Could the Holden Spark defibrillate the old Aussie brand?

The year was 1999. The Matrix had just been released at cinemas, Australia had just voted against becoming a republic, and Britney Spears was celebrating nine weeks at the top of the Aussie singles chart with Hit Me Baby One More Time.

It was also the last time Ford outsold Holden in Australia… Until recently. According to Car Advice, we have to go back a whole 17 years to find another occasion when the US brand outstripped the Aussie manufacturer.

It could be Holden’s decision to move production overseas that has turned off buyers in its home market, but Holden is not about to rest on its Laurels. Among the impressive list of Holden models released in 2016 is the Holden Spark.

After hitting dealerships in March 2016, could it be the car to once again jolt start the marque’s success Down Under?

A photo posted by Holden (@holdenaustralia) on

Sparked back to life

If you’ve ever owned the previously named Holden Barina Spark, this 2016 iteration should not put you off. Yesterday’s model was cheap on price, but also on thrills. Although the latter is not guaranteed when buying an affordable city car, with the likes of the Mazda 2 out for a similar price, Holden had to do something special with the 2016 Spark.

With a $13,990 starting price – minus 10 per cent saving from a novated lease, it’s well within budget for many new-car buyers.

Its 1.4-litre petrol engine certainly sets it apart. Producing 73kW of power at 6,200rpm and 128Nm of torque at 4,400rpm, Car Advice says the new Spark is “30-50 per cent more powerful than its main rivals”, the Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Micra and Suzuki Celerio.

Importantly, Holden has proved that it still has the Australian market expertise, with suspension that is tuned for our roads present in the Spark.

It’s also a larger city car than most, meaning this power is controlled better than in an overpowered flyweight vehicle. And still, the Spark will run for 100 kilometres on between 5.2 and 5.5 litres, depending on whether you have the manual or the slightly more fuel-efficient automatic.

With a $13,990 starting price – minus the 10 per cent you would be saving with a novated lease, it’s well within budget for many new-car buyers. While it is more fuel hungry than, say, the Ford Fiesta Sport and the Mazda 2 (both 4.9 litres per 100km), Holden is going for a slightly different audience with this model – Australians who want more grunt in their compact cars.

The Holden Spark is also a recent recipient of an acclaimed ANCAP five-star safety rating, giving buyers a little more peace of mind when driving the family around town. Does all this sound good? Give Alliance a call and chat to us about novated leasing. We can make your car more affordable, and help with running costs, too.