2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
The legend has never become a legend for us. Honda's flagship was most recently sold in Germany in homeopathic doses. With the new Legend it should be different.
By Jürgen Wolff
What do Honda Legend and Ferrari F430 have in common? Both are so rarely sold in Germany that they do not even appear as a separate model series in the monthly registration statistics of the Federal Motor Transport Authority. In Asia and the USA the Legend is in the running - in this country hardly any buyer has recently made friends with the old-fashioned, boring charm of the Asian mid-range sedan, which has been purposefully drawn past European taste.
The new one should now also make up ground in Europe: Honda spokesman Alexander Heintzel modestly reckons with around 800 vehicles sold per year. Objectively speaking, the completely renewed Honda Legend should really do that. The 4.96-meter-long mid-range sedan can hardly be recognized by its looks. The sporty peppy outfit is far from the previous attack on good taste.
The new Legend is not as excitingly avant-garde as the Civic - but nevertheless with all the design elements of a classic and modern notchback sedan. The front is clearly drawn and finally unmistakable: a lush radiator grille with three transverse ribs and a large logo in the middle, lush BiXenon headlights, a hood with a dynamic double fold, an integrated bumper with fog lights.
The side view runs smoothly and without frills and is slightly reminiscent of the E-Class. The rounded beefy rear also appears at first glance. You no longer have to shyly park this legend two corners away to hide it from the amused glances of the neighbors.
The positive impression continues inside. Wherever the eye looks: high-quality materials, pleasant lines: middle-class luxury. Noble, dignified, well processed, high quality, with a pleasant feel and a high feel-good factor. The Legend is full of electronic helpers - but the instruments and switches are self-explanatory and logical. And easily accessible. Most of the functions can be set using a large button - as in the larger models from Audi, BMW or Mercedes. Only that the one here - a little less easily accessible - is not placed in front of the gearshift lever but on the center console.
There is plenty of space in the new Legend. In the front and in the back, upwards and to the sides. The seats are as one would expect from a lavishly furnished limousine: leather club armchairs with side support, electrically adjustable, firm, but pleasant and comfortable even on long journeys. With a capacity of 452 liters, the trunk is more in line with the average for its class.
Even without reaching into the physical bag of tricks, the 3.5-liter V6 engine runs in a sophisticated, quiet and very low-vibration manner. 217 kW / 295 PS are not a small amount. But they don't make the Legend a sprinter. Around two tons of vehicle weight are not easy to move. Especially at low engine speeds, things are slow, but if you give the engine some fuel, it starts off quickly and powerfully. The Legend accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.3 seconds. The comparable competition is not advancing much faster. The consumption of 11.9 liters of Super is also within the normal range for this class. When you casually reach 250 km / h, the propulsion is over - you don't want to drive faster with a pronounced cruiser anyway.
The automatic transmission with its five speed levels also goes with all of this. It shifts gently, balanced and comfort-oriented. The individual stages are well matched to the engine - and to planing. Those who prefer manual shifts can do so with the two paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
Safe handling in fast corners
The Legend is a touring limousine. Accordingly, the chassis is set to be firm but comfortable. Hardly a bump in the road makes it to the occupants. A special all-wheel drive called “Super Handling-All Wheel Drive” ensures traction and directional stability, especially when cornering: Depending on the driving situation, it varies the drive force not only between the axles, but also between the rear wheels themselves. If you're a little too quick on the bend on the way, the system gives a higher speed to the rear wheel on the outside of the bend. Controlled oversteer is the result - and thus better handling in fast corners.
In addition to the usual assistance systems in this class, such as cornering lights, ABS, ESP, brake assist, etc., the anti-collision system CMBS must be mentioned in particular. Similar to Pre-Save at Mercedes, CMBS constantly monitors the area in front of the vehicle for obstacles using radar. If it gets tight and tighter, the system first gives an acoustic warning in three stages, then brakes slightly and tightens the belts. If the driver still does not react appropriately, the system goes one step tighter and decelerates by 70 percent. One hundred percent braking to a standstill is still a matter for the driver.
54,600 euros - with complete equipment
Objectively, for what it offers, the new Honda Legend is an affordable car. At first glance, it is 54,600 euros above the level of the BMW 530xi (45,700 euros base price) or Audi A6 3.2 Quattro (43,900 euros), for example. Because while they are still standing there naked, the Legend is only available as a complete factory set - with, for example, BiXenon light, leather upholstery, lifting glass roof, cruise control, automatic, reversing camera, two-zone automatic air conditioning and all other amenities.
There is no surcharge list - you just have to choose between the colors. If BMW and Audi equip what is standard in the Legend, you end up with just under 62,400 euros for the 530xi and almost 64,000 euros for the A6.