New 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Reviews, Pricing & Specs | Kelley Blue Book (2022)

The 2021 Honda Clarity drapes the same skin over two very different cars. Underneath its unique styling, the Clarity can either be a plug-in gasoline hybrid or a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered sedan.

There’s also a difference in how customers can get hold of each version. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is available nationwide and can be bought or leased. The Clarity Fuel Cell is a lease-only prospect and is only offered in certain parts of California where a hydrogen fueling infrastructure is present.

The Plug-in Hybrid offers an impressive all-electric range of 47 miles, far superior to most of its competition. The fuel-cell version is nearly identical, although it surrenders a considerable portion of its trunk space to accommodate the hydrogen storage tank.

As far as competition goes, a few plug-ins might compare, including the Toyota Prius Prime, Hyundai Ioniq, and Volvo S60. The Clarity Fuel Cell has only one real competitor in the hydrogen sedan class, the newly redesigned Toyota Mirai.

2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Pricing

Although they might look identical, pricing for the two Clarity sedans is quite varied. The 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $34,995, including the $995 destination fee. The Touring version starts at $37,595. A $7,500 federal tax credit applies to both plug-in trims. Further savings may be recognized in states and cities with their own EV incentive programs.

The Clarity Fuel Cell carries an MSRP of $59,485, but it is not available for purchase. Instead, Honda offers a 3-year lease requiring $2,878 due at signing and $379 a month. The lease includes $15,000 worth of hydrogen over the duration of the lease and is only offered in select areas of California. The Clarity Fuel Cell is also eligible for California’s Clean Vehicle Rebate credit, which currently stands at $4,500.

Of course, the above-listed pricing isn’t set in stone, so to get a good idea of what others in your area have paid for their 2021 Honda Clarity, check KBB.com’s Fair Purchase Price. In a price match up, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is more than $6,000 above the asking price for the Toyota Prius Prime and Hyundai Ioniq, while the Toyota Mirai undercuts the Clarity Fuel Cell by nearly $10,000. We expect the Clarity’s resale values to remain on par with other Honda products, slightly behind the Toyota Prius Prime, but better than the Volvo S60 and Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrids.

Which Model is Right for Me?

2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

Honda Sensing
Heated front seats
Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
47-mile electric driving range
Honda LaneWatch

(Video) 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid - Review & Road Test

2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Touring

Perforated leather seating
Power front seats
Remote cabin climate control
Navigation
Leather-wrapped steering wheel

2021 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Hydrogen fuel cell
360-mile range
Head up display
540-watt 12-speaker audio system

(Video) 2021 honda clarity plug-in hybrid release date | 2021 honda clarity plug in hybrid review, Concept..

Driving the 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

The 2021 Honda Clarity might be as technologically advanced as a modern jet aircraft, but its rides and drives like any other Honda sedan. You’ll have to get used to some differences, like the unnatural silence when running in full electric mode. Silence aside, both the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Fuel Cell feel very much like driving Honda’s other big sedan, the Accord.

The steering feel is light but with sufficient feedback, and the brakes have a solid feel with very little pedal travel or softness. Acceleration is pretty quick, but don’t expect Tesla-like 0 to 60 mph times; these electric motors were built for efficiency, not speed.

In the Clarity Fuel Cell, the silent cabin treatment is constant, whereas in the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, you’ll only enjoy it for about 47 miles, after which the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine kicks on to feed power to the electric motors. It takes only a short tutorial to learn how to operate the hydrogen fueling station, after which you can fill the Clarity Fuel Cell’s tank in about three to five minutes.

Interior Comfort

The 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Fuel Cell share the same spacious interior. It’s a 5-passenger cabin with excellent headroom and legroom both front and rear. The interior design is modern, bordering on futuristic, with elegant wood inlays seemingly lifted from a Scandinavian luxury sedan. Soft leather seating and faux suede on the dashboard complete the look.

(Video) 2019 Honda Clarity - Long-Term Intro

Honda has replaced the traditional shift lever with a row of buttons for engaging the gears. It’s a clever way to save space in the center console and also looks quite cool. Above the gear selector is a large touchscreen for the audio and navigation. It’s more complex than it needs to be and lacks a proper volume knob. Thankfully, the climate panel is still old school.

Cargo space is generous in the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, which has an accommodating 15.5 cubic-foot trunk and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. Regrettably, the Fuel Cell’s storage tank reduces trunk space to just 11.8 cubic feet and replaces the folding seatback with a fixed back.

