The initial Legend was available as a sedan only, with a coupe being introduced in 1987, the second year of existence. Both the sedan and the coupe came in three trim levels, the base, L and more upscale LS. The Legend was powered by a 24-valve V6 engine and also featured a double-wishbone suspension, 4-wheel disc brakes, and an inboard information system monitoring maintenance cycles, fluid levels and fuel economy.
In both 1989 and 1990 the Legend received some minor cosmetic changes affecting the bumper, head lights and tail lights. The LS also added a trip computer, vehicle monitoring system as well as a Bose sound system in 1989, and added a trunk-mounted rear lip spoiler in 1990.
For 1991 and 1992, the coupe was available in two trims the L or LS, while the Legend sedan remained available in all three trims. In 1993 the manual transmission in the coupe was upgraded to 6-speed and the coupe engine gained 30 more horsepower to 230 hp, while the sedan engine remained the same. Coupes also received a traction-control system and high-performance tires.
All Legends received standard dual airbags in 1993. In 1994 the GS sedan added the more powerful 230 hp engine and the 6-speed manual transmission along with larger 16-inch wheels. The base sedan was dropped in 1994. Also in 1994, all Legend models had the LEGEND brand across the trunk lid and received a redesigned grille, bumpers and power steering available with tilting and telescoping.
In its final production year of 1995, the SE, a value package version of the L sedan was available in limited-production with a two-tone paint scheme. For the 1996 model year the Legend was replaced in the Acura lineup by the Acura RL.