Is the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid a Good Car?

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is the perfect mix of style and efficiency—and it holds its own when we stack it side by side with its competitors.
Written by Matt Nightingale
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 6, 2022
If you’re looking for a stylish and luxurious way to reduce your fuel consumption, the 2018
Honda
Clarity plug-in hybrid might fit the bill perfectly.
With futuristic trimmings and an assortment of comfort and convenience features, the Honda Clarity PHEV offers a level of forward-thinking style that competitors like the
Toyota Prius Prime
or the
Chevrolet Volt
lack. It’s perfect for city commuters who care more about luxury and efficiency than they do cargo and power. And at a starting price of $33,400, the Clarity is a fairly affordable way to feel rich.
Want to know more? Here to explore the ins and outs of the 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid is your favorite
car insurance
broker,
comparison app
, and hybrid buff—
Jerry
.
RECOMMENDED
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid

Some hybrids seem like an old car with a battery taped onto the bottom of it in order to sell a few more units. The
Honda Clarity
is not that. It is a complete vision of the near future. 
The Clarity is a plug-in hybrid that winks to the future with subtle yet bold exterior affectations while keeping you firmly planted in the present with lavishly comfortable interior design.
If power and performance are your things, you’ll probably want to look in the direction of the
Ford Mustang Mach-E
. But if comfort, class, and efficiency are your priorities, the Honda Clarity may just be the perfect vehicle for you.

Pricing

The 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid is available at an entry-level price of $33,400. The Clarity Touring trim is the highest trim level, adding a dash of class to the interior for a price tag of $36,600.
Although it is a tad more expensive than some other hybrid vehicles, an available $4,543 federal tax credit can go a long way to offset the extra expense.

Performance and fuel economy

The Honda Clarity runs on an electric motor backed up by a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine. For the most part, the onboard internal combustion engine is used as a generator to charge the electric motor’s battery. However, there are some situations in which the gas engine directly propels the vehicle.   
The Clarity is capable of 48 miles of electric-only driving, putting it miles ahead of the Prius Prime’s 25-mile all-electricity rating—23 miles to be exact.
In hybrid mode, the Clarity is equally competitive, with a fuel economy rating of 42 mpg compared to the Chevy Volt’s 39 mpg and the Prius Prime’s 42 mpg
The Clarity’s charge times are a little longer than its cohorts. With a 240-volt source, the Clarity’s battery will charge in about 2 1/2  hours, and with a 120-volt source, that time extends to nearly 12 hours. So, if you need a reliable getaway car, this isn’t it.
While it isn’t the most powerful car in the world, the Clarity’s 212-horsepower engine is enough to get it from 0–60 mph in 7.7 seconds. That’s not bad, so long as you’re not betting anything important on a drag race. But there are swifter plug-in hybrids even in the Honda line-up, like the Honda Accord plug-in, which can reach 60 from a standstill in 5.5 seconds.
Overall, the Clarity isn’t ultra-speedy or maneuverable, but it is a smooth and enjoyable ride. 

Exterior styling

The Honda Clarity’s exterior design is perhaps best described as toned-down futurism. Its front fog light details make it feel like the car’s front end is entering warp speed, while the ever-so-slight rear-wheel covering gives the impression that the Clarity may know who wins the next five or six Superbowls.   
Solar silver and modern steel metallic paint options only lend to the near-future aesthetic, though you can have the Clarity with more earthy paint options like crimson pearl and moonlit forest if you want to blend in with the times.

Interior and comfort

If comfort and luxury are high on your agenda, then the Honda Clarity may be a perfect fit. The interior design is intuitive and ergonomic, and the ride is smooth and comfortable. Both trims have heated bucket seats, steering wheel controls, dual-zone front automatic air conditioning, and an eight-speaker sound system.
The Touring trim adds a leather steering wheel, leather upholstery, an 8-way power-adjustable driver seat, and a 4-way power-adjustable front passenger seat.
Cargo capacity is middle of the road as far as hybrid cars go. The Clarity has 15.5 cubic feet of storage space, which is about five more cubic feet than the Chevy Volt but about five less than the Prius Prime.
RECOMMENDED
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever

Technology

All the features you would expect on any car from the future are standard in the Honda Clarity, including an 8-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto integration, and USB connection.
Honda has also outfitted the plug-in hybrid with a number of standard driver-assist options such as: 
  • Collision mitigation braking system
  • Lane-keeping assist 
  • Lane-departure warning system
  • Back-up camera
  • Honda LaneWatch right-side camera
Additionally, all trims come with a standard eight-speaker audio system and remote keyless entry.

