Honda Releases Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Versus Chevy Volt Video

NOV 28 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 77

Hmm … very interesting ad timing by Honda.

While we have absolutely no way of knowing how this played out, it’s quite intriguing that right around the same time Chevrolet announced that it will kill the Volt, Honda released a very short Clarity Plug-In Hybrid ad showing how its car is better. The only brief mentions are the fact that is has more passenger volume and horsepower.

Did Honda get word about the demise of the Volt and throw together a quick ad to appeal to those that may have had plans to purchase a Volt? Is the timing just a mere coincidence? Perhaps the ad was already in the works, since despite it being short, production of such videos take advanced planning and a decent amount of time.

At any rate, the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is a fantastic vehicle. It’s honestly one of few PHEVs that even competes with the Chevrolet Volt on electric range for a plug-in hybrid. We’re sad to see the Volt go, as it’s an incredible car as well, but the passenger space situation is surely something we continue to hear many complaints about.

The 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid starts at $33,400 and offers 47 miles of EPA-estimated electric range. It comes standard with the Honda Sensing Suite of advanced driver assistance features, which includes a wealth of safety systems that are not standard in most vehicles. A 2019 Chevrolet Volt will cost you $33,520. It gets 53 miles of electric range. Only a rearview camera and GM’s Teen Driver come standard. If you want it stocked with safety features, it will cost you over $39,000.

Both cars quality for the full $7,500 U.S. federal EV tax credit, but GM will hit 200,000 plug-ins sold very soon, which will initiate the credit phaseout. However, the automaker will only be producing the Volt through March 2019, so buyers that have the tax liability to take advantage of the credit will be fine.

Do you own either of these rival plug-ins? If so, please share with us in the comment section below.

Video Description via Honda on YouTube:

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid vs. Chevy Volt

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is engineered to push further ahead of the competition, with more passenger volume and horsepower than the Chevy Volt. Learn more at https://automobiles.honda.com/clarity…

HONDA CLARITY PLUG-IN HYBRID

9 photos
2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV

CHEVROLET VOLT

2017 Chevrolet Volt
15 photos
Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt The New 2016 Volt Features 53 Miles Of All-Electric Range, And A 1.5L Generator That Nets 42 MPG Thereafter Under The New CVRP Program, The Unemployed Person In San Francisco Can Now Get A $3,000 Rebate Off The 2016 Chevrolet Volt Next Generation Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt The Most Famous E-REV - 2017 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2016 Chevrolet Volt 2017 Chevrolet Volt Interior

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77 Comments on "Honda Releases Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Versus Chevy Volt Video"

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Dave Hrivnak

Both appear to be fine cars and we do drive a Volt. I have been impressed with the Volts powertrain and Mountain mode option that allows me to tow a small camper without issue even over the highest of Rocky Mountain passes. We have 70,000 trouble free miles on our Volt and we hate to see it go. I guess with the loss of the tax credit Chevy feels they can’t compete with the Honda.

bukweet

Hmmm… “I guess with the loss of the tax credit Chevy feels they can’t compete with the Honda.”

And will GM feel the same about the Bolt, with the impending USA introduction of the Hyundai Kona EV?

Edmunds feels that even without consideration of the tax credits, the Bolt is at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the Kona EV:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lsVDdgLXho

Julius

The Edmunds review did like the Bolt’s steering and rear seat space over the Kona. And while they panned the interior and front seats as the Bolt’s biggest deficit to the Kona, Chevrolet did upgrade the front seating for ’19.

Regardless, it isn’t enough to sustain the Bolt with an effective $7500 price difference. Now the question is if Hyundai can build enough Konas to take up the slack.

EJLT

Only if Hyundai makes the Kona EV available in non-carb states. Hyundai EVs remain vaporware in the US outside CA, you can buy a Bolt today at your town’s Chevy dealer.

Will

So true

ModernMarvelFan

How can one compare if we don’t have the official Kona EV pricing yet?

theflew

My only issue with the Honda Clarity is it’s looks. Looking at the side views above it looks like somone found some scrap metal and added it to the Honda for no apparent reason.

