Honda Clarity PHEV 0-60 MPH Acceleration With & Without Engine: Video

MAR 9 2019 BY MARK KANE 44

It’s not a speed demon by any means, but it performs well enough.

Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is currently one of the best-selling PHEV in the U.S., which means that the cars are disappearing from dealers lot relatively quick. In the past three months, the Clarity PHEV outsold all other plug-in hybrids in the U.S., including the popular Toyota Prius Prime.

So, obviously, it’s a popular car and one of the often asked questions when it comes to PHEVs is – How does it perform in electric-only mode versus with gas assist?

How quick is the acceleration of the Clarity PHEV? Well, it depends on the driving mode – all-electric or hybrid. Here is a video test by AvtoWowEVs:

  • EV mode: 0-60 mph in 12.8 seconds
  • Hybrid mode: 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds

The hybrid mode (gas plus battery) is more than 3 seconds quicker, but also a lot louder. We assume that it’s an acceptable level of acceleration for the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, which is certainly not a sports car.

A better result would require higher power than the 135 kW currently provided by the electric motor. We assume Honda will improve the Clarity PHEV in the coming years, thus resulting in a quicker car with even more electric range than its current 47-mile rating.

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44 Comments on "Honda Clarity PHEV 0-60 MPH Acceleration With & Without Engine: Video"

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OK, it’s a PHEV, so how does it compare to other PHEV’s? Like Volt, Prius Prime, BMW, Volvo & MB PHEV’s?

Like, in a report using a chart, to order them from Fastest to Slowest Vehicle & Mode. And another chart showing $/EV Mile Range, and $/Total Mile Range. Then, $ Cost, etc.

Prime is a little bit faster in EV and a little bit slower in HV.

With mine, I simply drop the pedal to the floor (since it is so smoooooth and the engine remains off) and don’t give it any other thought. That works fine, even for the from-a-dead-stop corners merging onto a 55 mph road. On my daily commute, maximum draw (68 kW) isn’t required. So, acceleration hasn’t been much of a topic.

I do enjoy the extra torque from stoplights. The boost from the larger battery-pack is quite obvious compared to the regular model Prius.

My, by now, “ancient” tech C-Max Energi is faster in HV and slower in EV:
HV: 8.5
EV: 13.x ish

Just like the Clarity, one can easily stay in EV mode while driving in normal urban situations. Over the years, I’ve unintentionally started the ICE more with the brake pedal due to regeneration to a full battery than I ever have with the accelerator pedal.

Please elaborate how that works that the engine feels the need to start while braking.

Regen that has nowhere to go…check the forum here for a lengthy discussion. It’s beyond annoying.

So why wouldn’t the car just use the brakes in that situation?

it’s a question many have been asking…

In the PHEV world, anything compares rather well to the poor Volt (R.I.P.) 🙂

I’m liking the Clarity PHEV more and more. Matter of fact, if the next couple of years the Clarity gets its face cleaned up a little, the rear reshaped as a proper liftback, and the EV range boosted to about 100-ish mi, I’d be tempted to compare it side-to-side with the forthcoming TMY in the categories of practicality, TCO and value for money.

It would be silly to get a PHEV with a 100 mile range. For the same price you can get an EV with a 250 mile range. Choose the simpler option instead. PHEV with up to 50 mile range makes sense.

Not for me. I want my daily driver to go from my home to downtown Newburyport and other local sites most of the time. But I want do to a round trip to Boston and back as well several times a year. 100 is MUCH better than 50 (my 2016 Volt) and in fact I want 150. And I want the SAME car to travel to Quebec City. So one car that does all of the above please.

Clarity is top 10 ugliest vehicle designs of 21st century. Glad you like it.

Slow and ugly, when so many other Hondas and Acuras are quick and decent looking. Honda just isn’t really trying with plugins.

I could overlook it being slow (in EV mode) if they cut cost. An Accord Hybrid starts at $25k with 6sec 0-60, so why not just start from there and add batteries and a plug? Was the complicated and expensive drivetrain of the Clarity worth it with so few benefits?

An all-electric future is alluring, but the plug-in market could be so much bigger with compelling PHEVs.

“An Accord Hybrid starts at $25k with 6sec 0-60, so why not just start from there and add batteries and a plug?”

GM kind of already did this with the Volt. Was starting at $33,500 and had a 0-60 in 7.5 seconds in EV mode with 53 miles of range. Quicker and with longer range than any other PHEV on the market (I don’t count i3rex because it is more of an EV with a weak little range extender). But they got rid of it to go pure EV.

Still Rex here in the US

And importantly has double the EV range of the Volt.

They didn’t, though. The Volt had a complicated drivetrain, which is why it was so expensive. An Accord Hybrid ($25k) plus 20 kWh of cells (at a generous $300/kWh) probably costs $32k minus tax credit.

The Volt also had a lot smaller interior than the Accord.

The only reason Honda asks a few grand more for Clarity than it’s really worth is the increasingly counter-productive federal tax rebate.

What is it really worth? I suspect if Honda wanted to make money they would have to get more like $45,000 for one. It is a lot nicer than Accord EX-L in many ways. It feels like a more premium car. It has laminated side windows, tons of noise reduction added to interior, mostly aluminium and ultra high strength steel construction, sound dampening in each wheel, etc, and with Tax credit you can get the car for about the same price as a Prius.

