2018 Honda Clarity PHEV – Initial Review
I recently purchased my second plug-in vehicle, a 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV Touring, trading in our family minivan. My first plug-in is a 2012 Volt that I bought used back in 2014, which I will write about another day.
There are plenty of light reading overviews on the Clarity around the Web, so I figured I would focus more on the drive, why we bought it, what we like and don’t like, and answer any questions you might have.
The Clarity is a large 4 door “midsize” sedan that has 3 different models of EV built on the same platform: Fuel Cell, Battery, and plug-in hybrid. The fuel cell and battery electric are of little interest to me since they are not available in Iowa and I own the hybrid version so it will be the focus of the review.
With its hybrid powertrain, the Clarity runs primarily on electric power if battery charge is available but will switch to mixed mode if you exceed the threshold of power available from the battery. Given most conditions it is easy to drive 100% electric for the first 47 miles of EPA rating, but I will discuss in further detail below why this number might not always be accurate. It also offers a 44/40/42 City/Highway/Combined rating, which is incredibly impressive given the large dimensions of the car.
The Honda Clarity has distinct styling that evokes a love/hate relationship with people. The body covers the rear wheels at the top and it also has functional “speed holes” in front of the rear wheels that serve to improve the aerodynamics of the car, but this makes the car look different than most other cars on the market.
The car uses LED lights for everything, except for the vanity mirrors, which use a 1.4 watt incandescent. The headlights are all full automatic LED, and the running lights are as well giving a striking appearance from the front. The turn indicators are nice and bright. I must say I like how much flexibility LED bulbs give the designers in the appearance of the car. Remember the old sealed beam halogen bulbs on every car in the 1980s? Even if you don’t like the design, you can’t argue the design isn’t unique and only possible with LED lighting.
The interior color is tied to the body color. White, green, and red come with beige, and silver, grey, and black come with a black interior. Our silver model with its black interior looks very clean. Not quite Tesla Model 3 clean, but you can see in photographs that it removes a lot of the clutter and replaces the radio interface with a large touch screen with climate controls down below. The vents are hidden in the dash folds, and the shift console is elevate above a large storage area. There is no sunroof option at this time, I imagine to help keep costs down on a lower volume vehicle. The power memory seats tied to individual driver’s keys is also nice.
The car makes ample use of soft touch plastics and nice materials. Nice for the price class. The car feels like what you would expect a mid 30’s luxury car to feel. I don’t feel like I am only paying extra for the electric aspect, but instead getting a nice luxury car.
The instrument cluster is targeted towards normal car drivers offering a simple battery gauge on the left, gas gauge on right, speedo in the middle, and a configurable cluster in the center that can show items like range, efficiency, turn by turn directions, etc. I like this, it isn’t different for the sake of being different or electric.
The car comes standard with Honda Sensing, which is an impressive array of safety features that go as far as adaptive cruise with lane keeping, braking mitigation system, road departure warnings, and other safety features. It is missing blind spot detection if that is important to you, but offers a blind spot camera on the right side.
So why did we test drive this car? My wife wanted to replace the minivan with something more efficient, but still had plenty of space for 4 and would even comfortably fit 5 for some longer trips. It had to have the adaptive cruise with lane keeping, and plug in hybrid was also a requirement.
Initial impressions are everything in many situations, and unfortunately the Honda dealers are not trained to sell this car. They didn’t have it charged, the dealer knew nothing about it specifically, but was able to help with general Honda controls. I appreciated the sales person was honest and stated he knew little about it right up front and would only be able to answer questions about the user interface and other Honda specific features. I highly recommend you call the Honda dealer and ask them to plug it in before you drive it as that makes a large difference. Like my Volt, it doesn’t drive as nice around town once the battery is depleted. On the highway it does just fine. More on that later.
The seats are all very comfortable except the middle back is best suited for kids. I am 6’1″ but have short legs (32″ inseem) and tall torso (38-39″ to top of head sitting) so need a lot of headroom in a vehicle. The clarity doesn’t disappoint leaving plenty of space for me in the front and my head just rubbing in the rear, it is better than most vehicles. The lack of sunroof really helps me in this regard.
Legroom is impressive both front and back. With the seat adjusted for me in the front, I still had 4″ of legroom sitting comfortably in the rear. The floating console might bump your knee, so you will want to sit in the car and see if it is a problem for you. It is not an issue at all for me, although my leg does rest on it at times. It is rounded on the edge so it isn’t uncomfortable for me.
The lack of shift lever will bother some people, but all the buttons are in logical spots and I found them easy to use. Instead of sliding the lever, I press the button, and the buttons are laid out in roughly the same order as an automatic. The one issue is finding a button by feel is a bit more difficult than finding a lever, so I generally glance at the console to select my gear, at least until it is more familiar.
Visibility is fairly good. The porthole window helps in the back, but the camera is great too. The front A pillars block the view to some extent as is common on modern cars due to safety constraints, but they are generally positioned to minimize this effect.
Step on the brake and press the start button and the car springs to life. As with other EVs, absent any engine noise. Press the gear select button, let off the brake and step on the accelerator pedal and you are on your way. Silently.
Before we talk about acceleration, we need to talk about the hybrid operation of this car. Think of the accelerator pedal (or “go” pedal) as a request for how much power you want. The battery can only provide so much power, up to 120 hp. If you request more power than that with the go pedal, the engine will start to provide up to 180 hp of electrical power (120 from the battery, and 60 hp from the generator on the engine).
That sounds complicated, but thankfully the car makes this easy to understand. There is dial around the speedometer with a white needle and a blue bar and a green bar (battery charging from regen braking, etc). If the white needle moves past the end of the blue bar, the car starts. The blue bar has a dithered region on it where it might be unclear whether the engine will start or not, but that depends on driving mode.
Secondly, there is a detent, or a stopping point that is very noticeable, in the go pedal travel. If you hit that and push past it until you feel the click in the pedal, the engine will start no matter what. It isn’t difficult to push past on purpose, but it is also easy to stop before pushing past as it feels like the end of the pedal movement.
On either side of the dash board are efficiency indicator LEDs. These are green if you are driving carefully and turn white if you are driving aggressively. They turn red in sports mode.
Next, we need to talk modes. There are Eco, Normal, Sport, HV, and HV Charge. By default the car will start in normal mode (or eco if it was used when the car was shut off). Sport or HV/HV Charge mode needs to be selected every drive. These modes control how the car drives, and in the case of eco, also adjust climate control settings. Mode selection appears to the left of the speed on the instrument cluster.
Eco mode reduces climate system power, and also makes the car stay in EV mode until you push past the detent in the go pedal. This mode is saved between starts. Go pedal mapping seems fairly slugish and climate system might feel a bit weak, but probably the mode you want to drive in if you want the best efficiency.
Sport mode increases gasoline engine utilization for better performance. It also holds the regen brake setting between stops. Sport mode and regen setting are reset between power cycles of the car. This is not really a sporty car, but this will help acceleration.
