Naming a car Legend brings high expectations from consumers. Thankfully, the Acura Legend made the cut and became a name held in high regard by consumers and reviewers alike since its launch. And although it has been discontinued to make way for a replacement, the Acura Legend is still treated with respect as the legendary Japanese car that comes from a brand that pioneered the luxury car market in the US.
1986-1990: Launch and first generation
First introduced in 1985 in Japan and then in North America, the Acura Legend was released with two body styles—sedan and coupe. It was marketed as the brand’s premier luxury model. The sedan came out in the market before the coupe with a 151 hp 2.5L C25A V6 engine. The coupes first appeared in 1987 with a 161 hp 2.7L C27A engine under the hood.
This generation also came equipped with the luxurious set of 80W speakers, a tape cassette stereo, and a dual diversity antenna. Other novel features included a volume control rocker switch, a pre-set radio station channel selector, and a button to control the opening, tilting, or closing of the glass moonroof.
The interior colors, which came in blue, brown and gray, could only match one exterior color each, and the cloths are made from 100% wool. And though it is a luxury car model, leather was not offered at the time.
In 1989, the Acura Legend saw some upgrades that included an anti-lock braking system, a double-wishbone rear suspension, one-piece front headlamps, a revised front bumper, a trunk lid, and a tail light cluster. At this time, the high-end LS model included a driver’s side airbag, a trip computer, an electronic vehicle monitoring system, and a Bose sound system.
1991-1995: Second seneration and discontinuation
The second generation Acura Legend became available in the latter part of 1990, boasting a 200 hp SOHC C32A engine partnered with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. The second generation models came in a larger more streamlined-look and offered a number of new features. These included a speed-sensitive steering, more luxurious leather seats, seat belt pretensioners, and soft-close vacuum-operated doors. For the LS model, climate control, a power 4-way passenger seat, walnut interior trim, and body colored side moldings were added.
Engine upgrades were seen in 1994 when a 230 hp Type II version of the SOHC C32A engine became standard in coupes, mated with a 6-speed manual transmission. Dual airbags were also added as standard equipment in all trims. New bumpers and new front grilles were featured for a more luxurious and sporty look.
2000: Legend replacement
Although it had been very successful, the name Legend was discontinued to give way to the RL, the replacement set by Acura. With the 90’s tagged as the high point of Acura luxury, the retirement of the legendary name could not have come at a better time, as the RLs did not offer as much excitement for consumers.