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AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE's 2004 All-Star Awards

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AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE Bestows Its 2004 All-Star Awards; Editors Recognize Outstanding Performance in 14 Categories of Cars and Trucks

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 6, 2004--AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE, America's leading automotive lifestyle publication, today named its 2004 AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Stars, recognizing cars and trucks for outstanding performance within their categories. As excellence in automotive engineering increases year after year, such recognition among competitors is an exceptional honor. The February 2004 issue (on newsstands now) captures the spirit of each vehicle in a stunning 16-page sporting-themed photography display.

This year, top honors went to vehicles from Cadillac, Ferrari, Mazda, BMW, Land Rover, Audi, Mini, Porsche, Honda, and Nissan. Following is a list of the 2004 AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE All-Star selections in each category:

-- Sport Sedan: Cadillac CTS V - Thoroughly upgraded and perfected, the Cadillac CTS V features a fortified body structure with "sheer speed matched to a bargain price." The "rumble of 400 V-8 horses gallops through a six-speed stick shift" to make this car AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE's 2004 All-Star Sport Sedan.

-- Supercar: Ferrari 360 Modena - The powerful 360 Modena features stunning speed, tactile steering, communicative chassis, impulsive brakes, and an awesome V-8 engine. The 360 Modena "puts the power down with a surprisingly subtle and seamless style. This is the most involving supercar you can buy."

-- Coupe: Mazda RX-8 - Arriving on a new wave of greatness from Mazda, this coupe has two half-doors that swing back to give unusual access to the snug rear cabin. "The shifter feels like part of your skeletal structure; when you turn the wheel, you get exactly what you request; and it stops on a dime." The RX-8 is a real sports car that is priced to sell.

-- Luxury Car under $40,000: BMW 3-series - Representing "the Platonic ideal of what an automobile should be," this unsurpassable BMW is recognized as an All-Star for its "comfort, agility, and fuel economy" in a superior two-seater model.

-- Mid-size Sport-utility: Cadillac SRX - Boasting room for five, this Cadillac SUV features a world-class chassis, responsive handling, and a comfortable ride. The SRX flaunts a "lusty and sonorous V-8," a "surprisingly capable V-6," and a "fluidly shifting five-speed automatic."

-- Large Sport-utility: Land Rover Range Rover - This charismatic BMW-engineered Range Rover boasts a perfect warm interior, drivetrain, and all-wheel drive. It's the ultimate British vehicle and the ultimate driving machine in one, and "somehow, the Range Rover exceeds its own hard-nosed perfection with warmth, desirability, and charisma enough to justify the price."

-- GT: BMW M3 - It's not surprising that this year's attractive and luxurious M3 was selected the All-Star GT. It offers the works: voracious speed, superior handling, and enhanced brakes. "Deeply sporty, edgy even, it is luxurious and relentlessly smooth yet blindingly fast, an automotive paradox that remains one of the most satisfying rides ever." The M3's 333-horsepower six is "a mind-blowingly powerful yet addictively silky showpiece of an engine."

-- Luxury Car over $40,000: Audi A8L - The Audi A8L is named an All-Star for its sheer performance, superb aluminum structure, all-wheel drive, six-speed automatics, and smooth powertrain. With "motoring's finest interior, regardless of price," the A8L is complete.

-- Small Car: Mini Cooper - This quaint vehicle embraces "the basic architecture that made the original Mini so indelible." It has suspended wheels pushed far out to the corners and "a spirited little engine mounted transversely to drive the front wheels." With BMW safety and performance features, which give it quality, reliability, and resale value, the Mini Cooper kicks the competition.

-- Sports Car: Porsche Boxster - To keep the graceful and constantly evolving Boxster at the top among all roadsters, only slight tweaks need to be made each year. This superior vehicle speaks "so clearly through the controls that driving becomes an existential quandary of human getting lost in machine." The Boxster is an All-Star because it is "mesmerizing and involving . . . a living being in a segment full of automatons."

-- Minivan: Honda Odyssey - The Honda Odyssey is the most dependable and reliable minivan on the market. With its peaceful ride, a powertrain that "packs a wallop," and an unparalleled interior, it remains AUTOMOBILE MAGAZINE's All-Star Minivan.

-- Pickup Truck: Nissan Titan - This full-size pickup with its power, torque, towing ability, and abundant bed size has dazzled auto enthusiasts in Detroit. How did it beat Ford, Chevy, and Dodge? With its broad strokes, "the Titan's most serious kick to Detroit's groin is the simple fact that it is now the best pickup to drive."

-- Family Car: Mazda 6 - The Mazda 6 is a "screaming bargain." It's sporty, roomy, and powerful. The 6 is "nimble, responsive, and blessed with a truly sporting mien." Its quality interior and appealing exterior also help make it an All-Star vehicle.

-- Small Sport-utility: Honda Element - This smooth and stable, boxy sport-utility handles like a car but has trucklike utility. The Honda Element features the mobility of all-wheel drive, abundant cargo space, and an unobstructed rear-seat view. Its looks may be strange, but "the overflow of well-thought-out convenience makes the Element easy to love."

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I too would have picked the Escalade a best luxury full size SUV, I am not a fan of the Range Rover, power and style wise, it comes up lacking against an Escalade, and it's about $18,000 more than an Escalade. Well at least thet did not pick some trash like the VW Toureg or GX 470. I would never put anything past most car magazines.

The Titan is a "drivers truck" ? WTF is that supposed to mean, I know the Titan can tow, and the price is low, but the looks blow, wow it rhymes! Thats just what we need in traffic is another a-hole with a 5000lb vehicle that he thinks is a sports car.

I prefer a workers truck, with the initials GMC on the front please. I know that the Silverado/Sierra have to be good, they were "All Stars" for like the past 5 years, most automags could find any way to make the Tundra top of the heap, nobody would have believed it, but now that there is a Nissan truck, it should keep most of the car mags happy until there is a Honda truck to make the "All Stars" list.

I can see it now..."the Honda is the most non truck truck out there, with it's carpeted bed and integrated child safety seats, now never notice how the 3.5 V6 barely pulls 1000lbs, it also has sliding side doors and is ULEV,...clearly superior....Detroit better watch out the 80,000 a year that Honda is going to make are going to put a dent in your 5,000,000,000,000, a year pick up sales..." I tend to kid....

I also think that the GTO should have won over the RX8, but alas, no hood scoops or chrome, means that it looses, perhaps some drum brakes and carburators would have helped... clearly the RX8 is filled with retro-touches to remind you of the RX7, like 4 doors, exposed headlights, no turbo option,...I remember my 1985 RX7 brougham sedan...big back seat..comfy.."
Plus winning rotary engine....ah...yesterdays engine of the future..

Minvans...does not really mater to me..

Boxster??? No way...ZO6, enough said.
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