EJLT

Indeed, the Clarity is b***ugly, literally.

JP

Totally Agree, I know it’s probably to improve air flow but… I’ll take less mileage than this ugly look

Wyoming4

The styling was something that held me back when considering purchase of the Clarity earlier this year. The last car I owned with wheel skirts was a (well) used 1954 Pontiac, and even those skirts were removable. That said, I overcame these reservations and made the purchase anyway. I can tell you that this is likely the best engineered automobile I have ever owned, the roominess, safety and other systems and the overall economy are tremendous, and the build quality (made only in Japan) is fantastic. And, like all cars, the owner/driver never sees the exterior of the car while enjoying the drive anyway. And, frankly, one tends to get used to it, a phenomenon I observed when getting used to the new designs of the BMW’s and Mercedes Benz cars a few years ago that, to me, looked like WWII German staff cars. Make your decision about the Clarity not on the sheet metal, but everything else under it. You will be happy you did.

REXtoCheckMate

Not happy with the looks.
Wish the Honda Insight ( Civic ) were a plugin.

David

I heard that a lot in reviews prior to purchasing my Clarity. I gotten many compliments from complete strangers (people literally walked up my driveway to tell me) on its looks since I bought it. I’m neither here nor there on that topic.

As a vehicle it is amazing and truly the best of all worlds. I’ve got my complaints about a few small things, but there simply is no car (including the volt) that compares with it as a PHEV.

Krishna

Same here. A lot of people have complimented the clarity’s looks – so, it looks like either people hate it or love it.
I love the car and the way it drives. I’m able to mostly drive with the electric daily while having the ability to go on a long distance drive as well.

Brian Dunbar

Doesn’t matter – Chevy is getting out because they will lose the subsidy after 200k vehicles. Sales will tank after that. Same with Honda – only sold 15k or so so far in 2018. How much would they have sold without the subsidy?

Paul Geller

The Clarity may be a fine car, but it’s styling is hideous. So many discordant themes have never been combined on a single car.

Matthew Kennel

There was no reason to make it look any different from the Accord. But they did, almost as if it were intentional to hit it with the ugly club. I have an i3 which, on the outside looks like a Pekingese attempting to look fierce (and with a great interior) and is otherwise OK, but functional. This one is eye-poke ugly.

Chris5168

I needed a true 5 passenger family car, so the base Clarity was the only option. Beyond size and price, Honda’s safety features are welcoming at this price point, not a Tesla but also not $5k either.

The looks are growing on me, but other than ‘having to’, I do like that it is a bit unique.

ffbj

Well if GM is going to produce 20 ev in the next 4 years, two in the next 6 months, according to them, I guess the scorecard is now at -1.
I don’t think Honda had a clue, or even has one now, but they can certainly sell them, the Clarity, as there is a market.

JR

Honda and Toyota rarely do any marketing without ‘special’ input from their extensive network of ‘friends’ at the competition. GM does the opposite and bumbles around blind or pays those working for the competition to do their marketing….sad, but true. It almost seems as if GM’s good marketing campaigns are an accident.

Paul Hogan

I own a second generation Volt. Build quality is high. I love the drivetrain. Really just a two person car. Terrible visibility out of the car, blind spot warning and rear camera are both essential and insufficient. A pillars are a genuine safety hazard.

Tom Huffman

You mean a four person car, right? It does have a back seat.

Speculawyer

I assume he’s pointing out that the rear seat is pretty small. I’m 6 foot and hit my head on the roof going over a bump riding in the back seat. I did fit but I wouldn’t want to go on a long trip in that back seat though.

david

you mean C pillars, I presume.

fotomoto

No, A pillars. They are massive and are just one of the reasons it’s known for being “built like a tank” with a great safety record. The pillars can block a lot of the sight angles at 2 and 10 o’clock. Many newer designed cars have similar issues.

Clarke

The clarity competes with the Pontiac aztek in the degree of ugliness. That was the only reason I bought the volt

amt

I think Much Worse than The Aztec …… 🙁

SJC

The Volt is gone, so there is that.

