On the eve of the 2018 New York Auto Show, I was able to get my hands on a Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid for a 45-minute drive.
The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has been on sale since December 2017 and is the final member to join the Clarity model lineup, which includes the Clarity Fuel Cell and the Clarity Electric.
After putting the hybrid through its paces both in city and highway driving in New York, I came away with a few observations. Here’s what I learned.
1. Well-Balanced Driving Feel
Tackling highway speeds with a sure-footedness found in sedans of this size, the Clarity Plug-In’s steering predictably firms up as the speed piles on and the well-sorted suspension soaks up potholes with confidence. Feeling very substantial, the Clarity Plug-In mimics the Accord’s lively driving dynamics but with a bias towards more comfort. Still, the Clarity mostly operates and drives much like a conventional car, which is a huge bonus.
2. Adventurous Interior Treatment
The Clarity Plug-In carries over Honda’s current functional and attractive interior design but with a few unique touches. A tasteful Alcantara trim piece runs from the door panels uninterrupted throughout the entire dash. It is a unique element and is flanked by a convincing wood trim.
3. Class-Leading Power Output
With a combined total system output of 212 horsepower, the Clarity Plug-In beats the horsepower figures of the rest of the plug-in hybrid class and an available Sport mode gives access to all that power when system conditions permit.
4. Designed to Stand on Its Own
Despite being similar in size to the Accord, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid shows Honda’s commitment to dedicated green offerings. With unique styling both inside and out, there will be no confusion about the Clarity in Honda’s lineup.
5. Plentiful Storage Space
Honda has packaged the Clarity like a typical family sedan. Cargo space is a very competitive 15.5 cubic feet and rear seat legroom is sufficient for a traditional family. Storage areas are plentiful including generous door pockets and a giant storage compartment located under the transmission console big enough for a tablet or even an 11-inch netbook.