity mirrors for both driver and front passenger (possibly a redundant feature for Gen Y…already vain enough in many cases) and a load compartment cover.

The price? Very affordable – the CD kicks the tin at $12,490 rrp ($14,490 drive away) and the CDX has an rrp of $13,990. On paper the Barina Spark compares extremely favourably to the Suzuki Alto, with the Spark offering more power and torque (and an additional cylinder to the Alto’s three-cylinder engine).

2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review

The Barina Spark is called just the ‘Spark’ in other markets. Holden elected to hang the Barina moniker on the car thanks to the strong recognition of the Barina name in Australia, dating back 25-odd years. Sales of the conventional Barina will continue alongside the Spark. In fact, Holden is in the middle of a major product offensive at the moment, with 10 new cars due here in the next 20 months – including a new Barina based on the Chevy Aveo, which Holden boss Mike Devereaux describes as a “world-class small car”.

The Barina Spark is built by GM in South Korea, but Mr Devereaux is quick to point out that this car is one of the next-generation of GM-Daewoo cars – GM Daewoo 2.0, if you like – as opposed to what he publicly refers to as the “legacy products” first rolled out by GM Daewoo. This means the Barina Spark was not just built with GM’s hand on the tiller, it was also designed with GM steering the ship. It certainly feels well built – and the fit and finish seems on the money as well. It’s worth remembering, however, that the vast majority of South Korean cars in Australia are offered with five-year warranties whereas the Barina Spark, like all other Holdens, has a three-year/100,000km warranty.

The biggest impediment right now between many potential owners actually buying a Barina Spark is one of GM’s own making. Currently there is no auto transmission available. So the transmission choices are: five-speed manual, or buy another car. Plenty of young drivers these days don’t bother learning how to drive a manual, so the lack of an auto is a self-limiting sales proposition for the car. An auto, we’re told, is under development, but Holden was unable to provide any indication of the likely timing of its arrival in the lineup.

2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
2010 Holden Barina Spark Review

CarAdvice Overall Rating: 
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How does it Look: 
How does it Go: 

*Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer and does not include dealer delivery, on-road or statutory charges.

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2010 Holden Barina Spark Review
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  • Toby

    Going to be tough to steal sales from Getz, but the Spark should smash it on looks alone. Such a shame they cant stick a decent motor in it. Suzuki stuck a brilliant little twin cam 1.3 in the GTi many years ago. It revved to 8500 rpm and scared the pants of many a car 3 times its capacity. Begs the question why Holden cant do similar

    • andronicus

      Should be hard to steal sales from anyone with this thing but knowing Australian consumers Im sure we will see a few of these on the road in no time.
      There are better contenders out there such as i20, fiesta and mazda2; if after something slightly bigger, and they are not as offensive style wise.
      I think John is totally right in labelling this a feminine car. I jut cant see many self respecting men purchasing this unless it is for their teenage daughter.

      And isnt this the car that had a jamaican accent in transformers2 like 4 years ago? Oh it makes me hate it even more….

  • Baddass

    Four stars? I reckon that’s proof enough that the scoring system is irrelevant, but that aside, it seems this is a better car than the current Barina (not hard to do). Sure, the headlights would look oversized on a Mack truck, and that engine would be overwhelmed with the weight of some women’s handbags, but visual quality-wise is a noticeable improvement. The new Aveo would be better still.

  • smokin’r32

    Needs more headlight

    • Brownie

      Hehe – love it.

      Duce Bigalo (dunno if I spelt that right) comes to mind:

      “That’s a huge…..” er, face

  • Riceboy

    “so it rises and falls as you height-adjust the wheel. It’s the one point of commonality between a Nissan GTR and a Barina Spark”

    that’d be the 350/370z, not GTR

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ John Cadogan

      Sorry, you’re wrong. The GTR’s instrument cluster moves in tandem with the steering wheel up/down adjustment. At least it did on the two I’ve driven. And a bunch of other road testers seem to agree.

      • Alborz Fallah

        You are both right, the GT-R and the 370Z’s steering wheel moves up and down.

  • o

    Im a male and actually really like it. It looks much better in the metal my only gripe is the 90s style door handles on the front doors, congrats to holden though for offering such a high level of safety and spec as the base model in the uk looks rubbish. also rate the projector fog lights

    • andronicus

      ok, hand em over. your balls I mean.