David Murray

Honda forgot to mention they also beat it with an ugly stick at no extra charge. But, since the Volt is going away that will probably leave the Clarity is the best PHEV on the market for a sedan.

Geneinohio

Please just one more person needs to say how ‘ugly’ something is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

bro1999

The Clarity is UGLY. there.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Fugly bro.

Richard Drouin

Gen 1 volt owner, love the car, it is a very good stress less way to learn about ev, 110000 miles 95% electric.

Sirspammenot

Word Up! I am gifting my Gen1 Volt to my niece as her first car. She is so excited to be driving electric to school! 6yrs and 120K miles proved the drivetrain was the best I had ever owned. No regrets. Now I have a Tesla M3.. and so it goes.

Heather

Leasing out second volt. Love the car. The sleek look and that we can often get over 50 ev miles ..one time 70. The battery is just great. Middle seat being small has been an issue but we have even gone on camping trips without trouble. I love the hatchback and fold down seats. When transporting stuff we can fit more than expected and even long boards and boxes. We are sad to see the volt go because we really like it

Don

Hard to believe that Americans would not embrace the Chevy Volt. Many days I get between 60 to 68 miles on a charge. The flexibility of having electric and gas I guess will only be appreciated during a blackout. The best car I have ever had.

Sirspammenot

Consider that GM never ran paid advertisements, despite having a colossal media budget, it is well documented that most people never heard of it. Ask a dealer and get redirected to an ICE car.. GM blew their advantage as they could have sold a metric ton of that drivetrain..

ModernMarvelFan

“Consider that GM never ran paid advertisements,”

Really? did you forgot about the comment storm on inside EV about how the Volt commercials made fun of LEAF range and Prius technology?

Oh, I guess people just like to forget things.

Ash09

To be fair, how many Volt commercials have you seen? Now, how many Silverado/Equinox commercials has GM put out by comparison? CARB states got more, but most people living elsewhere probably didn’t even know they existed.

Salespeople having little to no knowledge of the Volt also didn’t help matters any, as GM up until that point never made anything remotely similar to the Volt. At least with the Prius, Toyota has run commercials for it, and backed it until became profitable some time in the Gen 2 era.

Plus the Prius Prime is easy to explain to a customer, “It’s just like the Prius, but you can go even longer between fill ups!”, because Toyota has continually given it support.

Truth-in-Advertising

The video, which I watched, was probably produced prior to GM Volt announcement. Why show competing car that is going away?

This video is classis ‘dumbing down’ to a ignorant/gullable/distracted audience. Honda says more horsepower in ad and shows Clarity PHEV accelerating past Volt. All the road tests I find online show Volt is quicker/faster than Clarity, excpet for 50-70 MPH, where Clarity is 0.1 MPH faster. Also note that Clarity most likely requires the use of gasoline engine to achieve posted acceleration results on any test. Volt goes all electric until battery is ‘depleted.’

Call it what it is Honda- a roomy, efficient PHEV with great electric range and respectable MPG.

It looks to me like the ‘Family Truckster’ (front view), but still better than competition in PHEV arena.

Jon

I love my leased 2017 Volt and am scrambling to cut the lease short so I can get a 2019 before they stop production and the Federal tax credit runs out. If GM had brought out the Voltec design in a mid-sized car like the Malibu, I’m sure it would have been an even bigger winner and that would be the car that I’d now own, as would many present Clarity owners, IMO. It is clearly better technology than the Clarity.

Bamboo

I was deciding between volt 2018 and clarity 2018. Picked volt at the end because volt dealer gave me $6000 off msrp and Honda dealer only gave me $1500 off msrp. If they price the same. I will go with Honda for sure. Just not sure how reliable the battery life on the Honda. Volt is already on 2nd generation.

Viking79

It is worth noting the Honda is essentially a continuation of the Accord PHEV in terms of power and drivetrain. Should be fairly reliable. The battery maker does their hybrids.

