Overview & Reviews
It takes confidence to name a car the Legend. If it had been forgettable with nothing legendary about it, Acura could have found itself derided for the irony. It would have forever become the butt of automotive jokes, or worse, part of an Alanis Morissette song. Luckily for Honda's luxury division, its bravado paid off with the Acura Legend, a car that's still held in high regard years after it bowed out in favor of an ironically forgettable replacement.
The Acura Legend was launched in 1986 alongside the Integra sport hatchback to create the Acura brand in North America. Actually co-developed with British automaker Rover (which named its version of the car the Sterling 825), the Legend -- available in sedan and coupe body styles -- was immediately a hit among consumers and reviewers alike.
Through its fledgling Acura brand, Honda successfully blended its penchant for reliability and engine expertise with luxury features previously unavailable in a car wearing the H badge. The second-generation Legend raised the bar even further and its introduction for 1991 saw the debut of Acura's own insignia -- a flipped Honda H with the top pinched to make an A -- that solidified the brand as more of a stand-alone entity.
When Acura discontinued the Legend name in favor of a new alphanumeric naming scheme for its latest luxury sedan, it unfortunately coincided with a drop in style and driving passion that had made the Legend such a success. The Legend's replacement, the RL, was certainly more luxurious and just as reliable, but hardly exciting.
As such, the Legend represents a '90s-era high point of Acura luxury sedan and coupe design. For used-vehicle shoppers, most Legends are getting up there in terms of miles but are still very viable choices.
Most Recent Acura Legend
The second-generation Acura Legend was produced from 1991-'95. The sedan was initially offered in base, L and LS trim levels, while the coupe stuck with L and LS throughout its run. The Legend's core engine was a 3.2-liter V6 making 200 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque, mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. In 1993, coupes jumped to 230 hp and upgraded their manual transmission to a six-speed, while all Legends gained dual airbags.
In 1994 a new top-of-the-line GS sedan debuted with the stronger engine and larger 16-inch wheels. The base sedan was dropped, and all Legends added a new grille, bumpers and a power steering wheel that could finally tilt as well as telescope. Its final year, 1995, saw the addition of a limited-production SE sedan with slight cosmetic distinctions.
As with all Acuras, options were limited. An automatic transmission, CD changer and an upgraded Bose stereo were the rare à la carte choices, with leather an option on lower trim levels. Standard equipment included dual front airbags, antilock brakes, alloy wheels, full power accessories, a power driver seat with memory, a sunroof and steering-wheel audio controls. Traction control, keyless entry, heated seats, a power passenger seat and two-tone paint were among the standard items on the upper trim levels.
The Legend was not only good-looking and well-equipped, but rewarding to drive as well. Performance was strong, particularly with the more powerful V6 found on some of the later models. The interior was well-constructed and attractive, toeing the line between luxury and sport. However, headroom was iffy for taller drivers, and the backseat was a little skimpy on legroom due to the Legend's rare longitudinal engine layout. The coupe's rear quarters were even more cramped, though that's typical for two-doors.
Although most Acura Legends on the road now have high mileage, its reputation for consistently strong reliability makes well-maintained examples an excellent choice.