      • davie

        This is 2010. Are people really that insecure that they worry a car purchasing choice questions their manhood?

        I drive my wife’s old 89 jelly-bean barina around the suburbs daily. It also is supposedly a girly gar (It’s the same one that had a sportsgirl promotional variant).

        Guess what?

        It is just another car. It is made of metal, it has an engine and it gets me to the train station on weekdays and carries a couple of bits of wood or bags of cement on weekends.

        It owes me nothing, it does what I ask and that’s all that matters.

        • Andronicus

          sounds like the kind of comment a woman would make about a car.

          ooooh moderate that!

  • DGS

    “Sportec is an easy-clean water-repellant faux leather finish.”

    Translation: “it has vinyl seats”?

    If so that is not a bad thing, some of us get dirty at work and play and it is nice to have an easy to clean car. Will holden be offering vinyl in other cars in their line up?

    • nickdl

      I wish they would just do it as an option. I can see the need for vinyl but I can’t see many tradies driving one of these and they’ll get terribly hot in summer.

    • katyperry

      geez vinyl seats are better than cloth at least

  • Karl

    This with an auto?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ John Cadogan

      Well, yeah – except if you can’t drive a manual. Think: Gen Y chick.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leong.jon Jon Leong

        So… Gen Y Chick = Torture??

        • andronicus

          Yes but you pay extra for that….so I hear.

      • aball

        Or ,in my case, a stroke survivor with no movement in my left arm and little in my left leg. I too used to be horrified by the thought of a small auto, now it’s a neccessary evil. It’s either that or no driving at all.Still think I’d prefer this to anIndian built Alto.

  • Shak

    Mmate, if you opened your scope a little, you would know that holden engineers have had a hand in ALL new GM DAT products, and some from the US and China. Get over the Korean=bad quality.

    • jj

      yeah korean cars can be good!!

      hyundai and kia yes!! daewoo no!

  • Shak

    Finally some nice small cars coming out of GM DAT. Holden is really gonna be scaring Toyota with all this new product coming from the empire. Maybe Holden is planning a more agrssive(read powerful) version in the future. With the Black extrior and red interior, it looks quiet good.

    • Mikey_94

      I totally agree with you Shak, but I’m very disappointed in the fact that many have voted you down (which will most probably happen to me now). As pointed out in the review, the Spark is a part of the “GM DAT 2.0″ vehicles, which are certainly a lot better than their predecessors. Further, Holden is offering a very competitive package here, and I think it is a very attractive proposition for prospective car buyers.

  • Skeeter

    You could fit a full size spare behind those headlights lol

  • spvd02

    What is with that tack-on LCD next to the Speedometer? It hardly looks integrated! Rather distasteful I think. The proportions are also awkward, but that’s also what people were saying about the Cruz.

    I would be that ‘boyfriend who hates it’, I’m afraid.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ John Cadogan

      Being a bloke and having an opinion on this car is like being a bloke and trying to tell the difference between different handbags. It can’t be done.

      • Joober

        Lol good one!

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ John Cadogan

    It’s a very safe car. And the quality seems pretty good to me.

    • Nelson

      Go to the motor show look at every car in this segment, and then tell me if this has good quality.

      By far the worst quality car at the Motor Show! That’s a FACT!

      • Shak

        i was just there yeaterday, and i went and sat in all of its competitors. it has by far the bst legroom, and interior design. The Alto is pure and simple BAD. Obviosuly i couldnt judge the new Swift, but that should be very competitive.

    • Bob

      Safe eh? That’s a very, shall we say “subjective” word. Given the choice, I’d rather be in a 10 year old “dunger” Falcon/Commodore than that thing in a head on between the two.

      • Shak

        yep, its people like you that have no clue about modern day safety tech, and things such as ultra-high tensile steels, and aluminium being used in cars. People like you think, that if i have a big mass of steel and iron in front of me, i’ll be right. cars like this have things called passive and active safety.

        • G.

          So true. I’ve seen an online video of a Chevy Bel Air in a head-on collision with a wall (It was a safety test I suppose)…it was crushed to its back passenger seats like a plastic party cup. Bigger car ≠ safety.

