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Holden Barina RS (2014)

by Barry Green,reviewed June 2014

Featuring the same 1.4-litre, 103kW/200Nm petrol engine as the locally-made Holden Cruze, Barina RS comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission with sports-oriented gear ratios, or an optional six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select. 

The standard equipment inventory is extensive and, with its app-enabled Holden MyLink system, Holden is claiming best-in-class technology. There’s plenty of style – such as sports front and rear fascias, sports seats, alloy pedals and flat-bottomed steering wheel – but Holden has also endowed the RS with some substance, too.

The electric power steering calibration, tailored here in Australia, has a quick ratio for a more reactive and sportier drive and the ride height has been lowered, body stiffened and suspension tuned to improve the handling. The 230mm rear drum brakes, as on the rest of the Barina range, have been replaced by 268mm discs. 

The result is a warm, rather than hot, hatch, and one not of the calibre of Ford’s pocket rocket Fiesta ST. But then, the RS is some $6000 cheaper (with manual gearbox).

The only gripes we had about its driveability are the ride (too jittery at low speed) and auto’s propensity to hold a higher gear than necessary. Go the manual six-speed and you would not only get a better drive, but save $2200 to boot.

Holden Barina RS


Equipment levels, smart technology, affordable sportster.


Jittery ride, auto transmission calibration

Key features

AW17, MyLink infotainment system, sports suspension, remote keyless entry, heated front seats with leather-appointed RS trim, airconditioning, bluetooth, rear park sensors, trip computer, sports front and rear fascias, capped price servicing of $185 per service for up to four services over first three years/60,000km (whichever comes first).



Car Details

Vehicle make Holden
Vehicle model Barina RS
Vehicle type Sports Cars Under $50,000
Year 2014
Price when new $23,190 (Auto)
Current price range $ - $
ANCAP crash rating
5 out of 5 stars

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Approved Repairers

Our expert team of approved repairers can perform general and specialist repairs, including auto-electrical, air-conditioning, radiator repairs and automatic transmissions.

Engine 1.4-litre, DOHC turbo-petrol, 4-cyl
Max power 103kW @ 4900rpm
Max torque 200Nm @ 1850rpm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 8.0 seconds (estimated)
Braking from 80 km/h N/A
Driving wheels Front
Fuel type ULP
Economy ADR 6.5 litres/100km
Emissions rating
4 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.