Alex On Autos Reviews Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid


It’s time to hear what Alex on Autos has to say about the increasingly popular Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid.

Alex seems extremely impressed with the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. He refers to it as a true, “no compromises plug-in family sedan.” This means it offers ample power, standard driver assistance features, and plenty of passenger and trunk space, all while assuring you low operating costs.

More Information: Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Priced From $33,400, 47 Miles Range

Related: 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV Test Drive Review

Alex compares the space and comfort of the Clarity to that of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, two of the most popular midsize sedans on the market. However, after tax credits, the Clarity only costs a mere $800 more than the Accord Hybrid.

The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid comes with a 17 kWh battery pack, so it qualifies for the entire $7,500 U.S. federal EV tax credit.

At 47 miles of electric-only range (the closest competitor to the Chevrolet Volt), 110 MPGe, and 42 MPG, the EPA says it will cost you $4,250 less in “fuel” over five years than the average vehicle. This is a $1,000 savings over the same calculation for the Accord Hybrid.

The standard, gas-powered Accord doesn’t even compare when it comes to fuel savings, and it’s also priced fairly close to the Clarity when factoring in the rebate. Once you consider the fuel savings, the choice is really a no-brainer.

With all of this being said, Alex wonders why anyone wouldn’t choose the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid.

Video Description via Alex on Autos on YouTube:

Honda seems to be done playing it safe in the world of hybrids, proof of that is the new Clarity Plug In Hybrid which is the first no-compromises plug-in family sedan. With interior room and comfort like an Accord or Camry, 42 miles per gallon and nearly 50 miles of electric range, this is finally the car that will do everything your current sedan will do with a focus on fuel economy and lower operating costs. Oh, and you’ll get to drive in the HOV lane in some states too. What do I mean by no compromises? I mean an honest to goodness trunk, 212 horsepower, a wide and comfortable back seat, standard active safety tech and a price tag just $800 more than an Accord Hybrid (after tax credits). Why would you buy anything else? I’m not sure either.

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47 Comments on "Alex On Autos Reviews Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid"

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The specs on the Clarity would have been great had the car been released in 2008, but are unimpressive for a vehicle released in 2018. WRT aesthetics, congratulations Honda, your car makes a first gen LEAF look sexy.

Really looking forward to some of the EV concepts Honda has trotted out in the last few shows.

This is a ridiculous comment. The battery alone would have cost at least $10k more had it been released 10 years prior. It also comes with technology that simply was not available back then.

Agreed that G2 is clueless here… You get a full featured PHEV with range almost as good as a GEN2 VOLT, while getting a nice large midsized sedan. Well Done Honda, and well done Alex for a fine review. The comparisons he always does between competitive vehicles make it easier for all but the brain-dead to see the reasons for his choices.

If you can’t critique the comment attack the commenter?
Classy as always BH.

Thanks, I’m always in favor of making the Dim Bulbs here a bit dimmer.

The Clarity has specs that are unimpressive; the car is no bigger than a Leaf; slower; less efficient and fugly. Honda threw this out as ‘chum’ until they could do something (anything) better, which if they follow through on their recent concepts, will see the Clarity retired long before the normal 5 to 7 years a model is usually in production.

Sorry if I offended anyone’s choice, but these are the facts. Get over it.

Not sure where you’re getting your numbers. makes it very easy to compare cars (link below). It’s run by EPA so you can trust their numbers. Clarity has much larger passenger volume than the Leaf. Leaf has more luggage room. Clarity is a tad more efficient than the Leaf on electricity (it’s really a tie). Whether it s “fugly” is a matter of opinion so everyone can judge for themselves.

Bill critiqued you in his first sentence, but the rest of his post critiqued your comment and provided counter evidence. Perhaps you should have read more than the first 6 words.

I’m generally not too vain about my commuting cars. For me, the lowest cost of transportation is the goal, as long as I can seat four in relative comfort. I put on the requisite front license plate, don’t tint the windows or attach other doodads, and will get one with the coolest (temp-wise), easiest to maintain color combo.

However, the Clarity is ugly with a capital U. Even I would have a hard time living with that thing. The new Insight is such a better looking car, why’d they make this one so ugly?

Looks are always subjective, but I think it looks a lot better than a 1996 Taurus, which sold in very large numbers. Most importantly the interior is nice, the part I look at.

I love the Clarity as it is a car that can comfortably seat 4 six foot adults, and even 5 adults can fit easily. We replaced our minivan with one (family of 5) and couldn’t be happier. Saved more than 300 gallons of gas since Dec over 8500 miles. No other car on the market could do that in this price range.

FUGLY car!

I spend most of my time inside the car. Its inside spaciousness covers any outside styling lack.

So you do agree it is ugly….

The only exterior thing I don’t care for is the very LOUD EV badging all over the place.

If its tesla it wouldn’t be ugly right

Insight will not have a PHEV version. Honestly, I don’t see where all the ugly comments are coming from but I’d bet they are from folks who have never driven one. It is a really good car. I dropped my Model 3 reservation right after I bought the Clarity and don’t regret it one bit. Just try one out of you can in your area. This car brings a lot of value.

Ugly and bad mean different things. The former can be judged without driving one.