          • G.

            *Sorry, it was actually a Chevy Bel Air against a 2009 Chevy Malibu.

  • filippo

    It will be interesting how many they actually sell. Will outer suburban Jersey Shore wannabe hairdressers be willing to learn how to drive a manual? Perhaps Holden should offer extra incentives by quoting the price in baby bonus payments or Tatts pokies payouts.

    Still, as cheap as they are there’s no reason to pay full price. Wait a few months and your local Cash Converters will be full of them.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ John Cadogan

      That’s a bit unkind – less than five per cent of people in this country tend to buy new cars every year. They tend to be among the richest third of the population. Also, it’s the same price as a Getz, broadly, and Cash Converters isn’t full of them.

  • tuzii

    manual only?
    i smell total fail.
    who remembers the holden/opel tigra they imported as manual only, that died after 3 months.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ John Cadogan

      The manual transmission is under development and on the way. Sixty per cent of Barina sales are currently manual.

    • hmmm

      they were 34,990 and were never advertised !!! i know i had to sell them

  • darkone

    has it got reverse sensors? i dont know any woman that can parralell park,even in something that small.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ John Cadogan

      I guess, to be fair, a woman would probably reply to you that she doesn’t know too many blokes who can even spell ‘parallel’…

      • darkone

        ok ,got me on that one,I cant spell but you get the general idea.anyway marketing a manual car at women who only ever seem to want an auto is marketing suicide

    • Nelson

      Parking sensors for something this small are you serious?

      There is intensive parking courses in Europe.

  • http://caradvise.com schah7

    BUTT UGLY.!!! On looks alone this thing,will have trouble selling.

    • sofo

      you have no sence of style!

    • Geet

      Wow… I guarantee 99.99% of people will disagree with that – Gen Y females or otherwise!

  • rentakeyboard

    this is a global design engineered by Chev Opel and input by Holden that happens to be built in Korea, one of several factories this will be built in globally.

    When will people also see that 4cyl 1.2 lit is a big engine for its class. This competes with Alto not Getz.

    As a sideline maybe Holden should market this with the tag:

    \”Down with the Vadge Flash\” lol

  • Nelson

    This car is by far the worst car in terms of quality at the motor show. Interiors are rubbish a complete peace of crap.

    Actually the Holden range had the worst interior quality by far, complete rubbish.

    Only the Commodore kind of survives, but even when you close the door is doesn’t have that thump.

    • Andrew

      “Actually the Holden range had the worst interior quality by far, complete rubbish.”

      I have to agree with that. It isn’t so obvious when you look at them in isolation but when I went to the motor show I was struck by how cheap and nasty the entire Holden range felt in comparison to, well, pretty much everything around them.

  • Tim

    This is going to be a huge winner for Holden. Just watch and see!

    • Fenno

      The key selling feature is The badge. Girls just see “Holden” and assume that everything is hunky-dory.
      It will be a huge winner for Holden (probably more so because Gen Y girls willbe prompted by their Gen-Y “Transformer” loving boyfriends to by one)
      Will be a bigger winner when the Auto comes.

      • sofo

        haha well im a 20yr old female and im actaully getting one on the weekend! i think there a great car! Oh and ill be getting a manual as its more fun!!

        i think everyone should be tought how to drive a manual!

        • Manual Driving Woman

          I drive a manual. Im picking this car up tomorrow. It’s my first brand new car and Im very proud. Yes it is very Gen-Y, however, ALL cars have their stereotypes attached. I have had a Mitsubishi Colt (’85), Ford Meteor (86′), Ford Festiva (’95), Nissan Pulsar (’03) and a Mitsubishi Lancer (’01), not through bad driving, rather just certain events in my life. I test drove the Spark and coming from a performance Lancer, it seemed perfectly fine to me. Oh and I bought it in Luscious Kiss Pink. Its interior and exterior is what you call Modern…you know that word…Modern. Yes I like the vintage cars of the 40-70’s and Ive grown up with a backyard full of very tough Holden Commodores, but the world has to understand that manufacturers have to move with the flow of society. We change our mobiles regularly due to sleeker designs amongst many other reasons…well this car is just doing that, keeping up with societies pace and want and need for modern looks.

  • MJ

    WOW…. Hideous much?

