2018 Honda Clarity Electric

2018 Honda Clarity
2018 Honda Clarity


  • Comfortable, well-appointed cabin seats five people
  • Solid driving range in all versions except Clarity Electric
  • Pleasant ride quality in electric and plug-in hybrid versions


  • Touchscreen infotainment system can be cumbersome to use
  • Limited availability of all but Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
  • Polarizing styling

Which Clarity does Edmunds recommend?

Among the three versions, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid easily makes the strongest case for itself. And among the two trim levels, we say stick with the base one and forgo the Touring trim's leather seats and navigation. Options are limited to accessory items, except for the rear parking sensors that we'd suggest adding.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

The 2018 Honda Clarity range now includes plug-in hybrid and electric versions that join the Clarity Fuel Cell. All versions of the Clarity share the same basic design — they are front-wheel-drive, four-door sedans that are similar to an Accord in size. But the three variants vary widely in their power sources and driving range.

The Clarity Fuel Cell debuted last year. It's an electric car that, instead of being recharged by a plug, generates electricity from compressed hydrogen stored on board. By combining the hydrogen with oxygen from the air, the Fuel Cell emits water and electricity as byproducts.

This setup allows the Clarity Fuel Cell to be refueled in three to five minutes for travel up to 366 miles. These figures far outshine the recharging time and range of any battery electric vehicle in production today. Though the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is an Edmunds CES Tech Driven Award winner for its innovation, it relies on a fledgling hydrogen refueling infrastructure and is sold only in California.

A more versatile and more widely available model is the Clarity Electric, which went on sale late in the 2017 model year. It's a battery electric vehicle just like other EVs such as the Nissan Leaf. But its driving range of just 89 miles is disappointing, and we recommend you look elsewhere first if you're shopping for an electric vehicle.

That leaves us with the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, the newly introduced and final piece of the Clarity triad. Comparable to vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt or the Toyota Prius Prime, the PHEV is a plug-in hybrid that can recharge at home and drive an EPA-estimated 48 miles on pure electric power before it switches over to regular hybrid gasoline power.

Of the three Clarity versions, the Plug-In Hybrid is the most convincing and has the broadest appeal to consumers. It's comfortable, has a solid amount of electric range, and should serve you well as a frugal and well-equipped hybrid.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Honda Clarity is offered in three distinct versions that differ in how they provide propulsion — Electric, Fuel Cell and Plug-In Hybrid. Honda offers the Electric and Fuel Cell in just one trim level, but the Plug-In Hybrid comes in two trims.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid starts you off in either base or Touring trim. Both come with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired to an electric motor hybrid system (total system: 212 hp, 232 lb-ft), along with a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery. The electric-only range is estimated at 47 miles, and fuel economy for regular hybrid operation is 42 mpg.

The base trim features include keyless entry and start, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports, an eight-speaker sound system, and the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features. The Touring trim adds power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, a navigation system, and remote climate-control preconditioning.

The Clarity Fuel Cell is a single-trim model generously equipped with pretty much all of the above features, though it has a premium 12-speaker sound system. All Clarity Fuel Cell models are powered by an electric motor (174 hp, 221 lb-ft) that drives the front wheels. The tanks hold enough compressed hydrogen for an EPA-estimated 366 miles of emission-free motoring.

If you prefer a simpler Clarity, the Clarity Electric is for you. With an electric motor (161 hp, 221 lb-ft) driving the front wheels and a relatively small (25.5-kWh) lithium-ion battery under the back seat, the Clarity Electric is the lightest Clarity of them all. But its EPA-estimated range of 89 miles puts it near the bottom of the EV pack. Otherwise, it's a well-equipped and fine-driving car. Like the Fuel Cell, it's available in a single trim level.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell (electric fuel cell | 1-speed direct drive | FWD).


The Clarity isn't an exciting car to drive, but it is accessible and easy to deal with in everyday driving. Acceleration and handling are adequate but nothing more.


Acceleration is quick enough for around-town driving, but that's about it. At higher speeds, there's not a whole lot more on tap. In our testing, the Clarity took 8.4 seconds from 0 to 60 mph. We noticed appreciably slower times in additional back-to-back acceleration runs.


The brakes operate normally during casual driving but begin to feel unnaturally springy and disconnected under moderate to heavy braking. There isn't much regenerative braking effect when lifting off the accelerator. It needed 129 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is a middling result.


Its steering is direct and has a tangible buildup of effort around center but is pretty numb overall. Quick inputs are met with a fairly muted reaction. Still, the Clarity is clearly better than its rival, the Toyota Mirai, when it comes to steering feel.


The Clarity feels heavy but not ponderous. There's reasonable composure when cornering at modest speeds. Handling is deliberate rather than spry. Its ultimate grip is respectable, but this isn't a car that will have you seeking canyon roads.


As it functions as an electric vehicle, this car is docile and very easy to live with. It accelerates smoothly from a stop without delay, and there aren't any gear changes to interrupt the power flow. Its cruise control, however, struggles to keep your set speed when going downhill.


