After the switch from the European Opel platforms to former Daewoo-based platforms, the small vehicles from Holden made an appearance in 2011 with the sixth and last generation of the Barina. It was available as a 5-door hatchback and a four-door sedan. In 2016, a facelift was meant to bring more fresh appeal to the aging Barina (known in Europe as the Chevrolet Aveo).
It dropped the sedan version and the only body available was the 5-door hatchback with one engine available: a 1.6-liter gasoline with 116 hp and 155 Nm (114 lb-ft) of torque. The previous RS version, with a 1.4l turbo and 140 hp was dropped as part of the facelift process. On the exterior, there are new headlights, with clear lens and daytime-running-light enclosed. The front bumper was redesigned and received a chromed margin for the main venting grille and for the foglights.
The facelifted version went on sale in Australia at the end of 2016, bringing a revised exterior, an updated MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The ANCAP (Australian equivalent of the European EuroNCAP for crash-testing cars) gave a 5-star rating for the small Korean vehicle. But this was not enough to improve its sales and the sixth generation of the Barina was axed, along with the 30 year-old nameplate.
As part of the GM, Holden received the second generation of the Chevrolet Kalos hatchback and rebadged it as a Barina in 2011.
Holden produced the Barina as a badge-engineered car using various platforms. The first two generations were based on the Suzuki Cultus/Swift. The following two were re-badged European Opel Corsas and the fifth and sixth generations were based on the Chevrolet Kalos, which were based on former Daewoo platforms developed by the Korean carmaker before it was taken over by General Motors.
The Kalos' second generation was based on the same Giugiaro-designed model for the Korean carmaker but revised by GM's designer Ondrej Koromhaz. It featured angular headlights and a big grille split in the middle by a horizontal slat. Its flared wheel arches looked aggressive like it was a sporty hot-hatch. Well, it wasn't.
Inside, the cheap upholstery and hard plastic were nicely designed and centered around the driver's seat. GM tried to save the Holden brand and it needed big sale numbers. At the front, it installed bucket seats, but without side bolstering. In the back, a split-folding bench was installed to increase the trunk size.
Under the hood, Holden offered the 2011 Barina with Daewoo-developed engines paired to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic.
Holden offered the Barina on various platforms, but after GM bought the Daewoo, it produced the small-segment vehicle based on a Korean platform.
Holden used the Barina nameplate since 1985 for a Suzuki-licensed vehicle. Later on, it used the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa platform, and after General Motors bought the Daewoo, the T100 platform was used for the Daewoo Lanos/Chevrolet Aveo/Kalos. The 5-door version was a practical little car, good for young families with small children and not too tall friends. It was easy to park, reliable enough, and with a low purchase price.
Italdesign signed the car's look, and GM rushed to apply a "Design by Giugiaro" on the sides of the bodywork. It might not have been the best result from the Italian styling company's, but it worked quite well on the Australian market. With its big, angular headlights, the Barina tried to look more convincing, at least from the front. The five-door version featured an additional fixed window behind the rear door, and that gave it an edge over its competitors in the small segment.
Inside, the Barrina offered enough room for the front occupants, with regular seats and a few adjustments. It was cramped with virtually no legroom in the back, especially if the front occupants pushed their seats to the back. The simple dashboard design with four dials in a binocular styled instrument cluster offered enough information for the driver. The AC was available as an option for the base trim-level and fitted as standard on the upper ones.
For the engine compartment, Holden offered a choice of three engines paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The Barina scored just 2-star protection in the Asian NCAP crash-test. The result was improved to four stars after the 2008 facelift.
The fourth generation of the Holden Barina was actually a rebadged version of the European Opel Corsa C.
While the first two generations of the Barina were based on Suzuki platforms, the third and fourth generations were based on the second and third generations of the Opel Corsa C. The idea was to keep the manufacturing prices low and the money inside GM.
The idea was well received by the Brits and the Barina was one of the most appreciated city cars. It was available in three or five-door configurations.
The Barina was cheap, reliable, and easy to fix if anything went wrong. It featured sharp-looking headlights, with a small, black grille between them, giving the car a far better personality than its predecessor, the rebadged Suzuki Swift.
Inside, the car featured good amenities for its segment, even though the base model didn't feature power-windows or air-conditioning. The Barina featured a long options list, including a CD-player, power-windows, or on-board computer, moving up to the trim level and options list.
The Barina was available with a choice of engines ranged between 1.4-liter and 1.8 liters. They were paired to a standard, 5-speed manual gearbox for the entire range.
The Holden Barina SRi , a better equipped version of the regular model was later introduced.
Safety-wise, the Barina managed to score 4 out of 5 stars.