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Spotted: a 1995 original Dutch Honda Legend

March 15, 2024

The first generation Honda Legend entered the market in 1985 as a slightly larger and more luxurious model over the Honda Accord. All model generations came as a four-door sedan, but the first two also came as a coupe. The main markets were Asia (including Australia) and North America, but here in Europe the Legend was also on the official price lists.

The spotted specimen

The Honda Legend we came across in a business park in Hoorn is a 1995 3.2i V6, originally delivered in the Netherlands. The current owner has owned it since 2019. Otherwise, based on the RDW data, there are no details to report.

Second-generation Honda Legend

The second-generation Honda Legend entered the market in late 1990. Whereas the first model still looked very much like a big Accord, the new model got a bit more of a face of its own. The car was also on a new platform and was still available with only one engine: a 3.2-liter V6 rated at 158 kW (215 hp). Unusually, despite front-wheel drive, the engine was behind the front axle, so Honda even spoke of a “mid-engine.

Richly equipped

For its time, the Honda Legend was an exceptionally luxurious car. There were two trim levels and the highest of these already had standard ABS, leather upholstery (wool as an option) and dual-zone air conditioning. An integrated navigation system was already optional. In terms of safety, side airbags were already standard. During development, Honda even conducted Euro NCAP-like crash tests, something that would only become standard in the auto industry years later.

An extensive model year update followed in 1992, which mainly brought changes for the higher equipment level. It now had 173 kW (235 hp), the Honda Progressive Damper chassis and a number of other minor changes.

Family members of the Honda Legend

The first generation Honda Legend shared its technology with the Rover 800. The second generation shared its technology only with other Honda models: the Inspire, Vigor and Ascot. These too were Accord-like models, but each with slightly different positioning and intended primarily for the Japanese home market. The second-generation Legend had yet another family member, one that is somewhat unexpected. For the Korean market, the car was also produced locally as the Daewoo Arcadia.

Honda Legend in the Netherlands

Although the model fell into oblivion, almost every model generation of the Honda Legend was also officially delivered in the Netherlands. From the first model from 1985 (Dutch introduction in 1987) to the fourth generation, which disappeared from the Dutch market in 2010 (internationally production stopped in 2012).

We have not found original sales numbers, but at present there are just under 150 Honda Legends on Dutch registration plates. Almost half of them are from the fourth generation, that is, the last model delivered here. Of the second generation we spotted, 38 are still on Dutch registration plates. So quite an exclusive car.