Rick

We really love our 2018 Volt and I’m disappointed with GM. We live in a rural area but the Volt gives us enough range to reach & return from one of the three small cities that are nearby on electric. For the occasional longer trips and long vacation drives we just use some gasoline. I don’t know why Honda needs more horsepower the Volt has plenty when it switches to engine plus battery. Yeah, the cabin is a little small but we took a 600 mile trip to Maine with three people and dog without any difficulty. Our Volt’s range is a little more than the 53 you mention, pretty close to 60, including a couple of good-sized hills.

Charles

Something’s going on here that no one seems to be picking up on. One time “Car of the year”, #1 degree of owner satisfaction, word of mouth and media article advertising only, it’s really an extended range electric car but please don’t explain why, etc., etc. For the very first time, I’m in agreement with President whatzisname. GM need a healthy kick in their collective asses. Spoken with personal experience – 2015 happy (as in ecstatic) Volt owner.

BenG

It’s no mystery why the Volt doesn’t sell enough to make it worthwhile to keep producing: design compromises made so that it could share design/parts/factory with the Cruze led the engineers to put a bulky T-shaped battery that robbed the already compact car of significant passenger and storage space. And then it was priced like a nice mid-sized car.

At the price, the Volt doesn’t deliver enough size and utility to compete. Sure the enthusiasts who bought it loved it, but it’s just a niche vehicle.

I love my Volt. RIP.

Christopher Krajnik

You come close on the reason especially when you mention the shared parts with the Cruze. The reason the Volt is disappearing is multifaceted.

1) The Cruze (as you stated about the parts sharing) is going away. That makes all of the shared parts now single use in the Volt. Economy of scale goes away and the Volt would be more expensive.
2) It is buil at Hamtamck which was down to one shift and only built The La Crosse, Impala and CT6 (other than the Volt). All t 3 of those vehicles are struggling in sales and are being discontinued as well. Can’t keep a struggling plant open to produce one vehicle unless it was Silverado/Equinox.
3) The Volt was going to be done init’s current form (Sedan) in 2020 anyways. They accelerated an already layed out plan for this vehicle.

It sucks that the Volt is going away, but it has very little to do with it’s sales alone.

ModernMarvelFan

More HP but slower in 0-60mph.

Yes, Honda is enjoying it for sure. Now, they can claim the title of highest AER once Volt is gone in March 2019.

Will

What will happen if GM made the last batch of Volts with 65AER with a fast charger for the same price

philip d

One absolutely critical difference not mentioned in this comparison is that the Clarity does not have a mode where you can drive it with any level of acceleration without the gas engine kicking in. That is a huuuge difference.

In the Volt you can lock it in and drive it like you stole it all with 100% electricity under 100% motor power until the battery is depleted. The Honda you cannot. You have to pay attention to the pedal detent or the generator will kick on and if you keep it just below the detent you won’t have anywhere near the power and acceleration driving under pure electrons as in the Volt. From what I could find people that have pushed the Clarity plug in to the edge of the engine kicking on to 60 have gotten times in the 13 second range.

That may not be a big deal to many people but it is certainly a crucial differentiating feature that should be in the comparison beyond just electric only range and price.

Annie

But it really takes a good bit to get the ICE to kick on in the Clarity. We have one. I’m very short and at my height the visibility from the Volt was dangerous. So far we’ve put 850 miles on the Clarity and only used about 3 gallons of gas. Even in sport mode and pushing the car a good bit I don’t have the ICE come on. It will come on from time to time just because it hasn’t run in a while and needs to keep the engine lubricated. It’s not necessarily a thrilling drive, instead it’s so smooth and quiet that I’d be more likely to relax right into falling asleep than I would be to try thrill seeking. It’s respectable, well mannered, and good at it’s job. It works well for my life where finding something new on Netflix is about as thrilling as it gets.

Will

The new Volts the engine tunes on as well

Steve

The clarity is UGLY! lol.

Chi

Love love love the chevy volt!!!!! Had a 2012 chevy volt with 83,000 trouble free miles. (Bought it with 38,000 miles) .Traded it in on a 2016 chevy volt with 31,000 miles. Loved the 2012 but the 2016 is roomier. Only problem I have is I could see out of the 2012 but now I have to sit on a pillow to drive the 2016 but no big deal. Everyone said the 2012 was ugly. I did not think so. The middle seat in the 2016 is a joke but it is nice to have just in case. Also I hated how I put things in the trunk of the 2012 and it always slipped in between the space between the two back seats. I miss that little window in the back of 2012. It was nice being able to see a lot of what was behind you. I hope I love the 2016 as much as I loved the 2012.

upL8N8

More Horsepower? Doesn’t the Volt do 0-60 in 7.3 seconds, versus the Clarity’s 9.2?

