Not a brand new Clarity, but new to the forum - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Not a brand new Clarity, but new to the forum

Hello, I'm Jeff. I am new to this forum, having primarily done my EV forum discussion on another EV forum that isn't brand/model specific.

I have had my Clarity almost a year (bought it mid-June last year). I have just over 20k miles. I have had some of the more common issues (many warnings and lights several times after level 2 charging, issues with the Honda Link app, more likely than average to have problems with the tires having had 2 flats already, trunk lid issues, etc.) which have soured me a little on the car. I can't say I love it anymore, but I do still like it quite a bit. I like getting 40+ mpg on a long trip (remember, this is a larger mid-sized car), daily effective 50-80mpg (depending upon how much HV and how much EV use) when not running all electric, and a pretty generous electric only range for a PHEV (in the winter I've been getting in the low 30 mile range per charge, with warmer weather I see a low of 40 and a high of about 55 with AC and radio use if I don't modify my driving style, typically I get around 50-52 in the summer). The car handles decently (not great, but pretty good), has good brakes, and the ride is very comfortable (the most common complaint you see about comfort, no adjustable lumbar support, would be nice if they added it, but it is only a problem on the longest drives). If they got the software right (and maybe installed different OEM tires) I'd say it would be a great car. As it is, I still think it is a good car.

So far, my car has taken me on many local and weekend road trips. It took me on one trip from MD to MN to see some family who moved up there, and on the way back I took the long way through Iowa, down to Kentucky and through southern Ohio to see parts of the country I haven't been to yet. For my daily commute, I get stuck in stop and go, or at least "slow and go" traffic everyday.

So, that's the car. I am turning 49 this summer, I usually keep my cars 3-4 years, so I've had quite a few over the years (from a Ford Escort and a Nissan Sentra through a BMW 325 and an SUV). I love outdoors stuff, especially camping, kayaking, and fishing. I was a little hesitant to go back to a sedan since they can be a little limiting for car camping but the everyday virtues of the Clarity beat out the hatchback/SUV advantages of the Niro, Prius Prime and Ionic. I'm a history teacher who likes taking weekend and day trips to local historical sites (this is a very comfortable car for a road trip).
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2018 Honda Clarity PHEV, bought June 2018, drive around 20k miles/yr

Last edited by jeff10236; 06-01-2019 at 01:17 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-01-2019, 06:18 PM
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I drove a Prius for seventeen years (not the same one). Never got tired of it, loved the high-tech aspect of it, the inner workings that made it unique, almost mysterious. It was comfortable enough, but far from luxurious. Over the years when I rented cars on trips I would drive Altimas, Impalas, Camrys, etc. and I always noticed and appreciated the quieter ride and more comfortable and roomy interiors. But they seemed "ordinary" and I was always ready to get back to my Prius. I was looking seriously at the Prime, but realized I would be relegating myself to several more years of "comfortable enough" driving. Then the Clarity came along, the first car that has made me not miss my Prius, all the tech (and more, Prius doesn't have Android Auto) and it's so much more comfortable and luxurious. Best of both worlds.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 01:04 PM
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Welcome!

20K miles and that many issues - wow I hope I don't have to see that.
Only 5K miles so far and ZERO problems / issues so far.

Love my Clarity - if all goes well, I'll be keeping her for at least 150,000 miles (EV warranty)...
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 05:30 PM
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Welcome. Have you had the software updates done to resolve these issues? Apparently the early Clarity PHEVs had vehicle impacting software bugs. As for the tires, the OEM Michelins are crap in wet conditions. Unfortunately they appear to be about the only OEM LRR tires available to manufacturers.

What was the trunk issue?

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 10:56 PM
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As for the tires, the OEM Michelins are crap in wet conditions. Unfortunately they appear to be about the only OEM LRR tires available to manufacturers.
I actually wish they didn't include LRR tires as OEM on hybrids. They do it only to hit their EPA numbers, knowing full well that most owners will replace them with non-LRR tires. LRR tires are higher cost, with lower performance, and as at least one study shows they have worse stopping distance. Every hybrid that I have owned (Clarity is my third) I have to endure the LRR tires, waiting for them to wear out so that I can replace them. The one positive is that due to their poor tread life I usually don't have to wait very long.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:19 PM
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I actually wish they didn't include LRR tires as OEM on hybrids. They do it only to hit their EPA numbers, knowing full well that most owners will replace them with non-LRR tires. LRR tires are higher cost, with lower performance, and as at least one study shows they have worse stopping distance. Every hybrid that I have owned (Clarity is my third) I have to endure the LRR tires, waiting for them to wear out so that I can replace them. The one positive is that due to their poor tread life I usually don't have to wait very long.
It depends on the tire manufacturer. My preferred tire company is Bridgestone but I've also ridden on Pirelli P7 Cinturato LRR tires. More and more tire companies are incorporating LRR design and technology into their regular touring tires so the issue of a LRR specific tire is becoming less of an issue.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 08:58 PM
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Tires

I had a 2003 Insight and got 50-55 mpg most of the time. I needed tires and went for softer ride. Drove the care 600 miles and returned the tires for the correct ones (yes took a loss). Lucky I had been buying tires from that shop for years. Most shops would have said no. Yes LLR tires are hard , but my body can live with it. And the first Insights were quite a hard ride. mike
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
20K miles and that many issues - wow I hope I don't have to see that.
It was annoying, but no major mechanical issues, just livability stuff.

