2003 All-Star Sport Sedan: Subaru Impreza WRX / BMW M5 (tie)
Stop the presses! Last year's Automobile of the Year, the scrappy Impreza WRX from Subaru, has captured the hearts and votes of exactly half of our staff, while the other half will not be swayed from the BMW M5, a perennial All-Star in the Automobile Magazine firmament. Forget about a recount; we're going with the tie vote. Can you really argue with our logic? At $24,720, the WRX is the hot-rod deal of the century, a real-world turbocharged terror that more than holds its own against the stratospheric $71,095 M5. We are crazy about it. Loving one does not preclude rapture over the other. BMW's soul-stirring M5 is more of an elite juggernaut at speed than the WRX. It is a 155-mph cruise missile dripping in luxury. We adore it. The only things diametrically opposed about the WRX and the M5 are the demographics of the people buying them. Otherwise, their souls are in exactly the same place. When you fire up the engine and step on the throttle of either, the message is exactly the same: Turn off the radio, shut down the cell phone, and pay attention. You're about to go for the ride of a lifetime. Whichever you choose, you'll own the best sport sedan your money can buy.