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Holden Monaro - 2001 News Limited Star Car

Shining bright ... the Holden Monaro was voted 2001 Star Car by News Ltd motoring journalists.

Holden has pulled off a one-two victory with the car that drew unprecedented crowds at the Sydney Motor Show, caused traffic chaos wherever it was driven and has given Australia's car sales' winner another feather to weigh down its well-stuffed cap.

With Barina taking out second place, to add to its other awards, the champagne companies must be doing well out of Holden, with Astras selling like hotcakes and Commodore maintaining its unbeaten run in the big-car stakes.

The third-placed Alfa Romeo 147 has done wonders for the Italian breed in Australia, bringing back the company's thoroughbred virtues to the hothatch ranks, with few of the vices that afflicted past models.

That's the opinion of motoring journalists for News Ltd newspapers around the country.

The Monaro finished ahead of a field of almost 100 new or significantly updated cars arriving in Australia last year.

The newcomers included a bunch of new baby cars, a flurry of four-wheel drives, a rush of sports cars and even Australia's first hybrid-powered green machines.

Last year also saw the return to our shores of French brand Renault, under the wing of its joint-venture partner, Nissan. There were also changes to the corporate face for Volkswagen and Peugeot here.

But the Holden coupe, available as a V8 or supercharged V6, was in the top-six list of nine out of 10 voters and scored the top pick four times.

The Barina also scored four top votes but lost out on preferences; the 147 gave it a run to the flag, just six points behind, but clearly ahead of the next best, Toyota's radical petrol-electric Prius.

BMW's M3 supercar was fifth, despite only getting three votes. Renault's new Clio range took sixth place. In equal seventh position were the Holden Zafira and Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG. Tying for ninth place were Peugeot's 307 and the Benz C-Class Sport Coupe, with five points each.

While the top 10 was reasonably predictable, there were several notable nominations, which obviously stood out for some of the News Ltd motoring journalists.

The judges, for instance, found a spot on their lists for Subaru's latest incarnation of the WRX STi and the locally developed turbocharged Mazda MX5 SP.

The Courier Mail's Bruce McMahon thought Ford's tough new F-Series and Jeep's all-new Cherokee were worthy of a mention while The Herald Sun's Paul Gover deemed both the Ralliart Lancer Evo VI and Hyundai's LaVita impressive enough to make the grade.

The rest of The Herald Sun team were impressed by various vehicles. Andrew MacLean gave a spot in his top six to the BMW M3 with its upgraded sequential gearbox and Tickford's T3 range also hit the spot. James Stanford went for the updated Renault Clio Sport hot hatch and the all-new Toyota Corolla.

Overall Points

1 Holden Monaro:60
2 Holden Barina:48
3 Alfa Romeo 147:42
4 Toyota Prius:22
5 BMW M3:14
6 Renault Clio:8
7 (equal place) Holden Zafira; Mercedes-Benz SLK 32 AMG:6
9 (equal place) Peugeot 307; Mercedes-Benz Sport Coupe:5

How they voted

PAUL GOVER News Limited national motoring editor
1. Holden Monaro
2. Alfa Romeo 147
3. Holden Barina
4. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sports Coupe
5. Hyundai Lavita
6. Mitusbishi Lancer EVO IV

ANDREW MacLEAN (Herald Sun carsguide)
1. Holden Barina
3. Ford Tickford T3
4. Holden Monaro
5. Holden Zafira
6. Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG

JAMES STANFORD (Herald Sun carsguide)
1. Holden Barina
2. Holden Monaro
3. BMW M3
4. Renault Clio Sport
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Holden Zafira

KEVIN HEPWORTH (Daily Telegraph)

1. Alfa Romeo 147
2. Toyota Prius
3. Holden Barina
4. Subaru WRX STi
5. Mercedes Benz SLK32
6. Holden Monaro

STUART MARTIN (Daily Telegraph) 

1. Holden Barina
2. Toyota Prius
3. BMW M3
4. Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG
5. Lexus IS300
6. Mazda MX5 SP

MIKE DUFFY (The Advertiser)
1. Holden Monaro
eq2. Peugeot 307
eq2. Renault Clio
4. Alfa Romeo 147
5. Audi A4
6. Toyota Prius

GORDON LOMAS (Courier Mail)

1. Holden Monaro
2. Alfa Romeo 147
3. Jaguar X-Type
4. Astra SRi
5. Renault Megane Cabrio
6. Ford Falcon AUIII

BRUCE McMAHON (Courier Mail)

1. Holden Monaro
2. Alfa Romeo 147
3. Mercedes Benz SLK32
4. Ford F-Series
5. Jeep Cherokee
6. Porsche 911

KEITH DIDHAM (The Mercury)
1. Holden Barina
2. Toyota Prius
3. Holden Monaro
4. Holden Zafira
5. BMW X5 3.0
6. Alfa Romeo 147

NEIL DOWLING (Sunday Times)
1. Alfa Romeo 147
2. Holden Monaro
3. Holden Barina
4. Toyota Prius
5. Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe
6. VW Passat

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