  • http://CarAdvice La Mercator

    More flairs than a 70’s Disco. Enough headlight to illuminate the Bat signal. 1.2 litre motor? and no auto? Survey says……. Swift. Suzuki owns this market closely followed by Getz due to price. My prediction, with in a few months the Barina will be back to its old drive away price point. You don’t have to be a bright Spark to work that out.

  • brett

    car advice rating is crap, 2 stars for how does it go, but still 4 stars as an overall rating. i would of thought how much power (or lack of) it has is more important than the other 2 factors. 3 stars for me

  • Dayman>Nightman

    I don’t and have never understood the bizarre “rating” system caradvice use. Do the “How does it go, drive and look” have any impact on the final rating?
    And what is the difference between the “Go” and the “Drive” rating? I presume the “Go” refers to the cars acceleration? A whole criterion for how a car goes? There is no rating for fuel economy, price or value, three areas in which for all intents and purposes this car has been designed for.

  • bangel

    Insect , looks like a cricket , sometimes you can look dumb driving a certain car , this is one

    • sofo

      only the green cocktail colour looks like an insect mate???

  • David

    I like it

  • Hooda

    Hyundai are sooooo stupid, the i20 is still not for sale at my local dealer…yet they are spending tons on advertising it on TV….!!?!?!?


    • D

      Go to a different dealer, I have seen heaps parked out the front of Melbourne ones near me.

  • Daniel

    That’s one of the most incohesive, ugly piles of crap I’ve ever seen. Fortunately for Holden marketing, it has a Holden badge on it and the younger generation (of which I’m a part) will believe almost anything they are told regarding style. No doubt it’ll be a sales winner for these two facts alone- I can see absolutely NO other reason to buy it.

    • Toxic_Horse

      well it shows that you have no idea what your talking about. This car is going to sell very well. You wait and seel.

      • Daniel

        …and clearly you can’t read because I said it would be a sales winner. Goose…

  • Shak

    I am writing a bit off topic here, but i think many people at the AIMS felt the same as i did. I, being a Holden fan was looking forward to viewing each and every Holden and HSV, but to my surprise, when we turn up all the HSV’s are locked and there are no HSV employees/stand people their to even ask about the cars. Then onto Holden, and the employees were acting as if they were to high to talk to anyone, and when asked about HSV, they said thats not our department, we dont know anything about them, we dont own or sell them. How dare they be so stuck up and high and mighty, when i received better service at the MB, And Audi stands , not to mention the warm embrace you felt at the Ford stand. And the fact that you could sit in every Audi(bar the A8, which is understandable), and also every Merc(except the SLS, and CL). Shame on Holden for such a despicable reception. They have just lost My SS-V trade in. Plain and Simple i am VERY VERY angry with them.

    • RS5 on order

      Stop whinning you little girl, do you need a tampon

    • ausGeoff

      Hey Shak…

      This is supposed to be your comments on the Barina Spark, and NOT a platform for you to whinge like a schoolgirl about your silly HSVs!

      I’m sure Holden is gonna be absolutely mortified that you’re taking your trade elsewhere… not! Maybe you should be contemplating buying an Austin 1800… sounds more like your scene?

  • Jabba the Hutt

    Another site gave this car the same rating as CA. 4 stars? Are you guys serious? I don’t see the sexy looks being described by some and I am amazed it rates as highly as a falcon or commodore. It’s an improvement on the current heap of crap but I’d rate that one at 2 stars and this is only just better to my eye. It must be a damned good drive to earn 4 stars.

    The headlights look like they were stolen off a large car and forced to fit. I’m obviously missing something.

    • Shak

      I think the rating system, sorta works against the competitors in the segment. So a mid sized sedan that gets four starts is not equivalent to the Four stars that a full sized Limo would earn. get me?

  • phase3

    imho, they’ve completely missed their own target demographic by only offering it with a manual. how many young women are there out there who can drive a manual, or are even inclined to learn?

    but having said that, put a holden badge on a lada and people will buy it…

  • MattP

    I sat in one of these at AIMS. I cannot use the word “quality” in any sentence relating to this car. Many hard, shiny plastic pieces, rear lights designed by someone in kindergarten. It was simply abhorrent. It belongs back in the 1980’s.