HV mode is similar to hold mode on some other PHEVs. It runs in parallel hybrid mode so will run the engine much more. This will result in maintaining battery charge for later use. The button can be pressed and held for a couple seconds to enter HV Charge mode, where the engine will run more aggressively when power isn’t needed for moving the vehicle and the extra charge will go to the battery. This mode is capable of recharging the car to around 60% in an hour. I notice it didn’t add much or any charge on my test drive, I think it is mostly designed to be used on the highway.
Depending on how hard you step on the go pedal, acceleration is anywhere from leisurely to brisk. If you stomp the pedal to the floor the engine will rev to high RPM and accelerate like a CVT (constant engine RPM), which is always a bit different feeling if you aren’t used to CVTs. I haven’t conducted instrumented tests, but I imagine it is about the same as the Gen 1 Volt at around 9 seconds to 60, but a bit slower in EV only mode.
Overall, the car is very quiet and refined feeling. It emits a melodious hum at low speeds to warn pedestrians, which is all but inaudible in the cabin. When the engine starts at stop lights it produces a small shake and you can feel it rumble to life, but when driving it is nearly imperceptible unless under hard acceleration. I have to look at the energy info screen to tell if the engine is running at times.
Handling. What do you really expect from a 4000 lb car on energy efficient tires? It is safe and secure, but nothing really exciting about it. McPherson strut up front and multilink in the rear. I honestly haven’t pushed it hard at all. The rear is definitely more planted feeling while turning on rough roads than some cars with torsion bar in the rear, like the Volt 😉
Braking is also what I would expect. Pedal feel is a little vague at the beginning, where I assume it is using regen braking before shifting to friction braking. However, I think it might shift a little earlier than the Volt as the charge needle on the dash hits a point and stops fairly early in pedal travel.
I do have a complaint about regen braking. In all modes and even at the strongest setting, it is too weak. Less than the Gen 1 Volt provides in L gear selection. I basically don’t use it at all as it doesn’t seem strong enough to make it worth while. Since the brake pedal blends some in I just go that route instead.
Honda Sensing. This is one of the main reasons I looked at this particular hybrid. A requirement for me in my next car was that it have adaptive cruise control (ACC), lane departure warning, and emergency braking. This takes it a step further and adds low speed follow for traffic jams (down to 0 mph), lane keeping (LKAS), road departure mitigation, but it lacks blind spot detection. It partially makes up for that by having a camera on the right side of the car that activates when you turn on your right blinker (yes you can turn this off). It can also be activated by pressing a button on the end of the turn signal stock.
These features work very well. I was surprised that when ACC and LKAS were activated, the car will actually steer itself as long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel. It works from 45 to 90 mph and will work on any type of highway as long as lane markings are easily visible. The driver needs to be alert at all times. I notice Honda is careful not to overly advertise the self steering aspect of this feature.
I have triggered the brake mitigation system a few times, and I must say I am impressed. It is important to note that this system is designed to work at mid to low speeds, I think 62 mph and lower. Also, it is meant to reduce the severity of an accident, not avoid one completely. However, it will provide warnings and gentle braking reminders early so that the driver can avoid a collision. It activated for me when a driver in front was turning right, and they slowed down more than I expected and took them longer to clear the roadway. The car gently braked, but I would have avoided by nudging the car slight to the left out of the path of the car.
I am glad I opted for a vehicle with ACC. I haven’t tried the low speed follow yet, but overall these systems are quickly becoming standard on modern cars, bit unfortunately some cars don’t even offer all these safety features. I am glad Honda makes the same package standard on both the base and Touring models of the Clarity.
The instrument cluster is the only part I don’t really like. It is slow to respond to touch inputs, and lacks any sort of direct volume control. The built in Navigation system (Touring only) is just a Garmin app for the infotainment system. However, I have always liked Garmin GNSS mapping software. It offers visible and easy to follow directions.
The saving grace is they don’t force me to use the Honda Apps, and I can use Android Auto (Apple car play is also there). This allows me to use Google Maps and other Android Auto Apps like my Amazon Music streaming service. Just plug your phone into the driver side port under the floating console.
I think the infotainment center could warrant its own review. It takes up a large portion of the manual, offers some customizable controls, has tons of voice features I will probably never make use of and will take a lot longer to learn.
Charging is relatively fast for a PHEV having a 7.2 kwh charger built in, I generally get a full charge after about 2 hours, although temperature and battery condition might change that. I have defended 3.6 kwh chargers for a long time as being adequate for PHEVs, but after using this one I don’t think I will do so any longer.
I haven’t had enough time with the car to gather range performance in all conditions, but currently in winter I am showing right around 35 miles on a full charge. This is reasonable given my Gen 1 Volt is getting around 25 in similar driving. Heaters in electric cars always draw significant power in cold weather, as well as Li-ion batteries aren’t as efficient at low temperatures. I fully expect to easily exceed the 47 mile range in warm weather without climate control active.
Comparing the car to the Volt and a few things stand out. This car is a much bigger car, over a foot longer and far more interior space and rear seat room make the Clarity PHEV a much better choice as a people hauler (for more than 2 people). The Volt offers a slightly sportier EV only drive and also provides more information about vehicle efficiency to the driver, offering MPGe ratings, etc. The Honda was clearly designed to just be driven and not to make the driver think about the details.
The other vehicle I considered was the Pacifica Hybrid model, but honestly I was trying to get away from a van as my 3 kids are getting older and I don’t need the extra space. The Pacifica Hybrid now starts at about $40k for a base model, but it is high 40s to get the safety equipment that is standard in the Honda for $10k less.
The car is a very refined and modern plug in hybrid electric vehicle. It offers a comfortable ride with the latest safety and convenience features. Ample trunk and interior space make it a great purchase for a family or for hauling coworkers since it easily seats 5 people. The all electric 47 mile EPA combined range combined with over 40 mpg on gas make this an incredibly efficient and low operational cost car.
I have been very pleased with my purchase of the car, and look forward to driving it for many years. It checked the boxes I wanted in a car, space for 5 with some storage, ability to drive many EV only miles, and good gas efficiency as well. This vehicle will be driven 15 to 20k miles a year, so efficiency was important to me.
Hi, congratulations on your new Clarity.
Quick question. Will it use the gas engine when cruising at 60 mph? Thanks.
No, it will use EV up to max speed. During hard acceleration or steep uphill slopes it might start the engine.
When I drove my fully loaded (4 people + luggage) Volt from Denver to Zion in Utah I obviously drove with engine on. However, I failed to engage “Mountain drive” which recharges the battery while using the gas engine. That was a mistake because the Volt slowed to 55-60 on the steep inclines (altitude 8500 feet) on I-70 and gave a notice of “reduced engine power”. Once I learned to use Mountain drive I was able to drive fast.
Does the Honda have “Mountain drive”?
HV Charge mode, press and hold HV mode button for a couple seconds.
HI, it’s me again.
In terms of regular maintenance, does this Clarity require more regular maintenance then a regular gasoline powered car say an Accord?
I’ve heard PHEVs require less.
