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2019 Honda Clarity Review

The Honda Clarity was originally available only as a fuel-cell electric vehicle, but now it is also offered in battery-electric and plug-in hybrid versions. The Clarity’s plug-in hybrid, which we focus on here, can travel up to 47 miles on a fully-charged battery before switching to its gasoline engine.

The five-passenger Clarity sedan features a sleek cabin design with heated front seats (leather-trimmed on the Touring version), standard Safety Sense and the 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, connected to the HondaLink app.

The Honda Clarity Plug-In is available for purchase in all 50 states, but it’s more difficult to put your hands on its sister versions.  The Clarity Electric is available only for lease through select dealerships in California and Oregon. The Clarity Fuel Cell can be leased only through an authorized Honda Fuel Cell dealer in California and to those who live near an approved hydrogen fueling station.

2019 Honda Clarity pricing and trims

Pricing for the Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid begins at $33,400 and tops out at $36,600. There are less expensive, fuel-efficient cars in the Honda family, but the Clarity is the only plug-in hybrid. For even greater efficiency, the Clarity Electric is available as a lease option starting at $199 for 36 months with $1,799 due upon signing. The most efficient of them all, the Clarity Fuel Cell model, starts at $379 per month for a 36-month lease with $2,878 due upon signing.

We focus on the top features for the two trim levels of the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid :

Trim Plug-In Hybrid Touring
MSRP  $33,400 $36,600
Features 18-inch Alloy Wheels, LED Headlights, Cloth Upholstery, Heated Front Seats, 60/40 Split Fold-Down Rear Seat, Push-Button Start, Deceleration Sensors, Honda Sensing Eight-Way Power Adjustable Driver’s Seat, Four-Way Power Adjustable Front Passenger Seat, Leather-Trimmed Seats, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel, Remote Pre-Climate Control, Navigation System, Voice Recognition

*All MSRPs are the lowest base price for each trim. The feature list is not exhaustive.

Front-wheel drive: All Honda Clarity models come standard with front-wheel drive.  All-wheel drive is not offered.

Seating:  The Clarity seats five passengers and is roomier than rivals, including the Toyota Prius Prime. The back row features a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a center armrest.

Power: The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid uses both electricity and gasoline for power. It has a 1.5-liter four -cylinder engine and electric motor that deliver a combined 212 horsepower. Read more about the differences between hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles.

What’s next?  You may be able to pay less than MSRP if you shop around.  Online industry guides like the Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides can help you find the car you are looking for at a good price.

Before you head to the dealership, take some time to shop around for a car loan.  Your local bank or credit union or Honda financing may offer auto loans at good rates but you won’t know until you compare. To avoid hurting your credit, be sure to submit auto loan applications to lenders within a 14-day window. You could fill out a single form at LendingTree and receive five potential financing offers from lenders, depending on your creditworthiness.

2019 Honda Clarity safety

The 2019 Honda Clarity has not been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2019 Honda Clarity comes with a rearview camera and the Honda Sensing suite of advanced driver safety features.

Both trims of the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid have the same standard safety features:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System automatically applies the brakes when the system senses an imminent crash.
  • Road Departure Mitigation System alerts the driver if the car is going to cross the road markings.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control keeps a safe following distance between the Clarity and the car traveling in front of it.
  • Lane Keeping Assist System guides the car back to the center of its lane when it detects that the car may be drifting.
  • Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver if the car is departing from its lane.
  • Forward Collision Warning alerts the driver to a potential collision ahead.
  • Honda LaneWatch uses a camera to monitor the driver’s blind spot on the right-hand side.

2019 Honda Clarity competitor comparison

The Clarity’s upscale cabin and roomy seats help it stand out in the plug-in hybrid segment. However, experts noticed slower acceleration, lackluster handling and shorter range than some rivals and a higher price than others.

The Clarity does have more passenger room in the second row and more standard safety and driver assistance features than the Chevrolet Volt, which can travel farther on a single charge and accelerate faster.

The Clarity also provides more passenger and cargo space than the Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid and beats it on range. But the Toyota Prius Prime features a lower base price and larger cargo area than the Clarity. However, Honda’s model comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and features an electric range of 47 miles compared with 25 miles  for the Toyota Prius Prime.

Trim 2019 Honda Clarity 2019 Chevrolet Volt 2020 Prius Prime 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Base MSRP $33,400 $33,520 $27,600 $33,400
Expert Scores

Overall Fuel Economy

3.9

42 MPG

4.2

42 MPG

4.1

54 MPG

4.1

42 MPG

Standard Technology 8” Touch Screen, Bluetooth, 2 USB Ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 8-Speaker Stereo System 8” Touch Screen, Bluetooth, 2 USB Ports, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 6-Speaker Sound System 7” Touch Screen, Bluetooth, USB Port, HD Radio, Satellite Radio, Navigation System, 6-Speaker Sound System 7” Screen, Bluetooth, USB Port, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 6-Speaker Audio System

Prices listed here are the lowest base MSRP for each model. Expert scores take an average of Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds expert ratings when available. Standard features lists a few key features included in the lowest trim level for each vehicle at no additional cost, but is not an exhaustive list of all technology. Combined fuel economy is as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The bottom line on the 2019 Honda Clarity

The Honda Clarity is offered as a plug-in hybrid, battery-electric or fuel cell vehicle. It features an upscale cabin, comfortable seating and respectable range. Depending upon where you live, the Clarity offers several options to those seeking a fuel-efficient, environmentally-friendly sedan.

Compared with rivals, the Clarity may fall short. The Chevrolet Volt features stronger driving dynamics, while the Toyota Prius Prime boasts a lower starting price tag.

The Clarity is a comfortable and fuel-efficient car with a suite of standard safety features, but you may find a plug-in hybrid with a lower price or greater range by shopping its competitors.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

 

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