That doesnt seem right. Numerous other videos suggest 7-8 sec in HV and 10 sec in EV mode. Keeping the car in EV mode without triggering engine is hard when doing full acceleration, so that is probably why this person got such a long time. My experience in EV mode is in line with 10 sec numbers, having owned Volt with a similar figures.

Yeah, Car and Driver tested it at 7.7 sec 0-60 mph in hybrid mode, and Motor Trend had it at 7.5 sec.

Most car magazines test allowing rollout, I also test about 9 seconds and 13 seconds on my Clarity with a fully charged battery and warm engine ignoring rollout, tested going both directions on same stretch of road and averaged.

Curious how the car feels in normal driving urban, on-ramp, highway compared to your past Volt?

With gas engine it is faster than Gen1 Volt, EV only it is slower, especially above 45 mph. It is quick enough for daily driving, I have fun driving it quickly, but it isn’t fast at all though (Accord V6 is relatively fast).

The big difference with Volt is family space. The Clarity is a much larger car. If you just commute and don’t carry many people Volt is great.

Clarity drivers can tell from the video that he didn’t do the EV-only test right. It’s not in Econ, which means he is holding off the accelerator to keep from triggering the ICE. The Power meter (blue ring) didn’t climb anywhere near fast enough from the start. In Econ mode there is a detent that you can push the accelerator against to get full EV power without crossing over to ICE hybrid mode.

This looks to be in line with my Toyota Prius Prime. I get very similar numbers in EV and hybrid mode. Which is interesting, to say the least, since the Prime only outputs 68KW.

It is faster, car magazines put the number closer to 7.5 seconds to 60, allowing rollout. Don’t compare different people’s numbers to each other. In EV mode it might be similar, output from battery only is only around 90 kW, and car is much bigger than a Prius.

How did you keep the Clarity in EV mode for this test, since every time the pedal is floored it turns on the engine?

There’s is a mechanically resistive detent on the accelerator. If you don’t push past the detent it stays in EV mode. It’s easy to do.

Except, you can tell that he didn’t use the detent because he wasn’t in Econ mode, and the power indicator did not go to the 3/4 mark and stay there. I’m 80% sure he was trying to manage the power himself to stay out of the ICE.

Not sure about video driver, but in Econ mode there is a stop point (detent) on pedal that is hard to push pass if you aren’t actively trying to floor it. So it is very easy to drive EV only. If you panic and stomp on pedal it is easy to push past detent too.

It is perfect resistance to make it easy to stop the pedal there, but easy to pass if you need power. Great for EV driving and avoid accidental engine starts (although it can start for other reasons occasionally).

Base Modek 3? A tad faster.

I think now a Model 3 Standard Plus + AP is what I would get instead, but it is more expensive by almost $10,000 if you get 10% off your Clarity. Model 3 Standard Plus $37,000 + 1500 for a color + 1500 for wheels + 3000 for AP for a total of $43,000 vs maybe $33 or $34,000 for a Clarity Touring after discounts off MSRP. This is before factoring in tax credit differences of another $3750 in favor of the Clarity.

Wish I could upvote this more than once. The thing that sold me on the Clarity is that lane centering and adaptive cruise are standard on both trims, along with the much nicer interior finish than Bolt, Leaf, etc. Before the Model 3 standard came out, a Model 3 mid-range would be $41k+$5k for autopilot, and now the Model 3 is $35k+$3k for AP (and only if you settle for black). Add another $3k or so for Honda deals vs. Tesla MSRP only, and the Tesla mid-range was $15k more, the standard is still about $8k more. That is still a significant price difference on a car that is going to be around $23,000 after credits.

WoW; makes me glad I bought a Leaf 8 years ago and bypassed the idea of a hybrid.

Love the title: 0-60 acceleration without an engine…. exciting

Oh man that thing is slow. And the use to make fun of my ELR an Volt. Both were faster.

Alex Autos did the reviews more and it was faster at 7.5

This just shows me the capability of the Volt powertrain is still the high water mark for PHEV powertrains.

Ordinary consumers don’t place as high of a priority for acceleration. In fact, that’s a major reason why Volt failed to attract anything beyond enthusiasts. If GM would have utilized the same tech in a more appealing vehicle to GM’s own loyal customers… like Equinox… aspects like affordability would have to take more of a focus.

Slow and Slow

Talk about slow, how about 45 minutes to recharge (several times on many trips), vs. 3-5 five minutes to fill a Clarity!

Tbe acceleration test is flawed for reasons indicated (driver consciously avoiding pedal resistance). But that is not the only flaw, best to put the car in power mode for best results although not certain its absolutely necessary. Regardless, official tome is 7.8 seconds and that is true to reality. Not sure if that time can be achieved with battery fully depleted, best test would include that scenario as its certainly relevant should 7.8 seconds only be possible with high SOC in battery. I prefer Volt EREV powertrain, very quick off the line, Gen2 Volt rivaled model S 60 kwh RWD in 0 to 30 acceleration which is a highly useful use case in regular driving. Also EREV is guaranteed no gas if battery is not depleted, then when in EREV performance is roughly equivalent to EV mode, except possibly for 0 to 30. Less compromises with EREV. Clarity is substantially larger, nicer, etc. Hope Honda ups size of main electric motor in next version for fast off the line.