The taxonomy and phylogenetic position of the hadrosaurid dinosaur Barsboldia sicinskii is revised. This species is rediagnosed based on the unique combination of iliac central plate with depth/length ratio less than 0.8 and sacral vertebrae with distally ‘clubbed’ neural spines at least four times higher than their centra. A maximum parsimony analysis of 47 hadrosauroid (39 hadrosaurid) species does not support the purported lambeosaurine affinities of B. sicinskii, but recovers this form as a basal saurolophine hadrosaurid based on unambiguous synapomorphies of the ilium. This result increases the diversity of saurolophine taxa in Asia, a continent with a hadrosaurid fossil record so far dominated by lambeosaurines. Finally, several vertebral and iliac characters previously regarded as diagnostic of Lambeosaurinae are discussed and shown to be uninformative from a taxonomic or phylogenetic standpoint.