2016 Holden Barina CDX Review

2016 Holden Barina CDX Road Test and Review.

Holden has made some pretty handy alterations to the Holden Barina in this new series two model and those changes make the Barina a more attractive city car than the one it replaces.

The biggest change was the introduction of a much smoother new six-speed automatic transmission. Not only has the transmission enabled the Barina engine to provide more go, the series two also uses about 10% less fuel.

So the new transmission is very much a welcome addition.

2016 Holden Barina prices start from $15,390 for the hatch and $15,890 for the sedan. I had the hatchback version of the upper-spec CDX Barina, an offering that starts from $20,090 (again a sedan is available for an extra $500).

The CDX comes only with the auto transmission and the standard 1.6 litre Holden engine, sporty variants – the Barina RS coming only with the turbocharged 1.4 litre engine.

But we are here to talk CDX and I must say that I overall I was impressed. I have driven a Barina just about every year through its current generation and the 2016 model is by far the most pleasing.

Aside from improving the transmission, Holden also tweaked the electric steering in the Barina and the result is a nice and crisp steering feel that is very light at low speeds but gets weightier as speed increases.

Overall the Barina of 2016 is a very manoeuvrable little thing and this is a plus for the urban environments it is likely to spend the vast majority of time in.

Grip has also been increased by way of new Continental tyres and the Holden Barina CDX rides on attractive new 17” alloy wheels. The ride though is still a little choppy over imperfect roads and that is a disappointment.

Fuel consumption for this grade of Barina is listed at a quite reasonable 7.0L/100km.

The interior is ‘quirky-modern’, and may not be to everyone’s taste, but is well put-together if somewhat dominated by dark plastic surfaces.

The one big change inside, though, is the addition of a new seven-inch colour touch screen featuring the impressive MyLink software. You also get a reverse camera as standard.

Other handy standard features inside the Barina cabin include: Tilt and reach steering adjustment, heated seats (front row), leather look seats, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and cruise control.

A hidden storage tray under the front passenger seat is also a welcome inclusion.

While premium paint, which is anything but flat red or white, will cost an additional $550.

There is no compromise on safety, all grades of the Holden Barina in 2016 come with a full five-star ANCAP safety rating.

Summing it up; Holden has gone back to the drawing board with the Barina and provided a better Barina for Australian city car buyers. Good looks and sharp pricing are also positives.

While fuel economy is improved it’s still far from class-leading and easily bettered on road of some of its rivals in this market.

NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Holden Barina CDX

Engine: 1.6 litre petrol producing 85kW and 155Nm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only in CDX)

Safety: Five stars

Warranty: 3yrs/100,000km

Origin: South Korea

Price: from $20,090

About the author

Garry Fabian

Garry is a contributor to Behind the Wheel. He has been a freelance journalist for over 25 years across a wide range of subjects, including technical and health areas. He has written weekly car reviews and automotive articles and historic features for a number of newspapers and magazines.

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