In dropping the 'Barina' part of the name, Holden helpfully also dropped the soggy South Korean dynamics, turning one of the brand’s most pilloried products into one of its most lauded. But nobody seems to care. The micro-car segment is vanishing faster than a post-lap-band Packer in Australia, and so cars like the Spark (from $13,990) just aren't sparking.
And that’s a shame. It might be designed and built in Korea, but the Spark is still plenty dinky-di under the skin, with Holden’s Aussie engineers sending the Spark to finishing school on the company’s local proving ground, tuning the suspension and steering for our roads. And the results are great, with the Spark now probably the most dynamic in its segment, and genuinely fun to drive.
Powered by a perky 1.4-litre petrol engine that'll generate 73kW/128Nm, and paired with a five-speed manual or CVT auto, the Spark is just right for inner-city manoeuvres: peppy enough to zip through traffic, but with a miserly thirst for fuel.
Equally important, with a 7.0-inch touchscreen that’s both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto equipped - even on the cheapest model - your tech stuff is covered, too.