Its electric propulsion is quiet. Operation of the fuel cell powertrain is more audible than a battery EV, but it's endearing rather than annoying. Its seats are soft, and the ride quality is acceptable.

Seat comfort

The front seats have very soft padding, and the perforated center sections but don't offer much in terms of lateral support. The back seat is reasonably comfortable, though the bottom cushion is somewhat short, so long-legged passengers may find them uncomfortable.

Ride comfort

The Clarity has a soft ride quality, bordering on floaty. It's comfortable most of the time, but the suspension struggles to control the mass of the car when driving on bumpy roads. Its ride motions are exaggerated and require more of the available suspension travel.

Noise & vibration

Wind noise is barely heard, making for civilized freeway travel. A bevy of unusual powertrain whirs come and go but are muted, making them more of a curiosity. Road noise is the most prominent thing you hear, with a variety of sounds making their way to the cabin.

Climate control

The climate control interface consists of buttons and knobs with redundant controls through a touchscreen interface. The auto function works well, and the heated front seats have three levels. The backseat vents are located on back of the center console.


This is a car that can transport four people comfortably, and five in a pinch. Its sizable cabin provides ample room for occupants and is easy to access. Visibility is excellent for the most part, though the standard rearview will help when reversing.

Ease of use

Most of the control buttons are easy to reach and are clearly labeled. The push-button gear selector isn't as quick to use as a traditional one, though its location in the Clarity is better than in other Honda vehicle applications. The touchscreen is not the quickest-responding either.

Getting in/getting out

There's little trouble stepping into the Clarity, and the roof does not appreciably impede front or rear entry. The back seat is even easier to access. All four entry points have a grab handle.

Driving position

For those who like to feel ensconced in the driver's seat, the seating position will feel a bit high, even at the lowest setting. The steering wheel is sized right and feels good in your hands, though some drivers might wish the column telescoped out more.


There's ample headroom up front. In the back, only adults taller than 6 feet will find their heads brushing up against the headliner. There's a lot of shoulder room and decent legroom in back.


Forward visibility is great thanks to a low beltline and cowl. Sizable corner windows and slim roof pillars also help out, as does the LaneWatch right-side camera system. Rearward visibility suffers a bit due to a high tail, but a unique second back window that peers through the trunk helps.


The cabin design of simulated open-pore wood and suede accents suggests inspiration by high-end home theater systems. The muted tones look a little dour, though. But overall the interior quality is one step ahead of the Mirai's.


Its cargo area is superior to the Mirai's but falls short of a conventional car's in size and versatility. The Clarity also follows the typical Honda approach to cabin space, providing a variety of storage locations for small items. Car seat LATCH points aren't difficult to work with.

Small-item storage

With a good-size console bin, two big cupholders, door pockets, a glovebox plus storage area under floating console, there's room for nearly any item you'd typically use on a day-to-day basis. In back, there are small door pockets, smartphone pouches, and a flip-down armrest with two cupholders.

Cargo space

Despite appearances, the Clarity has a trunk, not a hatch. The cargo area has a nice wide opening but is not very deep at all. Inside is a shelf with a soft floor. The rear seats do not fold because there's a big hydrogen tank in the way.

Child safety seat accommodation

LATCH points on outboard rear seats have obvious and easily accessed top anchors. The lower ones are tucked between the seat cushions. These are soft and easily manipulated to reach the lower anchors.


Smartphone integration and voice controls work well and are a convenient way to not have to use the touchscreen interface, which is a letdown. It's straight out of the Honda parts bin. Owners of this much pricier car deserve better than the system that's in Honda's entry-level sedan.

Audio & navigation

While the 8-inch touchscreen is sizable, its interface needs work. Basic functions are hard to use when moving. The graphics are a bit old-school, and the screen flow could be quicker. The menu structure is reasonably straightforward, but touch targets are small and the volume slider is irritating.

Smartphone integration

Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity, a USB port that supports iPod, and an auxiliary jack are standard. Supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but transitioning between their controls and those of the Honda-controlled systems could be smoother. Bluetooth pairing is easy for audio and phone.

Driver aids

The Clarity is flush with driver aids, most of which prove useful in keeping you out of trouble. They include a multiangle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane keeping assist and Honda LaneWatch.

