Honda Legend 2009 Review

Honda Legend 2009 Review

honda-legend-sh-awd-fq

78 years is the average life span for a kiwi male before his spark plugs finish firing and he is taken up to the great wrecking yard in the sky. In his lifetime he may own many different cars; an old bucket of bolts could be his first, a station wagon to carry a young family, and a sports car during his mid-life crisis. But when he becomes a citizen of the senior variety, what is left to look forward to? Honda has answered this age-old question with the 2009 Legend. There is no reason why a young man wouldn’t like the Honda Legend, but if you’re an old fella you will flat out love it.

With an equipment list long enough to make its European competitors feel inadequate, the Legend also impresses with clean-cut good looks. Redesigned for the 2009 model the styling is more understated elegance than blinged-up and bolshie. A large chrome grille nests between two wrap around bi-xenon headlights that push upwards into a muscular aluminum bonnet. The windscreen slopes back (for improved visibility and aerodynamics), connecting to a flat roof that tapers off with wide C-pillars and a well-matched rear end. It’s a look that won’t demand jealous stares from the boy-racer lot, but cruise past an R.S.A and all the blue-rinsed ladies will be asking who’s the new player in town.

A tranverse-mounted engine requires only minimal space in the engine bay so more is available for the cabin. Seating is very good and the Legend can pack in five adults comfortably with no broken hips. The generous leather fit-out is soft and a sweeping maple wood finish teams up tightly with brushed metal gauges. The Legend’s master-stroke is delivered in its superior equipment level as standard, this includes satellite navigation with a built in reversing camera, 10-way power adjustable front seats, auto-dimming rear-view and external mirrors, Active Front Lighting that swivels as the vehicle turns corners, and wing mirrors that dip when the car is in reverse so you can watch out for your 18-inch rims.

Build quality and refinement are nearly flawless, the doors close with a Mercedes-like thud, and everything is screwed together harder than a boiled lolly. What impressed me most was the sound deadening – it is exceptionally tranquil in the cabin. Providing perfect conditions for bringing out ‘back in my day’ speeches or for listening to Piano by Candlelight CD’s through the sharp ten-speaker Bose stereo.

The centre stack controls are easy to learn even for the technophobic and dementia-defying Satellite Navigation has various useful functions. The Legend’s computer is controlled by a jog-dial that gives you access to the climate control, a calendar, calculator and trip information.

What is the Legend packing under the hood? Only the most powerful engine in the Honda range: a 3.7-litre VTEC V6 that produces 226kW of grunt. With a 0-100km time of 7.1 seconds the Legend is much quicker paced than an episode of Murder She Wrote and about a thousand times more exciting. Straight-line performance is spirited but never blistering and with an 1855kg kerb weight the Legend can feel burly at times. However, a drive-by-wire throttle means power delivery is instant. The five-speed automatic transmission offers a sporting-touch with the inclusion of a steering wheel shift option.

Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is the jewel in the Legend’s crown. In demanding cornering situations the SH-AWD will boost torque delivery to the outside rear wheel, vastly improving the handling and balance of the vehicle. The Legend is so sure-footed it can dance the waltz on the most uneven dancefloors, shifting power from the front to the rear wheels as much as 70% either way. The SH-AWD technology is so good that it feels unnatural to push the Legend to its handling limits, which are high enough to rarely be exposed.

If senior moments strike the Legend is stacked with safety counter measures, these include six airbags, active head restraints and a pyrotechnic device that pops up the bonnet 100mm should a pedestrian be struck, reducing the chance of serious head injury.

Overall, the Legend is safe, has exciting handling abilities, good pace, masses of equipment and more than enough luxury to guarantee eager team members for cross-town lawn bowls tournaments. The $93,000 price will seem expensive to those who have an ‘it’s just a Honda’ attitude, but the Legend represents the battleground for Honda to unload everything it’s got. This makes it one of the most hi-tech luxury sedans on the market. I’m not a sensible senior citizen just yet, but it still makes no sense to me to pay $50k more for a European badge and some arguably sharper styling.

Click through to the next page for a full list of specifications.

