Leganza was styled by the famous Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. It is believed that this design was inspired by Giugiaro's 1990 Jaguar Kensington concept car, a pedigree Leganza's body shares with the 1991 Toyota Aristo. In case of Leganza, however, Giugiaro had to deal with a shorter vehicle with front-wheel rather than rear-wheel drive, which, combined with Daewoo's styling cues like the large chrome grille, resulted in a very peculiar appearance.
Daewoo rapidly expanded their distribution network with the inception of new models, which made the Leganza present in the markets of most countries, albeit not necessarily with sales success. Daewoo placed special emphasis on developing markets, which involved the assembly of Leganzas in countries like Poland, Romania, Russia and Uzbekistan, in plants owned by Daewoo or under license agreements. Nevertheless, this concerned CKD or SKD assembly only, as all Leganzas were effectively made at Daewoo's Bupyong plant in Korea.
It is worth noting that, contrary to many Korean cars sold worldwide, the Leganza was almost invariably sold under the Daewoo Leganza name, the only exception being the Doninvest Kondor, a short-lived version assembled by the Russian Doninvest corporation on Taganrog's TagAZ.
At the time it was launched, the Leganza was a bit longer than most mid-size European or Asian cars, which is why it was initially marketed as an inexpensive executive car in some markets.
The Leganza was a front-wheel drive car, available with a four-door sedan body only. The Leganza was powered by Holden-sourced E-TEC II DOHC 16V I4 engines (two displacements were made using the same block and bore, differing in stroke):
- 2.0L (1998 cc) - 98 kW (131 HP), 184N·m (136lb·ft) of torque used in models sold in Europe
- 2.2L (2198 cc) - 100 kW (134 hp), 191N·m (141lb·ft) of torque used mainly for the American market
Both engines came with either a 5-speed manual transmission, or a 4-speed automatic.