Each number of the 17-digits reveals specific information when you decode a Kia VIN. The first digit is the manufacturing country, which will be a K for Korea. The second digit shows the manufacturer, and in Kia’s case, this is represented with an N. The vehicle type is represented in the third digit, identifying if it is a passenger car or SUV. In the fourth digit, the model is revealed, such as D for Rio, F for Spectra or Rondo, G for Optima, and M for Sedona. The series is shown in the fifth digit, such as whether it is a front-wheel drive, front engine, 4×4, or 4×2.
The body type is associated with the sixth and seventh digits, such as 12 for a sedan four-door, 16 for hatchback four-door, 52 for wagon, 13 for short wheelbase four-door van, 23 for a long wheelbase four-door van. If the vehicle is a truck, the sixth digit will be a 7, followed by the weight classification in the seventh digit. The engine type is contained in the eighth digit, indicating the cylinder and liter type, as well as air bags.
The ninth digit, called a “check” digit, is a secret number utilized by the manufacturer and law enforcement when conducting a Kia VIN decoding. Since this number is not released to the public, law enforcement is able to utilize this number to verify if the VIN is authentic or falsified.
The 10th number will reveal the model year, and the 11th is the location of the assembly plant, whether in Korea, Georgia or Slovakia for Kia.
Finally, the last six numbers are the unique serial number for that car, associated with the order it came off the assembly line.