Price: $93,000

What we like:

  • High equipment level as standard
  • Great handling
  • Many luxury touches

What we don’t like:

  • Styling is too conservative for youngsters
  • Can feel heavy

Honda Legend (2009) – Specifications

Powertrain

Engine: 3664cc SOHC V6 VTEC with 4 valves per cylinder, and PGM-Fi
Maximum Power: 226kW @ 6,300rpm
Maximum Torque: 370Nm @ 5,000rpm
Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic with Sequential SportShift by gear knob or steering wheel paddle shifters and Gear Logic Control.
Gear Ratios:
1st     2.520
2nd     1.606
3rd     1.071
4th     0.765
5th     0.612
Reverse     1.888
Final     4.312

Chassis

Suspension – Front: Independent double-wishbone with coil springs, gas shock absorbers with progressive valve technology and anti-roll bar (30mm dia)
Suspension – Rear: Independent multi-link with coil springs, gas shock absorbers with progressive valve technology and anti-roll bar (20mm dia)
Wheels: 18 x 8J alloy
Tyres: 245 / 45 / R18
Braking System: ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist)

Dimensions

Overall Length (mm): 4995
Overall Width (mm): 1845
Overall Height (mm): 1450
Wheelbase (mm): 2800
Track – Front/Rear (mm): 1575 / 1585
Ground Clearance (mm): 143
Kerb Weight (kg): 1865
Boot Capacity (VDA Litres): 452
Turning Circle – kerb-to-kerb (metres): 11.6
Maximum warrantable towing weight (kg): 1300

Fuel

Tank Capacity (litres): 73
Recommended Fuel: 96 Octane Premium
Emissions Control: Falls within LEV II (Low Emission Vehicle 2), EURO 4
ADR Combined Consumption: 11.3L/100km

Fuel Saver Information

Make and Model: Honda Legend
Star Rating: 3 stars out of 6
Yearly Cost: $2,930
Mileage: 11.3 Litres per 100 km     Reference: 9151

Words, Adam Mamo Photography, Darren Cottingham

honda-legend-sh-awd-fq

78 years is the average life span for a kiwi male before his spark plugs finish firing and he is taken up to the great wrecking yard in the sky. In his lifetime he may own many different cars; an old bucket of bolts could be his first, a station wagon to carry a young family, and a sports car during his mid-life crisis. But when he becomes a citizen of the senior variety, what is left to look forward to? Honda has answered this age-old question with the 2009 Legend. There is no reason why a young man wouldn’t like the Honda Legend, but if you’re an old fella you will flat out love it.

With an equipment list long enough to make its European competitors feel inadequate, the Legend also impresses with clean-cut good looks. Redesigned for the 2009 model the styling is more understated elegance than blinged-up and bolshie. A large chrome grille nests between two wrap around bi-xenon headlights that push upwards into a muscular aluminum bonnet. The windscreen slopes back (for improved visibility and aerodynamics), connecting to a flat roof that tapers off with wide C-pillars and a well-matched rear end. It’s a look that won’t demand jealous stares from the boy-racer lot, but cruise past an R.S.A and all the blue-rinsed ladies will be asking who’s the new player in town.

A tranverse-mounted engine requires only minimal space in the engine bay so more is available for the cabin. Seating is very good and the Legend can pack in five adults comfortably with no broken hips. The generous leather fit-out is soft and a sweeping maple wood finish teams up tightly with brushed metal gauges. The Legend’s master-stroke is delivered in its superior equipment level as standard, this includes satellite navigation with a built in reversing camera, 10-way power adjustable front seats, auto-dimming rear-view and external mirrors, Active Front Lighting that swivels as the vehicle turns corners, and wing mirrors that dip when the car is in reverse so you can watch out for your 18-inch rims.

Build quality and refinement are nearly flawless, the doors close with a Mercedes-like thud, and everything is screwed together harder than a boiled lolly. What impressed me most was the sound deadening – it is exceptionally tranquil in the cabin. Providing perfect conditions for bringing out ‘back in my day’ speeches or for listening to Piano by Candlelight CD’s through the sharp ten-speaker Bose stereo.