Thanks for your recent Clarity article. I purchased my Clarity in mid-December as an alternative to an Accord or Camry Hybrid. The $7,500 federal tax credit was the major factor in my decision. This is my first plug-in, so I’m still learning all of the Clarity’s functionality. I live in Austin, TX and the municipal utility rebates 50% of the cost to purchase a Level 2 charger and the 240V installation. The city also maintains several hundred Level 2 chargers throughout town, which are “free” to use by paying a six-month subscription for $25.
With so much in the way of available financial incentives, one wonders why there aren’t more plug-ins on the road. One problem that you mentioned was with auto dealerships. I visited several Honda dealers and the salespeople are not yet very knowledgeable about Claritys. One asserted that the Clarity had a range of 700 miles. Another categorically stated that the Clarity would NOT qualify for the federal credit. Like you, my Clarity had only a partial charge when I drove it from the dealer. I also observed that dealer inventories in Austin were very low. Currently, there’s only one in stock among three Honda dealerships.
It’s even worse out here in the West Texas wilderness (Midland) – one Clarity (mine) between the two dealerships; no utility breaks and only three chargers, but I just love this thing. As an experienced Prius driver it is a HUGE upgrade in drive, style, size, and comfort, and easily topping 45+ miles on EV range. I did spring for a Level 2 charger because it is just so much faster than the 110V it came with. Overall it is like having an Accord plug in with much better commuting range, but still handles a 190 mile round trip to Pecos without blinking a (hybrid) eye.
This is a great review!
So it looks like you have kids. I have a 1 year old and we regularly haul a bob stroller. Would you say the trunk of the clarity is enough to haul that plus a few other things?
It has a big trunk, will photograph the large stroller I have in it later. I will measure opening too.
How is the engine noise when the battery is depleted? I test drove one and the revving sound really bothered me.
On highway it isn’t bad, sounds like gas car. In town it is a bit annoying, but you get used to it.
This is why you should only test drive AFTER the dealership charges the battery. Mine was delivered empty and it was unsettling leaving the lot with a straining motor – I thought I’d made a mistake – but put it in HV Charge mode and by time I got home had four bars on gauge and was running full EV for a while which soothed the situation.
Nice review, and thanks for taking the time to post it. I recently got a Clarity Electric, but drove the PHEV version a few times as I was considering it. Great car! The range on the electric is short, but it works for me and it was a great deal. The PHEV was my next choice. I’ll probably end up with one in the future.
In comparison to your Volt when running on the gas engine, how would you say the Clarity compares? Louder or quieter? Also, overall road noise on the highway to the Volt? I have a 2014 Volt, have not driven the Clarity yet
Usually, the Clarity is quieter. On the highway the engine is a bit more muted and sound isolation is much better than my 2012 Volt. However, if you floor it the car will get loud and buzzy like the Volt. Also, there is an EV indicator on the dash that turns on and off as it changes between the two, which can be a bit annoying on the Clarity.
Thanks for the in-depth review! It sounds like an interesting car, but it’s too bad it’s not a hatchback. That and the low EV-only range would be show-stoppers for me. But I sure am impressed by all the hi-tech driving aids.
Great detailed review. Thanks. Can you tell me if the engine has to start to get the heater to work or is the heat provided by the electrical system via the battery?
No, it has electrical heat so doesn’t need engine, like the Volt. It is a resistance heater like Volt too (I think it is), so pretty power hungry. Works well though.
I’m also looking at the Clarity as well, but I can’t decide whether to spend the extra money for the Touring vs. the base model. What were your deciding factors in getting the Touring trim level?
For one, it is the only model shipping right now, but two, I like the leather and power memory seats, and sometimes it is useful to have Nav when no cell service available, but many cell phones navigation software support offline maps now.
Honestly, the base model is very well equipped and isn’t lacking many features of the touring.
Both models (base and touring) are available in CA now.
I did get $1500 off the Touring model making it worth it for me.
Thank you! I’m trying to figure out whether the power seats are really worth it, which is the main deciding factor. Do the seats in yours have lumbar support by any chance? If they do, it’s a very big possibility I’ll be choosing the Touring. There’s that and I’m not sure I like the cloth/faux leather interior of the base model.
My favorite feature of the power seats is they move to the position stored based on the keyfob (1 or 2). If my wife drives the car the seats automatically set to her position, and the rare chance I get to drive the car on weekends the seat set automatically. I don’t see any lumbar adjustments, but the seats feel very comfortable to me. Do you have a chance to sit in both?
The eight adjustments are front up/down, rear up/down, forward, backward, and seat back angle. The passenger seat only goes forward/backward, and tilt angle. As the seat goes back it naturally adjusts down some.
I’m interested in Viking’s answer, but I was on the verge of buying one of these (ending up with a Clarity Electric instead) and was leaning toward the base model. Although I love the Touring trim, I didn’t feel the extras–leather seats, Honda Navigation, and power seats (including two memory settings)–was worth the $3k to me. Tough choice, though. Having Apple CarPlay made the Nav superfluous. The base seats are pretty nice, too; the center section is fabric, while the outer parts are faux leather. Manual seat adjustment is kind of a bummer.
I like side leather (or synthetic) bolsters with cloth inserts. Honestly, probably would have bought either, the entire region here in midwest only seems to have the Touring so didn’t have a choice. Does base have seat heaters? I dont recall, but they are important to me.
Yes, both versions have seat heaters, and I agree it is essential in an electric vehicle (more so in a BEV with limited range). I never use the heater, but use the seat heaters every time I drive during the winter!
Are you a fan of the cloth/faux leather seats of the base model? Somehow, I don’t think I’m a fan of how they look compared with going all-leather. But the major deciding factor for me is likely going to be lumbar support (if the power seats have it) since I expect to do long trips with the car. If I can get the $1500 off like another commenter here did, it may sway me.
Thanks for your review. I have been waiting anxiously for a dealer in NC to get one so that I can test drive it. Fortunately the $7500 tax credit will be alive beyond 12/31 so I am not up against that deadline yet. Do you find that it takes a lot longer for the interior to warm up on a cold day than a conventional ICE vehicle? Did your dealer “pack it” with extras (paint treatment, door edge guards, etc) to get their margin up since this is a new model?
they tried to add on all that stuff but we just refused. In Boston its been in the teens or less- but the car warms quickly- electric charge gets ~35 miles in the very cold which is still good enough for a day for us.
Thanks for posting your great review. We are still patiently waiting in NC for any deliveries, so it is especially helpful. The dealer is promising a couple of deliveries during Christmas week, but they have not made earlier promises, so I am skeptical. I’m thankful (and surprised) that the tax credit didn’t get dumped with the new tax legislation and will still be available in 2018, so the time pressure is off, at least.
I let my local dealer know about your comment regarding charging the batteries prior to display and test drives, so hopefully that won’t be any issue.
I was disappointed that Honda didn’t include Bind Spot Detection, but I’m wondering how useful you have found the Lane Watching camera and the left mirror angled section are as alternatives to BSD.
The porthole window intrigues me. It appears to me that you are actually seeing through the top interior of the trunk. Very strange, but I guess it might be helpful, unless it would also allow someone to see inside the trunk from the rear of the car.
