2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

#161
in Midsize sedans
2018 MODEL
$33,400 - $36,600 See Inventory Prices

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Detailed Review

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, too long a name in this fast moving world, isn't it. And like its name, these hybrid plug-ins can be a bit complicated to say the least. Take for example, the Clarity, which like all its rivals wants a combination of a zero emission battery vehicle and gasoline burning hybrid. And so the Honda Clarity is here and is set to compete with the likes of the Toyota Prius One, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid and the Chevrolet Volt (LT).


With a starting price of $33,400, the Honda Clarity is a little expensive than some of its main rivals, sans the Chevrolet Volt, which costs almost the same. But with this price, come a whole lot of features and an engine that generates a huge amount of power, despite not being the biggest in class. The Clarity does offer long distance comfort and with a top speed of 110 mph, it gives its rivals a run for their money in every parameter possible.

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Features

Trim Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Touring
MSRP $33,400 $36,600
Key

 

Features

  • Remote Climate Pre-Conditioning
  • Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion Steering (EPS)
  • Road Departure Mitigation System (RDS)*(Honda Sensing\xae feature)
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)*(Honda Sensing\xae feature)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow*\xa0(Honda Sensing\xae feature)
  • Security System with Remote Entry
  • LED Taillights
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control System
  • 8" Display Audio with High-Resolution WVGA (800x480) Electrostatic Touch-Screen and Customizable Feature Settings
  • 180-Watt Audio System with 8 Speakers
  • Bluetooth\xae HandsFreeLink\xae
  • Pandora\xae*\xa0Compatibility
  • Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System\u2122 with Voice Recognition*\xa0and Honda HD Digital Traffic
  • Perforated Leather-Trimmed Seats
  • Front Passenger's Seat with 4-Way Power Adjustment
  • Driver's Seat with 8-Way Power Adjustment and Two-Position Memory
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Remote Climate Pre-Conditioning
  • Electric Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion Steering (EPS)
  • LED Taillights
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control System
  • 8" Display Audio with High-Resolution WVGA (800x480) Electrostatic Touch-Screen and Customizable Feature Settings
  • 180-Watt Audio System with 8 Speakers
  • Bluetooth\xae HandsFreeLink\xae
  • Pandora\xae*\xa0Compatibility

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid comes in two trims. Both these trims are powered by a 1.5 liter I4 engine that generates about 212 hp at 5500 rpm and 99 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. It is a five passenger car and gives a combined fuel economy of 42 mpg.

Along with this, the Clarity gets LED tail lights, and 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system and 180 watt audio system as standard across trims.

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Engine

"Backing up the electric motor is a 1.5-liter inline-four rated at 103 horsepower and 99 lb-ft of peak torque."-CarandDriver

Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 1.5 liter I4 engine with a CVT transmission as standard and produces about 212 hp of power at 5500 rpm and 99 lb-ft of Torque a 5000 rpm.

The Hybrid is best run on Gasoline and this is where the full capability of the car is at display.

Models Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius One Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (Blue) Chevrolet Volt (LT)
MSRP $33,400 $23,475 $22,200 $34,095
Engine 1.5L l4 1.8L l4 1.6L l4 1.5L l4
Transmission CVT automatic CVT Automatic 6-Speed Automatic CVT Automatic
Horsepower 212 hp @ 5500 rpm 121 hp @ 5200 rpm 139 hp @ 5700 rpm 149 hp
Torque 99 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm 105 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm 109 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm 294 lb-ft

Here, all the rivals offer something different. While the Chevrolet Volt offers the same 1.5 liter I4 engine which produces massive torque, the Toyota Prius has the biggest engine of 1.8 liter which produces decent power and torque. The dark horse here is the Hyundai Ioniq, which despite its low pricing, offers a 1.6 liter I4 engine and produces good numbers of power and torque.

All these cars offer a CVT automatic transmission except for the Hyundai Ioniq which has a 6-speed Automatic Transmission.

Acceleration

The Clarity is quickest off the blocks amongst its rivals, with a 0-60 mph completed in 7.6 seconds. The Chevrolet Volt, like in all other parameters, is the closest to the Clarity again, while the Ioniq is just shade behind the Volt.

Models Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius One Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (Blue) Chevrolet Volt (LT)
0-60 MPH 7.6 sec 9.7 sec 8.1 sec 7.8 sec
Quarter mile 15.4 sec 17.1 sec 16.8 sec 15.9 sec
Engine 1.5L 1.8L 1.6L 1.5L
Emission

 

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

N/A 3.4 3.2 1.3

The Prius, despite having the biggest engine, is the slowest of the blocks, and that too by a big margin than its competitors, and is a distant fourth.

However, it does catches up with its rivals in the Quarter mile department, where again, expectedly, the Clarity is the quickest.

Handling and Steering

Once, on the road, the Clarity feels like a bulkier Accord. It gives a premium ride quality and comfort, however, the handling of the Accord is nowhere to be seen, which is said to be compromised by placing a set of batteries under the back seat.

The steering effort is low in the Clarity with plenty of Electric assists and feedback services. Engine noise is unheard in the well isolated cabin. However, while turning, it feels the car has reached it limit prematurely, despite having very wide tires.

