2021 Honda Clarity

MSRP range: $33,400 - $58,490
(4)
MSRP$34,395
Edmunds suggests you pay$31,492

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2021 Honda Clarity Review

  • Comfortable, well-appointed cabin
  • PHEV's long electric driving range
  • Near-silent ride with little noise intrusion
  • Limited availability of Clarity Fuel Cell
  • Touchscreen infotainment system can be cumbersome to use
  • Polarizing styling
  • The Clarity is unchanged for 2021
  • Part of the first Clarity generation introduced for 2017

The 2021 Honda Clarity is an eco-minded sedan sold in two variations: as a hydrogen fuel cell or a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The former is only available in California because it's the only state with any substantial hydrogen infrastructure. Since the fuel cell is used to power an electric motor, the Clarity drives and feels like a battery-powered EV, and you can fill the hydrogen fuel tank in just a few minutes. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, meanwhile, uses a small battery pack paired with a gasoline engine. As a result, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid offers 47 miles of pure electric range, but its backup gasoline engine allows it to travel as far as any regular sedan.

Only a handful of other fuel cell vehicles are on sale today. The Toyota Mirai has been fully redesigned for 2021, and Hyundai has been selling the Nexo SUV for the past few years. As with the Clarity, the Mirai and Nexo are only available in California. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has far more competition. And though we like the Toyota Prius Prime and RAV4 Prime as well as the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, the Clarity offers significantly more range and is well worth a look if you're hunting for a plug-in hybrid.

What's it like to live with?

A 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell joined our long-term test fleet not long after it debuted. We found it to be comfortable and extremely quiet, but we had trouble with the disappointing hydrogen infrastructure and the high cost of scheduled maintenance.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Clarity gets the important parts right, with great efficiency and a comfortable ride. We're fans of its build quality, spacious interior and even acceleration. At its best, the Clarity makes a strong case for plug-in hybrids. The downsides include an overly soft ride quality and a frustrating infotainment system.
The Clarity is docile and easy to drive, owing to its electric power that produces smooth and quick acceleration from a stop. The Clarity starts to feel less energetic as you get up to highway speeds, but for typical driving it's sufficiently powerful.

The steering is direct and requires appropriate heft at speed, even if there isn't much feedback or response. Handling is a similar experience, with good composure around corners but a lack of sharpness that leaves it feeling heavy. The Clarity only just makes the grade in the braking category, with good performance in routine driving but numb feedback in more demanding situations.
Strong build quality means little outside noise makes its way into the cabin. That's crucial in a vehicle that can run in silent EV mode. Noise from the engine is not intrusive when it kicks in either. The Clarity works with its battery power instead of fighting it.

The same, however, can't be said for the ride quality. The Clarity has a very soft suspension, which is comfortable on smooth roads, but the car struggles to control its own mass over bumps. We do like the front seats, which have soft padding, and the comfortable back seat.
It's easy to get in and out of the Clarity thanks to an accessible ride height, grab handles in each doorway, and a roofline that stays out of the way. The driving position is also suitable, though some may wish for a seat that lowers and a steering wheel that extends a bit more. The bigger issue is that neither the push-button transmission selector nor the infotainment touchscreen is very responsive. But the roomy cabin provides comfortable space and the low-set expansive windows offer excellent outward visibility.
A difficult-to-use 8-inch touchscreen interface drags down an otherwise pleasant tech experience. The graphics are outdated, touch targets are small, and a slider to control the volume is irritating. Basic functions should not be this difficult, especially in a moving vehicle.

Bluetooth pairing and a USB port are standard. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility is included, but transitions between them and Honda systems are rough. The factory voice control system is effective and understands natural language to control the phone, navigation and audio.
The plug-in version of the Clarity offers the most cargo room, at 15.5 cubic feet. Unfortunately the load floor isn't flat, and the space narrows toward the seatbacks. The rear seats do fold down in the plug-in as opposed to the fuel cell version. Overall, the Clarity offers acceptable rear storage considering its bulky alternative fuel systems. And there's plenty of small-item storage throughout the cabin.
The Clarity PHEV backs up its eco-friendly claims. We averaged 52 miles of all-electric driving from a full charge. With a depleted battery in the PHEV, we logged 48 mpg on our 115-mile test loop of city, mountain and highway driving.
You pay more for the Honda Clarity Plug-In compared with its closest rival, the Toyota Prius Prime, but in return you get higher build quality and more space. Simulated open-pore wood and suede accents in the cabin are appreciated, if lacking a little spice with muted colors and tones. Warranty coverage is average. Honda backs the hybrid battery for eight years/100,000 miles.
The Clarity PHEV offers a glimpse at the advantages of plug-in hybrids over electric vehicles. It's smooth and clean, encouraging drivers to experiment with their driving style to maximize efficiency. How long you can go without activating the gas engine, and how well you manage it once it's on, becomes a game in itself. The Clarity takes a toned-down approach, and while that may not make for the most exciting drive, it's one that makes a green future easy to imagine.

