Okay, in the pantheon of great executive cars it's fair to say the Honda Legend never quite cut the mustard. In its first incarnation, back when it shared its underpinnings with the contemporary Rover 800, it was obviously brilliant in patches and desperately dull in others. It was exquisitely made, of course - much to Rover's embarrassment - but too pricey, and even if you were swayed by the looks or the quality no one would part with over £30k for a front-wheel drive Honda when they could have had a BMW or a Merc for the same money.
And the story remained pretty much the same right up until the last UK Legend, the 2005 model. This was smaller than the older cars but roomier, thanks to its transverse engine, and if it looked as beige as the older models on the surface underneath it was laden with some innovative and deeply impressive technology.
That it had a competent engine can be taken for granted. Its 295hp 3.5-litre V6 was gloriously smooth and refined and lively enough to push the Legend - which alas was no lightweight - from a standstill to 60mph in just over seven seconds and on to a competitive top speed of 155mph.
But its USP was its four-wheel-drive system, labelled SH-AWD. This beauty could turn the outside rear wheel faster than the others when cornering to reduce understeer and shift up to 70 per cent of the engine's power either front or rear. At the rear axle, it could move 100 per cent of it to either side, wherever it was most needed. It even allowed the front and rear axles to turn at a different speed, the better to aid traction and stability in fast cornering.
On the road it was quiet, rode well and handled eagerly. It had a neat five-speed sequential autobox, too. Inside was a well-built and solid interior that was fully leathered up and equipped with all the latest tech. It was, if we're honest, a bit dull, like an old friend you haven't got the heart to shake off, but like a lot of quiet people it at least had hidden depths.
No one bought it new, of course, and so there are precious few to buy used, but we found a well-maintained 2009 example with an average mileage and a full Honda service history that's actually, at £5800, reasonably priced.
What you'd get is years of luxury motoring - quite possibly trouble-free - and unlikely though it seems a car you could take by the scruff of its neck and thrash without fear of coming massively unstuck. And if no one notices your dowdy Legend consider that a good thing, too: stealthy speed is always better than unwanted attention.
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SPECIFICATION - HONDA LEGEND (2005)
Engine: Front 3.5-litre V6
Transmission: Five-speed sequential automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 295hp
Torque (lb ft): 259
0-60mph: 7.3 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Price new: £35,835
Price now: £5,800