Past Acura Legend models
The original, slightly smaller Acura Legend was produced from 1986-'90 and available in coupe and sedan body styles. These cars set the precedent for future Acuras with high feature content, quality engineering and impeccable reliability.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 273.00
Love my Legend - 1994 Acura Legend
By Becca D. - August 7 - 8:19 pm
I've had the Legend L sedan automatic for 5 years now. It has been in several accidents and yet it keeps going strong. In the most recent accident we rebuilt the drivers front end cheaply and yet it has been more effective and reliable than my friend's 2012 VW hatchback. We've only done the most basic regular maintenance (oil changes, tire rotations when necessary) and it doesn't want to stop. It's clocked at 179k miles now (although I imagine it has more since the odometer wasn't reading when we bought it turned out to be an easy & inexpensive fix by replacing a sensor). The only qualms I have are that the electrical system in my car is messed up. Lately I've only been unlocking on the passengers side because the alarm often goes off when unlocking on driver's side (unlock passengers side if this happens--I believe it is the master lock and will shut off the alarm). There is also an electrical leak somewhere, probably from my aftermarket cd player, because I've had to change the battery on it more often than is considered normal. It idles high when I cold-start it but this is fairly normal for a 20+ year old car. For awhile I considered trying to fix it (apparently this high idle is common problem on this model and requires some sort of a sensor), but decided it wasn't worth it as it doensn't affect car's performance. My Legend has a surprising amount of cargo space--I can't tell you all the things I've hauled in this vehicle. I suggest getting the recommended maintenance (belts and other regularly used parts) for this car as you go, it will save you money in the long run. This is a fun car to drive a sleeper car if you will. It's got a great engine in it, its reliable, I never had a problem with head gaskets. It all depends on how its been maintained and driven during its lifetime--even then that isn't always an accurate way of gouging a car's abilities. My Legend is a trooper its taken me all over the country and I will be sad when I have to retire it. There is a reason it was called a LEGEND. Also, for anyone interested: the RL replaced the Legend in 1996 so it's still there just a different name.
An underrated car worthy of becoming a classic - 1992 Acura Legend
By Antonio Rodriguez - July 23 - 4:36 pm
I bought this car off a lady that had neglected the car pretty bad, she pretty much just wanted to get rid of it, the car was not running as she had blown the had gaskets, the leather interior was nice on the back but the front seats were (still are) in a bad shape, and the clear coat of the paint was peeling off due to it being parked on the sun. Pretty much a beater, I hired a guy to rebuild the engine expecting a huge bill but to my surprise it wasn´t like that, although I must say PARTS ARE EXPENSIVE AND A BIT HARD TO FIND: BEWARE. Aside from that the car is flawless, in terms of reliability the car surprised me, just make the oil changes and tune ups in time and the car will not break down EVER, it runs very smooth and quiet, TOO QUIET. The engine is mounted longitudinally so it gives the car a great 60/40 balance and a great road feel, it corners hard but its weight (1700 KG aprox) becomes evident when pushing the car to the limits, the suspension is... ¨sporty¨although this was marketed as a ¨luxury sedan¨ back in the day, dont get me wrong the car is really confy but its more towards the stiff side so you can expect the car to remain flat when taking a turn at speed or doing evasive manuvers, it has ABS, 4 wheel disc brakes, dual airbags, Car alarm out of the factory and is study as hell, the seats and interior are great for tall people (I´m 6´3 - 1.96m), also the interior is very quiet, I can barely hear the engine rev and I fell no vibration at all coming from the engine, performance wise the car surprised me two, it has plenty of get up and go in case you need it, the 3.2 liter Honda V6 (C32A) is a great powerplant and though the car is a little past the ton and a half it doesnt feel like it at all, aftermarket wise...Its pretty much non existent, but the way to go with this car would be weight reduction and handling upgrades. So far I´m quite happy with my ¨little¨ beater(The damn thing is bigger than it looks or feels), one thing I dont like is the transmission, mine is a 4-speed auto and is really clumsy from time to time, it shifts at odd moments and sometimes hinders the performance of the car, If posible get the manual transmission with the 6-speed and a Type II engine (has a little more power), economy wise it´s...Okay, the gas isn´t the best as it gives 20-22 MPG city 25 highway if driven properly, if you have a lead foot the car will chug gas like there is no tomorrow, repair wise its a breeze, the car just doesnt die Mine has 300,000+ miles and the engine feels great, if you manage to break it you will find that parts are not too common as the engine is only used in this car and although the engine is the base for most of the current acuras nowadays newer parts will not fit, that right there is $$$, just find a good mechanic and be patient, If you give love to the car it will reward you. the car started just as another beater for me but now I just want to restore it to its former glory, even in its current run-down state I get compliments on the looks, I look forward to buying the coupe version so I can have the pair for sunday driving, If you have the chance of getting one in a good state you are in for a very charming, reliable stubborn ride.
