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First drive: Honda Legend – on sale now



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After a five-year gap, the Honda Legend is back in the UK.

The fourth generation model is looking to reinforce Honda’s credentials in the premium market with its sights set on the E-class and 5-series. As well as creating a halo affect, it also provides Honda with an opportunity to test new technology.

The Legend comes with a 3.5i VTec engine producing 291bhp and has a starting price of £36,250, similar to its main German rivals. But buyers get a much higher specified car for the money, with sat-nav, bluetooth and leather as standard.

For an additional £3,750, Legend is equipped with a new advanced driver assist system (ADAS) and a collision mitigation and brake system (CMBS).

All models are available with a five-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift and advanced dual climate control. Also standard is ‘super handling all-wheel drive’ (SH-AWD) and a Bose 10-speaker surround sound system.

The suspension, which has been designed to work alongside the SH-AWD, gives a comfortable ride for all passengers and there is plenty of legroom in the back. It’s a car for unruffled travelling, rather than hurried point-to-point racing.

The Legend will add to Honda’s impressive record for reliability, but the overall luxury affect is let down by a few interior concerns.

The heated leather seats are perfect for gently embracing tired backs, but the wood-effect dash looks a bit cheap. The trim around the driver’s door handle on our car had an alarming amount of movement when the door was pulled to.

Another niggle is the windscreen wipers, which do not tuck away under the bonnet as they do on many cars, premium and volume.

Honda’s sales ambitions are low at 400 units in the first year. It has sold 136 since the car went on sale on September 15, which places it firmly on the route to achieving that target.

Price: £36,250-40,000
Engines: 3.5i VTec V6 petrol, 291bhp
Performance: 0-62mph 7.3sec, top speed 155mph
Transmission: Five-speed auto
Efficiency: 23.7-24.6mpg comb; 273-282 g/km CO2
Rivals: Jaguar S-type, BMW 5-series, Audi A6, Mercedes E-class, Lexus GS
Strengths: Well equipped, comfort
Weakness: Trim niggles, wipers
Opportunity: Reinforce Honda’s premium credentials
Threat: Badge may put off buyers
USP: An alternative luxury saloon

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