2016 Holden Barina CDX Road Test and Review.
Out on the roads the best bits include the good visibility, relatively high driving position and pleasant steering.
While conversely, the 1.6 litre engine is a bit dull and takes a fair bit of encouragement to get a spirited response. With this comes a certain harshness and more than you might like engine noise in the cabin.
An auto transmission comes as standard in the Barina CDX, though it can be somewhat indecisive and this tends to exacerbate the less than great engine performance. While fuel economy was only passable, I managed to average 8.8 litres on a mixture of freeway and city driving.
I guess, in a nutshell, you would say that the Holden doesn’t have the same driveline refinement as some of the competition.
Same goes for the suspension too, it feels like it could be more tuned to Australian conditions with poor road surfaces proving particularly uncomfortable and the Barina quite skittish.
Inside the cabin you could certainly say the Holden Barina CDX is very well equipped.
Standard equipment includes a reverse camera with rear parking sensors, Holden’s MyLink infotainment system with a 7” colour touch screen, leather-bound steering wheel, cruise control and front seat heaters.
The Barina CDX MyLink system was a bit fiddly though and sat-nav would be a welcome addition and help round out this Holden offering.
Simple and basic are the words that come to mind when it comes to the interior design. A standout is the motorcycle inspired instrument binnacle incorporating a large analogue tachometer and huge digital speedometer.
There is good head, leg and shoulder room up front for a car of this size and the front seats are comfortable enough.
As per many cars in this segment, the Barina doesn’t have a console mounted between the front seats. However, there is a compartment above the glovebox which has a perfectly proportioned smartphone holder and houses the USB and other auxiliary inputs.
The Holden Barina range in 2016 boasts a five-star ANCAP safety rating and metallic/prestige paint, anything but red or white, will set you back an additional $550, while if you would prefer the sedan body shape that will cost you $500 more.
Summing it up; Nice to look at, decent value, easy to drive in the city and well equipped, the Holden Barina CDX loses marks for poor ride and drivetrain quality.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Holden Barina CDX
Engine: 1.6 litre petrol producing 85kW and 155Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: from $20,090 hatch, $20,590 sedan