The lane camera works, but I rarely use it. I didn’t like it replacing the view on the center display every time the right blinker turns on, however, you can still activate it when necessary using the button at the end of the turn signal stock. I would prefer BSD, but visibility from the car isn’t that so don’t mind not having it so much.
The porthole window isn’t noticeable when driving (looking through the mirror you can’t really tell you are looking through a porthole). It looks through the trunk as you say. The rearview camera in the car is good and what I use anyway.
I just noticed that the car has the body side molding option. That seems to me to be a good choice, given that the air flow is being drafted to and through the wheels, and the chassis facing edges might be subjected to scratches and dings from abrasive particles and small rocks from the roadway. Honda shows that at $217, I think, and perhaps there is an additional charge for assembly. Did the car include that, or did you get it as an add-on?
Great detailed review covering lots of stuff press reviews don’t. I currently have a Spark EV, ’11 Volt, and ’13 Cmax energi. Would consider trading my ’11 Volt for this. Could you describe in more detail how LKAS works? Why do you have to keep your hands on the steering wheel? What happens if you don’t?
Thanks very much for your detailed (and well-written) review. I bought a Clarity plug-in two days ago and keep discovering more impressive features on the car. (One annoyance, though: the climate control blower located behind the glove compartment has a steady clicking sound. My dealer is aware of the problem and will work on it next week.)
This is my first hybrid car, and I wish the owner’s manual offered more detailed information about the distinctive dashboard displays. I’ve only driven around town, so I’m pretty sure I’ve only used battery power to propel the car. (One screen shows a mileage figure of “199.9 mpg.” Can that be right?) Once I get on the highway for, let’s say, a 200-mile round trip, what setting would you recommend for the most energy/fuel efficient drive? Keeping the car in “ECO” or using “HV Charge”? I’m grateful for any advice you can offer.
I’m curious as to where you live. My local Honda dealer (Durham, NC) has 3 Claritys “In-Transit” and doesn’t know when they will arrive. As far as i can tell, none have been delivered to dealers in NC, Virginia or the DC area yet. Is there good availability in your area?
199 is what it shows when you arent burning gas (it maxes out at 199 instead of showing infinity mpg). When you start burning gas it will show total miles / gallons used. If you want to know engine mpg, reset one of the trip meters when your battery gets low and engine starts, it will give you mpg since you reset the trip on one of the info screens.
My fan just started clicking too, appointment on Tue. Mostly in the cold (like around 0F). Let me know if you find anything out.
Sorry to read that you’re also hearing the blower clicking. Honda’s probably proud of the quiet interior in the Clarity; but that means they need to pay careful attention to any other source of unexpected noise. Thank you for your comment on the “199.9 mpg” reading. Oh, and my winter weather battery range was 38-40. Thanks also to other readers for their helpful comments. I’ll be following this site with great interest.
It pops up a warning in front of you saying “Steering Required”. If the road does not have clearly marked lines, the LKAS will not work.
Viking, very nice and informative review. Thanks. The detailed comparisons to the Volt were very helpful. We have a 2013 Volt. It’s been a great daily driver for us, but not without a few quirks. We don’t like the capacitance touch center dash, especially for heater and radio controls. How has the Honda been in this regard? One thing we like about the Volt is carrying capacity with the seats folded down. Do the Clarity seats fold down and provide a generous long deck like the Volt? If not, we may also check out the Pacifica Hybrid. It’s massive cargo area make it look like it would be great for multipurpose usage like camping. Did you test drive a Pacifica and if yes, what are your driving impressions vs the Volt and Clarity?
Hi Will, I did not drive the Pacifica as the Clarity met our needs. The fold down seats offer a small pass through to the front, useful for skis, small boards, etc. It isnt large enough for large items like TVs. It is a traditional sedan, but has a large trunk (unlike fuel cell or EV version).
I dont really like the center screen in the clarity, but my wife uses android auto and it is fine for that. The Honda system is slow to change screens, etc. What I like about the clarity is the climate controls are separate physical buttons with a large on off button and easy fan speed adjustment.
I suggest trying both, and make sure they are at least partially charged. We were looking for the smallest vehicle that met our needs and safety package on Pacifica would have been at least $7500 more.
“The interior color is tied to the body color. The colorless models (White/Silver/Black) only offer black”
On the Honda website it lists white exterior as coming with beige interior, not black.
Thanks, updating the review.
While you are updating, the website also shows Modern Steel Metallic as having a black.interior.
Thanks for the review. There is an additional option for parking sensors (for around 500)– which might be nice in parking garages. Did you get that option? Would it be dealer installed, or is it only factory installed?
Barry, I’m in the mountain West. Best I can tell, there are only three Claritys in the state. Not surprised that yours are “in transit.” Since these cars are made in Japan, I assume they’re traveling from Pacific coast ports across the country.
I haven’t found any yet in NC, but thankfully, the Tax Credit was continued into 2018, so I can relax and wait for the deliveries to finally begin. I was initially told by my local dealer that they would arrive during the first week of Dec, then Dec 15th, then Dec 24-28, but none of them are here yet. A few dealers are showing them in their online inventory, but are apparently “all “in transit.”
Hi there, thanks for the very honest and detailed review. I’m very interested in the Clarity and will be doing more research in 2018; hopefully the ev credit won’t expire too soon. I have been driving a Ford C-max for 4 years and have been very happy with the vehicle. Comfortable on long trips, easy to drive, rear seats fold flat for huge amount of storage (its a hatchback), and have averaged 38mpg overall, here in CT. However, I’m looking to break that 40 mpg ceiling, lol.
One quibble which constantly irritates is the mpg computer always overstates actual mpg, averaging 2.0 mpg higher than actual all the time. Have you found the Clarity’s calculations accurate? I know my wife’s Honda Accord is always right on the money.
Another question; this vehicle appears to have “about” the same dimensions as the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, but the Accord bests the Clarity in combined mpg at 48, so why wouldn’t anybody go for the Accord, even though its not a plugin? Can’t believe Honda would offer a vehicle that will cut into sales of their popular Accord. Thanks for your thoughts on this and Happy Holidays.
I wanted a PHEV, so wouldn’t have even looked at the Accord, however, it would also be a great buy. I think part it is the tax credit though, as with the credit this is about the same price with almost 50 mile EV range. The Accord would be a great car if a person mostly drives long highway trips.
I haven’t taken a road trip, so I can’t comment on MPG accuracy yet. In almost 700 miles I have only put 4 gallons of gas in it. Once I take a road trip I will comment on MPG when I calculate it by hand at the same time. Currently the computer calculates only Total Miles Driven / Gallons of Gas used, which means it ignores any electricity from the plug. This makes the number meaningless (unless you are only concerned on how much gas you don’t burn).
My wife and I are in our late 70’s, so convenience of exit and entry are quite important to us.
I would really love to know the height of the floor sill and seat from the ground to give us an idea how well it might work for us, but I can’t find that spec anywhere and Claritys are not here yet for us to check. If any Clarity owner could let us know those two nominal dimensions, we would really appreciate.
