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INVESTMENTS
What kind of car
can you buy for
by MILES JUDE
GENERAL MANAGER
Derek Warwick Honda
£33,000?
A MORE COMPELLING LEGEND
Honda’s Legend won’t be the first car executives generous skill set than previous models could ever
think of when considering a BMW 5 Series or Audi hope for.
A6-sized luxury saloon. But should it be? Despite the 295bhp V6 engine Honda have kept the
car’s nose compact for a model that houses such a hefty
Just because you’ve been promoted to the lofty heights powerplant. Part of the solution is a pyrotechnic bonnet
of the boardroom, you don’t have to follow the herd which pops up a crucial few inches in the event of a
and trade up to a car with a German badge on its pedestrian impact and keeps people’s soft bits well
bonnet. There are some other interesting alternatives, away from unyielding rocker covers. In order to get
especially if your priorities centre on luxury, refinement round this legislation, less savvy manufacturers simply
and high technology. make higher bonnets and then need to lengthen the
front overhang to prevent their wares looking
At present of course, for those with a £33,000 budget to unacceptably stumpy. This, in turn, makes the
spend on a luxury saloon, Honda’s Legend is unlikely wheelbase look short and so on. Honda have
to be the first car that springs to mind. No, most are approached the issue the right way.
likely to have their sights set on a Mercedes E-Class, an
Audi A6 or BMW 5 Series. However, in its latest all- This latest model offers 30mm extra cabin length and
wheel drive incarnation, the Japanese car maker’s 40mm of width. Taken in isolation, that represents
flagship model actually has a great deal to commend it some clever design. Inside, as you might expect, it’s all
- as you would expect from engineers capable of beautifully screwed together and in terms of actual
creating anything from a jet aircraft to the world’s most rather than perceived quality is a notch above the class
refined diesel engine. average. The metallic dashboard finish lifts the already
bright cabin and the equipment count is beyond
The latest Legend is Honda’s most committed crack at reproach. I won’t run through it all here: suffice it to
this marketplace yet. Its lines are athletic and it’s say that everything you can think of is included.
detailing nicely judged, the Honda family-look grille Prices? Well, you pay £33,330 for the ‘standard’ EX
and headlamps giving it a nicely aggressive look. model, or £36,000 for the version with Honda’s clever
"The Legend uses power and technology to face down driver technology aids. ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist
some formidable opponents" System) is especially clever, incorporating LKAS (Lane
Keeping Assist System) that keeps the car in the centre
Honda has a very clever four wheel drive system for of its lane, while ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control)
the latest Legend that serves to endow this big car with ensures that it stays a safe distance behind the car in
remarkable agility and grip. Super Handling All- front when in cruise control mode. If all of that fails,
Wheel Drive divides torque from side to side which the Collision Mitigation Braking System can actually
means that during extreme hard cornering, drive is predict an impending collision, to reduce both the
always directed to the outside wheel to keep things on impact on occupants and damage to the car.
the straight and narrow. Less sophisticated rivals with
so-called ‘open’ differentials will instead direct torque It all adds up to an interesting alternative in the
to the unloaded inside rear wheel, spinning it away executive sector - and a very able car. Honda doesn’t
uselessly. When cruising, the Legend directs around 70 plan to sell many which should be good for residual
per cent of its torque to the front wheels but when the values. Which brings us back to the badge on the
car’s electronics detect harder driving, it can then direct bonnet, one carrying increasing equity these days.
70 per cent of power to the rear, giving a more dynamic Before you sign on the dotted line for something
rear-biased feel. This gives this Legend a far more German, this is one alternative worth considering.
20/20 thirty six
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