2017 Honda Clarity
- Refueling takes 3-5 minutes, much quicker than charging a battery EV
- Its range of 366 miles is better than any battery EV and other fuel cells
- Nicely appointed interior
- seats up to five people
- Honda gives you a $15,000 fuel allowance over three years
- Currently only available to California residents
- Hydrogen station infrastructure is still new
- Hydrogen storage tank limits trunk space with no pass-through
- Touchscreen infotainment system can be cumbersome to use
2017 Honda Clarity pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Clarity does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating3.5 / 5
The 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell is one of Honda's most advanced and environmentally minded vehicles to date. It's essentially a front-wheel-drive electric vehicle that generates its own power by combining oxygen from the ambient air and compressed hydrogen from its onboard hydrogen storage tanks. Within the fuel cell, electrons are exchanged and electricity is generated. The only byproduct of the process is water.
Using this technology, the Clarity can be fully refueled in just three to five minutes and boasts a range of 366 miles between fills. Both are significant advantages over the more established battery electric vehicles currently on the market. There are a couple caveats, though. The first is that hydrogen refueling infrastructure is new and limited to only certain parts of California. The second is that hydrogen used for transportation is largely produced from carbon-based fuels. A battery-powered EV charged purely from solar panels would still have the advantage from a reduced greenhouse gas standpoint.
The Clarity falls somewhere between a Honda Accord and Honda Civic in size, but has a more eccentric exterior styling and a slightly more styled and upscale interior. All Clarity fuel cell models come loaded with the latest active driving aids, touchscreen infotainment system and a $15,000 fuel stipend for the three-year lease period. Unlike Toyota's Mirai fuel cell car, which you can buy outright, the Clarity Fuel Cell is available for lease only. However, with all the benefits to leasing, we wouldn't recommend buying a fuel cell car at this point in time anyway.
Honda will be expanding the Clarity vehicle line with plug-in hybrid and battery electric models in the near future, both of which will be available for purchase.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is a single-trim model generously equipped for the technology-minded individual. Honda typically bundles options within trims, but due to the Clarity's low production volume and unique market position as an advanced hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, it makes sense for Honda to minimize the number of variations. All Clarity Fuel Cell models are powered by an electric motor (174 hp, 221 lb-ft) that drives the front wheels through a single reduction gear, and hold enough compressed hydrogen in their tanks for 366 miles of emission-free motoring (68 miles per gallon equivalent combined).
The Clarity Fuel Cell isn't lightweight by conventional vehicle standards, largely due to all the necessary fuel cell components, which include a lithium battery pack. But Honda was able to shave some pounds using aluminum for the hood, trunk, fenders and doors. Front and rear "air curtain" features direct airflow around the aerodynamic 18-inch wheels, and energy-efficient LED headlights, taillights and turn signals all help to reduce the amount of electricity the Clarity uses to roll down the road.
Energy-preserving measures aside, the Clarity has many other standard features that focus on everyday comfort and convenience, which is arguably just as critical for any machine designed for daily use. This includes automatic wipers, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone climate control with a Plasmacluster ion air quality management, an eight-way power driver seat, driver-seat memory settings, a four-way power passenger seat, leather upholstery, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a 12-speaker premium audio system, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a navigation system with hydrogen refueling station and traffic info, satellite radio, HD radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, and HondaLink telematics (remote app control).
Because the Clarity operates so silently, Honda fits it with what's called an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System that plays spacey tunes to alert pedestrians to know when it's approaching. Other safety-related features include a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping departure and intervention, a head-up display, and Honda LaneWatch, which turns on a side-view camera when making a lane change to the right.
There are sprinkling of add-on options such as exterior body moldings and illuminated door sills, but the most notable item has to be the rear parking sensors that alert you to objects behind if you don't want to rely solely on the cameras.
Noise & vibration4.5
Ease of use3
Getting in/getting out4
Child safety seat accommodation3
Audio & navigation2
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Clarity safety features:
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Helps maintain a constant vehicle speed and a set following interval behind a vehicle ahead of you and can bring you to a complete stop.
- Lane Keeping Assist/Departure Warning
- Applies a steering torque to help keep your vehicle within the lane and will alert 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.
The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is a rare kind of vehicle that is fueled by hydrogen. Because of the limited hydrogen refueling infrastructure, the Clarity Fuel Cell is available only to qualified California residents on a three-year lease. This limited distribution also means the Clarity Fuel Cell comes in single trim, fully loaded with features. Interestingly, Honda provides $15,000 worth of hydrogen fuel over the three-year lease, and the Clarity qualifies for a $5,000 rebate under California's Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
As a fully loaded model, some of the premium features in the Clarity include automatic wipers, keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone climate control with a Plasmacluster ion air quality management, power-adjustable and heated front seats, a 12-speaker premium audio system, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a navigation system with hydrogen refueling station and traffic info, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto capability, and remote app control over some vehicle functions through the HondaLink telematics system.
The Clarity also comes with virtually every active safety feature Honda offers as well, including a multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, adaptive cruise control with low-speed following, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and intervention, a head-up display and Honda LaneWatch.
The 2017 Honda Clarity essentially competes with only one other fuel cell vehicle on the market. The leasing terms of the Clarity are slightly pricier but comparable to its rival, and both manufacturers are providing the same $15,000 fuel stipend. After weighing the advantages the Clarity has in passenger space, and the total number miles it's able to travel on a full tank of fuel, the difference in cost will seem negligible.
If you'd like to compare these cutting-edge alternative fuel vehicles for yourself, spec for spec, before making a decision, you can do so right here at Edmunds.
2017 Honda Clarity Overview
The 2017 Honda Clarity is offered in the following submodels: Clarity Sedan. Available styles include Fuel Cell 4dr Sedan (electric DD), and Electric 4dr Sedan (electric DD).
What do people think of the 2017 Honda Clarity?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Honda Clarity and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Clarity 3 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 2017 Clarity.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Honda Clarity and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 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.
Which 2017 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) 2017 Honda Clarity for sale near. 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Honda Clarity.
Can't find a new 2017 Honda Claritys you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Honda Clarity for sale - 2 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $12,354.
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.