    @ shak I agree the people on the Holden stand were too busy talking among themselves to bother with the potential buyer who paid $20 to look at their cars. The stand was a disgrace. I agree the Ford, Hyundai, VW, Mercedes, Audi, Skoda stands and others were all full of men and women who approached the punter with a smile and talked openly about their cars. Holden = FAIL

    • RS5 on order

      its because they have to speak with time wasters like yourself,

      • MattP

        @RS5 on what basis would you make that statement?

  • Eric

    “-2 John Cadogan says:
    October 23, 2010 at 6:37 am
    The manual transmission is under development and on the way. Sixty per cent of Barina sales are currently manual.”

    So they are happy to lose 40% of their market coz
    1 Holden has to much money
    2 Holden did not design it
    3 Holden forgot to tick that box when they placed the order with GM Deawoo
    4 Holden will provide free driving lessons
    5 Holden don’t want fleet sales

    Like posted above. Full price for a few months then out comes the big discounts.

    • cjg22

      there is not auto for the 1.2 Spark anywhere in GM world at the moment. Only the 1.0 that is sold overseas comes in an auto but they do not come with all the safety gear that the 1.2 does.

  • Hung Low

    I would rather starve for 2 days a week and put the savings toward something decent looking like the slightly larger Swift or Fiesta!

  • carl

    The headlight is too big!! It looks out of proportion with the whole car.

  • RS5 on order

    I have driven this and it is a nice car perfect for a first car or just a run around

    • MattP

      @RS5 do you work for Holden? Are they paying you to say this?

      • RS5 on order

        :) no I had one for a hire car.

  • http://www.facebook.com/simmah Simon Angell

    My Housemate just bought one of these, First one in the Illawarra to be purchased. Black with Red interior and “rose stripe” seats… Picking up Monday…

    When my housemate first saw the car, they fell in love.. loved the style, interior and features… not to fussed on the rear, but everything else tickled their fancy….

    and yes, my housemate is a Girl…

    AND she’s a fan of TF2..though i was surprised she didn’t recognize it…i had to google a pic and show her the twins.. she loves it even more now.. lol

  • http://Www.techalite.com.au Liza

    I’m a 22 year old female, thankfully driving manual. I want this car. *drool*

  • Martin C

    If only the front design (*drool*) leaked around to the back…

  • http://dodge franz chong

    I can’t help thinking of the family guy episode where Peter stupidly buys a Tank for Meg instead of a sensible car like this.An old army tank doesn’t even have half the safety products of this Barina.

  • Byron

    Good design & the engine is good enough for a girl to like, as is the safety & equipment features. I seen one the other day near where I live & it was in red covered with black stripes it looked really good. I looked at the driver & it was a girl naturally :)

    Barina Spark sold around 300 cars in 10 days in October 2010. Awesome job, Go HOLDEN!

  • Nicola

    I am a 20 yr old female and this is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. I saw one in a car park yesterday and it looks even worse in real life! I find it so bizarre that they are like “the car will sell based on looks” when it is so ugly. I would get a fiesta (my dream car), mazda 2 or 3, i30 or i20 over this any day!!

    • sofo

      im a 20yr old female too and i love the car! getting one this wkend actaully! yes its more of a girly car but it has a few pros to it!

      Nicola i would aim a little higher to have a dream car just as amazda 2 or 130 etc!!

  • Jason

    Any company that makes something so ugly better be prepared to go out of business!

  • Al Juraj

    GM should start globalising the Corsa instead like Ford’s doing with the Fiesta. Stop rebadging dodgy Daewoos please!

  • Rob

    I’m a 53 year old bloke living at the far south end of the Adelaide urban fringe who spends his weekdays looking after his 19 month old grand-daughter. My current car is a series one Ford Ka which has been the best car I’ve ever owned. The economics of the Spark compare well with the Ka, the Spark’s upholstery will stand up to more dirt and abuse than the Ka, the Spark has 5 doors so it’s easier to get the bub in and out of the child seat than the 3 door Ka, and it’s eight grand cheaper than the Mazda 2 that I’d really like! Ugly is in the eye of the beholder. Beautiful is a TR7 or an HG Monaro. Ugly is any HQ Holden or anything made by Chrysler except the Chargers. I’ve been for test drives in the Spark and the Getz and I’m thinking the Spark might just be the winner.