Braking

We cannot say much about the braking of the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid as its braking distance is not yet known. However, one can assume that to complement its best in class acceleration, the braking would be right up there as well.

Model Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius One Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (Blue) Chevrolet Volt (LT)
Brake Front (in.) 12.3 10.0 11.0 10.8
Brake Rear (in.) 12.2 10.2 10.3 10.0
Curb Weight (lbs.) 4,052 3,075 2,996 3,543
60-0 MPH (ft.) N/A 121 124 120

Amongst the known here, all the three rivals give almost similar figures while comparing their 0-60 mph braking distance. Also, the Clarity here is the heaviest, while the Ioniq is the lightest with a massive difference amongst the four vehicles.

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Fuel Economy

The 2018 Honda Clarity gives a fuel economy of 40 mpg in the city, and 44 mpg on the highway. Although, these figures are way behind its rivals, considering the Clarity is the heaviest of the lot, these figures are fine.

Model Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius One Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (Blue) Chevrolet Volt (LT)
MPG (city) 44 50 57 43
MPG (highway) 40 54 59 42
MPG (combined) 42 52 58 42

Here, again the Volt is the closest with a combined economy of an identical 42 mpg. The Ioniq is the clear cut winner with a combined economy of 58 mpg followed by the Prius with 52 mpg.

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Interior

 "The front seats are perfectly shaped and covered in perforated leather, while much of the rest of the trim is “plant-derived bio-fabrics,” which sounds like it was produced in a yurt in a meadow near Big Sur."-CarandDriver

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Comes with front heated seats and leather upholstery. The front seats are also powered electrically and the steering gets premium leather.

The Front seats are roomy with a lot of storage bins as well. The rear seat houses the batteries beneath it and even after that, they are pretty decent. However, people over 6 feet can have problems sitting in the rear.

Seating and Comfort

The seats of the Honda Clarity are decent enough for those long highway rides and can easily house 5 average sized passengers. The front room and rear room are best in class when compared to its rivals.

Model Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius One Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (Blue) Chevrolet Volt (LT)
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 39.1/59.7/42.2 39.4/55.0/42.3 39.1/56.1/42.2 37.8/56.5/42.1
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 37.1/57.3/36.6 37.4/53.0/33.4 37.4/55/35.7 35.8/53.2/34.7

The seats are electronically powered providing ample support to the driver. They are power adjustable and heated. They are made of premium synthetic leather upholstery. Add to that leather wrapped steering wheel which is flat from the bottom and can be adjusted as per preference of the driver.

Interior Features

The interior features include:

  • Alarm
  • Back-Up Camera
  • Cruise Control
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Vehicle Anti-Theft System
  • Auto-Off Headlights
  • Keyless Start
  • Rear Parking Aid (Optional)
  • Adjustable Steering Wheel
  • Steering Wheel Controls
  • Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Trip Computer
  • Remote Trunk Release
  • Universal Garage Door Opener
  • Intermittent Wipers
  • Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Door Locks
  • Electrochromic rearview mirror
  • Power Mirrors
  • Driver Vanity Mirror
  • Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror
  • Passenger Vanity Mirror
  • Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror

Infotainment

This is something where the Honda Clarity scores above the rest. With an 8 inch Diplay with touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard, a 180 watt Audio system with 8 speakers, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and The Pandora Compatibility, this car gives some features which its rivals can only think of giving.

However, it does have the basic features like:

  • Radio with AM,FM and Satellite
  • Radio with Seek and Scan
  • Onboard Hands-Free Communications System
  • Wireless Cell Phone Hookup
  • 180 watt Audio system with 8 speakers
  • Bluetooth HandsFreeLink
  • Pandora Compatibility
  • Radio with AM,FM and Satellite
  • Radio with Seek and Scan
  • Onboard Hands-Free Communications System
  • Wireless Cell Phone Hookup
  • 180 watt Audio system with 8 speakers
  • Bluetooth HandsFreeLink
  • Pandora Compatibility

Cargo

The Honda Clarity does have a decent sized trunk which can easily hold a few duffle bags among others. It has a wide opening with a flat surface, which is good for inserting and removing those heavy bags.

Model Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius One Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (Blue) Chevrolet Volt (LT)
Cargo Volume with 2nd row up (ft.3) 15.5 24.6 26.5 10.6

Here again, the Hyundai Ioniq leads the pack with a storage space of about 26.5 ft3, closely followed by the Toyota Prius with 24.6 ft3. The Clarity comes third with a storage of 15.5 ft3, while the volt is nowhere close at 10.6 ft3.

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Exterior

"The Honda engineers have given the Clarity an aerodynamic design for better energy economy. This gives the car a sleek and a distinctive exterior. Other than that, the Clarity gets an expressive LED tail lights."

Dimension and Weight

With its sleek design, the Clarity has to be the best looking 5 seater, plug-in Hybrid available in the market currently.