Quote:
Have you had the software updates done to resolve these issues?
I just got some recalls (all, or mostly, software updates) done a few weeks ago. We'll see if it fixes the issues...


I have had the trunk pop open when unlocking my car several times since then so that isn't gone (nor did any of the recalls claim to address that issue). I haven't had an issue with some nasty looking warning lights coming on after charging. However, that was (from all online accounts) only an issue when using public level 2 chargers. Before I moved about a month ago, I lived in an apartment with no ability to charge at home. I only used public level 2 chargers so I used them a lot. Now, I can plug in at home (level 1 only since I'm renting another 2 years). Also, it was only an occasional issue. So, it may take a long time for me to see it again even if it wasn't resolved (though hopefully it was). Of course, nothing has been done about the issues with the apps (it seems every time they update HondaLink, it gets worse). As for issues I didn't mention (unrealistic HV estimates), I never paid close attention to the estimated distance to empty on any of my gas cars in the past since it was never very accurate so I never was very worried about it, though it does seem to be more accurate now (I'm VERY happy that the electric estimates have always been very accurate).





Several people made comments about the tires.


As for my specific tires, it turned out that 3 had bolts in them somehow (living where I do, road hazards have always been an issue, but never that bad). Luckily, they were repairable (even with the road hazard insurance, they usually prorate the amount they pay based on tread wear). That lets me wait to replace them anyway until I can order exactly what I want and not just go with what is in stock nearby. I will replace them with LRR tires since so many companies have them now and the tech seems much improved over just a few years ago (and many are marketed as regular tires and mention the LRR tech almost as an afterthought). I won't go with another set of these Michelin unless they re-engineer them to be more resistant to road debris. I'm leaning towards either the Continental, Bridgestone or Pirelli LRR tires (with the Bridgestones appearing to be the best overall blend of durability, longevity, comfort, mileage and price).

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV, bought June 2018, drive around 20k miles/yr

Last edited by jeff10236; 06-19-2019 at 05:33 PM.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 07:03 PM
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That all sounds good, hopefully the updates help out.

As for tires, look at tire weight as a category. Continental & Pirelli a lot of the time are slightly lighter in weight, Less unsprung weight is a good thing.



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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff10236 View Post
Several people made comments about the tires.


As for my specific tires, it turned out that 3 had bolts in them somehow (living where I do, road hazards have always been an issue, but never that bad). Luckily, they were repairable (even with the road hazard insurance, they usually prorate the amount they pay based on tread wear). That lets me wait to replace them anyway until I can order exactly what I want and not just go with what is in stock nearby. I will replace them with LRR tires since so many companies have them now and the tech seems much improved over just a few years ago (and many are marketed as regular tires and mention the LRR tech almost as an afterthought). I won't go with another set of these Michelin unless they re-engineer them to be more resistant to road debris. I'm leaning towards either the Continental, Bridgestone or Pirelli LRR tires (with the Bridgestones appearing to be the best overall blend of durability, longevity, comfort, mileage and price).
Here's my experience with LRR tires:
  • Michelin Energy Saver A/S (OEM) tires suck in the wet. They're actually better in snow/slush/ice than in the rain. They're the same as the what were on my 2017 Volt. They lasted about 35,000 miles and should have been good for 60,000. I have yet to ride on a set of Michelins that were worth the rubber they were made out of - 3 retail and 4 OEM now.
  • Goodyear FuelMax Assurance are reasonable, but they have thin sidewall which tends to fail. Wet and snow traction are better than reviews indicate.
  • Pirelli Cinturato P7 are the best all around, but the set I had wore out after about 40,000 miles vs. the 60K treadwear warranty. They've since been redesigned and supposedly the early wear has been resolved.
  • Bridgestone Ecopia 422+ are very good but somewhat noisy. They hum on a lot more pavement types than do other tires. Wet and snow traction are good.

There are others but the list above what I've had personal experience with. TireRack lists 10 different LRR tires for the Clarity PHEV. I'll replace the tires on both my PHEVs (2017 Volt & 2018 Clarity Touring) with the Bridgestone Turanza the next time around. Those are possibly the best tires I've ever had on a vehicle and with the LRR technologies migrating to more models the Turanza is now considered a LRR tire.

2018 Honda Clarity Touring PHEV - Forest Green w/Tan interior (wife's car)
2017 Volt LT - Heather Gray; black bow ties, Charcoal VoltShelf
2012 Cruze ECO MT (hail totaled 5/8/17 103,600 miles @42.5 MPG)
2010 Mit Lancer GT MT (traded for ECO @31K miles)
2002 Pont Montana AWD - title to son at college graduation
1990 Pont Transport (traded for Montana @240K miles)
1986 Fiero GT MT (traded for Transport - needed more seats)
1985 Fiero 2M4 MT (traded for Fiero GT @8K miles)
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