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Honda Accord Euro is best new car of 2003... Down Under

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Experts: Best cars of 2003

THE Honda Accord Euro is best new car of 2003 after the voting to decide the winner of News Ltd's Star Car award.

The Accord Euro edged out the Mazda RX-8 to claim the Star Car prize, with the hi-tech Toyota Prius II finishing a distant third.
The award is decided by the specialists who report on the industry, and its latest efforts, for more than 10 million readers in Australia.

The battle between the classy Honda family car and the born-again rotary sports car was as close as it gets, with the Euro taking first-place votes from three of the eight members of the Star Car panel and the RX-8 getting the nod from two.

The other voters chose the Prius, BMW's 5-Series and the Ford Falcon RTV ute as their top car of 2003.

Using a grand prix-style points system with each voter choosing their six top cars of the past year in finishing order – scored 10-6-4-3-2-1 – the Accord Euro polled 44 points to the 42 of the RX-8, ahead of the Prius (27) and Subaru Liberty (16).

A total of 20 cars picked up points.

They were as varied as the family-focused Accord twins – Euro and V6 – and Subaru Liberty; as luxurious as the Ford Fairlane, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ-8 and 5-Series; as sporty as the RX-8, Nissan 350Z, Alfa Romeo 147 GTA and BMW Z4; and as versatile as the Lexus RX330 and Toyota Kluger.

As always, there were four-wheel drives, including the crossover Holden Adventra and the Volkswagen Touareg.

Judges chose the top cars based on design, efficiency, value, safety, quality, performance and how they rated against their rivals.

The Accord Euro is the first Japanese-made car since the Toyota Echo in 1997 to claim the award.

It was first presented to the Holden Commodore VT in 1997. Holden scored with the compact Astra in 1998 and the Monaro coupe in 2001.

Ford scored its only win, with the brilliant BA Falcon, in 2002.

Honda's Accord Euro is a stand-out vehicle from a company that went back to its strengths to create an all-new family car. It looks good, is quiet and easy to drive, and rates highly for safety, comfort and driving enjoyment.,8269,8559992%5E21822,00.html
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