COAL: Daewoo Leganza – The Korean Lexus

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(First posted 3/4/2016. I’m rerunning it in memory of my younger son Will, who wrote this. He lost his decade-long struggle with severe addiction yesterday (5/10/2023). He had been sober for the last three months (in a recovery house), and it was wonderful to be able to experience the real Will for at least a while before the monster got the better of him for the final time.)

It was 2010, I had just dropped out of high school (one of my many brilliant life decisions) and after three attempts at both the driven and written portions of the test I had finally gotten my drivers license. It just so happened that a cute girl that I went to to high school with who was a grade above me was selling her 2000 Daewoo Leganza because she had upgraded to a VW Cabrio. My father and I drove up to her parents house one afternoon to check out the car. At first glance it seemed to be in fairly good condition aside from a scrape or two on the exterior. Immediately what caught my eye was the leather seating and wood grain! Down the road when girls would ask me what a Daewoo was, I’d tell them it was pretty much the Korean version of a Lexus!

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My pops took it for a spin around the neighborhood to see how it drove. Being the son of a car guru like Paul Niedermeyer, I always try to take him with me when car shopping or at least have him test drive whatever ridiculous impulse buy I would pull up to his front curb just so I could be reassured I hadn’t bought a total P.O.S. The Daewoo received the stamp of approval from Dad, so $500 dollars was exchanged and off I was in my first car! It was a fairly smooth ride although the interior noise level was nothing to write home about. The mom of my friend who sold us the car warned me to not take it much further than out to the coast but I completely disregarded her advice. I drove her all the way to San Francisco and back, up to Portland, down to the Applegate Valley, weekly trips to Corvallis and all over Eugene. I ended up putting about 20,000 miles on the odometer by the time I was done with it.

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After one too many trips to Southern Oregon, the poor Leganza began to overheat. Although I was quoted a repair bill of $500, I was flush at the time and decided it was time to move on and impulsively purchased a newer Ford Ranger.

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That truck lasted a couple months, but that’s a whole other story…………..

My relationship with the Leganza finally ended when I found myself in a financial bind and was offered $400 for it from a local scrap yard. I honestly regret getting rid of it and not putting a little time and money into repairing it due to the fact the interior was so clean and I genuinely enjoyed driving it but everything happens for a reason so I hope someone else got to pick her up for a good price and give her a new life.

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For further and more detailed review of this same car check out my dad’s (aka Paul Niedermeyer) review:

CC Capsule Review: 2000 Daewoo Leganza – Will’s First Car

Will (1992-2023) He was a ray of sunshine that was constantly being overpowered by the dark clouds.