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Holden Barina Spark CDX (2011)

by John Ewing,reviewed February 2011

It is the smallest model in the Holden stables and the diminutive proportions continue in the pricing department with the entry level CD one of the cheapest light cars on offer.

Its $12,490 price tag has it squaring off with Suzuki Alto, a couple of Protons and Nissan’s new Micra.

Extras on CDX include a rear spoiler, 1-inch larger diameter alloy wheels, perforated Sportec trim instead of fabric and power window operation for the rears as well.

The standard safety features on both versions including electronic stability control (ESC) is praiseworthy especially as the market focus is young drivers. There’s no spare wheel as standard, just an inflator kit, though an optional 14-inch steel spare can be had at extra cost.

Performance-wise the meagre 1.2-litre engine’s spark of life is rather dull, especially at lower revs, while hills test its mettle. With only 2000 km on our test car, the engine was probably still tight providing further unnecessary and unwelcome handicap.

No auto option will disappoint some potential buyers.

Holden’s tiddler offers a comfortable ride and respectable, though not class leading, roadholding. However, the ESC is overly eager to intervene, possibly not a bad thing for novice drivers, and the steering transmits mid-corner road-shocks to the driver. But for the money it’s certainly worth a look.

Holden Barina Spark CDX 2011


Price, safety features, styling


Lacklustre engine, no auto option, inflator kit

Key features

Air conditioning, 15” alloys, power windows, remote keyless entry, CD with auxiliary inputs, trip computer, split-fold rear seat, tilt steering adjustment


Dual front, front side and curtain airbags, front seatbelt pre-tensioners, antilock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), emergency brake assist (EBA), electronic stability control (ESC), traction control (TC)

Car Details

Vehicle make Holden
Vehicle model Barina Spark CDX
Vehicle type Light Under $20,000
Year 2011
Price when new $13,990 (Manufacturer's List Price)
Current price range $ - $
ANCAP crash rating
4 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 1.2-litre DOHC, 4-cyl petrol
Max power 59 kW @ 6400 rpm
Max torque 107 Nm @ 4800 rpm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 17.1 sec (average as tested, two occupants)
Braking from 80 km/h 26.3 m (average as tested, two occupants)
Economy ADR 5.6-litres/100 km
Emissions rating
5 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.