I will try to get a better measurement later, but it looks like the sill is about 14″ at its highest point, and the seat bottom is about 19 or 20″ from the ground.
As a side note, minimum ground clearance looks like about 5.75″.
Wow. I didn’t expect a response so quickly, especially on New Year’s Eve, and I would guess it’s pretty chilly in Iowa tonight. Thanks very much for providing the info.
I know it’s hard to get precise measurement of them, especially the seat height, so please don’t worry about measuring any more exactly. My own measurements of other vehicles have also been approximations, at best, but this useful to use for comparison. The sill height is apparently about the same as the Accord, and that is comparable to our Odyssey. That part should be fine for us.
The seat looks to be a bit lower than the Accord, and a fair amount lower than our Odyssey, but it is adjustable in height, so it could range a bit higher or lower than the 19 or 20″. With the programmed power seating, we might be able to get it high enough to make it work comfortably, especially for my wife.
The Clarity should be just about perfect for us, being retired, mostly driving locally, with the vehicle garaged every night, and with charging power readily available. The only potential gotcha I see for use is that ease of entry and exit concern. Now we just have to actually get some of them delivered to our area to check out first-hand.
No worries, that measurement is for me with the seat most of the way down, so it probably goes up a couple inches, I would guess similar to Accord.
Pretty close to the Accord. The specs I found for the Accord (not sure of the year) are 13.9″ and 23.23″.
Sorry, I just have to ask one more question. Does the panel display tire pressures for each individual tire? I don’t see that on any of the YouTube videos on the Clarity. I really hope it does.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find tire pressures anywhere. I do like that about the Volt (even if I don’t use that feature much).
That’s disappointing, especially for a “Touring” model with no spare tire. Not a deal breaker, but I was looking forward to that convenient feature.
It may be common knowledge, but I was surprised to find that the complete Clarity Owners Guide, Owners Manual and the NAV Manual are available for viewing and download at:
They are really helpful for those of us in Clarity deprived areas.
Hi, great review. I was looking to buy the Volt 2018, but the back seats space did not fit my family needs. I had the chance to drive the Volt for a weekend. I loved the feeling of the car on EV drive. It was powerful and fun to drive. Did you had the chance to drive a 2 generation Volt? Can you compare the 2 on that aspect?
I drove both- in EV mode they are similar- on the highway Clarity does use some engine but that gives you plenty of power.
Thank you for your review.
I have a Touring on order.
Assuming that I charge the battery every night and let the car run in it’s default mode, would I be looking at mpg somewhere in the neighborhood of the EPA rating?
If I never charge it from the wall and let the car run in it’s default mode would I expect less than that?
Gas only should be around 40 mpg, plugging in everynight it is hard to compute gas mileage, but should get close to EPA electric range assuming moderate weather.
On a full charge, in normal mode, will the Clarity default to battery?
Yes and it will run on battery unless you “stomp on it” or until the battery is low.
Yes, unless it is incredibly cold. Temps around 0 F or less will spend a lot of time in hybrid mode.
Thanks for the review. My disappointment has been the all EV range. I’m not showing 47 only 30 to 35 on a full 240 charge. My 2013 plugin Prius showed the same full charge winter or summer. I live in the Syracuse area and keep it outside. Why won’t the battery fully charge?
It is fully charged, the cold limits the range because you are using power for heating. The car also has a weird range gauge on the center display that makes it look like the battery isnt charged. I tried getting it to charge more initially until I figured out the gauge shows relative to some arbitrary potential. Once it warms up a bit you should start seeing that increase.
I’m getting 45-48 when the temp is moderate and not using heated seats. When I use the seat heaters, the EV range drops to 38.
We finally had a couple of Clarity deliveries in our area of NC, and picked up a Clarity today. The dealer had it fully charged for us, ready for test drive, thanks to your suggestion, which made the drive constructive for us.
I was quite pleased with acceleration in EV mode, in town driving, and very happy with the car in almost all respects. My wife would like to be able to have her front passenger seat a bit higher, but I don’t think there is anything I can do with that. Otherwise, everything looks great. I’ll be using 120 V charging for a bit, until I can get a 240 circuit installed in the garage.
Congrats on getting the Clarity. How have you and others who purchased this car found dealer pricing to be? Has anyone got a lease deal? Thanks in advance for the info.
I enjoyed your very thorough review and all of the great comments that followed. I purchased my Clarity December 9th and am one of the few people in all of South Florida to have done so. My dealer is expecting a second Clarity delivered to them in late January. I specified to my dealer that I had to have the car before December 31st after which time I thought that the $7500.00 tax credit would go away and then I would no longer be interested in the Clarity. Turns out this was not the case. My Clarity now has over 1300 miles on it and has only used about three gallons of gasoline. I like the car very much except for a couple of exceptions. It does not have the Blind Spot Detection capability and also does not have the Rear Cross Traffic Alert capability which I had become used to with my two previously owned cars one of which was a Toyota Prius. A couple of somewhat minor things I consider annoying one of which is an intermittent rattle on the right side of the dash and the second being that the storage tray below the center shift console is quite slick and allows anything placed in there to slide around while driving causing unwanted noises. I now have installed a Level 2 – 240v charger and for some reason I now am showing a few more battery miles available than when I had used 120v to charge the car. I also found that the sales people and the service technicians are not yet up to speed on the new Clarity. However, I will admit that the sales person did her best to learn all she could in less than a day before I took delivery. As one of your commenters said, I also recommended that the dealer charge the Clarity battery prior to having a customer either test drive or take delivery. Mine had zero charge when I took delivery. In summary it is my hope that the Clarity not only becomes more available in my area but also that the BSD and Rear Cross Traffic Alert will be added to future models.
I just got my Clarity yesterday in NC – and I think I sold one to a nice lady from Canada at a knitting shop on my way home.
I agree with you regarding the annoying slippery and noisy hard plastic storage tray, and also the same issue with the small storage enclosure. I want to keep my phone on the tray, but it really needs a softer, more tactile and quieter surface. Definitely a first-world problem, but something I want to resolve. Honda shows a mat for the tray for $25, which I assume will solve the problem. Seems a bit overpriced, but I will be ordering one soon, rather than try to make my own crude mat.
I haven’t experienced the intermittent rattle on the right side of the dash, and I really hope I won’t. Good luck with that. I saw another mention of this kind of noise in one of the earlier posts on this thread, I think. I hope that isn’t a trend.
I’m planning to install a level 2 240V charger as soon as possible, probably the Siemens Universal.
One thing I haven’t figured out is when I turn the car off, the Dash momentarily shows a message “TCU” above a horizontal line, along with a signal strength gauge, and “Timer OFF” below the line. I don’t have a clue what that is telling me, and I couldn’t find any reference to “TCU” in any of the Clarity manuals. Do you get that, and perhaps know what it means?
Buried in the Settings is the ability to charge the car at a predetermined time. I charge at 1 am because my provider charges less at that time than during the day. “Timer Off” simply means you have not set it to charge using the timer.
