2018 Honda Clarity Is A Good PHEV With Some Quirks, Says Consumer Reports

Almost a year ago, the first units of the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid arrived at U.S. dealerships – and recently, Consumer Reports got their hands on one.

The PHEV model, which sits alongside the FCV and EV versions of the car, goes up against the Toyota Prius Prime.

It uses a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-pot, an electric motor and a 17 kWh battery pack. The combined output is 212 hp (215 PS / 158 kW), and the car can travel on zero emissions for up to 47 miles (75 km). When it runs out of battery juice, the ICE kicks in automatically – and changes the entire driving experience by being too loud.

Also Read: First Drive: Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Makes A Case For Hydrogen If You Can

When pushed through corners, the 2018 Clarity PHEV reaches its limits quickly. Luckily, the ride comfort is good, with the suspension absorbing most bumps in the road easily. The front seats may not offer a lot of adjustments, but that’s just one of the quirks of this car.

There are also some confusing controls, and a very weird gear selector that requires pushing buttons to change between ‘Drive’, ‘Reverse’, ‘Neutral’ and ‘Park’. And that could turn every maneuver into a headache until you get the hang of it.

If consumers can learn to live with these weak spots, they’ll find that the Honda Clarity PHEV is nicely equipped. Some of the features include an 8-inch infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, multi-angle rear view camera and 8-speaker sound system in the entry-level model.

Opt for the Touring, which starts at $36,600, or $3,200 more than the base version, and the Clarity PHEV will pack GPS navigation system, power front seats with perforated leather, leather-wrapped steering wheels and others.


  • scjeff

    If by “quirks” they mean hideously ugly, I agree completely.

    • Bash

      Agree, but at least the interior is better laid than the Prius.


  • salamOOn

    “When pushed through corners, the 2018 Clarity PHEV reaches its limits quickly.”

    why would you do it?

    • Finkployd

      how bout when pushed off a cliff? CR needs to be thourough

    • Dudamus

      Exactly, This isn’t a Honda 2000 or a NSX. Its a family car. Why are you pushing it through anything other than a car wash?

  • David De Fortier

    One of the ugliest looking cars ive ever seen

  • U8INIT

    When you see this thing in the flesh it will make your head turn…it’s gorgeous in person IMO!

    • Dudamus

      I like the two tone interiors. Very nice cars.

  • Dudamus

    This is great news for Honda Fans. We owned several Honda’s and found the CRV to one of the most reliable cars we owned, although it did cost a fortune to operate and maintain. They will love their Honda EVs and Hybrids. We switched to Nissan LEAFs and now as a family of 3 we save nearly $500 every month in gasoline in cars that are the most reliable we have ever owned. When you select an EV try to find one that goes about twice as far as your daily commute then you have plenty of juice for AC, Heat, and extra errands. If you have an EV and you can use it in the 20-80% charge range it might last 2x to 4x the battery warranty period. That’s the sweet spot for LION batteries. Enjoy your new Honda EV and emission free lifestyle. Did you know that gas pump handles are the most contagious and nastiest things you will ever touch. Enjoy your new EV. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4c9ada6b227afd00115772684de359172bca33488e694ef5a217c0d18bfddeac.jpg

    • ace_9

      If “vomit inducing” was the aim of your post, then bravo. But I guess, you just can’t resist bragging about your well-being, so you are excused. At least you don’t hide your obnoxiousness, I guess…

      • Dudamus

        The sooner young professionals can divest from fossil fuels the better. We save $6000 a year on gasoline and another $5000 a year in electricity. Finish college, settle down, plant some roots, put up some panels. The sooner you can divest from fossil fuels the better. Also, take aim at those DIY help books at Lowes and Home depot. We bought a solar kit that included everything for a fraction of the cost then hired a certified solar electrician to do the final hookup. You can save a lot of money if you build your own home and be energy self sufficient.

        • ace_9

          I see that you mean it well, so I’m sorry for my rude comment. However, I must point out, that I’m maybe a little bit older than you think (early 30’s). I have a college education, I’m software engineer and I don’t have a bad salary compared to other normal people. But I live in a country, where I still have 30 year mortgage to be able to afford a small flat in a smaller city. No garage of course. I would need an electric car that is able to go at least 130 km in winter. And I wouldn’t have a place to charge it. Moreover, electric cars are still quite expensive (far from $8000 even for used old LEAF generation). I’m not complaining. As I said, I’m glad, I’m better off than many people around me. I’m just pointing out, that electric cars are still far from a suitable solution for most of the people.

          • Dudamus

            I feel for you. Energy cost is going to kill you in your lifetime. They have a strangle hold on society and politicians and they have vast fortunes they can use propagating anti EV hate and clean coal mythology. We need cheaper EVs, more range would be helpful too.
            Young professionals will spend around half a million dollars USD in their lifetime on energy, just energy. Gasoline+Electrcity+NaturalGas. Pick one and start there? Wipe it out somehow.
            Salaries have not gone up as much as the cost of housing., healthcare, and energy. Energy is way too much.

      • Dudamus

        You can get a used Nissan LEAF, the last car you will ever need, for as little as $8000 in some markets. Volts at similar prices. That’s a lot, Yes EVs are over priced. But after that initial investment they are cost free or about 1/5 the cost of a Prius to operate.
        Go to college, it will be the best thing that you ever do in your life. I started college in 1978 and finished in 1989. It was well worth it, best thing that ever happened to me.

  • Althea Later

    “The front seats may not offer a lot of adjustments, but that’s just one of the quirks of this car.”
    That’s not a quirk… not enough seat adjustments is normal on most Japanese cars.

  • Dudamus

    They do have excellent warranties. We found Honda and Toyota did a great job of standing behind their warranties. However, they would not reimburse us for our Prius towing charges but when they eventually found out what the problem was they fixed it for free.

  • Dudamus

    Honda owners and fans will love these cars. Enjoy.

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