The moment is now. Electric cars are a thing. Whether you are looking for a pure electric such as the Chevy Bolt, or a plug-in electric such as the new Honda Clarity, your choices now are many. The Honda Clarity is the Chevrolet Volt's biggest competitor. The comparison's are intriguing. The Clarity pricing begins at 34,000 US dollars. It's a 5 passenger midsize sedan wrapped in sheet metal that has polarizing styling. The biggest complaint is the rear wheel wells and the cars bulbous body. They appear to have rear fender skirts that hearken back to the 50's and 60's when they were in vogue.
Great features of Honda Clarity
Honda Clarity has a roster of great features that make it an excellent choice for a buyer wanting to jump into the electric car market. It has a luxurious interior with quality materials and construction. In up level models the interior features Ultrasuede inserts in the doors and dash, for a luxurious feel.
The seats of Honda Clarity are comfortable with good bolstering and a variety of power adjustments. There is plenty of legroom and headroom. The rear seat compartment has less headroom because of the slope of the roof line. There are plenty of cup holders, map pockets and storage compartments. Trunk space is large at 15.5 cubic feet. It has a good amount of tech features including info displays that let you know how much electric range you have. It has Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Car Play and Android Auto.
Torque News reporter Parks McCant writes that the 2018 Honda Clarity PHEV exceeds performance and comfort expectations.
How does Honda Clarity compare to the Chevrolet Volt?
The Chevrolet Volt, now in it's 2nd generation is the Clarity's direct competitor. The focus here will be on their respective drive trains. This is a major factor for anyone choosing between these two models. The main differences in the two cars can be found in how the gas generator operates in conjunction with the electric motor.
The Chevrolet Volt runs on pure electric power with 53 miles of electric range. In electric mode, accelerating up to it's top speed, there is no assist from the gas generator. The gas generator automatically comes on when your electric power is depleted. In the Clarity there is an indicator in the digital display that let's you know when you are using electric power and when the gas engine will kick in. This helps you when you want to keep the car in electric mode. Gentle acceleration will keep you in electric mode all the time. The Clarity drive train requires use of the gas engine when you have to accelerate quickly. This means no matter what, the Clarity will use gasoline.
The Volt on the other hand never uses it when in electric power mode. The Clarity has 181 horsepower and 232 pound-feet-of torque. The Volt has 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. The Volt is quicker off the line in electric mode and takes 7.8 seconds to get to 60 MPH. The Clarity takes 8.5 seconds.
What are people saying about the Clarity.
On blogs and Facebook pages devoted to Volt there is strong support for the Clarity. Many readers on the Volt owners Facebook page have test driven the Clarity. Many say when their lease is up on their Volt they will buy the Clarity.
A vast majority of comments criticize the Clarity's styling. The Volt has been on the market for 7 years. This fact gives the Volt an advantage. Volt's drive train technology is proven and well engineered. Chevrolet's Voltec drive train will find it's way into a crossover vehicle. This is important because passenger cars are falling out of favor. I predict the Clarity will be a success for Honda but make no mistake, Chevrolet Volt owners are unwavering in their love of their cars.
Recently the Honda Clarity Electric was honored as the most innovative car at CES Las Vegas.
Have you driven Honda Clarity? Please, let us know what you think about this car in the comments section below for discussion.