GM Holden today acknowledged ANCAP's confirmation of a four star crash rating for the upgraded 2009 model year Barina three-door hatchback.The result reflects structural improvements and the addition of side impact airbags as standard across the updated Barina hatchback range introduced in August.

The Barina bodyshell has been enhanced with three clearly defined load paths designed to absorb the impact of an offset front-end accident and support the entire structure of the passenger cell over a large area.

High-strength steel has been used to reinforce the B-pillar.

Holden Barina, 1 of 2
Holden Barina, 2 of 2

Side impact airbags have been added as standard for the driver and front passenger. The airbags extend upwards to provide head and thorax protection.

GM Holden Executive Director - Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alan Batey said the ANCAP result was welcome as Barina was an important and significant vehicle for Holden in the small car market.

"There has been a very positive response to the new Barina's styling and this announcement confirms the effectiveness of our various safety improvements," Mr Batey said.

The Barina hatchback and sedan is sold in over 120 markets around the world, predominantly as the Chevrolet Aveo.

The Barina nameplate has been part of the GM Holden line up since 1985 when the MB Barina went on sale. GM Holden has sold more than 34,000 of the current model TK Barina since its Australian launch in 2005.