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Old 04-04-2018, 12:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2018 Honda Clarity



Yes, the Clarity plug-in hybrid, the car that everyone thinks is ugly as sin.

Personally, as far as modern cars go, I don't think this one looks terrible. I mean, have you seen any Lexus after they switched to the hourglass front grille on all of their models? That has to be uglier.

Anyway, my dad went and bought himself this 2018 Clarity about a month ago. I took it for a drive to work one day and I took photos to post on here about my experience.

This particular Clarity was built in December 2017 and was apparently the third Clarity shipped to a dealership in Georgia.




The day after he got it (a couple days before I had my drive with it) there were all kinds of electrical problems and stuff, and he had to take it to the dealership. I told him it was probably the 12v battery was weak and causing subsytems to throw codes. He took it there and they diagnosed a weak 12v battery and replaced it under warranty. I guess it probably didn't like sitting on the boat from Japan and then not being driven around for a couple months.

Anyway, enough about that, let's get to the eco specs.

First off, as you can see above, this car is massive. At least when compared to other hybrids, some full-size sedans are bigger. If it were higher off the ground it would be a crossover SUV. It's 192 inches long. I don't have the curb weight for the plugin-hybrid, but the fuel cell version is over 4100 pounds. I expect this one to be somewhere around there.

EPA figure says 47 miles electric-only range. (More on that later.)



Michelin Green X Energy Savers 235/45/R18

These are the factory tires, sitting on 18-inch combination alloy//plastic rims. The darker detail is made out of plastic. I think it has an aerodynamic function.




I didn't photo much of the inside, mostly just the instruments. This is a luxury car, wood paneling and leather seats. Here I wanted to show the blind-spot camera that activates when signalling right. I drove a 2016 Fit last year that had the same thing and I really liked it. The camera is mounted to the passenger mirror. The camera quality is potato level. I think you could probably replace it with some aftermarket HD one and get better results.

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Old 04-04-2018, 12:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This is the centre console just below the touch screen. I obviously left the car in ECON mode the whole time. You can turn off the EV mode by pressing that HV (hybrid vehicle) button any time, which is something that I had no interest in doing.




Anyone who has driven a G1 Honda Insight will recognize this display. It was all the way to the right at 199.9 in this photo because I was in EV mode. The car had a full charge when I got in to take it for the day. Hybrid battery level is on the left, fuel on the right. The car operates as a soft hybrid (like a G1 or G2 Insight for example) when you get down to 2 bars left on the battery gauge. The flower above the D indicates ECON mode just like the G2 Insight.




I liked the first display the most, but it had like 8 total, I took pics of a couple of the others. My dad liked this one the most, showing expected EV and total range.




This display was analogous to the flower display on the G2 Insight, basically it tries to persuade you not to brake hard or accelerate hard. But like, had I not driven a G2 Insight, it would have taken me a while to understand what this display is supposed to mean.



And this one, everyone's seen this inside the G2 and up Prius. (Maybe the G1 Prius had it too?)

Oh by the way, bottom right of the display in each of these pictures a green rectangle has been illuminated, it says Brake Hold inside the rectangle. This is a mode it has which is activated over by the gear selection, where what it does is if you come to a complete stop it will stay stopped even if your foot leaves the brakes, until you hit the accelerator. I liked this because it's similar to driving a stick shift and being stopped in Neutral.

What I didn't get a photo of, display-wise, was the indicators for the lane keeping assist system and the active cruise control. That was pretty cool, you could set the speed and set the follow distance, and as long as the lane markings were visible the car would semi-autonomously keep itself on the road. It would alert you to keep your hand on the wheel at all times if you tried to let go. It would also indicate when the lane markings were not sufficiently visible for it to do its job.

MPG...
The car, as mentioned in OP, has 47 EV miles according to the EPA. I was able to hypermile it and I got 75 miles out of the charge. But keep in mind I've been driving the same route for many months and hypermiling in my other Honda hybrids, so I had a home field advantage so to speak. In any case, this was really cool. The average commuter isn't going to travel much further than that in a day, so this absolutely murders your gasoline expenses. When the regular engine eventually did come on, it's rated for 45 MPG, but you can hypermile it and do better than that. Not much better though, it's already aerodynamically optimized and it has LRR tires and such. The main thing against it is it is very large and heavy. Older smaller lighter hybrids are going to eat this thing's lunch when it goes into HV mode. But that's why it's a plug-in.

The size of the car was uncomfortable to me, I'm used to sitting in a G1 or G2 Insight. I've only occasionally driven vehicles with a larger footprint than this car. It's wide and long. Not the right car for me, but it's not my car lol. But it was really cool. If you have like a family and you want to shell out for a plug-in hybrid this car is a good bet. Probably better than a Volt I would say because it's larger and has lots of room for stuff. Back seats even fold down and open to the trunk. It's very comfortable to sit in as a passenger, it's as nice as the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid I rode around in one time, except larger.

Anyway, that's what I thought about the Clarity. If y'all need like detail photos of any aspect of the car, such as the aerodynamic features at the wheels, let me know, I can take pics any time.
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm a big fan of the hybrid system Honda used in these. Series hybrid until about 60mph, when a lock-up clutch engages the engine to the wheels via a single gear, with very minimal drivetrain loss.

It's sad to think that due to the complexity of these systems, every one that's wrecked is probably going to sit untouched in a junkyard. I can't imagine anyone taking a shot at an aftermarket ECU to control engine, motors and transmission in one of these.

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Old 04-04-2018, 04:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks like a good Volt competitor, especially if you're putting people in the back seat. I wouldn't call it ugly, it looks much better than a gen4 Prius (Prius Prime is alright).

Will the ICE turn on under hard acceleration in EV mode? Something I like about the Volt compared to most other PHEVs is that it's 100% EV until the battery is drained or you tell it to turn the ICE on. What good is all that electric torque if stomping on the go-pedal risks/requires the ICE turning on?
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Old 04-04-2018, 06:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I floored it once which did turn on the ICE, but I had the pedal all the way down.
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Old 04-04-2018, 09:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I actually dont mind the way this car looks and honestly, the accord isn't winning any beauty pageants.

I can see Honda selling a lot of these.
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Old 04-05-2018, 04:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalya View Post
If it were higher off the ground it would be a crossover SUV.
Makes me wonder when will Honda start to offer that drivetrain as an option for the CR-V and eventually to the Ridgeline too (a few weeks ago I saw 2 Ridgelines with Uruguayan plates, one of each generation, for the first time in my life, but I wasn't quick enough to take pictures of them).


Quote:
I don't have the curb weight for the plugin-hybrid, but the fuel cell version is over 4100 pounds. I expect this one to be somewhere around there.
I wouldn't expect it to be that heavy. Well, I assume the FCEV has a bigger battery pack, plus the hydrogen storage system is anything but featherweight.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
I wouldn't expect it to be that heavy. Well, I assume the FCEV has a bigger battery pack, plus the hydrogen storage system is anything but featherweight.
Honda says it's 4,052 lbs.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Alex on Autos reviewed the Clarity and liked it a lot. Hopefully Honda will release more electrified vehicles soon.
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Old 04-12-2018, 10:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nice! I as well don't mind the styling. If there's a turn-off for me it's the interior, and not for reasons specific to this car or Hondas. That wood looks really nice, though.

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