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Used 2018 Honda Clarity Consumer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
101 reviews
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5 out of 5 stars

The Breakthrough Car - A PHEV with No Compromise

RVDuluth, 02/23/2018
updated 03/06/2023
2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
88 of 88 people found this review helpful

I have resisted buying a battery electric vehicle because of the widespread range anxiety. Despite the fact that most of my driving is the short 4-mile trip to and from work, the idea of going through the inconvenience of renting a car for longer trips and the potential of getting stranded after an unpredictable busy day of driving (especially in my cold Minnesota climes where the battery can drain rapidly in sub-zero temps), has prevented me from seriously considering an electric vehicle. I looked briefly at the pricey Chevy Volt but was not willing to step down from the midsize sedan convenience I had become accustomed to. The standard model hybrid versions such as the Accord, Sonata, and Camry all have reduced federal tax credit incentive. I found out about the Clarity by accident. It must be one of the poorest marketed new models in history. Everything I read about it met my requirements and I finally purchased one soon after I could get my hands on it. The experience has been fantastic. It is an Accord-sized sedan with a massive interior and comfortable seating for 5, has an extraordinarily quiet and luxurious interior, has most of the safety features I was looking for (except for the mysteriously missing blind spot detection), and qualified for the full $7,500 tax credit that brought the price down to the range of any mid-size sedan, hybrid or not. The 47-mile range allows for almost all driving to be done in EV mode (I have managed a range over 30 miles in the Northern Minnesota winter, but can see the range increasing as the weather warms). I averaged about 42 mpg on a 300+ mile roundtrip up north (yes - right to the Canadian border), and have only nitpicky complaints so far as I come up on my first 1000 miles in the vehicle. This car is a home run in every way and if it were not for the exceptionally lousy marketing, would be one of the top selling new sedans in America. Get it now before others discover it. UPDATE: I have owned the car for over two years now and still love it. It is by far the best car I have owned. The car is quiet and trouble-free. It still meets all the needs I specified in my original review. I get a range of 50 miles in the summer/fall and about 30 in the winter. Highway hybrid mileage in the winter is about 40. Small issues include the poor wipers and inconvenient Infotainment system. 2.5-YEAR-UPDATE: I have had the car for over two and a half years now and I seem to grow in my appreciation for this car. It is by far the best car I have owned. I still enjoy driving it and marvel at its quiet, smooth ride. Summers consistently give me close to 50 miles in EV range and the hybrid range is usually about 40-42 (hard to track on pure hybrid as I usually leave fully charged and charge at my destination. When my fiance needed surgery last week, we needed a large back set for her to lie down as I brought her back home from the surgery center. Surprisingly, she found more room and comfort in the Clarity back seat than in her Kia Sorrento SUV. So, the Clarity is what we took. Still amazing and a hopelessly under-marketed car. 3-YEAR UPDATE: Over 35,000 miles and still great. Just paid off the car and it still runs as smooth and quiet as butter. If Honda was making significant upgrades to the Clarity to get rid of the minor annoyances (poor wipers, awful sound system controls, inability to default to sport mode), I would consider upgrading. But it still is the favorite car I have ever owned and I plan to keep it for the long term until there is another leap in the value offered by PHEVs. Amazing vehicle, horribly marketed. 5-YEAR UPDATE: I have had this car for 5 years now and it is still the best car I have ever owned. The battery range seems to have dropped (manage only in the low 40s in the summer and high 20s in MN winters). Absolutely trouble free and reliable. Still deathly quiet inside when cruising. I can't believe they discontinued this model. If they make a 4WD version of this vehicle. I would stand in line to buy it. Fantastic car that sold for $32K BEFORE the $7500 tax credit in 2018.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

A hidden gem that gives efficiency and solid drive

Gu M., 03/16/2018
2018 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
57 of 57 people found this review helpful

Before buying the Clarity (Touring) in December 2017, I've been researching on EVs and PHEVs for some time, including Tesla Model S, BMW 330e, 530e, Audi A3 e-Tron, etc. What I care most include a decent interior size, an EV-only mileage that could fit into my daily commuting of 47 miles (round-trip), advanced safety assistance features, and good reliability. I test drove Tesla Model S and the experience was good. However, my colleagues driving Teslas complained that the reliability is not good and they had to go to service several times in a month. That's not acceptable to me, so although the local Tesla dealer offered a good price, I decided to move on. For BMW, the 330e is smaller than I expected, while the 530e seems to be overpriced - they both do not have the EV-only mileage I am hoping to get. For Audi A3 e-Tron, the dealer said I have to make a non-refundable deposit before he can get the car from another dealer >200 miles away, so this car is out. Eventually, I saw the Honda Clarity PHEV and watched many videos that people introduced this car, which hit dealership on December 1. I am very glad to see that almost all safety assistant features are available (compared to my 2016 Honda Pilot Touring), and the car has a 47 EV-only mileage that perfectly fit my daily trip. What's more, the size of the car is perfect - it's just as big as a Honda Accord 2018, and the interior style is also Acura-like. I eventually pulled the trigger before the year-end, so that I can get the $7500 federal tax credit in 2018 (we got the full credit this year during tax return). Now, within less than 3 months, I've driven more than 3000 miles, and achieved an average MPG of 105 mpg: I usually charge at work (with reduced cost than charging at home) while during weekends, I charge at home. So far I've been to the gas station for 5 times with a total of 27 gallons (fuel cost ~$60) - in terms of fuel efficiency, you see that the cost of driving 3000 miles is around $60 (gas)+$20 (electricity) = $80. Assuming 12,000 miles per year, that means the yearly total fuel/electricity is only $320! The fuel efficiency does not compromise the drivability of this great car - I used normal mode for driving, but if you need any additional horsepower, turn to the "red" sports mode and you'll ride in a quite different world (like from a turbo-charged engine). I highly recommend this car to anyone who is considering to purchase an EV or a PHEV for daily use. It's a hidden gem among mid-size sedans in the US!