Voice control

The voice controls respond well to basic natural language and can control phone, nav and audio. For a more sophisticated system, you can press and hold the voice button to bypass this system and get to Siri or Google voice commands via your paired smartphone.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Honda Clarity.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Perfect car if it meets your driving profile
Mark Pope,06/04/2018
I finally had it with my BMW(Break My Wallet) and went shopping for a Honda Ridgeline back in December 2017. Honda dropped the least and drive off fee at that time. I've had 5 Accords and a Pilot and think very highly of the brand. I live in Sacramento. I reviewed my driving patterns on Google and found that I drove to North Dakota once, Chico and San Francisco several times. All other driving in the last five years was local and under 70 miles a day. I called all the dealerships in the area to test drive one and found several in Lodi(60 miles away). I was sold after the test drive because of my trust in Honda, familiarity with Accords, and the torque from 0mph or at 80mph. I had to wait for two hours after completing the lease agreement for the Clarity to charge on a 110V line at the dealership! I had range anxiety all the way home, esp. as traffic slowed in Sacramento. CA gave me a check for $2500, my utility company gave me a $700 L2 charger and a discount rate of .07 kw/h if I charge between midnight and 6am. Because I am a moderate driver and don't use the electric heat warmers, a full charge shows 110 mile range. I can drive to the gym, work, lunch, home to pick up my wife, and go downtown for dinner and still not use 70 miles of range. It's difficult in Sac to go 100 miles. When we need to go to SF/Chico/Humboldt/Tahoe we take my wife's Lexus. My kw/h usage is $0.85 for the first hour after midnight. Considering how much I am saving not buying gas or paying repair shop bills this car will reduce the cost of that future Ridgeline. My decision to lease this car and postpone a purchase has nothing to do with the environmentally friendly green movement. I was indifferent to the electric drive train but after two months of driving I will have a difficult time returning to combustion engine. If the battery tech improves and Honda swaps out the battery at the end of the lease I will seriously consider keeping it. But I would really like a small truck that is electric. So our kids are gone, my wife has a long range vehicle, and I cannot exceed 89 miles in daily driving. This compliance car is perfect for me, not my neighbors or co-workers.
Great new car
Wally Thek,08/17/2018
We recently bought the new Honda clarity plug-in hybrid. One day after purchasing the vehicle we embarked on a 3000 mile road trip. The car performed beautifully. With the charged battery we were able to get about 330 miles, using only 6 gallons of gas. Handled beautifully on highway, ample acceleration, comfortable ride. This car is a little bigger than the Accord.
m. arin,06/20/2018
fantastic for local driving. I have put approximately 1000 miles on the car in a little over a month, and have not yet needed to fill my tank with gas.
More than expected
Better than I dreamed
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Features & Specs

126 city / 103 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
See all 2018 Honda Clarity Electric 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
Automatically applies steering to help keep your vehicle in 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.

2018 Honda Clarity Electric for Sale

Honda Clarity 2018 Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Honda Clarity
Touring Plug-In Hybrid
Est.Loan: $648/mo
View Details
Honda Clarity 2018 Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Honda Clarity
Touring Plug-In Hybrid
Est.Loan: $649/mo
View Details
Dealer Notes
Moonlit Forest Pearl 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring FWD CVT I4Recent Arrival! 4044 HighwayCity MPG**All prices exclude taxes, title, license, and dealer processing fee of $699.00. Published price subject to change without notice to correct errors or omissions or in the event of inventory fluctuations. All features not on all vehicles. Vehicles shown are for illustration purposes only. MPG is based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack agecondition (hybrid only), and other factors.
Honda Clarity 2018 Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Honda Clarity
Touring Plug-In Hybrid
Est.Loan: $632/mo
Fair Deal!Fair Deal!
View Details
Dealer Notes
You won't want to miss this excellent value! It offers the latest in technological innovation and style. It includes power seats, automatic temperature control, fully automatic headlights, and cruise control. Smooth gearshifts are achieved thanks to the efficient 4 cylinder engine, and for added security, dynamic Stability Control supplements the drivetrain. We pride ourselves in the quality that we offer on all of our vehicles. Please don't hesitate to give us a call.

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More about the 2018 Honda Clarity

The 2018 Honda Clarity consists of three versions that offer distinctly different modes of propulsion. The first is the Clarity Fuel Cell, a rare kind of vehicle that is fueled by hydrogen, which is subsequently manipulated to produce electricity. There's also the Clarity Electric, a battery electric vehicle, and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, a version that uses gasoline and electricity.

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 a 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. Likewise, the Clarity Electric is lease-only, making the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid the only version you have the option of purchasing.

As fully loaded models, some of the premium features in the Clarity Fuel Cell and Electric include leather seats, 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 Plug-In Hybrid is the only Clarity that offers more than one trim level, the base version of which forgoes the leather and navigation of the Touring trim.

Every Clarity also comes with virtually every active safety feature Honda offers as well, including a multiangle 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 Clarity Fuel Cell competes with one car only, the Toyota Mirai, which costs slightly less to lease but falls short of the Clarity's space and driving range. Meanwhile, the Clarity Electric's range puts it at the bottom of the EV pack. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is the most practical and relevant version for most buyers.

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.

2018 Honda Clarity Electric Overview

What do people think of the 2018 Honda Clarity Electric?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Honda Clarity Electric and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Clarity Electric 4 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 2018 Clarity Electric.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Honda Clarity Electric and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Clarity Electric 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.

Read our full review of the 2018 Honda Clarity Electric here.
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 2018 Honda Clarity Electric?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which 2018 Honda Clarity Electrics are available in my area?

2018 Honda Clarity Electric Listings and Inventory

Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a 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 2018 Honda Clarity Electric.

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Honda Clarity Electric for sale near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Honda Clarity Clarity Electric you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Honda Clarity for sale - 9 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $16,319.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 Honda Clarity Electric and all available trim types. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 Honda Clarity Electric include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.

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