Driven one here in Ohio. They had 3 in the lot. Great car to drive. Very responsive. Love the detente. Mames you drive efficiently if you dont want the gas to turn on and all the standard safety features. The bad, the real exterior sytling if its not black or gray,and the floating old infotainment system, should have used the new ones from the accord

It seems that Alex loves fugly car that handles numb but rides like a family sedan…. Well, it sure works for certain segment of buyers.

You mean like the 100,000s of people who buy a Camry or Accord each year? Darn tooting it works for a lot of buyers!

We can’t all be as special as you.

Very helpful review! Thanks for sharing it.

Aside from being borderline fugly, the Clarity PHEV looks like a real good value.

Lol. Bolt owner calling another car ugly. Please…

You, Mark, are just being eaten up alive with envy, aren’t you? Because in .ca from what I have heard one can’t just go an get a Bolt w/o waiting.

I’m in CA…and yes, we get to wait less then others. Last time i was in a Chevy dealer there was 10 dusty bolts waiting for buyers. As posted here many times in the past i was looking for a Volt last year. I can bet anyone here that i can find at least 5 bolts on the lots at the dealers in my area…so I suggest to stop getting your info form the source you currently are getting it.

Did they have the DCFC if not then thats why they are not selling. Over here in ohio my dealership had a use one with DCFC with 2k miles for $32k. I went by yesterday it wasnt on the lot

Oh, i get it now…you think “ca” stands for Canada not California.

Seems like a reasonable assumption: .ca is Canada’s TLD.

I also thought .ca was for Canada, for the same reason Scoops gave

At least he acknowledged it was a good value. I don’t care if people think itis ugly, I just found it humorous that is the most intelligent thing people come up with is that it is ugly. And they feel the need to post it all over. Resorting to name calling like 4 year olds. Many won’t even look at what the car is capable of.

Wanting for great lease deals at the end of year or when the 1st owner cant pay no more or get repo

Not sure I understand all the criticism surrounding the looks of this car. To me it looks like a boring sedan which is standard these days. Maybe with all the ugly ducklings evs we got used to seeing lately (old leaf, i3, bolt) now some drivers can’t appreciate nornal any longer.

I own one, don’t love the looks, but don’t understand the hate. It is a car, it gets around 40 mpg around 70 mph and well over 50 electric miles in town in nice weather (not on highway), it is a really nice driving car. No, it isn’t a sports car, but it is so stinking quiet on the interstate you realize just how bad other cars are. It has laminated side glass only found on full luxury cars, almost all aluminum body panels (steel frame), much better visibility than Volt. Etc.

Fellow owner here. I also don’t get the hate. This is a great car. Quiet, comfortable, ACC and LKAS standard. All that and I get $12.5k in rebates and the aforementioned gas savings. Lots of upside. What the heck do these people calling it ugly drive anyway?

Range is just 6 miles lesser than Volt, but if offers lot more passenger and trunk space and a proper 5 seater. Volt is just a 4+1 seater because the passenger in the rear middle seat has to spread his/her legs because of the cup holder in the front with the battery under it.

If Honda produces and sells more Clarity plugins, it could sell well and even catch up to Volt.

Only thing I didn’t like about the car was its relatively poor regeneration ability, but hey, it is what it is.

Its a lot of car for the money, and currently the second best plug-in range for a hybrid, and pretty fair gas economy when the battery is dead. The 6 kw charger facility is a plus (very large) for a PHEV.

Its better the Volt

This is a great car. I have a volt gen 2 now with most options. I test drove a Clarity Touring and I have to say Clarity has a tremendous upside with comfort and roominess. Range and efficiency differences are negligible. I may buy one of these even though my Volt is less than two years old.

The video review was outstanding. I was surprised that Alex neglected to mention that Clarity only has about a 6.6 gallon gas tank. That is a drawback on a road trip.

Who cares if it has 6.6 gas tank. The whole point is to transition to electrics. If you go on long road trips then you add extra gas

10 years ago the Clairity styling was good, now not so much.

yeah, right…because you have so many to choose from! The only competition to this is the Volt…which has way better styling…but to choose between Honda and Chevy is really not that hard as when it comes to value everyone knows Honda is in another class. I expect this to sell if available in way bigger numbers than the Volt going forward.

Yes finally. I been asking to put this video 2 weeks ago

I was writing it around the same time I saw your message. It just got put into the schedule rotation and didn’t get published ahead of typically more “breaking” daily news and the variety we try to keep. Sometimes, less timely articles like reviews, studies, etc. get swapped back for many days as current auto show news, breaking stories covered by competitors, major announcements, and press releases come through. No worries, it’s surely not something we’d opt out of publishing.

Thanks. If find anything new ill let you know

Please do. We read all the comments and often get ideas directly from here. We know and appreciate all of your valuable insight. Thanks so much, Will!

This is the only car I have yet seen that would give my Volt competition if I were buying today rather than 2 years ago. Fortunately, in all that time I have only once had a passenger in the rear seat! If I were in the market today, I would have to compare the two rigorously, though I agree with those that that prefer the Volt styling. I wouldn’t mind having all LED lights! The Clarity styling is really extreme IMHO.