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The Warsaw Voice » Society » July 30, 2008
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Honda Legend 3.5 VTEC: Discreet Luxury
July 30, 2008 By Bartosz Grzybiński   
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The Honda Legend is designed to appeal to customers with slightly conservative tastes. This luxury stately sedan offers high performance, top-quality finish and an array of advanced technology to deliver an enjoyable and safe driving experience.

The original Honda Legend was unveiled in 1985. The fourth-generation model hit European markets two years ago, although it has been available in Japan and the United States since 2004 under the name Acura.

Despite its considerable external dimensions-4,955 mm in length, 1,845 mm in width, and 1,450 mm in height-the new Legend looks light and harmonious. Its 2,800 mm wheelbase ensures enough room in the passenger cabin and a high level of travel comfort. The finishing materials are of the highest standard, including leather, wood and aluminum. Travel comfort is enhanced by a user-friendly dashboard, automatic air-conditioning and a top-class audio/CD system, along with excellent noise reduction and lots of small things such as sunshades on the rear and side windows. There is plenty of legroom on the both front and back seats. The front seats are ventilated in summer and heated in winter. The luggage compartment is a generous 452 liters.

The Honda is fitted with a 3.5l/295 hp engine. The six-cylinder unit delivers a maximum torque of 351 Nm at 5,000 rpm, making it possible to accelerate the 1,864 kg Legend from standstill to 100 kph in just 7.3 seconds and achieve a top speed of 250 kph. Average fuel consumption stated by the producer is 11.9l/100 km. In a rare occurrence, the test-drive confirmed this figure. In fact, fuel economy was at 11.8l/100 km in the test-drive, largely thanks to rigorous adherence to speed limits and other traffic regulations. Usually cars are far less economical on the road than suggested by their technical data.

The Legend features a five-speed automatic transmission and innovative Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control electronic systems with the possibility of manual shifting and shift paddles on the steering wheel for fast gear selection. The standard-fit Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear wheels, but also between each rear wheel. During straight-line cruising and moderate cornering, up to 70 percent of the torque is delivered to the front wheels. During full-throttle acceleration and spirited driving, up to 70 percent of available torque is directed to the rear wheels for increased acceleration and enhanced cornering.

This is accompanied by a host of other safety features, including ABS anti-lock braking system, EBD electronic brake-force distribution, TCS traction control system, and ESP electronic stability program. All this explains why the Legend is so much fun to drive.

Equipped with a set of airbags and inflatable curtains, the vehicle has won a maximum five-star rating in NCAP crash tests. Optional equipment includes Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and the Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS). The latter predicts potential collision situations and reacts accordingly. If the CMBS determines that the closing rate between the Legend and the vehicle directly in front has increased beyond an acceptable level, visual and audible warnings prompt the driver to take preventive action. If the distance diminishes further, the system provides a tactile warning by gently retracting the seatbelt and applies light braking. If an accident seems to be unavoidable, the system applies strong braking and strong retraction of the front seatbelts to reduce the speed of impact and to mitigate the damage of a collision.

Overall, the Honda Legend is an interesting alternative to both European and Far Eastern executive cars. The vehicle's main strength is its elegant and discreet style, combined with extensive equipment and ultramodern safety features.
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