When we asked you to vote for the 2004 South China Morning Post Car of the Year, we also invited our road testers to compare notes Torque of the Town Your choice: Rolls-Royce Phantom James Chan: Disagree. Given that Hong Kong has more Rolls-Royces relative to its geographical size than anywhere else in the world, I can understand Hongkongers having a unique love affair with the brand. But I would have picked the Audi A8 for its light aluminium construction, driving fun and sleek appearance. Carl Yuen: Agree. If it weren't for the Phantom, the Arnage T would have got my vote. It has more pomp than the Audi and the Jaguar XJ, and more circumstance than the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG and the big Bimmer. And the Maserati Quattroporte is too young, fit and athletic for these boardroom big-hitters. But the Phantom has more presence than all the others put together. William Wadsworth: Disagree. I loved the Phantom's waft in Sussex last week, but I'd go for the Maserati Quattroporte (below) because it's a supercar and limousine in one, a sure hit with the girls but less bling-bling showy. The feisty gearbox needs patience, particularly if you're used to Stepford Wife-type automatics in Hong Kong, but the glint of the Maserati's chrome, the smell and touch of its Poltrona Frau leather and the fist-clenching rasp of that 4.2-litre V8 appeals to me more than the Rolls' glide. The Quattroporte's easier to park, and speaks volumes about its owner's taste and driving skill. It's also my car of the year. Bellissima. City Slicker Your choice: Aston Martin DB9 Chan: Disagree. I'd go for the BMW 645 CiA because of its razor-sharp steering, stylish interior and a V8 engine that seems to have endless power in reserve. The noise of the DB9's V8 still lingers in my head, and the perfectly harmonious driving feel of the Nissan 350Z and the Mazda RX-8 are an enthusiast's dream. Yuen: Agree. The DB9 is the most desirable coupe of the lot - the tautest, most muscular body carrying a huge heart with lots of soul. Unlike the Audi TT, BMW 6-Series or the Mazda RX-8 and Nissan 350Z, it doesn't pack Nasa computing power, which makes it so much more involving at the wheel. The Ferrari Scaglietti and the Bentley Continental GT are full-blown four-seaters, and I wouldn't want to share my fun with so many people. Wadsworth: Disagree. The Aston DB9 is a cracking motor and will see off most of the local Ferrari boys. Many overseas writers hail it as a classic, but this is Hong Kong, not the Home Counties, and the Nissan 350Z offers as much urban zip and better value for money. Buy a DB9 here and you're just impressing the neighbours in a fast car that you'll rarely take into top. Success on Wheels Your choice: BMW 5-Series Chan: Disagree. I'm not surprised the BMW 5-Series (right) won this award. This is Hong Kong, after all, and driving a BMW means success to most. But how about the Alfa GT for its excellent handling and steering, unique looks and Italian flair? Then there's the Peugeot 407, an excellent, less-expensive European saloon that's right in most ways, but lost out for being not as famous. Yuen: Agree. All the BMW 5-Series are winners, offering comfort, space, style and performance to the executive, but all in their own way. The Alfa 156, with its sport buckets and raspy exhaust, encourages the most spirited driving at the wheel. Audi's A6 will get you there in perfect serenity, with the quietest interior. The Jaguar S-Type is luxurious and the Nissan Cefiro is a near-perfect package of gizmos, safety and passenger refinement, but just too boring to drive. The Peugeot 407 is a huge improvement on the 406, and is a real alternative approach to the mid-sized saloon. Mercedes' C-Class will struggle to pamper its occupants as well, but it's build quality, safety record and resale value will make it a good buy in the long term. I can't wait till the 500+ brake- horsepowered M5 arrives. It's knocking on the door of the supercar club, with knuckle dusters. Wadsworth: Agree. The BMW 5-Series' design, steering, balance and stability are fabulous. The 2.5-litre's fine for Hong Kong. If you can't afford it, compare the 520i's prestige with the 407's hipness. Hairy Chest Your choice: Lamborghini Gallardo Chan: Agree. I can identify with the readers' choice in the Hairy Chest award. The entry-level Gallardo has stunning style, brutal performance, astronomical price and brand heritage. Yuen: Agree. If you see one of these Gallardo in your rear mirror, chances are it'll pass you in a thunderous flash. Apart from the Lotus Exige, the Gallardo packs the biggest punch by far. Wadsworth: Disagree. The new 911 Carreras are a blast, beautifully redesigned and engineered and solid at 280km/h. But it's performance is pitifully wasted in Hong Kong. If I was going to bare my medallion, I'd flex in a Subaru Impreza WRX (left) or Sti, the ultimate Hong Kong plonker's car. Small is Beautiful Your choice: BMW Mini Cooper Chan: Agree. What better time to say: 'small is beautiful' than now? We've never seen so many fun, cute little cars, and the Mini Cooper is not only the most beautiful of them all, but its driving and handling feel is the most sophisticated. Yuen: Agree. These little cuddly animals are everywhere in Hong Kong. They might have grown a tad since 1959, but the recipe is still the same: packing four adults in a small car, with the engine turned sideways to maximise room in the cabin, and the wheels placed right at the corners to provide the most stable ride. The interior is uplifting yet basic, without too many gadgets to distract or confuse. The controls are all chunky and feel solid and unbreakable. The Mini has grown up. Wadsworth: Agree. The new Mini's a hottie with long legroom and, I'm told, it pulls well. Convertible Your choice: Mercedes-Benz SLK Chan: Agree. I never envy those who drive the old SLK, but I am starting to now. Mercedes has turned a girlish-looking, murky-handling model with an outdated interior and numb steering into a perfectly capable drive. The new SLK (below) has top-class steering and handling. Overall performance is excellent. The car looks perfect at every angle. The interior is stylish with intricate details. This is the car I most want to have, too. Yuen: Agree. The hairdressers' car finally cuts it with supermodel looks and razor-sharp dynamics. Superb. The 2004 SLK has taken all the practicality of the folding hard-top and set it in a true driver's context. Throw in the excellent Airscarf system and the new SLK can be savoured in all climates. Wadsworth: Disagree. The BMW645Ci convertible is plush and roomy, and is my soft-top choice because it's ideal for golf and boat trips and a hunk in Central. The four-seater is beautifully made and smooth as silk with the top down at speed and the hum and power of that 4.5-litre engine is a delight. The two-seater Mercedes-Benz SLK200 is a cracking ride and easier to park in town, and I love the Vario roof that protects your hairdo and gives you both a coupe and convertible for your money, but you'll have as much open-top fun in Hong Kong in a Mazda MX-5, Daihatsu Copen or even a Volkswagen Beetle convertible. Out and About Your choice: Porsche Cayenne Chan: Disagree. The Hyundai Tucson (below) is a roomy performer, drives much like a car and is affordable. You can toss it around in corners like a sporty sedan and it remains perfectly civil anywhere else. The Tucson could well be the biggest surprise of the year. Yuen: Agree. The Cayenne has true off-roading abilities, supercar performance (0-100km/h in 5.4 seconds; top speed of 265km/h) and an attitude to match. It might be ugly as hell, but I wouldn't dream of telling it to its face. Wadsworth: Disagree. I would have voted for the Hyundai Tucson for its looks, room, cost and - vitally for dads - no-nonsense, wipeable surfaces for the wear and tear of family or active-weekend outings. That means mud on carpets and sills and Chupa Chup lollies in the cracks between seats. Call me old fashioned, but this isn't Porsche's scene.