Despite being launched quite a while back, the Honda Legend still hasn’t generated the traction or buzz like, say, the all-new Civic. I suspect there are 4.38 million reasons for this-–corresponding to the exact number of pesos you need to cough up to get this luxury sedan that is a veritable showpiece of high technology.
Which is a shame because everybody deserves to drive one. Honestly, there’s a lot to like in
the Legend that one simply wouldn’t know where to start. First of all, the psychic reward is incredible. With sure gait, presence, and polish, the Legend can hang with more expensive European cars and give you that vaunted sense of arrival. It has the ability to crane necks its way, thank you very much.
The Japanese are pretty specific about what they want their vehicles to convey. In the case of the Legend, Honda fuses three customer values: “pride and prestige of ownership, advanced features and technology, and exhilarating driving experience.” If anyone had doubted this moonshot, suffice it to say that the brand has made the journey to the earth’s solitary satellite and back – twice. If there’s a thread that runs through all luxury vehicles worth their salt, it’s that they never try too hard to win your attention. Anyone versed in car design can tell you in no uncertain terms that car manufacturers who get cute and current with design get old pretty quick. The Legend’s fascia and build is substantial is non-descript. The only hint to its stature are its incredibly intimidating set of eyes – two decks of so-called Jewel Eye LEDs with auto leveling feature.
But inside is where the party is. The first time I sat on the driver’s seat, I panicked. Someone seemed to have swiped the gearshift. Not really. Honda decided to do away just like it dispensed with the traditional stuff you expect from rarefied rides. Indeed, why can’t you have
both high technology and utter luxury? The PRND and Sport buttons are right there – easy to access and even easier to use. The parking brake is electronic as well, of course.
Are you comfortable? If you still feel hot despite the impressive air-conditioning,
you can cool your back and bottom via ventilated front seats (four speed settings,
natch). Then there’s a customizable headsup display to show what’s important to
you. The shell of active and passive safety measures is overwhelming, too. We can’t
put everything here, but the vehicle has become sensitive it could be an artist.
Honda’s Advanced Driver-Assistive
Honda’s Advanced Driver-Assistive System called Honda SENSING aids the driver to “prevent or effectively respond to dangerous driving situations.” Using information sourced from a millimeter-wave radar that can be found in the front grille and a monocular camera mounted on the upper, inside part of the windshield, the Legend offers, among others, a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow (LSF), and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS).
We haven’t talked about what motivates this excellent vehicle – a high-output, fuel-efficient hybrid system composed of a combustion engine and three electric motors capable of a maximum output of 380ps at 6,500rpm and 47.1 kg-m of torque. These numbers make the Legend “the most powerful Honda to date.”
Its Earth Dreams Technology V6 3.5-liter direct injection i-VTEC with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission with an integrated high performance electric motor. At the rear is a twin motor unit and an intelligent power
unit equipped with high-power lithium-ion batteries. Honda says each rear motor is
independently controlled and can provide either drive or deceleration power to its
wheel in any ratio. The end result, according to the Japanese carmaker, is power
commensurate to a V8 engine with the fuel frugality of a four cylinder. Now that’s thetuff of legend.