The Volt gets 6 more miles (12%) in electric only than the Clarity. Volt gets 80 more miles (23.5%) of total range versus the Clarity. I’m not quite clear how it works out that the Clarity gets better mpge. It’s a 7 gallon tank that gets 340 miles, versus Chevy’s 8 gallon tank that gets 420 miles. Maybe it’s doing more on a smaller battery?

True, the Volt is more expensive with options, but I’d want the upgraded version on both of these cars, putting the Clarity at $36.6k versus the Volt’s $39k. The Volt is $2.4k more.

Worth.

It’s too bad Chevy couldn’t figure out how to market the Volt. It really does beat a lot of the PHEV competition.

Will

Alex auto did it in 7.5 in the Clarity

david

more passenger room. more horsepower. more ugly.

amt

I wouldn’t pay a Dime For a Car Such as This Clarity ? 🙁 …What Is Wrong With Honda ! 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁 … ?

OSVALDO A PAGAN

I trade in a 2017 Volt for the Clarity. The main reason was the lack of space (I often carry family members and friends well above 6 foot tall). The Clarity have plenty of room for 4 adults and their luggage. And the interior is more luxurious and better appointed. About the styling the Clarity is a better conversation starter than the Volt due to the styling. In my case I’m glad to drive a car with enough Japanese quirkiness that stand out of the “another boring looking car” syndrome. And even the EPA numbers suggest a shorter range with only battery power, I’m getting the same range in my daily commute. Kudos to Honda’s engineers.

Chas Schultz

I am greatly disappointed that GM is dropping the Volt. I currently own a 2018 Volt and traded a 2017. They have both been great cars. I also own a 2013 Prius Plug-in. So I think I qualify as someone who knows a thing or two about EVs. The Volt way out performs the Prius Plug-in – even though the Prius is a great car in it’s own right. And, in my opinion, the Volt is more attractive than the vast majority of EVs. Transition from electric to gas is unbelievably smooth in the Volt. Electric range 2nd to none in gas/electric vehicles. Can’t say enough good about the car. A few more quality issues in the 18 than I saw in the 17. It takes a special person to religiously “plug in” any EV – especially when you get home and you’re tired and it’s 17 degrees outside. Nevertheless, it is a tremendous loss to the the EV cause. Very sad to learn of this.

Jim and Bjorg

We’re converts! We have a plug-in of a brand we’ve been buying or leasing for several decades. We then learned of the Clarity plug-in.
No contest! We’re now leasing 2 Clarity’s and may soon get another.
Topnotch car!

Alan M

Lease deals on Volt are far better than on the Clarity. Check out the leasehackr website and you can see the difference. I prefer to lease EVs/PHEVs due to the rapid changes in technology.

Milfan

Honda is dropping Diesel in Europe by 2021 and will launch CR-V Hybrid by 2019-03. Another hit to Diesel in its European heartland.

http://europe.autonews.com/article/20181128/ANE/181129850/honda-drops-diesels-in-europe-in-electric-push

Daniel Barth

We are a two Volt family. Not many charging stations around here so the Volt makes good sense. We fault GM and their dealerships for never having run an ad for their EV products. Dealerships in the area never have them in their display room.

Gordon

We own a Clarity. Plug-In. We love it. We have only driven it on a longer trip once, but it was a great drive. The car has 1,700 miles on it and we have put about 15 gallons of gas in it. It has a full 7gallon tank right now. It seats 5 and has a useful trunk. It doesn’t look like it was designed by somebody on crack like the Prius plug in. We’re in California and received a total of $9,500 in incentives. I have no idea why everyone doesn’t want one.

