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2015 Buick Verano "Leather Group", 2015 Kia Optima Hybrid
6,128 Posts
Discussion Starter #1

I dunno how they told you that there is not a digit for exact model. A guess I assume by features.

Locate your KIA's VIN through the lower-right corner of the windshield, if you're looking at it from the outside. It's etched on a metal plate bolted to the dash.

Interpret the first digit, which will be a K, as the country of manufacture, Korea.

Interpret the second digit, which will be an N, as the indicator that the car is a KIA.

Interpret the third digit as the vehicle type. For 2008 models, the cars all have letter A, for "passenger car." D stands for "multi-purpose vehicle."

Interpret the fourth digit as the model. For 2008 models, D=Rio, F=Spectra or Rondo, G=Optima, L=Amanti, J=Sportage or Sorento, and M=Sedona.

Interpret the fifth digit as the series. For the 2008 model year, B in a Sedona means 4x2. D in an Amanti means front-wheel drive, front engine. E in an Optima, Rio, Rio5, Spectra or Spectra5 means front-wheel drive, front engine. G in a Rondo means front-wheel drive, front engine. C in a Sorento means 4-by-4. D in a Sorento means 4x2. E in a Sportage means 4x4. F in a Sportage means 4x2.

Interpret the sixth and seventh digits as the body type. For the 2008 model year, 12 is a sedan four-door. 16 is a hatchback four-door. 52 is a wagon. 13 is a short wheelbase, four-door van. 23 is a long wheelbase four-door van. For the trucks, the sixth digit is 7, for "four-door SUV." The seventh digit for trucks breaks down as follows: & has no meaning, 2 means the truck weighs between 4,006 and 4,994 pounds, and 3 means it weighs 4,995 to 5,984 pounds.

Interpret the eighth digit as the engine type. For model year 2008, the cars all have active seat belts with dual air bags (front and side) and dual head curtain airbags for both front and back passengers. A 1 and 2 mean 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter. A 3 means 4-cylinder, 1.6L. A 4 means 6-cylinder 2.7L. A 5 means 4-cylinder 2.4L or 6-cylinder 3.8L. A 6 means 6-cylinder 2.7L. In the Sedona, the code is 3, and translates to 6-cylinder, 3.8L without air bags. In the Sorento and Sportage, 3, 5 and 6 are 6-cylinder engines. A 4 is a 4-cylinder. A 3 and 4 have dual air bags. a 5 and 6 don't have air bags. A 3 means 2.7L. A 4 means 2.0L. A 5 means 3.3L. A 6 means 3.8L.

Ignore the ninth digit. This is merely a check code internal to KIA.

Interpret the 10th digit as the model year. A stands for 1980, B stands for 1981 and so on. Because I, O, Q, U and Z look like numbers, they aren't used for model year. Therefore, Y stands for 2000 and 1 stands for 2001. 9 stands for 2009 and A stands for 2010, starting the alphabet all over.

Interpret the 11th digit as the assembly plant location. There are five plant locations, not including the new West Point, Georgia, plant. A 1 is the Hwaseong plant in Hwaseong, S. Korea, and 2 is the Kwang-Ju plant in Gwangju, S. Korea. A 3 is the Sohari plant in Gwangmyeong, S. Korea, and 4 is the Seosan plant in Seosan, S. Korea. A 5 is the Slovakian plant.

Interpret the last six characters as a count of the vehicles rolling off the assembly line. These ensure the VIN is unique to each car.
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