It is an all-new car; the Barina tag has been dropped and the Spark, as it is now named, no longer needs to ride on the coat-tails of Holden’s long-standing light car offering. It is certainly good enough, and therefore deserves to sell on its own merits. Stronger performance from the new car’s larger capacity 1.4-litre engine and localised steering and suspension treatment give Spark an edge in on-road ability. In addition, good seat comfort and well-laid-out controls with a slick five-speed manual gearshift and light clutch action make it the most enjoyable car in the class to drive. The tiny Korean-made Holden has also lifted its game in terms of build quality. The presentation has a slightly more upmarket appearance than most of its peers, while Holden’s latest MyLink infotainment system featuring the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a plus. In this budget-focused category, however, the disadvantage of a considerably higher purchase price and long-term ownership considerations such as depreciation, servicing and repair costs, warranty and insurance also need to be factored into the buying equation. It is an all-new car; the Barina tag has been dropped and the Spark, as it is now named, no longer needs to ride on the coat-tails of Holden’s long-standing light car offering. It is certainly good enough, and therefore deserves to sell on its own merits. Stronger performance from the new car’s larger capacity 1.4-litre engine and localised steering and suspension treatment give Spark an edge in on-road ability. In addition, good seat comfort and well-laid-out controls with a slick five-speed manual gearshift and light clutch action make it the most enjoyable car in the class to drive. The tiny Korean-made Holden has also lifted its game in terms of build quality. The presentation has a slightly more upmarket appearance than most of its peers, while Holden’s latest MyLink infotainment system featuring the latest Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is a plus. In this budget-focused category, however, the disadvantage of a considerably higher purchase price and long-term ownership considerations such as depreciation, servicing and repair costs, warranty and insurance also need to be factored into the buying equation.