Is the 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid a Good Car?

If you’re looking for a mid-size family sedan that’s got exceptional driving range and even better gas mileage, the 2021 Honda Clarity is a great option.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Jul 6, 2022
The 2021
Honda Clarity
is an eco-minded midsize family sedan that can save you significant gas money with its plug-in hybrid electric powertrain. Fuel efficiency isn’t all the Clarity has going for it, however—it also offers passengers a smooth ride in a comfy, technologically-equipped wagon. 
When you think of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), you most likely think of great fuel economy. But do you think of spacious interiors? What about an affordable price tag? 
You should—the 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is a good car by almost any definition. With a reasonable starting price of $34,414 and two trims to choose from, the Clarity is a great option for singles and families looking to save on gas in style. 
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2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

The 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is available in two trims: the base and the Touring. Both offer a smooth ride, comfortable cabin, and impressive electric range—but the Touring offers some exciting comfort upgrades, including a power-adjustable driver's seat with memory settings, high-quality perforated leather upholstery, and factory navigation.

Pricing

The base model Honda Clarity PHEV starts at just $34,415. This may sound a little expensive for a Honda sedan, but it’s an impressive price for an electrified vehicle! Upgrade to the souped-up Touring trim for a few thousand dollars; it has a starting MSRP of $37,555.
Keep in mind that purchasing a PHEV qualifies you for a federal tax credit—as well as any additional local tax credits and grants offered by your state. 

Performance and fuel economy

The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is powered by a 181-horsepower electric motor fed by a 17.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It also has a gas-powered 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that serves mainly as a generator for the battery.
The hybrid powertrain produces an impressive 212 horsepower, taking you from 0 to 60 in a zippy 7.7 seconds. This smooth and quick acceleration makes the Clarity both fun and easy to drive.
The Clarity does feel a little bit less impressive as you get up to top highway speeds, but its power is sufficient for city driving. Combine that with good handling around corners and well-performing brakes, and you’ve got a car that meets your family’s daily driving needs.
But what about driving range and fuel economy? Well, that’s where the Clarity shines! It has an estimated electric-only driving range of 48 miles—double the mileage of Toyota’s
Prius Prime
—meaning you can most likely make it to work and back without ever using an ounce of gas.
Charging is pretty convenient, too. It takes right around 2.5 hours to recharge the Clarity’s batteries via a 240-volt source or up to 12 hours with a standard 120-volt plug.
When driving in hybrid mode, the Clarity averages 46 mpg on the highway, which means fewer trips to the gas station, even on a long-distance haul. 

Exterior styling

Of course, no one wants to purchase a brand new vehicle that doesn’t look good! Fortunately, the Honda Clarity is just as cute as any other Honda sedan. However, it is a bit stockier than many other sedans in the segment, measuring 192.7 inches in length and 73.9 inches in width.
There are some traditional hybrid giveaways, such as a smaller-than-usual front grille and hyper-modern L-shaped daytime running lights. The wheel arches are home to 18-inch alloys, though the rear arches are partially covered, giving the car a more solid appearance. A body-colored decklid spoiler is standard, along with a shark fin antenna.
In terms of color, buyers can choose between Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, or Solar Silver Metallic—or upgrade to Crimson Pearl or Platinum White Pearl for an additional $395. 

Interior and comfort

The Clarity’s comfortable interior is what really makes it stand out from the crowd. The cabin is big, roomy, and logical, with well-shaped front seats that can accommodate large adults and a back seat that’s perfectly comfy for the kids.
Both versions of the Clarity come with dual-zone automatic climate control, smartphone integration, and all available safety features
Upgrade to the Touring for even more comfort-minded features, including a power-adjustable driver's seat with memory settings, high-quality perforated leather upholstery, and factory navigation.

Technology

Obviously, a hybrid setup is pretty tech savvy—but what about infotainment and navigation technology inside of the vehicle?
The Clarity doesn’t disappoint! Every model comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment interface that includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. You’ll also enjoy two USB ports: a 1.5-amp input for use with smartphone integration and a regular 1.0-amp input for audio playback and charging. Listen to music through eight impressive speakers.
The Touring includes factory standard navigation as a bonus.

Warranty coverage

Your Honda’s basic warranty is as follows:
  • Basic warranty: 36 months / 36,000 miles
  • Corrosion perforation warranty: 60 months / Unlimited distance
  • Hybrid-electric system component warranty: 96 months / 100,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty: 60 months / 60,000 miles
  • Roadside assistance coverage: 36 months / 36,000 miles
For details about the warranty for the 2021 Honda Clarity PHEV, check out the
warranty manual
.
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Trim levels and options

The 2021 Honda Clarity comes in three trims, two of which are plug-in hybrids. The base plug-in hybrid has a starting MSRP of $34,415 and the Touring starts at $37,555.
The main differences between the two trims are comfort upgrades, for the most part. The base trim comes packed with plenty of safety and comfort features—the Touring is just a little bit more luxurious.
Clarity’s third trim is a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell version, retailing for $59,485.  

The bottom line

The 2021 Honda Clarity PHEV is a solid choice if you’re looking for an affordable, well-performing sedan that’s comfortable for the whole family. We recommend sticking with the base-level trim unless you absolutely can’t live without the luxury options associated with the Touring. 
Keep in mind that Clarity production ended in August 2021, so if you’re interested in a brand new model, you better rush to your Honda dealer ASAP. 

2021 Honda Clarity PHEV vs. 2021 Toyota Prius Prime

The
Toyota Prius Prime
is one of the Clarity’s main rivals—so let’s take a look at how the two sedans compare. 
The Prius Prime offers unparalleled fuel economy: 54 mpg combined fuel economy on gas operation alone and a sky-high 133 MPGe with gas and electric combined. In this sense, the Prius Prime is nearly untouchable.
The Clarity takes the cake when it comes to the electric-only driving range, though, with an impressive 48 miles. The Prius Prime can only last 25
With all that said, the Prius Prime is considerably more affordable—so, if your day-to-day commute is short, it might be a worthy option.
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
$34,415
42 mpg
110 MPGe
48 miles
2.5 hours
96 months or 100,000 miles
2021 Toyota Prius Prime
$29,245
54 mpg
133 MPGe
25 miles
2 hours
10 years or 150,000 miles
 

2021 Honda Clarity PHEV vs. 2021 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV 

Another affordable option is the 2021 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV, which retails for a starting MSRP of $27,705.
In terms of fuel economy, the Ioniq outperforms the Clarity when it comes to gas-only and gas plus electric driving. However, the Clarity still wins by a landslide when it comes to its electric-only driving range—the Ioniq barely beats the Prius Prime at 29 miles. 
One uniquely attractive feature of the Hyundai? Its lifetime warranty! 
Model
Starting price
Fuel economy (gas only)
Fuel economy (gas + electric)
Driving range
Charging time (Level 2)
Hybrid battery warranty
2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid
$34,415
42 mpg
110 MPGe
48 miles
2.5 hours
96 months or 100,000 miles
2021 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid
$27,705
52 mpg
119 MPGe
29 miles
2 hours
Lifetime

How to find affordable car insurance for your PHEV 

If you’re shopping for plug-in hybrids, it’s probably because you want to save money at the gas pump. Fortunately, that’s not the only car-related expense that you can widdle down!
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