The Legend won Car and Driver's Ten Best three years in a row and Motor Trend's "Import Car of the Year" for 1987. Manual-equipped models could sprint to 60mph (97km/h) in under 8 seconds and reach a top speed of 135mph (217km/h). Sedan models had a coefficient of drag of .32, while coupes were only .30.
Technical highlights included a 24-valve V6 engine, variable length intake manifold, double-wishbone suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, air bag and an information system that could monitor maintenance intervals, fluid levels, and fuel economy.
In 1989, the sedan received some minor tweaks with new one-piece front headlamps, a new front bumper, a revised trunk lid, new tail lights, and new alloy wheels. Inside, a revised dash and seat cloth patterns is also noticeable. By that time all Legends came equipped with a driver airbag and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. High end LS models featured a trip computer and electronic vehicle monitoring system in the center console and a Bose sound system.
For the 1990 model year, all Legends received body-colored side mirrors. Legend coupes received a revised body-colored front grille, new red & clear tail lights, and improved front seats. LS model coupes also received a trunk-mounted lip spoiler. LS models received burlwood interior trim.
Second generation units became available for the 1991 model year, now using a 200hp (150kW) SOHC (C32A) engine mated to either a standard 5-speed manual or an optional 4-speed automatic. The second generation Legend was a larger, more streamlined-looking car (drag coefficients were actually higher at .34 for sedans and .32 for coupes). The Legend offered a host of features seen on luxury cars of today including speed-sensitive steering, hands-free telephone, automatic climate control, heated leather seats, heated mirrors, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, seat belt pretensioners and soft-close vacuum-operated doors (coupes only).
For 1991 and 1992 the Legend sedan was available in Base, L, and LS trims; the coupe remained available in L and LS through its entire run. The higher-end LS cars added climate control, a power 4-way passenger seat, burled walnut interior trim, and body colored side moldings. Honda made significant upgrades for 1993, making a 230hp (172kW) "Type II" version of the SOHC C32A engine standard on all coupes, along with a 6-speed manual transmission. 1993 also saw the addition of dual airbags as standard equipment all trims, the deletion of the black molding on the entry level cars, and a new wheel design with fewer spokes on the sedans (16 spoke vs. 20 spoke). The Type-II manual transmission coupe posted a quarter mile time of 15.3 seconds with a 0-60 mph time of 6.6 seconds, and had a top speed of 163mph (262km/h).