Holden will launch a fresh attack on the budget end of the small-car class with a bold look for its Barina hatch and sedan.
Unveiled at the New York motor show this week, the Holden Barina (sold as a Chevrolet Sonic in the US) comes in for a new nose and tail as well as minor changes to spruce up the interior.
The updated Barina isn't due in Holden showrooms until late this year but the changes will help give the toddler of the Holden range a fighting chance in the cutthroat end of the new-car market.
The Barina is among the roomiest hatchbacks in the city-car class but it's heavy and thirsty compared to newer competition.
A rear-view camera is also anticipated, joining the growing list of budget hatches with this feature as standard
The cosmetic makeover — which includes a sharp new nose and tail on sedan and hatch alike — is expected to coincide with the arrival of Apple CarPlay and Android apps on a new, larger central touchscreen.
A rear-view camera is also anticipated, joining the growing list of budget hatches with this feature as standard, including the Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris.
The four-cylinder engine is unchanged but the automatic transmission is understood to have been further refined.
The current Barina has been in discount mode for most of the past 18 months — regularly advertised for about $2000 less than its RRP at $15,990 drive-away — but this has not been enough to make a substantial impact on the class leaders.
In this year's sales tallies, the Barina ranks eighth among its classmates, behind the Mazda2, Toyota Yaris, Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Accent, Honda Jazz, VW Polo and Kia Rio.