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04/2014 ROTM
2011 SX
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3,607 Posts
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 LX COLOR DARK CHERRY, BLACK, METAL BRONZE, REMINGTON RED, SPICY RED ARE MADE IN GEORGIA.
kiacruzer - Krystl_Method has a '13 EB LX....
 

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164 Posts
I order cars for a dealership and 2013 LX in black has never come from Korea. It may be that black from korea is available in other US regions. But that doesn't make sense...... So thats weird.
 

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164 Posts
MY BAD it does start with a 5. Got confused, before this I had an 08 Optima that's vin started with K...

Good. I hate being wrong.... But it doesn't happen often.
 

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2019 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 170
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2,115 Posts
Put 65k on a 2011 Korean built EX and now have 22k on my 2013 EX. My GA built 2013 rattles and creaks much more after 22k than the 2011 did after 65k. Other than that, they are the same.
 

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2014 Kia Optima
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63 Posts
Being fairly new to the Optima, I had no idea that I was driving one of the Korean built Optimas. Although some of the threads on this site make much more sense now, and why some people would want to do certain mods that were already on my car.
 

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2012 Kia Optima
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1,870 Posts
Being fairly new to the Optima, I had no idea that I was driving one of the Korean built Optimas. Although some of the threads on this site make much more sense now, and why some people would want to do certain mods that were already on my car.
That's interesting. Can you give us some examples? Tilting mirrors in reverse and such?
 

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2014 Kia Optima
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63 Posts
Maybe mods already on my car isn't the right way to say it, but for instance, there is a thread for DRLs on 2014 SXs. Looking at the post install video the user provided, I can't see any difference in how my DRLs work without a mod, compared to his after implementing an after market item.

There was another small mod that some were doing, but I can't remember what it was at the moment. If I think of what it was I'll post what it was.
 

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04/2014 ROTM
2011 SX
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3,607 Posts
Maybe mods already on my car isn't the right way to say it, but for instance, there is a thread for DRLs on 2014 SXs. Looking at the post install video the user provided, I can't see any difference in how my DRLs work without a mod, compared to his after implementing an after market item.

There was another small mod that some were doing, but I can't remember what it was at the moment. If I think of what it was I'll post what it was.

Your DRLs are different because the laws are different in Ca. Likewise there are heated windshields and headlight washers in Ca but not in the US...
 

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05/2015 ROTM
2011 Kia Optima
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534 Posts
:rockon: Korean built 2011 SX here. I believe mine has a manufactured in Korea plaque on the driver side door sill...however I may just be imagining that. I'll have to look later.
 

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238 Posts
That's interesting. Can you give us some examples? Tilting mirrors in reverse and such?
My daughter's 2014 LX, mfg 12/2013 in South Korea, No spare tire, no overflow/vent hose on the engine coolant reservoir (also on USA ones), no glove compartment light although there is a cutout on the frame for one. I disassembled the compartment & physically checked for a plug/wire harness to no avail. I verified fitment with an OEM light housing & it is operational with power from a jumper wire. Next up is a rocker switch for manual operation. These "missing items" may just have been a bean counters cost cutting decision!
 

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2014 Kia Optima
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63 Posts
Your DRLs are different because the laws are different in Ca. Likewise there are heated windshields and headlight washers in Ca but not in the US...
Hmm, ok, good to know. Don't have the headlight washers though. Either way, its good to know there will be some slight differences, and will need to pay attention when looking at some mod ideas.
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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283 Posts
My daughter's 2014 LX, mfg 12/2013 in South Korea, No spare tire, no overflow/vent hose on the engine coolant reservoir (also on USA ones), no glove compartment light although there is a cutout on the frame for one. I disassembled the compartment & physically checked for a plug/wire harness to no avail. I verified fitment with an OEM light housing & it is operational with power from a jumper wire. Next up is a rocker switch for manual operation. These "missing items" may just have been a bean counters cost cutting decision!
LXs do not have a glovebox light. Only EX & SX.
 

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No Glove Compartment Light on South Korean Built LX's!

LXs do not have a glovebox light. Only EX & SX.
Is this on the LX's built in both countries? Prior to searching for info on the light 3 different KIA dealers confirmed that the South Korean LX's did not have this. It was never mentioned that the light was only on the EX & SX. It was said that the Optimas either had to have the ignition or parking lights on to have the light operational. I did have great assistance from Mr. Tom Reynolds in the parts dept at KIA of Irvine (CA) who provided me with the OEM light housing part #92620-2H000. I do appreciate your posting!
 

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2011 Kia Optima
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283 Posts
Is this on the LX's built in both countries? Prior to searching for info on the light 3 different KIA dealers confirmed that the South Korean LX's did not have this. It was never mentioned that the light was only on the EX & SX. It was said that the Optimas either had to have the ignition or parking lights on to have the light operational. I did have great assistance from Mr. Tom Reynolds in the parts dept at KIA of Irvine (CA) who provided me with the OEM light housing part #92620-2H000. I do appreciate your posting!
Regardless of country of manufacture, LXs don't get the golvebox light.

2011 LX's really got the short end of the stick. No auto lights, fog lights or heated mirrors. Even the door handles didn't have the chrome accent strip. You can easily add heated mirrors as the wiring is there, just need the glass with the elements...but not so easy to add fogs and impossible to add auto lights unless you go aftermarket. Chrome door handles can be easily added too.
 

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238 Posts
Regardless of country of manufacture, LXs don't get the golvebox light.

2011 LX's really got the short end of the stick. No auto lights, fog lights or heated mirrors. Even the door handles didn't have the chrome accent strip. You can easily add heated mirrors as the wiring is there, just need the glass with the elements...but not so easy to add fogs and impossible to add auto lights unless you go aftermarket. Chrome door handles can be easily added too.
Comparing the '11 to my daughters '14 I guess we do have a slight advantage. My DIY mods to makeup for the "missing items" at least kept me bzzz, lol! Mahalo!
 

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10/2012 + 11/2013 ROTM
2011 2.4L
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4,430 Posts
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. ;)
amen brother ;x

---------- Post added at 07:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:29 AM ----------

Regardless of country of manufacture, LXs don't get the golvebox light.

2011 LX's really got the short end of the stick. Even the door handles didn't have the chrome accent strip. Chrome door handles can be easily added too.
and im so thankful they didnt i hate chrome ;x
 

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2015 Kia 2015 Kia Optima Lx
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6 Posts
I have a 2015 Optima LX and the only difference I have noticed so far is the low beam headlight bulb (halogen bulb). All the sites tell me that the appropriate replacement bulb for my model is a H11b, however when I took the bulb out it is actually an H7 Bulb.
 
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