With our long term test Daewoo Leganza 2.0 CDX still tipping the scales at ú15,325, it is no longer the bargain it was. Standard specification is little short of staggering - metallic paint, alloy wheels, climate control, electric sunroof, power steering with height adjustable wheel, remote central locking, alarm and immobiliser, anti-lock brakes, driver and passenger airbags, traction control, electric windows all-round, electric heated mirrors, CD player and leather seats all come as part of the OTR price.
But look at, say, the Ford Mondeo and you can now buy a 2.0-litre LX 5dr for ú15,095 after Ford dropped its prices in October by up to 8%. And for that price, you get as standard air conditioning, height adjustable power steering, remote central locking, deadlocks, alarm immobiliser, driver, passenger and side airbags, ABS brakes, electric windows all-round and CD player. Now also sporting a three-year warranty, the Mondeo looks very attractive indeed.
The other problem with the Leganza is that while it may look as good as the Mondeo, it certainly doesn't handle with the crispness that real driving enthusiasts love. The car is fine if you want to pootle around all day in a leisurely manner, but push it hard - as many fleet drivers do - and the cracks begin to show.
Fleets which choose the Leganza are in for a nasty shock at selling time too. Three years down the line, CAP Monitor predicts that this particular car will be worth just 22% of its original value, the princely sum of ú3,425. Those opting for the Mondeo will fare a little better, as the new model is predicted to hold 31% of its original value at ú4,600.
Having said all that, our present test driver, designer Tracy Cooke, is more than happy with her alloted model. Her usual mode of transport is a five-year-old Audi 100 estate, and while the Audi was a top-notch performer in its time, the goalposts have moved a long way since then and our driver is chuffed to bits with the light feel of the car, not to mention the top quality CD player and climate control.
Its nippy performance is a bonus too. 0-60mph comes in 10.2 seconds and a top speed of 128mph is more than enough for any law-abiding citizen.
Her only problem is that the Leganza's B-pillar is right in the way of her side line of vision, a problem affecting several cars nowadays. Also the heater controls are a mass of tiny buttons so to alter them means taking your eyes off the road - not a wise idea.
On the breakages front, the Leganza has completed more than 5,000 miles without mishaps, although a large scrape has appeared in the leather on the driver's seat, proof that not all leather is the same quality.