The slippery tray would be solved by getting some of the tacky material used to line drawers or shelves. I think I have a roll in the pantry and will try cutting some out in the shape of the tray.
TCU = transmission control unit. I have not noticed that message and don’t know why it’s showing up.
Thanks, Dan & Mike.. I’ll ask the dealer about the TCU/Transmission Control Unit, but I’m wondering if it relates to the signal strength meter that appears next to it, I have HondaLink enabled, and the app is installed on my phone, with a Bluetooth connection. It reported to my phone that it completed charging at 100% at 12:36 AM this morning, so it is apparently capable of communicating with the car OFF. The Timer OFF indication makes perfect sense based on your explanation.
I was thinking about using shelf liner too, but my experience with the ones that I’ve used, is that they tend to curl and slip around. I would be happy to cut out my own, but I think I want something thicker and more rigid, that will sit in place and lay flat. Thanks for the mat part number. That will save me time at the dealer if I order one.
This thread is a great help, but long term it occurs to me that we could really use a forum similar to the great old Odyclub where we could post individual issues, especially with a brand new vehicle as the Clarity. it is fun (as long as they aren’t too serious or catastrophic) being the first people to encounter the idiosyncracies/maintenance/bugs/whatever on the Clarity.
Concerning the intermittent rattle along the right side of the dash: have service look at the blower fan behind the glove compartment. Fortunately, the salesperson who helped me in the purchase knew that the sound wasn’t present during a test drive — and then became apparent as I took ownership. He thoughtfully asked for help from the service manager who unhooked the glove compartment, took out the dust and pollen filter, and reached into the blower fan. He thought his hand maneuvering of the fan solved the problem, but the rattle quickly came back. The solution? They took out the blower fan and put in a new one. So far, no noise.
(I wanted to point you to the manual instructions on the first steps in this process — unhooking the glove box and changing the dust and pollen filter — but the lengthy booklet says nothing about these procedures!)
By the way, the part number for the mat that’s been discussed is 08P10-TRV-110.
TCU is Telematics Control Unit and shows signal strength of cell phone connection. It is referenced on full owners manual page 133. I knew I had seen that in the book, took me a bit to find it again.
A big thanks goes out to Dan McInerney with his solution to the dash rattle on my Clarity. I will certainly show your response to my Honda Dealer and hopefully will then have my problem solved. Also now knowing the tray mat part number is extremely useful. I will see if Honda will be able to furnish me with one even though the price is a little steep.
The Honda dealer replaced my noisy fan as well. It should be a quick replacement. They must have had a batch of faulty fans.
With the part number 08P10-TRV-110 given by Dan McInerney I have ordered the tray mat for my Clarity from CheaperHondaParts.com. The price is normally $25.00 but is $17.50 on this website. However they charged me an additional $10.51 for shipping so it may be possible to get a total cheaper price from a Honda dealer. The website also requests your VIN # in order to confirm that the mat will fit your vehicle. It was interesting to note that I was not the only one having a noisy fan issue causing my rattle on the right side of my dash.
I just did the same with my local dealer. He gave me 20% off the $25 purchase as my first purchase after the sale. (I should have bought something really expensive). He didn’t ask for my VIN #, and that he would have it in a couple of days. I can’t imagine the VIN makes any difference. I would assume there is only one kind of mat. We’ll see.
If you order from College Hills Honda it will be slightly cheaper than the CheaperHondaParts.com website. $26.95 after discount including shipping. Too bad Amazon Prime doesn’t have this stuff.
Another small mystery. I can’t find any info in the manuals on the “ECO Score” that displays when the car is shut down. I think I understand what it is intended to do, but for the moment it just shows a row of wind propellers and series of brackets. I’ve only gone 91 miles so far, so maybe it will accumulate into something meaningful in time.
Ques.: settings for highway driving. I’m still unclear about the proper setting for the Clarity when I take it on the highway. (I apologize in advance for the simplistic way I’ll frame my question.) I’ll travel 100 miles on a flat interstate highway. I’m guessing my battery power will run out after 35-40 miles of driving . . . and the gas engine will kick in. Is that correct? What is the best, most energy efficient setting for the car as I drive at 75 mph for a long distance? Should I choose the HV setting? — leave the car in Eco? — or put it in Norm? Thanks for your suggestions.
I’m pretty new to the Clarity, so I’m still learning, but my understanding, based on the writeup in page 15 of the Owner’s Manual, and a few days experience, is that during extended highway driving, the car will switch automatically to HV mode when the battery drops to a certain point. That will provide some regenerative power back to the battery while running on the gas engine. I have also manually selected HV charge mode, by holding the HV button down for a couple of seconds. That will ensure the battery will be recharged, and not be allowed to deplete completely. That worked well for me, when on our test drive. The previous driver had run the battery down, and running HV Charge mode did restore the charge for me while highway driving (It’s not recommended to use HV Charge mode for low speed/city driving). HV Charge mode will recharge the battery up to 12 segments on the indicator, then will switch back to HV mode automatically.
Thank you for the information . . . and the reference in the owner’s manual.
You mention the Touring trim having Navigation. Would you know yet whether it is a system the directs you to nearby public charging stations? Thanks
I dont think it does, it is basically Garmin software like you would find on a portable unit. It really isn’t specific to EVs.
I did a test drive last week and the screen definitely listed charging spots. It must be part of the Nav as we didn’t have a phone linked to it.
I have the NAV and it does show charging stations. If you don’t have the NAV you can get the same information from the free ChargePoint or PlugShare apps.
Just to add, the charging stations it has are kind of out of date, didn’t even have a local one in my area that went in about a year ago. They are just POI in the Garmin database I don’t know if you can update those regularly or not. I will stick to plugshare, just need to convince them to make an Android Auto version of it 😉
You can locate charging stations on the HondaLink app on your phone, but as it is a PHEV, unless you have free charging, there is no reason to plug in to a pay charging station. It will cost you as much as buying gas.
Has anyone driven their Clarity in the snow yet? I’d love to hear about that. I’m in New England and I currently drive a 2007 Prius, so I’m used to the thrilling adventure of navigating snowy weather. (;
Drives like any other front wheel drive, I didn’t notice any particular issues. Ours came with the all weather mats, which are nice for collecting gravel and salt that gets tracked in.
I will add, vs my Volt, the Clarity stability control is much faster responding. The Volt seems to take like 1/2 second to respond to the steering not matching the travel direction, the Clarity seems to respond almost instantly (like 1/10 second). Also, the ABS in the Clarity doesn’t pulsate like many cars, it is operating, just without the feedback typical. Probably for the best as to not surprise people.
I haven’t been able to add my Clarity to my account at , despite many attempts over a 24 hour period.
I tried repeatedly on two different PC’s with 2 different browsers with the no success. Sometimes it would time out, sometimes it appeared to take the input, but the car never has shown on my account from that website. Honda confirmed the problem, and that I had inputted the data to the system, but not showing on the site. They are investigating.