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

Very comfortable, sporty, fun to plug in

Connie, 03/28/2018
2018 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
35 of 35 people found this review helpful

It changes your driving habits because you see the effects of acceleration and braking on energy consumption. I find the lane deviation and braking signals just tell you what you already know. The stereo sounds wonderful. The car is quieter and the ride smoother than my Prius. It is a heavy, low to the ground car, so very stable driving, but breaks a little slower than a lighter car. The power steering is great, the headlights nice and bright. I wanted navigation, hands free calling, which work very well. The Bluetooth connects with my iPad well, but sometimes won’t connect to other things. I also tried inserting a usb drive, which plays apple mp4 as well as mp3. It works wonderfully. It takes 10 hours to charge with 110, but is easy to plug in. And it is great to plug in your car. The mileage is very good. There are three driving settings: economy, normal and sporty. I use normal, which uses a tiny amount of gas to accelerate, but does get you 45 miles on a charge. It’s really a step up from the typical midsize sedan. My husband wants my car. Mpg is difficult to interpret because it is based only on gasoline used.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

We are able to run our car for free with solar

J Erwin, 05/18/2018
2018 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
45 of 46 people found this review helpful

This is not the kind of car a person who does not like the most advanced smart phone would like. The instrumentation and entertainment/communication options are very advanced. The electric/battery storage and options for running the vehicle are well presented and with a little study - easy to use. The Clarity hybrid will go 47 miles on battery. Less, if the heater is on. For us with 27 PV solar panels and a utility company that allows us to store kilowatt hour credits for energy we produce and do not use. We will be able to use the 47 mile electric range to do about 90-95 percent of our driving. The solar system was paid for years ago and produces up to 60 KWH's of power per day - it only takes maybe 15-20 KWHs to fully charge the car. So if our daily driving is 47 miles or less, we drive for free - no gas needed. We got the Clarity yesterday. We had to drive about 135 miles to get to a dealer (Mike Maroone Honda in Colorado Springs) who was willing to substantially discount the suggested retail price. And, after going to Carmax to get an trade in sale estimate, Maroone came within $250 of the Carmax and by trading in our Prius Hybrid, we saved on sales tax on the new Clarity - the trade in comes off the purchase price in Colorado before the state and county tax is computed. The Clarity is very comfortable inside - the controls are easy to reach and see. The cruise control with anti collision works wonderfully and given that our drive home was in rush hour traffic, it got used several times. The car brakes easily and comfortably when the anti collision kicks in. The cruise control was easy to use and set and turn off. The lane assist is very quick when lines are visible and you begin to drift out of your lane. It quickly brings you back and vibrates the steering wheel to let you know it is active. We still need to learn how to link phones, use the "seat memory" feature and program our garage door openers to the opener buttons in the car. The Clarity is easy to charge with the included cable that plugs into a standard outlet. You do need to put a hook on the wall near the outlet to support the weight of the charging device. On 120V, it charges overnight to full 47 mile range. We have a lot to learn about the Clarity, how it drives in winter and on snow (we live in the CO mountains - aka - snow country) . But for now, we are very pleased we picked the Clarity Touring Sedan as our newest vehicle.

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5 out of 5 stars
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4 out of 5 stars

This car is cool

Deirdre Kamber Todd, 12/17/2018
2018 Honda Clarity Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
17 of 17 people found this review helpful

I wanted a plug-in hybrid, and I loved the look. I's a total pleasure to be getting 70 mpg. PROS and CONS of the car: pros are (1) the gas mileage is fantastic if you become an aware and educated driver; (2) the touchscreen is big , bright and handy; (3) my Bluetooth connects immediately (and I have a Windows phone); (4) no charging problems; (5) it holds beautifully on windy roads and in the rain; (6) the backup camera options are great; and (7) the electric really does take you 30+ miles a day if you plug in at night. Cons: (1) driver's seat is not comfortable; (2) you have to learn how to drive the car effectively - it has too many options if you just "drive" it; (3) it has poor automated pick-up and speed-up in cruise control; (4) it doesn't come with a spare tire; and (5) when you do car-following (as part of the autosynchronous cruise control), you often must brake or manually slow-up, so you can't get too comfortable -- the tech just isn't quite there yet. Couple of things to know ahead of time if you're considering this car: (1) if you buy the car, be aware you MUST ORDER the book from Honda (and the book is huge) -- it doesn't come in the car and it has all the how-to's (YouTube isn't great on it, whatever the sales team tells you); (2) download Plugshare and HondaLink right away - you'll need them ASAP.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
4 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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