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2016 Holden Spark Quick Review

By Anna Kantilaftas, 21 Jun 2016 Car Reviews

2016 Holden Spark Quick Review

Holden dropped Barina from the awkward Barina Spark name for the 2016 all-new version of its micro-car. But that’s not even the best bit. The Holden Spark is miles ahead of its predecessor, and an all-round better offering, albeit a little overpriced.


The Spark is Holden’s all-new entry into the micro-car segment. Previously known as the Barina Spark, Holden has dropped the somewhat awkward Barina part of the name and in the process, given the five-door hatch a new lease on life.

The five-door hatchback’s 1.4-litre engine provides more power than its predecessor, it offers better dynamics and it’s fun to drive. It’s the ultimate city runabout, and it doesn’t go too poorly on the open road either.

But even though the Holden Spark is basic in its styling, it doesn’t come cheap.  


  • It comes with the bonus of all micro-cars: its size. This makes it easy to park in ever-shrinking shopping centre carparks and weaving in and out of city traffic. 
  • Despite its size, it’s unruffled on the open road. It trumps its predecessor in leaps and bounds when it comes to drivability.
  • The Spark’s 1.4-litre engine provides plenty of power. It might need revs to get going, but it’s still punchy.
  • It’s got excellent connectivity. Holden are targeting the Spark to women in the Twenty-something age-group, so without features like Apple Carplay and Android Auto, it would have missed the mark.
  • At 5.5-litres of fuel per 100km of driving, the Spark plays its cards right when it comes to fuel efficiency.


  • It might cope with open-road speeds with an elegance its predecessor couldn’t, but it does have to work a little harder on hills.
  • It’s small, so the back bench isn’t about to fit your six-footed best friend or a brood of kids. But we’re guessing you’re not buying the Spark as a family car.
  • Boot space is tiny. At just 185-litres, it’s smaller than most of the Spark’s competitors.
  • For a demographic that’s very price-conscious, Holden haven’t held back in the premium price tag. It’s up there for the micro-car segment. Entry level prices don’t look too bad on paper, but once you add the Driver Assist Pack, or move up to the top spec LT, you’re looking at a price-tag equivalent of the class-above.
  • The interiors are basic. Nothing overly wow or stylish about them, but then again, not as bland as cardboard.