Fleet News

Daewoo Leganza 2.0 CDX - 5,850 miles

Review

##daeleg.jpg --Right##OUR last road test on the Daewoo Leganza did not exactly put the car in a brilliant light pricewise. Value for money had always been one of Daewoo's big selling points, but with new car prices falling like proverbial ninepins at the back end of last year, the Korean maker's biggest car was no longer the bargain it had once been. No sooner had our December report gone live than Daewoo joined the others and cut its prices, thereby reinstating the status quo between it and other manufacturers.

So whereas our CDX model, which sits in the range between the cheaper SX and the top of the range CDX-E, retailed at ú15,325 on-the-road in the previous report, the same model can now be added to your fleet for a mere ú13,495, a saving of ú1,830. Now, I don't want to knock all these car makers for dropping their prices - after all, that's what the Government has been pushing for all this time. But wouldn't you be pig sick if your fleet had taken delivery of 20 of these cars a couple of weeks before the prices went down? I'd be interested to hear from any Fleet NewsNet readers in this position (e-mail me on trevorg@automotive. emap.co.uk).

And with all the hoo-hah over prices, something strange too has happened to the residual value of this car after three years/60,000 miles, as predicted by the experts at CAP. One would assume a fall in residual value if the new price dropped but, in fact, it has gone up, from ú3,425 to ú3,475, making the percentage rise from 22% to 26%. This rise in fortune - albeit a small one - may well be down to the fact that since Daewoo launched itself in Britain in 1995, it has been steadily carving a niche for itself among the country's fleet contenders, with its 'cradle to grave' service, its high specced vehicles and its low prices.

In 1995, Daewoo sold just 253 vehicles into fleet, amid a total of 5,479. Last year, the fleet sales figure rose to a staggering 10,791, from a total of 34,692. So what sort of person opts for a Daewoo as a company car? Certainly not the kind of driver who can brag to his or her friends in the wine bar after work about 0-60mph times, burning rubber and scorching top speeds.

Daewoo appeals to those practical types who put mpg above mph and who would rather save their money on tax than waste it on petrol. And judging by the aforementioned figures, there are plenty such drivers about. One is designer Tracy Cooke, who has now been behind the wheel of our long-termer for about two months and is finding the car a pleasure to drive - large, comfortable and bristling with enough gadgets to keep the pickiest of drivers happy.

However, on the reliability front, the Leganza has been less than a star. On two occasions it failed to start while parked in a city centre car park, leaving the driver to call for a jump start. Initially, a loose battery terminal was suspected and the bolts were tightened, but a couple of weeks later, while our girl was on a trip to Norfolk, a warning light showed, telling her the car's electrics had failed and that it was running on reserve power. The car limped home and has remained there since. Daewoo is due to pick it up for a checkover so we'll report further. This problem apart, the car has so far given faultless service.

Trevor Gelken

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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