I suspect the problem may be specific to the Clarity Plugin Hybrid.- perhaps something hasn’t been put into the server yet to accommodate it. They suggested I keep trying every day or two, until they are able to fix it.
viking79 – Did you get the rubber edgings on the chassis behind each wheel of your car as an option, or perhaps an aftermarket item? I would really like to purchase a set of them, but I don’t see them listed as options for the Clarity on the Honda site.
I have discovered that the wheels tend to throw mud and stuff at the chassis edge just behind them, which makes for some ugly splatters that I think the guards might prevent.
I think this what you are looking for:
$70 for the set of four plus shipping. The front pair looks pretty easy to install but the rear appears to be a bit involved according to the instructions linked to on that page.
Thanks, Barry. The price looks pretty reasonable. I’ll see what the local dealer will quote me, too.
After scanning the Installation Instructions, I have some trepidation about tackling the rear ones, but the front ones look pretty easy. My primary concern is the front wheels splattering dirty water, mud etc. toward the entry doors. It’s unsightly, and there is a risk of transference of that grime to the folks getting in and out of the car.
For anyone who might be considering purchasing and installing the Splash Guards, here is a description of my experience with that project.
I received the Splash Guards from College Hills Honda last week. Shipment costs added about $18 to the order, but the overall price was still fair. They shipped, and were delivered pretty quickly.
As you and I anticipated, installation of the front set was pretty straightforward, and was not difficult. The instructions were accurate.
The rear ones were more intimidating, as expected, but I managed to get them done. Pulling the two panels slightly apart was no problem, and the masking tape helped to avoid scratching the surface, although there was little or no risk of that actually happening.
The instructions called for cutting notches in the underlying, matted material. I found that very difficult to do with any precision, using a box cutter. I hacked away and managed to cut the notches reasonably like what they described. The instruction to use a file to remove any remaining burrs seemed really nuts to me. I would like to see anyone actually use a file on that stuff. Also, the holes left using a pushpin were not at all large enough to be able to use to start the screws. I ended up using an Awl to enlarge them carefully, just enough to be able to get the screws to engage them through the rubber material.
I gave up trying to use a stubby Philips head screwdriver to attach the screws on the rear guards with the wheels in such close proximity, and found that my ratcheting right-angle Philips head screwdriver worked very nicely.
All in all, I’m happy with the results, and the reasonable cost. Now I just need a rainy day to create some mud to test them out.
Thanks for the info. I think I’ll buy it and give it a try once my dealer finally comes up with the Steel Gray Clarity Touring model I’ve been waiting for. So far, I just have a Clarity dashboard tray but no car.
Since you are still awaiting a car, maybe your dealer could be kind or generous enough to throw in the Splash Guards, installed, since they are so inexpensive. What is a “Clarity Dashboard Tray?”
It’s a non slip insert that fits in the area under the “shifter”.
Aha. I realized that might be it, right after I hit the Comment button. I got one of those, too. It does provide a more tactile, and somewhat quieter surface for that area. I hope you are enjoying it, while you are waiting.
I also made a pad to fit in the bottom of the adjacent storage area for the same reason. I couldn’t stand the slick and noisy plastic surface in there. I don;t think Honda makes a pad for that. I improvised a black foam material that I covered with stickon felt sheet on top, cut to fit the enclosure.
They might be, but the Honda dealer had them installed already. I wonder if they are automatically installed for the midwest?
There was a dealer package installed on my car for all weather floor mats, mud flaps/rock guards, and maybe something by the air vents to the back wheels. Unfortunately I don’t think the part numbers were included, but let me look at my paperwork later and see if it says anything.
The package you described sure sounds like what I see behind the wheels in your first photo. Thanks for offering to check your paperwork. I assume the mudflaps/rock guards will be effective in reducing the messy splatter and potential rock damage to the painted surfaces behind the wheels and would probably have minimal impact to the aerodynamics of the car.
In the meantime, I may take a screenshot of the side of your car to my dealer to see if he can find it, I really want to get them, assuming the price isn’t astronomical.
Took delivery of our Clarity PHEV Touring today and I am thrilled!
I have an appointment with an electrician for an estimate for setting up Level 2 charging next week.
Congrats and welcome to the club, Eric. I just had an electrician install the 40 A/240 V circuit for the VersiCharge unit last week. He charged me $350 to do that circuit & also add a dedicated 20 Amp circuit for my refrigerator in the garage.
You will love the convenience and speed of the Level 2 charger, and the HondaLink app works surprising well supporting daily scheduled charging and remote startup of Climate Control. I’m also very, very happy with the performance and features of the Siemens VersiCharge.
I appreciate the welcome and the price information on getting your electrical work done.
I’m considering an EVoCharge EVoReel EVSE that’s kind of expensive, but I want a set up that is as easy, clean, and fast as I can figure out for my spouse, who hopes to do her entire 36 mile round trip commute on electricity five days per week.
In the meantime the car is plugged in to household power for the night.
I’ll apologize up front that this may be a bit too wordy, but I need to include some details.
I was disappointed to learn that Honda doesn’t include printed copies of the Owner Manual or the Navigation Manual with the Clarity, but discovered in the Honda Owners Guide Introduction that:
“If you are the first registered owner of your vehicle, you may request a printed copy of the Owners Manual, Navigation Manual or Vehicle Warranty within the first six months of vehicle purchase.”
It instructs the owner to go to your online account at owners.honda.com to make the request.
That’s where the problem started for me. I have an existing account at the site, but it would not register my Clarity. I tried many times over a couple of days, without success, and finally called Honda. After some investigation, they acknowledged that there apparently is a problem on the site, (presumable because the Clarity is so new, I hope).
They confirmed that I had registered it about seven times, but it doesn’t show up at the owner terminal, and said they would investigate further. A week later, I see no difference on the site. They gave me a phone number to request the manuals: (800) 782-4356, but when I called that number, the operator reported that the complimentary manuals don’t show up online as available for the Clarity. They took all of my info, and said they would forward the it for research and resolution, but I haven’t heard back from them.
Has anyone else experience this problem, or have you been successful registering your Clarity and requesting your manuals on owners.honda.com or via the phone number?
I received a printed copy of the owners manual with my Clarity plug-in hybrid.
The just included the Owners Guide in mine, and there was also a CD or DVD, which supposedly has the digital versions.
Interesting that you got all of the printed copies. Are you in Canada, by any chance? I know they handle the manuals differently there, according to the Owners Guide.
When I, too, was unable register my Clarity on the Honda Owners Link — and called to complain — I stated my interest in acquiring the full owner’s manual. The rep told me she’d put in a request for the manual — and I received the 570 page book within two weeks.
There is an Owner’s Guide and Owner’s manual. The guide is only a few hundred pages and in the car, the manual is 600 pages or so and digital.
It is funny they include it on a CD as I have no way to view a CD anymore 😉 I just downloaded PDF.
I misunderstood the concern about the manual. I apologize.
I did not receive the large manual when I took possession of our vehicle.
I just placed an online order for all of the owner’s manuals for my Honda Clarity which I purchased 12/9/17 using the website owners.honda.com. The website indicated that it would take five weeks for delivery of these manuals.
