$76,990 – $76,990
Good: High levels of refinement; Smooth engine; High tech all-wheel drive system = impressive handling capabilities.
Not so Good: Average fuel economy; Questionable value for money (compared to Honda’s impressive and far cheaper Accord); Re-sale rating.
Design and Engineering
Good : The current generation Legend hit Australian shores in August 2006 and received a mid-life facelift in September 2008 that saw the old 3.5-litre petrol V6 engine replaced by a new 3.7-litre that brings along a slight jump in power (up 9kW) and torque (up 19Nm). On the styling front the newly designed seven-spoke 18- inch alloys with relatively low profile tyres (245/45’s) help fill out the wheel arches.
Not so good : A conservative design with large front and rear overhangs, and lines that ensures the Legend blends in rather than stands out in traffic. The mid-life facelift brings a bolder front grille, however the styling of the ‘new’ front bumper and lower cooling air intakes gives the Legend a grim look. A kerb weight of 1,865kg is on the heavy side for a vehicle of this size; however in Honda’s defence the standard features list is extensive, items like 8-way powered seats and extensive sound deadening material are heavy.
Interior and Styling
Good : High quality fit and finish relate to an impressively quiet cabin this is also thanks to extensive use of sound deadening materials. The ‘acoustic windscreen’ and the fancy noise-cancelling acoustic system also ensure that the cabin is whisper quiet.
The amazingly comfortable heated 10-way power adjustable front seats offer up a good level of support for both driver and passenger. The steering wheel is electronically adjustable for both reach and tilt. The 10-speaker BOSE sound system offers up crisp and clear sound.
Not so good : The rear bench seat doesn’t sit three adults as comfortably as one would imagine.
Good : The 3.7-litre petrol V6 offers an impressive 226kW of power and 370Nm of torque. The V6 is an impressively smooth unit that ensures a carefree driving experience; this is also thanks in part to the 5-speed automatic transmission that shifts seamlessly.
Not so good : Although the V6 produces 226kW the vehicle weighs in at almost 1,900kg which does dampen performance. The five-speed sequential SportShift transmission with sports mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle-shift controls is good, however the competition now offer six, seven or even eight speed Automatic gearboxes. Overall fuel consumption is less than impressive for a V6.
Ride and Handling
Good : The Legend’s handling is impressive for such a large and luxurious car. High levels of grip and a nicely balanced chassis ensures that spirited driving over a twisting road is definitely not out of the question. Much of the credit should go to the ‘Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which in demanding cornering situations boosts torque delivery to the outside rear wheel, improving handling and sure-footed feedback to the driver. The larger 18-inch tyres with low profile side walls also help.
Not so good : The Honda Legends suspension is on the soft side and doesn’t match the impressive SH-AWD system’s handling capabilities. The electric power steering is overly light in feel for driving enthusiasts.
Buying and Owning
Good : The Honda Legend ticks the mandatory safety box with standard Anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control and six airbags. Competing offerings from German luxury brands cost significantly more for the same level of performance and struggle to match the Legend’s high level of standard features.
Not so good : Misses out on Bluetooth and the temporary ‘space saver’ spare wheel is less attractive when undertaking an interstate holiday. Whilst the official fuel economy has dropped from 11.8L/100km to 11.3L/100km (3.5-litre to the current 3.7-litre) in the real world it is disappointingly high (especially against the competition).