The centre stack controls are easy to learn even for the technophobic and dementia-defying Satellite Navigation has various useful functions. The Legend’s computer is controlled by a jog-dial that gives you access to the climate control, a calendar, calculator and trip information.

What is the Legend packing under the hood? Only the most powerful engine in the Honda range: a 3.7-litre VTEC V6 that produces 226kW of grunt. With a 0-100km time of 7.1 seconds the Legend is much quicker paced than an episode of Murder She Wrote and about a thousand times more exciting. Straight-line performance is spirited but never blistering and with an 1855kg kerb weight the Legend can feel burly at times. However, a drive-by-wire throttle means power delivery is instant. The five-speed automatic transmission offers a sporting-touch with the inclusion of a steering wheel shift option.

Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is the jewel in the Legend’s crown. In demanding cornering situations the SH-AWD will boost torque delivery to the outside rear wheel, vastly improving the handling and balance of the vehicle. The Legend is so sure-footed it can dance the waltz on the most uneven dancefloors, shifting power from the front to the rear wheels as much as 70% either way. The SH-AWD technology is so good that it feels unnatural to push the Legend to its handling limits, which are high enough to rarely be exposed.

If senior moments strike the Legend is stacked with safety counter measures, these include six airbags, active head restraints and a pyrotechnic device that pops up the bonnet 100mm should a pedestrian be struck, reducing the chance of serious head injury.

Overall, the Legend is safe, has exciting handling abilities, good pace, masses of equipment and more than enough luxury to guarantee eager team members for cross-town lawn bowls tournaments. The $93,000 price will seem expensive to those who have an ‘it’s just a Honda’ attitude, but the Legend represents the battleground for Honda to unload everything it’s got. This makes it one of the most hi-tech luxury sedans on the market. I’m not a sensible senior citizen just yet, but it still makes no sense to me to pay $50k more for a European badge and some arguably sharper styling.

Click through to the next page for a full list of specifications.

Price: $93,000

What we like:

  • High equipment level as standard
  • Great handling
  • Many luxury touches

What we don’t like:

  • Styling is too conservative for youngsters
  • Can feel heavy

Honda Legend (2009) – Specifications

Powertrain

Engine: 3664cc SOHC V6 VTEC with 4 valves per cylinder, and PGM-Fi
Maximum Power: 226kW @ 6,300rpm
Maximum Torque: 370Nm @ 5,000rpm
Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic with Sequential SportShift by gear knob or steering wheel paddle shifters and Gear Logic Control.
Gear Ratios:
1st     2.520
2nd     1.606
3rd     1.071
4th     0.765
5th     0.612
Reverse     1.888
Final     4.312

Chassis

Suspension – Front: Independent double-wishbone with coil springs, gas shock absorbers with progressive valve technology and anti-roll bar (30mm dia)
Suspension – Rear: Independent multi-link with coil springs, gas shock absorbers with progressive valve technology and anti-roll bar (20mm dia)
Wheels: 18 x 8J alloy
Tyres: 245 / 45 / R18
Braking System: ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assist)

Dimensions

Overall Length (mm): 4995
Overall Width (mm): 1845
Overall Height (mm): 1450
Wheelbase (mm): 2800
Track – Front/Rear (mm): 1575 / 1585
Ground Clearance (mm): 143
Kerb Weight (kg): 1865
Boot Capacity (VDA Litres): 452
Turning Circle – kerb-to-kerb (metres): 11.6
Maximum warrantable towing weight (kg): 1300

Fuel

Tank Capacity (litres): 73
Recommended Fuel: 96 Octane Premium
Emissions Control: Falls within LEV II (Low Emission Vehicle 2), EURO 4
ADR Combined Consumption: 11.3L/100km

Fuel Saver Information

Make and Model: Honda Legend
Star Rating: 3 stars out of 6
Yearly Cost: $2,930
Mileage: 11.3 Litres per 100 km     Reference: 9151

Words, Adam Mamo Photography, Darren Cottingham

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