2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid

What’s new

  • Heated side mirrors now standard on the fuel cell version
  • Battery electric version discontinued
  • Part of the first Clarity generation introduced for 2017

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable, well-appointed cabin
  • PHEV's long electric driving range
  • Near-silent ride with little noise intrusion
  • Limited availability for Clarity Fuel Cell
  • Touchscreen infotainment system can be cumbersome to use
  • Polarizing styling
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2020 Honda Clarity Review

The Honda Clarity is an advanced fuel vehicle available in two variants designed to appeal to eco-conscious buyers. If you can only charge once in a while, there's the plug-in hybrid, or PHEV, with 48 miles of electric range and a gas-powered hybrid mode for backup. If you live in California and within range of a hydrogen refueling station, there's the Clarity Fuel Cell EV and its 360 miles of range. There also used to be a battery electric version, but Honda discontinued it for 2020.

Once you're behind the wheel, the Clarity drives just like any other drama-free midsize sedan. It's smooth and comfortable on the road, with amenable but not exciting acceleration and handling. It comes with a few concessions, such as limited cargo space and a dated infotainment system. You might also find the ride quality to be a little too soft, especially if you're used to the more taut feel from other Honda sedans.

Still, the Clarity is worth checking out if you're looking for a vehicle to reduce your gasoline consumption. The plug-in hybrid gives you more all-electric range than just about any other competitive vehicle, making it easier to drive for days or weeks at a time without ever using the gas engine. The hydrogen model is a harder sell given its niche status. Either way, Honda has put together an imperfect but likable vision of what the future may hold.

What's it like to live with the Clarity Fuel Cell EV?

Want to know what it is like to own a Honda Clarity Fuel Cell EV? Check out our impressions from our long-term test of a 2017 Clarity Fuel Cell. How close is it to an EV or a gas car? How much did we like the interior? Was the trunk sufficient for everyday use? How easy is it to fuel up? Learn this and more from our time with the Clarity. Note that the 2020 Clarity Fuel Cell EV differs slightly from the 2017 model we tested — heated side mirrors are now standard — but our coverage is otherwise applicable.

Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

7.2 / 10
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.

How does it drive?

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.

How comfortable is it?

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 can't be said for the ride quality, however. 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 a comfortable back seat.

How’s the interior?

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 a low beltline offers excellent outward visibility.

How’s the tech?

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.

How’s the storage?

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 seat backs. 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.

How economical is it?

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.

Is it a good value?

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 does, 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?

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is our clear choice when it comes to maximizing efficiency and minimizing headache. The base version offers standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus heated front seats and Honda's suite of advanced safety technology.

2020 Honda Clarity models

The Honda Clarity is a four-door sedan with two powertrains from which to choose: Plug-In Hybrid or Fuel Cell.

The 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 48 electric-only miles of range. The engine is EPA-rated at 42 mpg combined when operating in hybrid mode.

Honda offers the plug-in hybrid in two trims: Base and Touring. The base version comes with an 8-inch touchscreen with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, plus heated front seats, automatic wipers, and the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features. The Touring trim adds leather seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat, plus factory navigation and a synthetic suede interior.

The Clarity Fuel Cell operates via hydrogen tanks underneath the car. A fuel cell assembly turns the hydrogen into electricity, which powers an electric motor (174 hp, 221 lb-ft). Essentially, it operates much like a fully electric vehicle that occasionally needs a hydrogen fill-up. When full, the Clarity Fuel Cell has up to 360 miles of range. Only one version is available, and it includes leather-trimmed seats that are heated in front, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, an 8-inch touchscreen, 12-speaker premium audio system and Honda Sensing safety technology.

Consumer reviews

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Average user rating: 1.0 stars based on 1 total reviews

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    Build Your Clarity

    Features & Specs

    Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan features & specs
    Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan
    1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT
    MPG 44 city / 40 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
    Horsepower212 hp @ 5500 rpm
    See all for sale
    Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan features & specs
    Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan
    1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT
    MPG 44 city / 40 hwy
    SeatingSeats 5
    TransmissionContinuously variable-speed automatic
    Horsepower212 hp @ 5500 rpm
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid 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 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

    Honda Clarity vs. Toyota Mirai

    Like the Clarity, the Toyota Mirai is a four-door hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. Unlike the Clarity, the Mirai doesn't have a hybrid variant, and it's available only in California. The Mirai takes the stress out of ownership with easy hydrogen fill-ups and a great ride. A redesigned Mirai is set to debut for 2021.

    Compare Honda Clarity & Toyota Mirai features

    Honda Clarity vs. Toyota Prius Prime

    At its price, it's hard to beat the Prius Prime. The plug-in hybrid offers 25 miles of all-electric driving, plus an efficient four-cylinder engine that kicks in when the juice runs out. It now comes with five seats, more USB ports, and standard Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. The Clarity Plug-In has it beat when it comes to EV range, but if you're on a budget and don't need extra cargo space, the Prius Prime is an excellent option.

    Compare Honda Clarity & Toyota Prius Prime features

    Honda Clarity vs. Subaru Crosstrek

    Compared to the Clarity, the Crosstrek Hybrid offers more space for luggage and gear. You also get all-wheel drive. From a general standpoint, it's a more versatile vehicle than the Clarity. But its plug-in electric range is just 17 miles. Fuel economy once the battery is depleted isn't as good either.

    Compare Honda Clarity & Subaru Crosstrek features


    Is the Honda Clarity a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 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. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Clarity has 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 2020 Honda Clarity?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Honda Clarity:

    • Heated side mirrors now standard on the fuel cell version
    • Battery electric version discontinued
    • 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 2020 Honda Clarity a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Honda Clarity is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 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 2020 Clarity is a good car for you. Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2020 Honda Clarity?

    The least-expensive 2020 Honda Clarity is the 2020 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
    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), and Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT). For a full list of Clarity models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2020 Honda Clarity

    2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid Overview

    The 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid is offered in the following styles: Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

    What do people think of the 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 Clarity Hybrid 1.0 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 2020 Clarity Hybrid.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 Clarity Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels including Plug-In Hybrid, Touring Plug-In Hybrid, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. 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 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid 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 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid?

    2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

    The 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid 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 $37,555. The average price paid for a new 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is trending $1,307 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,307 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $36,248.

    The average savings for the 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is 3.5% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 1 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid Touring Plug-In Hybrid 4dr Sedan (1.5L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    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 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrids are available in my area?

    2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid Listings and Inventory

    There are currently 1 new 2020 [object Object] Clarity Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $37,555 and mileage as low as 0 miles. 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid.

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 [object Object] Clarity Hybrid for sale near you.

    Can't find a new 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid Clarity Hybrid you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Honda Clarity for sale - 7 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $10,437.

    Find a new Honda for sale - 11 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $16,569.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid and all available trim types: Plug-In Hybrid, Touring Plug-In Hybrid. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid 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 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid?

    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