  • Duckula

    Drove one yesterday ( Dealer Demo loaned while waiting for fleet car being fixed) and I can honestly say I have nothing good to say about it ( and Im not going to harp on about where its made or its power or re badging or anything ) Im just saying from a purely ‘ just get in the car and drive’ point of view it was truely bloody awful ( no matter who makes it), its ugly,tinny,cheap plastic, uncomfortable… I could go on… Ive driven lots of cheap crap cars, and you can always find some redeeming feature, no matter how small… but this thing was just wrong in every aspect…

    • Neil

      I drive a VSpec II Nur GTR and just bought one of these Sparks for my other half and we don’t find it too bad at all – in fact, I’ve got no issues driving it at all.

      It serves exactly the purpose it was bought for; that is to be a cheap, economical car that we can feel happy leaving at the train station during the week.

      It also runs and sounds better on 95 octane than it does on 91.

  • Dave S

    I am not really into small cars but… saw one of these (CDX?) in black with black alloy wheels. It actually looked very good.

  • kerryh

    The misogyny on this blog is extremely disturbing. The constant demeaning of women can only reflect a society that hasn’t yet grown up and sees cars as a mask of masculinity.

    Grow up boys, your immaturity is showing. It’s 2011 not 1951 the rest of the world is moving on.

  • rob

    Just did a shoot for an upcoming production . Fiat 500 v Spark . The Spark ate the 500 on the track ! The lesser of two evils ? But check out the price difference . You pay for percieved character & the chance of sus’ reliability . The Fiat ain’t starting !!

  • James

    Want one

  • Jacq the Gen Y Chick

    Hi all,
    I have owned a spark now for just over a month. I only have one fault; power. It is a little embarassing travelling along Mt Ousley, but at least it’s done in style.
    The handling is great. Easy to use features. My dad is happy I drive it around now instead of my 1985 Toyota Liteace.
    Sorry guys, it’s definately not for the men, but for girls looking for men. It gets tonnes of attention from the boys, especially the luscious kiss pink ones like mine with the green P’s on it.
    My work car is some sort of 4wheel drive and they’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. You don’t need big guns to negotiate corners or a trunk sized left leg to change gears. (which might be a down point, gotta get that zumba dvd out instead or put down the fork, ladies)
    Overall, it’s all that I need. Big enough to fit my closest friends in. Small enough to find a parking stop anywhere without a “hail Mary, full of grace, open up a parking space”.

  • viv

    I’m getting one for my Daughter she love the look I like the price.The comments from what I suppose are Commodore and Falcon loving males – what the hell are you doing looking and commenting on a small car like this??? you have no interest in this type of car

  • James

    Awsome, You right Viv it is a very stylish little car im also thinking of getting a little red one in the future. I can picture myself driving down the city streets in it!

  • FluffChop

    Do the white ones come with a little string out the back? Or even the red ones ewww don’t go there lol

    • James

      My Favourite Colour Is Red, Whats Yours and why bother to comment if you are going to be stupid!

  • Leannesaulys

    I bought my daughter the 2011 green cdx barina spark for her first car. Even though she loves it we are having a problem with a loud noise coming from the front. It sounds like metal ticking against something. She has only had it for about 6 months but the service repairer cant fix the noise. We have had it in for over a week a couple of times; they say they fixed it but it still makes the loud clanging, mainly in low gear. just wondering if anyone else has had this problem?

  • Alex

    To anyone reading this in 2013, my sister has the 2010 CDX version, and she is trying to find tyres to suit the 165/60/15 alloys. No one makes them anymore. Her local Holden dealers response? Too bad.

Holden Barina Spark Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$5,500 - $6,250
Dealer Retail
$6,480 - $7,700
Dealer Trade
$4,100 - $5,000
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
107Nm @  4800rpm
Max. Power
59kW @  6400rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
5.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
155/70 R14
Rear Tyres
155/70 R14
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber
Standard Features
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
14 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Traction Control System
Power Steering, Trip Computer
Radio Compact Disc Player
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors, Rear Spoiler
Cloth Trim, Power Windows Front
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
RH Side Under Rear Seat
Country of Origin