Since its inception in 2017, the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has been a tour de force within the world of hybrids. As far as new cars go, the Honda Clarity Plug-In has to be one of the most exciting vehicles that has come along in recent years.
The best thing about Hondas is that once you've owned one, driving anything else just doesn't feel right. Of course, you might be looking to own something that is fuel-efficient because gas prices are always in flux, and when they creep up, drivers feel the burn. The Honda Clarity line-up gives you options for both all-electric and plug-in vehicles.
There is also a Fuel Cell version of the Clarity that combines oxygen and hydrogen into energy. This is what powers the Fuel Cell. It is innovative, for certain, and downright cool.
Critics hail the Honda Clarity Plug-In as one of the best hybrid cars on the market this year. While its price is higher than the Accord hybrid, this auto is jam-packed full of features that make it worth the cost. The steering on this hybrid has a muted reaction to quick wheel turns, but the view from the cockpit, the 240V's quick charging, and the excellent braking make this car fun to drive.
The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is a popular choice for a few really good reasons. The ride quality is rather comfortable for hybrids, and the design of the cabin serves to only boost that level of comfort. As soon as the Clarity Plug-In has a fully charged battery, it gets 47 miles of all-electric range, and for an auto of the hybrid nature, this is pretty impressive.
The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has only been in its current generation since 2018, so Honda has not seen fit to change anything for the 2019 model year. If any changes are going to happen to the upcoming Clarity line-up, they will probably be in the form of its technology.
Both types have appeal, and Honda gives you three great choices with the Clarity.
The Plug-In Hybrid tends to have the widest appeal. It gives you plenty of power with the engine and battery combined, and with its 48-mile range, most people can get where they need to go on pure electric charge. It's also more affordable upfront.
The main selling point of the Honda Clarity models is their EPA ratings. The 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid rates at 110 MPGe combined on the base and Touring trim levels.
These trims get 42 mpg (gas-only) combined (44 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg in the city). Altogether, their gas-electric driving range rating is 340 miles with 47 electric-only miles.
Charging times vary. The battery has a full charging time of 2.5 hours for the 240V and 12 hours for the 120V. As far as the electric motor goes, it gets 181 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. Combined, the motor and engine produce 212 hp.
Although its powertrain will likely impress you, this plug-in hybrid has a chic exterior design. The front end is quite aerodynamic with its sleek lines. Slenderized LED headlights are the highlight of the front fascia.
The view out of the expansive windshield is superb. Altogether, these features provide excellent road visibility for the driver, day or night.
The base Plug-In Hybrid and line-topping Touring trim have basically all the same exterior features, so you will have a hard time telling them apart. It might also be hard to tell the 2018 Honda Clarity from the 2019 Honda Clarity vehicles. Honda seems to abide by the unspoken rule that if it isn't broken, don't fix it.
The Clarity Plug-In comes with heated front seats and a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel that, on the Touring, comes wrapped in leather. While these aren't sport models, they do have a sport feel. The Touring gets perforated leather seats, and the driver and passenger sides both come with seatback and smartphone pockets for convenient storage.
Infotainment features abound on the Clarity Plug-In. An eight-speaker sound system comes standard, as do the HondaLink vehicle information system, smartphone app integration, and Pandora compatibility. The Touring adds a satellite-linked navigation system with voice recognition. Bluetooth connectivity comes standard and allows for hands-free access to features while you drive.
Honda places an emphasis on driver safety with this model as well as their other models. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has an abundance of features designed to keep the driver safe as well as the passengers. Honda can keep you safe on the road with:
During your search for hybrids, you will find that the 2018 Honda Clarity and the 2019 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid models are strikingly similar. The price difference is what will sell more people on the 2018 Honda Clarity as they are available for under $30,000. You're essentially getting the same thing, just for the best price.
Speaking of prices, the 2019 version has a starting MSRP of $33,400. If you upgrade to the Touring package and add on some optional features, this Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid could cost you up to $36,620--a reasonable price considering how much you will save on gas.
The past decade has seen a massive surge in the popularity of hybrid cars. Honda has jumped onto that bandwagon. The company has made hybrid variants for models like the already fuel-efficient Accord, but the Clarity takes it a step further.
The Clarity began as the 2006 Honda FCX Concept car, a hydrogen-using fuel cell electric vehicle (EV). It was the first of its kind to be made available for consumers, and it made headlines with its five-minute refueling time and zero emissions.
Honda began making it in June of 2008, and American customers were able to start leasing the FCX Clarity just one month later. Since there were few hydrogen filling stations in the U.S. at the time, not too many models sold initially. That's why, in 2014, Honda announced it was phasing the FCX Clarity out.
By 2016, however, things changed. The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell began circulating in California, a state with strict emissions standards. At the time, it had the highest EPA driving range for a zero-emissions vehicle, getting 366 miles of electric-only range.
That year, Honda also announced it would be adding the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the Clarity Electric. The Clarity EV came with an 89-mile range whereas the Plug-In had an EPA rating of 47 miles of electric range. Combined with the gas engine, the Plug-In got 340 miles.
The Clarity has gained momentum since 2016, when it sold just eight models in December. By the end of 2018, over 20,000 models had sold.
As of late 2018, the Plug-In was the top-selling PHEV in the United States. The 2019 Honda Clarity is still going strong with its sales goals as of May 2019.