Feeling that a date with the Holden Barina RS would somehow reinvigorate my youth, we scooted across town to hip Prahran eatery, Oscar Cooper.
The funky little five-door is all about the #nightout - so fire up a playlist and swipe right to the top end of Chapel St.
You know what, the Barina RS might seem like a bit a bit of a mismatch, but when you see it as a package - the baby Holden pulls it off. The deconstructed quad-headlamps, low front bar and 17" alloy wheels all combine to present a pretty, stylish runabout.
The leather and faux suede sport seats are cool and comfy, but the dash and other trim materials are pretty basic and cold. That said, the Barina RS isn't trying to be a premium product so would likely impress 20-something buyers and their BFFs.
Holden's 7" MyLink touch screen is a great addition, providing bluetooth phone and audio, as well as the ability to integrate with your smartphone for internet music streaming and navigation apps.
The automatic transmission (which comes at a $3,000 premium) lessens the sporty and fun appeal of the RS. The 'sport shift' buttons on the side of the transmission lever are not very intuitive and the auto tends to opt for a higher gear than the situation would normally warrant.
The children best suited to this car are your own, up front and driving. A nice transition from P-plates to full licence perhaps? There are anchor points in the back, but the small boot isn't really suited to carting around a pram.
There are six airbags and a five-star ANCAP rating, so the RS will act as a responsible chaperone on the road.
Holden's capped price servicing for the first three-years of ownership is estimated at just $185 per year,
The Barina RS, despite featuring the 103kW/200NM 1.4L Turbo petrol engine from the larger Holden Cruze, doesn't set the world on fire as a driver's car. Not entirely a bad thing if you are the one buying it, but 'not' driving it... but as an enthusiast runabout, look elsewhere.
As it is when dating all younger models - only a one night stand. The Barina and I have a different outlook on life at the moment - my summer days don't mix with its Summadaze, and despite the youthful appeal, there's not enough excitement there to tempt me away.
If you find yourself sneaking a sideways glance at the Barina RS, maybe give the Ford Fiesta Sport a look as well. Same formula, slightly different execution. My pick in this price and style bracket would be the Renault Clio though - as if you are going to turn back the clock, you might as well spend your time with a French one.
Younger buyers who understand the correct use of #hashtags.