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2018
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Honda Clarity Change Vehicle

The Honda Clarity family of cars showcases Honda’s diverse alternative fuel technologies. One version is a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car, another is a pure electric vehicle (EV), and the third is a plug-in hybrid, which is the version that is viable for most drivers. The plug-in hybrid Clarity competes with the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
NA
2018
2019
NA
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
NA
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The Honda Clarity family of cars showcases Honda’s diverse alternative fuel technologies. One version is a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car, another is a pure electric vehicle (EV), and the third is a plug-in hybrid, which is the version that is viable for most drivers.

The plug-in hybrid Clarity competes with the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius Prime. It can operate just on electric power for a limited distance, and when the battery charge runs out, it starts up its gas engine. It works as promised, but the Clarity suffers from some annoying Honda quirks, such as confusing controls and fussy gear selector. In addition, the gas engine is loud when it kicks in.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 1-speed Direct
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • electric (161 hp)
  • electric (174 hp)
  • 1.5-liter 4 hybrid (212 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Honda Clarity owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Android Auto

"It has never connected properly."

Anonymous, MA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Backup or other camera/sensors

"started as an intermittent pb, Honda agreed to repair even if out of warranty, over 1000$ in parts.. part still bo after 2 monts. Real safety issue w/kids around."

Anonymous, QC (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Display screen freezes up

"Took 3 trips to dealer, 3 computer reboots before problem solved.. now trouble free"

Robert K., CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"XM radio froze up when remote climate control was utilized."

Wayne G., GA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"The screen would freeze. Turning the car off and on sometimes resolved it. Had to take it to the dealer to have it addressed. They said it needed a software update."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Unsure)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"vehicle does not recognize iphone being connected. Dealer indicated Honda software is not compatible with current Apple iOS version."

Gregory K., CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Navigation system loses direction, occasionally shows me driving off road or on another nearby road. The compass will sometime show me heading in a difference direction than I’m actually driving. I connected my trusty standalone Garmin and used it at the same time as the in-car unit. The standalone unit was rock steady with none of the issues displayed as the built-in unit. The Honda dealer was “not able to duplicate” and was very dismissive of my complaints. Service manager had a sales manager talk to me, his solution was to give the phone number to Garmin and told me to pursue with them. I called Garmin and they said it is a Honda (hardware) problem as Honda designs and builds the hardware for the GPS unit. As of now, the Honda GPS unit is not working correctly and I’m extremely dissatisfied with Honda’s response to this issue."

Richard M., TX (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Unit constantly showed me driving off the road to the right, get lost, and would then have to continually recalculate the route. Dealer replaced entire radio/GPS head unit and all is now working normally."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"The Garmin in-dash navigation system was not a good choice for my Clarity. Other navigational systems are more advance and easier to use than the Garmin."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Radio

"XM radio does not work if I use remote climate control before starting the car."

Anonymous, (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Software update fixes

"Software was updated to address the XM radio freeze that I mentioned earlier"

Wayne G., GA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Mostly the time between a problem was reported by the community and the fix."

Anonymous, LA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"The software had a number of bugs initially, necessitating three separate tows and stays at the dealer. The software indicatied problems with the emissions system. The manufacturer eventually located and fixed the problem, but, like I said, after three separate tows and stays at the dealer."

Leslie M., CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Mileage range does not compute correctly. Dealer cannot fix with software updates."

Anonymous, SC (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Electric)

"There was a recall on the engine computer. The dealer misperform the update, and freeze the computer, that had to be changed. There was no computer available in North America, it took 10 days to get it. But the dealer loan me a car for free during that 10 days."

Anonymous, (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"Right wheel area has a rhythmic sound whose frequency increases with speed"

Anonymous, NJ (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Someone left a loose screw in the dash upon assembly"

Bruce P., WA (2018 Honda Clarity)

"The windshield pillars in the front tended to have vibrations. Honda was god about trying to fix them but so far not completely fixed."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Unsure)

"From new and anytime while being driven on rough survice"

Anonymous, CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"noise coming from the rear suspension when going through potholes / manholes from both side"

Anonymous, QC (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"Air conditioner is not cold anymore. I live in a cold climate and rarely use it"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Automatic climate control

"Defective cabin temp sensor. Replaced by dealer under warranty."

Anonymous, NC (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Refrigerant leaks

"AC doesnt blow cold"

Anonymous, (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"Headlights don't project out far enough. This is a safety hazard. I emailed Honda with my concerns and haven't heard from them. The service department adjusted my lights twice. Once by warranty the second time I was charged. The lights still don't project far enough."

Anonymous, IN (2018 Honda Clarity)
Tire pressure monitor

""tire pressure low" indicator comes on. This started when the car was about a year old. I have taken it to the Honda dealer 5 times as a result of this. They have never been able to correct the problem. It continues to happen every time after I have driven for about a half hour on the freeway. I always drive using the Adaptive Cruise Control when on the freeway."

Anonymous, WA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Warning lights

"Engine lights, air conditioner and other electrical problems purportedly cause by rodents. Occurred in first six months of ownership."

Anonymous, CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Bushings

"Replaced left front strut under warranty, bottoming out over rough road that my Ford handled fine."

Anonymous, MN (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Shocks or struts

"Same issue, unusual noises from such a quiet car."

Anonymous, MN (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"All the problems I have marked seemed to be caused by an electronic glitch that I was told affected a certain number of Clarity models across the country. All the electronics were replaced, at a cost of almost $5000 but all covered by Honda under warranty. As far as could be told, none of the problems indicated by the warning lights were real."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Honda Clarity)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"Fit, was uneven and wouldn’t open"

James B., CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"see previous answer, which covers this problem too."

Anonymous, TX (2018 Honda Clarity)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"In cold weather the car might give dashboard instructions on how to start the car plush brake then start button” which even while I am already doing these things the car will not fire up. I have learned to get out of the car, lock then unlock the car again, and it will start normally. The dealer has no clue how to correct this."

Raymond B., MA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"the vinyl molding on the interior driver side door kept coming loose and eventually wouldn't snap back into place. I had the dealer replace it."

Leslie M., CA (2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in 1.5-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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