Honda Legend car review
- We like...Rarity; generous standard kit
- We don't...Honda for Mercedes money
This is one rare car. The Legend is Honda’s executive-class saloon, made to mix it with the likes of BMW’s 5-series and the Mercedes-Benz E-class. It’s packed with kit, technology and ability.
From intelligent all-wheel drive to cruise control that keeps you a set distance from the car ahead and to a system that’ll warn you if you’re wandering off the road, it’s all there.
The Legend is a really good car. But two things scupper its sales potential. First, it is, of course, a Honda. For its asking price you can buy either of the two cars we’ve already mentioned or choose from a clutch of others sporting prestige badges. Jaguar’s handsome and acclaimed XF 3.0 diesel saloon is no dearer. And, frankly, you’d have to want something different pretty badly to choose a Honda over the Jag when that car delivers class and talent in such an attractive whole. If that’s not enough, the Legend comes only with a 3.5-litre V8 petrol engine that slurps down fuel. In the week we drove one, we couldn’t get the computer to show better than 20mpg, no matter how gently we took it. Its high CO2 output means expensive road tax, too.
So although it has been around since 2006, you’ll scarcely ever see one on the road. But should you find one new or nearly-new at a big saving over list, or half-price at a couple of years old, our advice would be to snap it up. Because, so long as you can fund its high running costs, it is a wonder.
While its Honda badge will never match the car-park cachet of a BMW or Merc, it packs enough cred to intrigue while it is, as we’ve mentioned extremely rare. If Honda is known for anything it is the excellence of its engineering, especially when it comes to engine-building.
And that V8 is a top companion, woofling away gently until you hit the throttle, when it’ll summons up a throaty scream and shove you quickly past slower traffic. The five-speed auto gearbox is nothing special but it works without you noticing it. Best to leave it in full auto mode for most of your driving, although you can pick your own gears using twin paddles fitted just below the steering rim.
Despite its size – roughly that of an E-class – it is easy to thread along quickly thanks to neat, direct steering and a ride that favours body control, not out-and-out comfort. Its all-wheel drive lends the car a precise, reassuring feel as you drive.
Inside, everything feels top quality and the fat leather seats are a treat. But space provided for those sat in the rear isn’t overly generous, while the boot is by no means huge. Nor can you drop the rear seats to add load space.
Should you get one? Well, first you must decide whether you can live with its fuel bills and road tax that currently sits in band M – one of the dearest. For many, such costs are a turn off. But if you’re not among them, and you find a Legend to buy cheaply, it could just become a car that you grow to love.
To view and buy new and second-hand Honda Legends on motors.co.uk, click here
- Engines3.5 V8 petrol
- 0-60 mph7.3secs
- Insurance groups17
Motors.co.uk value verdict: