1999 Daewoo Leganza 4-door sedan


If you don’t recognize the name Daewoo, don’t feel out of it. This is a sneak preview of a new line of cars from Korea. There are three models; Lanos for $9-12,000; Nubira for $12-14,000 and the Leganza for $15-20,000. The trio will hit the market in the Fall of ’98.

My first question was, do we really need another car to clutter our minds? Daewoo joins an already over crowded lineup of cars in this price class from all over the world. Now we have another version of a product from an industry nearly devoid of creativity and where we only see the illusion of progress. At the turn of this century we saw name after name hit the market in a race to make buggy whips obsolete. But cars were new then and ideas were necessarily original. The changes in transportation were as creative then as communication vehicles are today. Computer companies, long distance telephone services and Internet providers are even more numerous today.

It will take some real marketing genius to convince us that this Leganza (elegant in Italian, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign of Italy) is somehow better. Saturn created its market differentiation via the personal touch. Real people dealing with real people like – well, you and me. Only time will tell if there is a market for another “ho-hum” addition to the automotive scrapbook. The winner in this never-ending stream of new cars is, of course, the consumer. Natural “free market” selection tells us that only the strongest will survive as we vote with our dollars and we beat a path to the best car in the market for our budget.

If you feel like me, all the cloning that’s going on which I refer to as “Cookie Cutter Cars” bores you. What we need is what we’re getting. What we want is something new and different. We want another Star Wars. We want to see forward thinking fantasy come alive and become real. We want some excitement and innovation to capture our hearts and minds. Even the remake of early 1900’s electric vehicles doesn’t stimulate the imagination all that much. What ever happened to all the solar powered ideas? More importantly, where have all the inventors gone? If they’re going to clone something, clone inventors, not cars.

The competition:

Chevrolet Cavalier $12-19K, Ford Contour $13-20K, Honda Accord $15-24K, Hyundai Sonata $15-18K, Nissan Altima $15-20K, Plymouth Breeze $15K, Pontiac Grand Am $16-19K, Subaru Impreza $16-19K, Toyota Corolla $12-16K, VW Jetta $15-21K.

Good News: 

Clean lines, comfortable, economical, another well-priced car to keep prices down.

Bad News: 

Ho-Hum, more of the same, addition to an overcrowded line up of cars.

Standard Equipment:

2.2-liter 131horsepower 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic trans, front wheel drive, traction control, dual airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, 4-wheel independent suspension, child safety locks, air conditioning, power rack and pinion steering, door locks windows and mirrors, AM/FM stereo with cassette.

Gas Stats:

City and Highway MPG.


MSRP is $ 15-20,000

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