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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just curious what differences if any there might be between the Korean and American made Optimas ? I know here in Canada we receive the Korean made ones for whatever reason.
 

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05/2014 ROTM
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648 Posts
Seems like the new optimas from usa are having issues so idk mines Korean no issues knock on wood lol
 

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04/2014 ROTM
2011 SX
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General consensus seems to be that the Korean built are a little better on fit and finish when it comes to rattles and such, but I don't know that there is anything to fully substantiate that. There are also a lot more US produced ones on the the road, so the percentages may be about equal.

That said, I'll take my Korean built '11 over over a US built '12. ;)
 

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Just curious what differences if any there might be between the Korean and American made Optimas ? I know here in Canada we receive the Korean made ones for whatever reason.
Probably because it costs Canada less in taxes to import from S. Korea than from your southern border. Wait, I thought NAFTA was supposed to correct that.... oops, guess not, huh?!

One thing I know that is different is that the LED "eyebrow" DRLs on the 2014s actually work as DRLs on the Canadian cars, where as they are just "positioning" (read: for nighttime style points) lights on US Spec cars. (smh)

Oh yeah... y'all have kilometers in big font while we have miles on ours. ;-P
 
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09/2013 ROTM, 06/2014 ROTM
2013 Optima LX
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I have a 2013 Korean Built LX, dont notice any difference beside the little town hook hole on the front bumper lol
 

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2012 K5
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I have a 2013 Korean Built LX, dont notice any difference beside the little town hook hole on the front bumper lol
Did not know they still make 2013s in korea..

but the main difference is the shock design. 2011s and early 2012s have different shock design than the 2013s and 2014s. A lot of 2011s and early 2012s are made in korea afaik.
 

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Go figure this one out.

IN Canada our optimas come from Korea.. 2011-2012-2013 and 2014

Though... the Sorento's come from the USA .. my fathers 2013 is made in the USA, and i believe the 2014 are as well.
 

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2011 KIA Optima
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Only thing I know is that they all the SX body style in Korea and their engines and transmissions are different. Most of them are 2L NA engines or 1.7 turbo diesel (I could be wrong on the diesel part). They don't sell too many 2L turbo because the cost of gas over there is high. I have the LX manual and was looking into getting the Korean short shifter. It's built for the Korean models and the manufacturer isn't sure if that part will fit the US tranny. The manual version over there are 5 speeds. We have 6 speeds. I found all of this out when I was doing research and talking with the manufacturer about the part.
 

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2013 Kia Optima 2.0T
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Just curious what differences if any there might be between the Korean and American made Optimas ? I know here in Canada we receive the Korean made ones for whatever reason.
How do you know that? I thought my optima was made in the USA. I'm just curious, Is there a way to verify this on the car?
 

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2013 Kia Optima 2.0T
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366 Posts
OK, thanks for the replies. I learn something new every time I come here!
1) My VIN starts with a K...K for Kia or K for Korea :rolleyes:
2) There is a sticker at the bottom of my left door from "Transport Canada". It is written "Manufactured in Korea" 01/2013. :cool:
 

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I can tell you the midpipe flange is different than USA ones on certain years. Had to check that out myself
 

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My VIN starts with K but the car came from Georgia.
Wrong, if the Vin starts with a "k" it came from Korea. If the Vin starts with a "5" it was built in Georgia.

THE FOLLOWING APPLIES FOR ALL OPTIMAS SOLD IN THE U.S.A......

ALL 2011 OPTIMAS LX/EX/SX WERE MADE IN KOREA.

ALL 2012+ OPTIMA EX/SX WERE MADE IN GEORGIA.

2012+ OPTIMA LX WERE MADE IN BOTH GEORGIA AND KOREA..... BUT ONLY SWP/3D/STM COLORS ARE MADE BOTH IN KOREA AND GEORGIA.

ALL LX COLOR DARK CHERRY, BLACK, METAL BRONZE, REMINGTON RED, SPICY RED ARE MADE IN GEORGIA.

ALL OPTIMA HYBRID REGARDLESS OR YEAR OR EQUIPMENT ARE MADE IN KOREA.
 
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