You don't see many Honda Legends on the road, but that doesn't make them a bad secondhand buy. On the contrary, Honda's flagship saloon is an unusual and highly capable machine, which provides a more affordable alternative to its German and English counterparts.
Its sleek body is intended to evoke thoughts of a far more expensive Lexus LS400. Certainly, there's all the equipment and the refinement of larger, more prestigious rivals, even though in this case there's a V6, rather than a V8 engine under the bonnet.
Honda developed the first Legend in conjunction with Rover whose 800 shared its inner body panels and V6 engine. The first V6 saloon, built by Rover in the UK, arrived way back in 1986 and was soon followed by a sleek Japanese-made coupe version. The original 2.5-litre V6 was replaced with a new 2.7-litre six a year or so later. Later again in the model run, assembly of the saloon was switched to Japan. The early cars came with an automatic gearbox as standard (five-speed manual was available). If you want the most comprehensively equipped version possible, look for cars with the special equipment pack which included air conditioning.
A new Legend arrived in 1991 complete with a bigger 3.2 V6 engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. This model featured a long list of standard equipment including anti-lock brakes, power steering, cruise control, air conditioning and leather trim. These cars provided a driver's airbag, but if you want one for your passenger too, look for a post-February 1993 model.
Another round of revisions followed in 1993. These brought improved suspension, better soundproofing, a smoother automatic transmission and larger alloy wheels. If you're after classy cruising on a budget, this is the model we'd recommend.
The coupe version was dropped in late 1995 and the all-new saloon arrived in June 1996, this time with a larger 3.5-litre 202bhp V6. This version was facelifted in early 1999 with a more prominent front grille and minor interior changes. The Legend eventually ground to a standstill in 2004.