I just went to the site again. I still wasn’t successful registering my Clarity – it just timed out, indicating some kind of server isssue, but it did let me request the manuals, so there was some progress. Were you able to register yours?
While you are waiting for the printed manuals to arrive you can meanwhile download the Clarity owners guide, owners manual and Navi manual. No registration needed, I have them and I don’t even own a Honda.
Thanks Steve. Yes, I downloaded the manuals before I even bought the car.
They are great to have, but I want to be able to make quick references to the printed manuals from time to time, when in the car, and questions arise.
In your article, you state that the onboard charger is 7.2 kWh. The Honda literature says it is 6.6 kWh. Additionally, Honda recommends a 32 amp Level 2 EVSE. With a 32 amp unit, you will get the Honda claimed 2.5 hour charge time from depleted to full. Any larger capacity EVSE won’t give you any advantage, while a lower capacity EVSE will make the charge time longer.
I’ve had my Clarity for a week now and just love it. While I disagree with you on some of the styling and esthetics, overall I think your review is spot on. One area where I disagree is the adaptive cruise control. This is the one feature that almost made me NOT buy this vehicle. My wife has a 2017 Acura that has the same feature. More than once, Ive had it slam on the breaks on me when it was totally unnecessary. In both her car and mine, I have turned off the adaptive cruise control and just put it into regular cruise control.
An area where we do agree is the lack of training on the part of the sales staff. I took delivery of my car on Jan 29. The salesman, from whom I purchased my 2014 Civic, was very helpful but told me straight up that they had not been trained on these vehicles. He directed my to a Honda website what has some very basic videos about the vehicle, but there was no more information there than anywhere else. The specifications on the onboard charger and the recommended power level for a Level 2 EVSE are buried deep in the website.
Their specs are maybe the output of the internal charger to the battery as the car draws about 7.2 kw, just under 30 amps at 244 V. So you need an EVSE rated to put out 32 A, which means it will have 40 A wiring, so depends on if you look at supply side rating or output rating. E.g., you need a Clipper Creek HCS-40 to output the power the Clarity needs. 40 Amp wiring, but rated for 32 or so continuous.
The car charges to nearly full in less than 2 hours, 2.5 hours is pessimistic, as the last 30 minutes is probably just cell balancing and tapers to a low rate. It seems to have about 12 kwh usable battery, so with losses about 2 hours is what it should take.
222 miles since delivery and 2 gallons of gasoline.
Got the 240volt system installed and it seems to be working well.
My wife loves it!
One observation and one question:
1. My calculation of MPG on highway driving (at 75 mph, HV mode)? 50 MPG
2. A fairly “mild” winter in my part of the Rocky Mountain west. Even with the car sitting in a garage overnight (at around 50-56 degrees), the best recharge I’ve achieved on the battery is 37, not the 47 I see advertised. (I’m using a 120 line, not the 240.) Does that sound like the result others are getting this winter? Should I expect the charging will improve as we head to spring?
At 75mph I get about 35 mpg (without a charge in battery). What speed for that EV range? Is that also at 75 mph? If so, that might be normal.
The 50 mpg I reported? That’s highway driving at 75 mph with no battery charge left; Clarity set in HV mode. (I noted my odometer reading at the end of the drive, subtracted the odometer reading when the car switched to the gas engine for power, and divided the miles driven by the number of gallons of gasoline I purchased at the end of the trip.)
For your gas calculation, Make sure to do the run both ways to account for wind and elevation changes. I wouldn’t count on that high all the time, although high elevation in Colorado will help some, less air drag. I always got better in Wyoming on cars than I do here in Iowa.
I was referring to the 37 EV mile range though, that might be normal at high speeds, again, will depend a lot on wind and terrain. If you have a long commute can adjust where you use your EV miles to make the most of it by using HV mode. Cooler weather will hurt range a lot, my guess is around 60 or 70f you should get normal range. My best days in my Volt are in the upper 80s with no climate control (windows down).
I want to know prices paid was it below MSRP any offers etc, Thanks
I paid MSRP, but bought day 1, some are getting some deals now, they don’t seem to be moving that quickly yet.
I picked up my Clarity Touring today after waiting a month. My dealer finally realized that I was going to walk away and found a another dealer with the color I wanted. I got $1000 off list price.
Please include your geographic area – pricing is not of much use without this context.
We paid MSRP and took the Honda .9% financing for 36 months in Everett, WA.
We also bought bunch of dealer installed Honda Clarity accessories at full price plus installation.
That was in January on a car that had not yet been delivered to the dealership.
They had two on the lot. One was the right trim line with the wrong color. The other was the right color with the wrong trim line.
Just like Viking79, I bought mine on our local day 1, after it finally arrived in Southern Pines, NC on January 11th. The salesman let me know that they wouldn’t be able to be discounting from MSRP, and any dealing would have to be against the tradein. That proved to be the case. I got some flex on the trade, but the Clarity was at MSRP.
They sold their other Touring the following day.
I just purchased a 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Touring in Steel (gray) color (black interior), near Worcester, MA.
I paid $4300 below MSRP: that’s a pretty great price, yes?
The whole car buying experience was SO easy that I thought I was being ripped off somehow.
I haven’t had a new car in 14 years… there is so much to learn about my new Clarity!
Any place other than the dealership to get molded all season floor mats?
That is a steal! You get a lot of car for that price. MA being a CARB state, probably has some incentive from the manufacture to sell them at a lower price. Midwest we don’t seem to get much discount on them, but maybe that will change.
You could check Husky or Weathertech for precise fit all weather floor mats, not sure if they have for the Clarity yet.
So, how much did you pay?
I can’t seem to be able to respond directly to Eric.
There’s this Drive Green ?program, that came up with a Rhode Island dealership who quoted me an excellent price; I’m not sure if they get any kickbacks from the Drive Green Program.
The nearby dealership was the only one who would match that RI quote.
They even did better, when they forgot about some flex cash down payment.
From MSRP $37,490, after doc fee, 6.25% tax, MA registration/title, etc, I financed $35,868 at 0.9%.
Not trying to brag;
just trying to help others during their research (like I did when I stumbled upon these comments full of information).
Thank you for sharing your resources, information, and experience, Amanda.
That’s a real help, and it sounds like you got a real deal!
I would be interested to hear which accessories you believe are worth getting.
We took the mud flaps, body side moldings, door edge film, rear bumper appliqué, cargo hook, trunk tray, cargo net, interior illumination kit, center console mat, all season floor mats, and rear seat cover.
Of those, I am most attached to the mud flaps, body side moldings, door edge film, and rear bumper appliqué.
The rest are nice and/or convenient.
We tend to keep our cars for awhile, so anything that prevents damage appeals to me.
I installed the Splash (Mud) Guards on mine, and I’m really happy with them. I drive in a horse area a few days a week, and I wasn’t happy with the water/mud splashing on the sides of the car. The Guards have almost completely eliminated that. I’m also happy that it will provide some protection to the painted surfaces from small objects and abrasive sand splashed back from the wheels.