Love this car! Best $600 I ever spent! - 1994 Acura Legend
By David Johnson - March 28 - 8:22 am
I bought my 4DR Legend LS from its original owner on Craigslist. It had 196K miles on it and needed head gaskets, which the owner was honest about, and the paint was a little faded. So I spent 2 weekends taking the heads off, and while I was in there I put in new belts, hoses, and a rebuilt alternator and starter from Napa. Contrary to other reviews, the engine does *not* need to come out of the car to do this. That was 4 years and 40K miles ago. To celebrate the fact that I'll probably own this car another 10 years, I had it painted for $1000 by another guy I found on Craigslist a few month ago and it looks like new again! I've driven it from Colorado to California, all over Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, in all kinds of weather, including ski trips to the mountains. It has never let me down and the performance is amazing for such an old car. Even my girlfriend loves it!
Great ride - 1995 Acura Legend
By Raymond Lloyd - February 10 - 10:34 pm
Very please with my purchase
Love this car - 1994 Acura Legend
By Lana Carlon - January 24 - 12:16 pm
This car has been trouble free, I love it and I don't know if I will ever get rid of it!
Legendary Acura - 1990 Acura Legend
By Reinzcarnation - January 8 - 12:27 pm
Parts for The 1990 Acura Legend are available (new & used) as any vehicle will need repair after 100K miles. The "VG new cars make VG pre owned cars" has a picture next to it of my car!
beware the Blown Head Gasket of Death - 1994 Acura Legend
By mannydantyla - January 8 - 10:14 pm
First off, this is a good car. Great styling, very powerful V6 engine, fun to drive, and (99% of the time) mechanically reliable. I never had to do any major repairs except the CV shafts and a thermostat. That was until THE HEAD GASKET WENT OUT. And, on these cars, that means the entire engine must be pulled out of the engine bay to get the heads off and replace the gaskets. NOT WORTH IT. The speedometer was broken, muffler was shot, door jam was not working, telescoping steering wheel was stuck in the most upright position, seats where worn to shreds, rust was forming, etc. And all of that at ~140k miles. Good car but didn't last long. Beware if buying.
Our first Acura: 25 year old '89 Legend with only 15k miles. Love it! - 1990 Acura Legend
By kcbobo - July 16 - 2:42 pm
I love this car! Our first Acura is a 25-year-old Legend L with only 15k miles. Like a time machine, it's new inside and out. Was purchased new in '89 by a family member. Always garaged and dealer-maintained, it had been sitting in a garage unmoved for 4 years. Trailered it home, drained fluids, replaced belts, tires, a few hoses and this baby is wonderful. One of the best cars we've owned, powerful and luxurious. Automatic trans shifts smoothly, quiet on the highway, great road manners. Well-mannered is the best description for this car. It moves capably and confidently, handles well and was built to last. Bravo to the Honda engineers...they certainly got it right on this one!
6,000 miles, what haven't I had to replace?? - 1993 Acura Legend
By pnwluvin - May 7 - 8:04 pm
I bought a 1993 4 door sedan automatic 3.2liter legend. I got it with 90,000 miles. It now has 96,500 miles on it 9 months later and I couldn't be more disappointed. Having only been able to drive the car 6,000miles I have replaced the entire engine,radiator,power steering pump,master cylinder, brakes, fuel pump, fuel pump relay. Now I needs new cv axel and it dies every time I come to a stop. BUYERS BEWARE. It has so few miles only because it breaks ever 300 miles! Now I have to scrap together money to buy a new car, which is hard when my car breaks down so much. Maybe if I replace everything in the car it will work for more than a month.
20 Years Later She is still Cruising - 1993 Acura Legend
By dtuura - September 4 - 11:09 pm
I have had 7 cars in the past 5 years ( all used ) and ive got to say this car takes the Cake. Got a 93 legend for $900 with 152k and i cant regret it. The design and performance of the car is Great and for once i have no Engine lights on. The car doesnt overheat, the tranny doesnt slip and it always starts right up. The one down side is deffinately the suspension but Whatever! the car is 20 years old, that should be expected. also the gas Mileage isnt that Great but i think ill survive