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Why would they use the sedan.... Already have two hatchbacks would have seemed appropriate to use the Forte 5.
 

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I believe the forte 5 wasn't available at the time. They mention that the 5 will be released soon near the beginning of the article.
 

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At the time of the test the Forte 5 had not been released yet. Amazing how identical they are on paper in the acceleration category. Good read, thanks.
 

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That's the April 2010 edition. That means it was written in Dec. of '09 or Jan of '10. The five door was not out then.
 

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Why a sedan vs 2 hatches...Reason explained by C/D

Why would they use the sedan.... Already have two hatchbacks would have seemed appropriate to use the Forte 5.
You can read the entire "Three Ducks" comparo at the car and driver website.

They give a humorous reason for the mix. Here it is:

A sedan, a five-door hatchback, and a three-door hatchback? What gives? Oh, it’s just the Car and Driver Random Comparison-Test Generator at work.

Lately the damn thing’s been acting up. The other day it advised us to compare the BMW 335i with an Epson fax machine and a Shetland pony. We installed new firmware—and it threw the Honda Accord Crosstour into a three-way with a Cinnabon franchise and Meryl Streep. So we called the help line and spoke with an accented fellow named “Rick.” After a virus detox and a full system reboot, it put the Ferrari California head-to-head with an IRS Form 4563, a bowling-ball polisher, and the sprinkler system at the Houston Astrodome.

We beat it with staplers, and that almost fixed it but not quite—the machine spit out the comparison test you see here, which isn’t completely, entirely random.




To be sure, our three competitors—the brand-new Kia Forte SX, the slightly less new Mazda 3 s, and the sixth-generation Volks*wagen Golf, new for 2010—represent three distinct body styles. That may be a first for a Car and Driver comparison test. But these three also have close pricing, eerily similar performance, and identical aspirations to deliver driving amusement to folks on limited budgets, which is why we ordered all of them with sticks.

The freshest sheetmetal adorns the Kia Forte, launched in the twilight of ’09 as a rousing replacement for the forgettable Spectra. The compact Forte—there’s also a coupe called the Koup and a five-door hatchback that will be added later this year—from Hyundai’s subsidiary is sharpened, beveled, and scalloped into a decent facsimile of the former Acura TSX. It’s not an unwelcome association considering how we adored that old Acura. A Forte can be had for the lowest starting price by far, $14,390, or $3850 less than the Golf’s bottom dollar. But the *loaded-up SX with its larger engine (2.4 liters), 17-inch wheels, and numerous power amenities is $19,890 after opting for leather ($1000) and a sunroof ($700).
 
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