Model Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Toyota Prius One Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid (Blue) Chevrolet Volt (LT)
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,052 3,075 2,996 3,543
Length(in) 192.7 178.7 176.0 180.4
Width(in) 73.9 69.3 71.7 71.2
Height(in) 58.2 58.1 56.9 56.4
Ground clearance (in) N/A 5.1 5.3 5.5
Wheelbase (in) 108.3 106.3 106.3 106.1
Track width (in) F/R 62.2/62.5 60.2/60.6 61.5/62.1 60.6/61.8

The Clarity is the widest, lengthiest and the tallest car amongst its rivals, giving it a clear edge, as its cabin is much roomier and the knee room and head room are best in class.

Add to that, the Clarity has the biggest wheelbase. Also, the ground clearance is currently not known, but looking at the dimensions of the Clarity, one can assume it to be significantly higher than the 5.5 of the Volt, which is the best currently.

Exterior Features

Some of the exterior features include:

  • LED Tail lights
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Rear Defrost
  • Power Windows
  • Aerodynamic Design
  • LED Tail lights
  • Rear Spoiler
  • Rear Defrost
  • Power Windows
  • Aerodynamic Design

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Safety

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Safety Rating and Features

The IIHS and the NHTSA have not yet rated theHonda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid.

 

  • Advanced Front Airbags
  • Driver's Knee Airbag
  • SmartVent Front Side Airbags
  • Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
  • 3-Point Seat Belts at all Seating Positions
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH): Lower Anchors (2nd-Row Outboard), Tether Anchors (2nd-Row All)
  • Child-Proof Rear Door Locks
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Competition

Toyota Prius One vs Honda Clarity PHEV Hybrid

The Toyota Prius costs $10,000 less than the Honda Clarity. And while it has 0.3 liter advantage on the engine, it is nowhere to be seen as it generates quite bad figures for that engine. Its pickup is the worst amongst the lot.

However, it does boast of a way better fuel economy than the Clarity and also has the largest trunk amongst the cars. So, a cheaper and a better trunk capacity car would be the Prius while the A more luxurious option with better seating comfort would be the Honda Clarity.

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vs Honda Clarity PHEV Hybrid

Again, like the Prius, the Hyundai Ioniq is priced $11,000 less than the Clarity, which could be massive while selecting a car. The engine is pretty much same with almost equal power and torque generation. The pickup of the Clarity is way better than the Hyundai as well.

However, the fuel ecomony of the Ioniq is at 58 mpg to 42 mpg of the Clarity. Also the boot space in the Ioniq is massive. Thus, the Ioniq is clear winner here, hands down.

Chevrolet Volt (LT) vs Honda Clarity PHEV Hybrid

The fight between the Honda Clarity and the Chevrolet Volt goes right down to the wire. Both have the same engine, and while the Honda generates massive power, the Chevrolet generates massive torque. Now, the Pickup and braking of the cars are similar as well. What is difficult to digest is that both have the same fuel economy as well.

However, the bigger trunk and the more spacious cabin, which can easily accommodate 5 people tilts the Head to head in the Honda Clarity's favor, who emerges as a clear winner here.

2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Final Verdict

The New 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is stylish, elegant and sleek. The fuel economy, electric charges are pretty decent for a plug in hybrid. It transitions seamlessly from electric to gasoline, making the drive and ride quality world class. Its infotainment system offers so much which not many other car makers can. It has the best dimensions and ground clearance as well.

The Honda Clarity does beat the Toyota Prius one quite easily when all the specs are compared despite of the significant lower price of the Toyota. The fight with the Chevrolet Volt (LT) was very close, but the Clarity just about made it a better and luxurious ride quality and comfort and also a much bigger trunk than the Volt (LT).

The real fight is with the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid, which along with it significant price drop of $11,000, also matches the Clarity in every parameter possible. Along with that, a fuel economy of 58 mpg combined is way too much the Clarity. With the Ioniq also having a much bigger boot, it does give the Ioniq a run for its money.

So, A value for money and a more practical approach would be to go with the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid. While if someone wants luxury over everything else, then the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is the car for him.

Pros

Premium feel

A longer EV range

Features available

Cons

High pricing

Heavier and less engaging than its rivals

Fuel Economy

What's New?

All new feature



Styles

 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid in Platinum White Pearl color  2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid in Moonlit Forest Pearl color  2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid in Modern Steel Metallic color  2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid in Crystal Black Pearl color  2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid in Crimson Pearl color
Platinum White Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Base

Base

power
212 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Gas/electric
mpg
42 combined

$33,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $33,400 MSRP (44/42/40) 212 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.5 L, I4, gas/electric
See Full Specs
cvt front wheel drive 5   Crimson Pearl
  Crystal Black Pearl
  Modern Steel Metallic
  Moonlit Forest Pearl
  Platinum White Pearl

 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid Touring

Touring

power
212 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Gas/electric
mpg
42 combined

$36,600


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Touring 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) Starting at $36,600 MSRP (44/42/40) 212 hp @ 5500 rpm, 1.5 L, I4, gas/electric
See Full Specs
cvt front wheel drive 5   Crimson Pearl
  Crystal Black Pearl
  Modern Steel Metallic
  Moonlit Forest Pearl
  Platinum White Pearl

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