Ryan

I agree. I live in TX and the total incentives are $10K (7.5K Fed and 2.5K State – Yes, in TX!!) I am surprised that it does not make the case economically or environmentally. For its size, it has been alone in this segment – the Volt is hardly a competition if you want a family sedan.

bradley cross

Buy a volt next year when the deals will be amazing.

MichaelBurnham

I loved my 2014 volt ,i have a 28mile commute to work including highway and always level 2 charged overnight,so i used zero Dino juice, but GM did away with “myvolt” website which gave awesome stats ,and last straw for me was one of largest chevy dealers in Florida didn’t have a “volt trained technician” to perform a recall he was on vacation, sure there are other chevy dealers but why arent all service techs trained on the highest selling phev in usa? Not to mention try to test drive a Cadillac ct6 phev volt or even ELR no dealership had one fully charged so you might see ev performance of these cars ,and i live in a city of over 500k people with 4 Cadillac dealership and at least 8 Chevrolet dealers,in contrast BMW gave me an i3 fully charged to take home for3 day test drive .

Li

It’s funny at my company’s EV charging station I usually see 3-4 Chevy’s Volt and one bolt, I only saw another Clarity besides my own. Why Chevy killed the PHEV hybrid is beyond my comprehension, but I assume it’s profit related. Because PHEV is so much better for commuters in the city than a pure electric, that takes days to fully charge if you deplete the battery.

BeautifulClarity
I do not understand the “ugly” comments about the Clarity. It’s sleek, unique, and gorgeous. Its quirky look is what I love most about its design. It’s NOT ugly! I bought a new 2018 Clarity nine months ago to replace a 2005 Malibu. Sitting in the driver’s seat of the Volt reminded me too much of my Malibu. I wanted something different for a change, so I preferred the larger interior of the Clarity. I put over 1000 miles on it before filling the tank for the first time. We took it on a road trip last summer and were well pleased with the hybrid range of around 47 mpg. We stopped every 250 miles or so for gas, but that was no problem because my bladder won’t go much farther than that anyway. One day I drove over 800 miles and loved the smooth, quiet ride. What I don’t understand is why I am constantly having to explain to everyone how a PHEV works (“It’s like the child of a Tesla father and a Prius mother”). Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, has ever heard of this kind of car. Hell, they don’t even know how a hybrid works. Why… Read more »
Melissa C

I have a 2018 Honda Clarity. It’s a PRETTY car, but functionality is iffy. It’s very quirky. The 47 mile range is not achievable in cold weather, unless you warm up the battery. The (NON ACC) cruise control has a 4mph range on whatever you set it at. And whoever designed the wipers on it, needs a reality check. Gravity is a thing… So maybe putting the washer fluid on the wipers, to dribble out and “soak” the blades was a baaaad idea. Ya. Try using them while driving. It’s a joke. They finally fixed the obnoxious range miscalculations. Oh, and don’t break anything. One of the most expensive (normal) cars to fix if you hit any road debris, or get in an accident.

BeautifulClarity

I didn’t word that well. Although I can get 40-50+ miles on electric power with a full charge, my hybrid mileage was 47 mpg while running in hybrid mode on the long road trip when I couldn’t charge it. In the heat of the summer I might get over 50 miles of electric range on a full charge, but that has dropped to the low 40s now that winter is here.

Kellie Teter

I have had a Clarity for a year. It was the interior that sold me over the Volt. But I would not say I would do it again…it’s underpowered for it’s weight in the mountains. The Volt drives better going up. And more

Norman

For the sake of clarity, I find the Clarity to be quite unattractive, or in more concise terms, ugly. However, I wouldn’t exactly rename the Volt Cindy Crawford.
Note: I enjoyed my 3-year Volt lease and now both sons each own one. To know one is to love one.

brad

The Honda Clarity might be one the ugliest cars ever made. How the designer of that car still has a job boggles my mind. I wouldn’t be caught dead driving it

Will

Sorry but Honda makes better quality American products.

EB

Have a 16 Volt (& 17 Bolt).
16 Volt Lease just ended and I want to lease a 19 Volt, before they are gone.
Would get the Clarity, except it’s exterior styling is so ugly.