Fleet News

Honda Legend - 4,958 miles

Honda

Review

##honlg.jpg --Right##SHOCK! Horror! Legend in breakdown sensation! Yes, our 'invincible' Honda failed to start for colleague John Linstead one cold, sleety evening just before Christmas. Linstead had just finished work, unlocked the car with the remote button, turned the key - and nothing. Everything was dead.

Full marks to the AA after a call to it resulted in a patrolman arriving in 10 minutes. But, let's be fair to Honda, the problem turned out to be human error and not a mechanical fault. The clamps on the battery terminals had not been tightened during production and one had vibrated off over the car's 4,000 or so miles. According to the AA man this is not uncommon, although I would have thought it should have been checked on the pre-delivery inspection.

Linstead was soon on his way, with only the hassle of having to reset the clock and radio pre-sets. But at least it has given me something to write about instead of having to nitpick as I planned to do in the absence of anything else. In my opinion the Legend's a bit like your maiden aunt - big, cuddly and likeable and does nothing badly, but lacks a certain flair. It provides the perfect relaxing drive, but don't buy one if you like any sort of spirited driving.

My only major complaint is the unsettled low-speed ride. And that nitpicking relates to extremely minor things. First, the headlamp beam height adjuster at the bottom of the centre console is not illuminated when you need it most, i.e. when it's dark and the lights are on. Secondly, the Legend lacks height adjustment for the front passenger's seat, surely something a car in this sector should have.

The other two concern build quality - the emergency flasher switch on the dashboard is poorly aligned and the gap between the rear edge of the nearside front wing and edge of the door is not parallel. On the subject of panel gaps they are not as close as those on more modern cars, particularly those from Germany, and this is where the Legend shows its age.

The facelifted Legend is due to go on sale here next month with changes to the bodywork and a more inviting interior, but it remains to be seen if that is enough for it to compete with later designs. Our Legend has now gone back to Honda and despite it's dowdy image we'll all miss it - especially when a long cross-country drive is in prospect.

Richard Wayte

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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