Which Clarity does Edmunds recommend?

We suggest going with the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid over its fuel cell sibling. The hydrogen infrastructure is limited and inconvenient, so opting for the plug-in variant gives you the flexibility of a regular hybrid.

Honda Clarity models

The 2021 Honda Clarity is available in two basic forms: the Plug-In Hybrid and Fuel Cell. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine (212 horsepower, 232 lb-ft) with an electric-motor hybrid system and a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery. On a full charge, the battery provides up to 47 electric-only miles of range. In the Clarity Fuel Cell, the fuel cell assembly turns the hydrogen into electricity, which powers an electric motor (174 hp, 221 lb-ft) and gives it 360 miles of range.

Plug-In Hybrid
The Plug-In Hybrid is available in two trims. The base model includes:

  • LED headlights
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless entry with push-button start
  • Heated front seats
  • Eight-speaker audio system
  • 8-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Honda Sensing
    • Collision mitigation braking (warns if a front impact is imminent and applies the brakes if you don't respond in time)
    • Lane keeping assist (warns you of a lane departure when a turn signal isn't used and can automatically steer to maintain lane position)
    • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring
Stepping up to the Touring trim doesn't change the Clarity's performance, but you do get a few more standard features, including:

  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Leather upholstery
  • Navigation

Clarity Fuel Cell
The Clarity Fuel Cell includes all of the Plug-In Hybrid Touring's features and adds:

  • Head-up display
  • 12-speaker audio system with a subwoofer
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Honda Clarity.

Average user rating: 5.0 stars
4 total reviews
5 star reviews: 100%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 0%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • appearance

Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, Car for today and the future.
A car that offers more.,
Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
This car offers the best of two worlds. Hybrid design for very good mpg with gasoline. 17 kwh battery and electric motors for quiet and serene driving in city and highway with outstanding mpg. And good size inside offers room and comfort for 5 with a great ride in all weather conditions.
5/5 stars, Clarity plug in is paying for its self ...
Cornbread,
Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD)
Love our new Honda Clarity
5/5 stars, 2021 Clarity Base
Chris in CT,
Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I am extremely happy with my Clarity for many reasons. The ride is incredibly smooth and quiet. The engineering that Honda put in this vehicle is amazing - there are about 9 different drive modes from ECON to SPORT to HV each handles slightly differently. I mostly drive in ECON and it has more than enough power for my needs including merging onto the highway. SPORT is very fast and I don't need it really. So far I have had my car for 1100 miles and I have only used 3 gal. of gas since I charge after driving either at home on a 110 outlet or at a public charging station and the 50 or so miles (depends on temperature) is plenty for most of my driving. If the battery gets used up it automatically goes into Hybrid mode and will use a combination of gas and electric. But the ride and handling are really outstanding! The trunk is also quiet roomy and I could fit my mountain bike in there with the trunk closed. The only downside I can think of is in the winter the battery range is reduced due to the cold temps and using the heater so you won't get 50 miles of range in cold temperatures but it is still a great car. I get excited every time I go for a drive! I think this car is an amazing value given the current tax credits offered.
5/5 stars, fine car
Mallevsdei,
Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
it's a Honda, not a Mercedes. Noo power seats, has a lever under the seat, just like our old Insight; no power trunk lid; no problem. Backup camera is excellent but does not seem to have any audio warning sound, like a beep. Drives beautifully, extraordinarily quiet. Recharging at home is one of the easiest features to operate and is faster than I thought it would be. No complaints at all so far. Was told by every dealer in Houston that there were no Claritys in Texas. The dealer we bought from, in far north Houston, had four originally and sold three within 5 days. I understand why. Be sure to look around and don't let a dealer sell you something else.

Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$33,400
MPG & Fuel
44 City / 40 Hwy / 42 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 7.0 gal. capacity
Seating
5 seats
Drivetrain
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: Continuously variable-speed automatic
Engine
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 212 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: N/A
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 192.7 in. / Height: 58.2 in. / Width: 73.9 in.
Curb Weight: 4052 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 15.5 cu.ft.
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Safety

Our experts’ favorite Clarity safety features:

Adaptive Cruise Control
Helps maintain a constant speed and a set distance behind a vehicle ahead of you and can bring you to a complete stop.
Lane Keeping Assist/Departure Warning
Automatically applies steering to help keep your vehicle in the lane and alerts you if you cross over a lane line without signaling.
Honda LaneWatch
Displays live video of the passenger-adjacent lane using a small camera on the side mirror whenever the right turn signal is used.

Honda Clarity vs. the competition

2021 Honda Clarity

2021 Honda Clarity

2021 Toyota Mirai

2021 Toyota Mirai

Honda Clarity vs. Toyota Mirai

The Toyota Mirai has been completely redesigned for 2021, ditching the outgoing model's divisive design and front-wheel-drive layout in favor of a sleek rear-wheel-drive sedan. Unlike the Clarity, the Mirai isn't available as a hybrid, so this fuel cell Toyota is only available in California.

Compare Honda Clarity & Toyota Mirai features 

Honda Clarity vs. Subaru Crosstrek

The Subaru Crosstrek is both one of our favorite plug-in hybrids as well as one of the most affordable ones on sale today. Don't be fooled by its small size. The Crosstrek Hybrid offers about the same passenger space as the Clarity and slightly more cargo space. It also has standard all-wheel drive. Unfortunately for Subaru, the Crosstrek's paltry 17 miles of range is dwarfed by the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid's 47 miles.

Compare Honda Clarity & Subaru Crosstrek features 

Honda Clarity vs. Toyota Prius Prime

The Toyota Prius Prime is a plug-in hybrid version of the car that helped make hybrids popular in the first place. The Prius Prime's 25 miles of all-electric range is far short of the Clarity PHEV's 47 miles of range. Yet though the Prius Prime is slightly smaller, it packs more cargo space than the Clarity. Toyota also offers the RAV4 Prime if you're looking for even more space.

Compare Honda Clarity & Toyota Prius Prime features 

FAQ

Is the Honda Clarity a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Clarity both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.2 out of 10. You probably care about Honda Clarity fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Clarity gets an EPA-estimated 42 mpg to 68 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that carrying capacity for the Clarity ranges from 11.8 to 15.5 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Honda Clarity. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Honda Clarity?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Honda Clarity:

  • The Clarity is unchanged for 2021
  • Part of the first Clarity generation introduced for 2017
Learn more

Is the Honda Clarity reliable?

To determine whether the Honda Clarity is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Clarity. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Clarity's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Honda Clarity a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Honda Clarity is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Clarity and gave it a 7.2 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Clarity is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Honda Clarity?

The least-expensive 2021 Honda Clarity is the 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $33,400.

Other versions include:

  • Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $33,400
  • Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) which starts at $36,600
  • Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD) which starts at $58,490
Learn more

What are the different models of Honda Clarity?

If you're interested in the Honda Clarity, the next question is, which Clarity model is right for you? Clarity variants include Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD). For a full list of Clarity models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Honda Clarity

2021 Honda Clarity Overview

The 2021 Honda Clarity is offered in the following submodels: Clarity Electric (fuel Cell), Clarity Sedan, Clarity Hybrid. Available styles include Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD).

What do people think of the 2021 Honda Clarity?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Honda Clarity and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Clarity 5.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Clarity.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Honda Clarity and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Clarity featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Honda Clarity?

2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

The 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $34,395. The average price paid for a new 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is trending $2,903 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $2,903 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $31,492.

The average savings for the 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is 8.4% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 24 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

The 2021 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,595. The average price paid for a new 2021 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is trending $3,567 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,567 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $34,028.

The average savings for the 2021 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is 9.5% below the MSRP.

2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD)

The 2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $59,485. The average price paid for a new 2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD) is trending $3,682 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $3,682 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $55,803.

The average savings for the 2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric (fuel cell) DD) is 6.2% below the MSRP.

Which 2021 Honda Clarities are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Honda Clarity for sale near. There are currently 23 new 2021 Clarities listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $33,795 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Honda Clarity. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $1,388 on a used or CPO 2021 Clarity available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Honda Claritys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Honda for sale - 1 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $21,727.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Honda Clarity?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Honda lease specials