Used Honda Legend Saloon 1996 - 2004 review

Category: Executive car

Lots of car for your cash, but it's pretty mediocre

Used Honda Legend Saloon 1996 - 2004
  • Used Honda Legend Saloon 1996 - 2004
  • Used Honda Legend Saloon 1996 - 2004
Used Honda Legend Saloon 1996 - 2004 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Honda Legend saloon like?

As a rival to German executives such as the Mercedes E-Class, the Legend was never able to cut the mustard, especially in terms of image. As a used car, it's rare - but don't assume that means it's exotic; rather, it just wasn't very popular as a new car.

Performance is adequate, but never outstanding; the standard automatic gearbox is nowhere near as smooth as those fitted to its rivals. The Legend's drive is something of a disappointment, too: it never feels like anything other than a big car, and body roll is pronounced. The steering is lifeless, too, although at least the car cruises well at motorway speeds.


Lots of car for your cash, but it's pretty mediocre

  • Great value for money, refined engine
  • Complete lack of image, and hard to find

On the plus side, the Legend is comfortable, spacious and solidly built, even if the quality of materials can't match the class standard. And, the boot is a decent size and well shaped.

Ownership cost

What used Honda Legend saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Honda Legend saloon?

The Legend has always suffered from crippling depreciation, which means second-hand prices are very attractive. And, of course, once it's lost much value early in life, there's not much more left to lose over your time with it. On thing's for sure - you get an awful lot of car for your money, considering the standard equipment.

There's no diesel option, though, so buyers are stuck with the thirsty petrol. It has an official average fuel economy of just 23.2mpg, which means you'll make plenty of visits to the fuel station, particularly if you use the engine's full potential. It's costly to insure, too, attracting a group 17 rating.

At least servicing costs are reasonable compared with many manufacturers - about 30% lower than many of the Legend's executive rivals.

Our recommendations

Which used Honda Legend saloon should I buy?

Just one engine is available in the Legend - a 3.5-litre V6 - and a single trim level is available, too, which provides plenty of equipment.

This includes an automatic gearbox, metallic paint, alloy wheels, climate control, an electric sunroof, power steering, remote central locking, cruise control, electric windows all-round, a CD multichanger and leather seats. Despite this long list, though, Honda never offered the Legend with the kind of options executive buyers expect, such as sat-nav.

Standard safety kit includes twin front airbags (side 'bags from February 1999), anti-lock brakes and traction control - reasonable, but not especially generous. The Legend was face-lifted in February 1999, and revisions included wood trim on the centre console, steering wheel-mounted stereo controls and a different alloy wheel design.

Given the specialist nature of the car, it's probably safer to buy from a main dealer or Honda specialist than from a classified advert.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Honda Legend saloon?