I'm a little bothered by all the negative comments about this car- from reading the posts I'm wondering if all of these people bought the same car I did.
Like many other people (who don't seem to realize that this is to be expected with a pressurized, closed fuel system) I have had the "Check (engine) " lamp illuminate because I failed to screw the gas cap on tightly enough. So I could say, "OO my engine light came on after just 100 miles! Inexcusable!" but that is a non-issue.
Seats are starting to wear badly. See above, however- I have over 60,000 miles on it and if I scoot back and forth in my pants as many times as I scoot across the seat, my pants wouldn't last a month. Again, a non-issue. I expect things like seat fabric and tires to wear out.
Passenger seat mysteriously ratchets itself to the reclined position over the course of a few days. The less-than-Cadillac-plush suspension settings jounce loose objects up and down slightly, and the no-pressure design of the seat mechanism frees itself in no-gravity situations. If the seat is already leaning back slightly it will lean farther. If it's not (like my driver's seat) then it holds its position. Odd, but hardly worth a frowny-face.
Had the same "dropped idle" situation that I've read about here: when coming to a stop (with the clutch pedal pressed) the idle will sometimes drop to about 400 rpm, almost killing the engine, then it always ramps itself back up and acts normal for the rest of the week. Keeping the compression high by using the engine to brake solved the problem. My Triumph will do the same exact thing if I don't leave the clutch out. So I adapted and in 20 seconds my problem was solved.
Other than that, no problems. Yeah, I'm on my fourth set of tires, but the way I drive I'm surprised I got that much out of them. Also, I've chewed through a set of rotors. BUT- at 58,000 miles! When I backed up I could feel the pads grinding but I figured that was rust being scraped off, alas it wasn't. That doesn't mean the rotors were bad, it just means I wore the brakes out by stomping on them regularly and didn't hear the wear indicator squeaking at me. It was totally my fault. The car is too sound-proofed (to those frequencies) to hear the wear indicator. Which is a good thing. Just check the brakes manually. Problem solved.
Porsche was consulted for the chassis, ItalDesign for the aesthetics, Mercedes for the engine and transmission. It's a fine car, but like any machine, things can and will go wrong.
I'm a BMW Master Tech and recently started working on Porsches, and want to assure you that every make and model of vehicle ever made breaks. I have picky, spoiled BMW customers who want BMW to cover scratches in the paint (from their own buckles and zippers) under warranty, and justify it by saying "they should make tougher paint." A Porsche guy hit a curb going about 40 and thought Porsche should buy him another rim because "it bent too easy." Those guys equate "this car cost me X amount of money" to "it shouldn't break" and that just makes no sense.
The space shuttle broke, too, so is it a lemon? Is every space shuttle a hunk of crap? You know better than that- it's better engineered than anything any of us will ever own, and it still breaks. But like the fellows said on this forum (and here I'm paraphrasing) "antenna broke too easy when I hit a tree branch sticking out in the road" and "My rear spring broke!! I didn't think that happened in 2000!"
What about "2000" makes a spring less susceptible to failure? Nothing. If $3,000,000 hand-built GP cars can break, your $8,000 Daewoo surely can. I read a pile of reviews of this very car, and about 5% of the complaints were legitimate, in my opinion. It's hard to read a dozen people complain about things like "my brakes wore out!" or "I had an oil leak!" and not say that things like that must be expected. Not in every car, but in more than you'd think. As a technician, how can I own one of these supposed "lemons" and be happy, knowing what I know about cars? My Nissan pickup broke ten times more often than this Lanos. Literally.
Daewoo supplies governments around the world with devastatingly effective weapon systems. They work as well as the cars, and Daewoo's reputation among less-demanding military organizations is solid. Hard to think of the South African Army being less-picky than most U.S. car customers, but they are! I have more trouble out of my cat than I do with my car. I won't be buying another one, since they were sold to GM, and Suzuki took their remaining cars. I think they went bankrupt because they spent a huge amount of money developing these cars, then used dismal marketing to try to sell them, not because they didn't make good cars. Gotta be more aggressive if you want to survive in this market.