Thinking of going green? What to buy?
If you've decided to buy an electric car and prioritize space and value, the 2018 Nissan LEAF is hard to beat. It's currently the only EV available in the U.S. with decent range, a midsize EPA classification, and a sub $30k price tag. The all-new, midsize 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid will set you back ~$33,400 and offers 48 miles of all-electric range. How do these cars compare when it comes to overall value?
First of all, both vehicles are widely available in the U.S. and qualify for the full $7,500 federal EV tax credit. According to the EPA, annual fuel cost for the LEAF is $600, while the Clarity Plug-in will cost you $700. Overall savings compared to the average car is high for both models. The EPA says the LEAF will save you $4,750 over a five-year period compared to the Clarity's $4,250. Looking at the EPA's efficiency ratings reveals the following:
2018 Nissan LEAF:
- 112 MPGe
- 30 kWh/100 miles
- 110 MPGe (electric)
- 31 kWh/100 miles
- 42 MPG (gas)
The Clarity Plug-in is a midsize sedan with an upscale interior, lots of passenger space, and a large trunk. However, keep in mind that its 15 cubic feet of luggage capacity still pales in comparison to the LEAF's 24 cubic feet. The Clarity also delivers 212 horsepower, while the LEAF comes in at 147. Honda Safety Sense comes standard (a full suite of advanced driver assistance technologies) in the Clarity, and you also get niceties like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the base model.
In the end, CleanSheet says the Nissan LEAF dominates the EV segment when it comes to range and price. However, the Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid's "overall package shines."
- The Clarity PHEV is a comfortable midsize sedan you can mostly drive electric. If you take the tax credit, you can get one for less than $30,000.
- Leaf is the pick for all-electric drivers on a budget in 2018. With the tax credit, it drops below $25,000.
- In terms of value and staying power, Clarity’s 48 miles EV range is one of the high-water marks for plug-in hybrids. It won’t be topped anytime soon.
- Leaf’s 151 miles of range is solid but will be topped soon. In fact, the 2019 Leaf will top its range. Both cars are among the greenest vehicles you can buy on the U.S. market.