Warranty coverage

Unfortunately, Honda doesn’t have extensive warranty coverage on its vehicles. On the plus side, hybrid and electric components are covered for eight years or 100,000 miles. Here’s a more detailed look at the warranty for a 2018 Honda Clarity: 
  • Basic warranty: 3 years / 36,000 basic miles
  • Drivetrain warranty: 5 years / 60,000 drivetrain miles
  • Corrosion warranty: 5 years / unlimited corrosion miles
  • Hybrid/electric components warranty: 8 years / 100,000 hybrid/electric miles
  • Roadside assistance: 36,000 roadside assistance miles

Trim levels and options

There are only two trim levels available for the Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid: the base Clarity plug-in hybrid and the Touring plug-in hybrid. The lowest trim level is very well equipped, with a bevy of comfort, entertainment, and safety features.
Upgrading to the Touring will snag you a leather steering wheel, leather upholstery, and power-adjustable front seats. The added luxury is nice, but the base model Clarity is already packed with enough standard features that you’ll still feel pampered.  

The bottom line

At the end of the day, the 2018 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid is for the future-forward commuter in search of the perfect combination of class, comfort, edge, and efficiency. If you’re looking for something more powerful, or if you need more space for kids and cargo, the Clarity isn’t likely to fit your needs.
There is good news and bad news regarding the Clarity. The good news is that there have been no changes to the Clarity since 2018, so if you buy a 2018 model, you’ll be getting the same car as the most recent version, but for a used car price. The bad news? Honda discontinued the Clarity after the 2021 model year, so parts may be more difficult to come by in the years ahead.

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV vs. 2018 Toyota Prius Prime

The Toyota Prius has been the pace-setter for hybrid cars since it hit U.S. streets way back in the year 2000. But other car companies are catching up and giving the Prius a run for its money, including Honda. 
The 2018 Toyota Prius Prime has a combined fuel efficiency rating of 42 mpg and an all-electric range of 25 miles. In comparison, the Clarity plug-in hybrid is also capable of a combined 42 mpg and a whopping 48-mile all-electric range.
The Toyota’s overall range is still head and shoulders better than the rest, so those who want to squeeze the most miles out of their fuel will probably be happier with a Prius Prime.
Here’s a closer look at how the Clarity and the Prius Prime compare on some key specs. 
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
Honda Clarity PHEV
$33,400
42 mpg
106 mpge
308 miles
2.5 hours
8 years / 100,000 miles
Toyota Prius Prime
$29,000
42 mpg
133 mpge
621.5 miles
2 hours
8 year / 100,000 miles

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV vs. 2018 Chevy Volt PHEV

Another major competitor in the hybrid market is the Chevy Volt. This capable plug-in hybrid can run for 53 miles on electricity alone, putting it at the front of the PHEV pack. But the 2018 Honda Clarity isn’t far behind with an all-electric range of 48 miles.
These two plug-ins are fairly evenly matched. If recharge time is any concern, then the edge goes to the Honda Clarity with a recharge time of almost half that of the Chevy Volt.
Here’s how these two PHEVs stack up side by side on other key specs.  
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
Honda Clarity PHEV
$33,400
42 mpg
106 mpge
308 miles
2.5 hours
8 years / 100,000 miles
Chevy Volt
$33,220
42 mpg
106 mpge
382.7 miles
4 hours
8 years / 100,000 miles

How to save money on car insurance

With their incredible fuel efficiency, buying a plug-in hybrid is a great way to save money. You can save even more money by switching your auto insurance providers with
Jerry
.
Jerry is an app that saves you time and money by finding you the best car insurance rates available. Just enter your information, and in less than a minute, Jerry will show you the most competitive quotes from some of the best insurance providers around. And, because Jerry is a licensed insurance broker, you can cancel your current policy and switch providers right in the app. 
“This was the coolest insurance company I’ve seen so far. They saved me $1200 and their Ux is stellar. Go
Jerry
!” —Carla W.
RECOMMENDED
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
avatar
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store
icon
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
4.7/5
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you
National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West
National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free