Exterior Styling

It is clear that Honda wanted its 2021 Clarity to be as futuristic-looking as it is technology-advanced, but some may find the design a bit polarizing. We think the new 2021 Toyota Mirai is sleeker without going over the top.

That said, the design combines a series of sharp creases, rounded edges, integrated rear wheel skirts, and lots of black plastic trim to make the Clarity stand out in a crowd. Most of the design cues are functional, meaning they are there to improve aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, not just look wild.

Up front, the styling is more traditional, with familiar Honda design cues augmented by elongated headlights and giant boomerang-shaped DRLs. The rear slanted window makes the Clarity look like a hatchback, but it is all sedan, with a small trunk lid hiding a surprisingly large opening.

Favorite Features

PLUG-IN HYBRID
Although GM first had the idea with its short-lived Volt, Honda’s plug-in seems to have gotten the formula just right. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can travel at speeds up to 47 miles solely on electricity, after which a small gas engine kicks on to supply power to the electric motor or the wheels. With a range of 340 miles, you can drive uninhibited, freed from the worry of not being able to find a charging station.

HONDA SENSING
Honda’s standard suite of driver assists includes adaptive cruise control, which maintains a constant set distance between the Clarity and car ahead. Also in the package are forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and road departure mitigation.

Standard Features

The 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid comes as a base model or loaded Touring. The Clarity Fuel Cell comes only as one well-equipped model.

Standard equipment includes Honda Sensing, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration, Honda LaneWatch right-hand video monitor, push-button start, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, sliding sun visors, heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a 180-watt audio system with 8 speakers.

Move up to the Touring trim, and you’ll get perforated leather seating, an 8-way power driver’s seat with memory, a 4-way power passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, navigation, a compass, and smartphone control of the cabin climate controls.

The Clarity Fuel Cell offers no options and includes all the above-mentioned features, plus a 540-watt, 12-speaker premium audio system, and a head-up display.

(Video) Honda Clarity - Everything you Need to Know for 2022

Factory Options

In typical Honda fashion, optional upgrades are built into the trim levels, meaning the only options for the 2021 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and Clarity Fuel Cell are those installed by the dealer.

Engine & Transmission

Electricity is a big part of the 2021 Honda Clarity’s propulsion system, but to what degree depends largely on which model you choose.

The Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid employs a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder gas engine teamed with a battery-fed electric motor. In combination, the two produce a respectable 212 horsepower. On its own, the electric motor generates 181 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. With its gas tank filled and battery charged, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can travel 340 miles. Honda allows the driver to choose various modes such as Normal, Econ, Sport, and HV, all designed to vary the vehicle’s performance and efficiency.

The Clarity Fuel Cell is a bit more complicated, powered solely by the electricity generated from a hydrogen fuel cell. A fuel cell is a device that chemically combines oxygen and hydrogen to produce an electrical charge, with the only byproduct being heat and water vapor. It’s the ultimate green technology.

(Video) 2021 Honda Clarity | Time for a New Body?

Filling a fuel-cell car is very similar to using a gas pump. Simply pay at the pump, attach the special nozzle to the filler, wait about 5 minutes and then get in and go. With the Clarity Fuel Cell, you’ll get an additional 20 miles total range over the hybrid.

Clarity Plug-in Hybrid
1.5-liter 4-cylinder + electric motor
Total horsepower: 212 horsepower
EPA city/highway/combined: 42 mpg, 110 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent, electric-only)
Range on a full charge: 47 miles
Combined range: 340 miles

Clarity Fuel Cell
Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell with AC Permanent-Magnet Synchronous electric motor
174 horsepower @ 4,501-9,028 rpm
221 lb-ft of torque @ 0-3,500 rpm
EPA city/highway mpg equivalent: 68/67 MPGe
Range: 360 miles

FAQs

New 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid Reviews, Pricing & Specs | Kelley Blue Book? ›

The 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $34,995, including the $995 destination fee. The Touring version starts at $37,595. A $7,500 federal tax credit applies to both plug-in trims.

Is Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid a good car? ›

Is the Honda Clarity a Good Car? Yes, the Honda Clarity is a good car. Its cabin is refined, spacious, and equipped with plenty of driver-assist features. It is available throughout the country as a plug-in hybrid, and California residents have the option of leasing a hydrogen-powered fuel cell model.

How fast is the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid? ›

According to ProfessCars™ estimation this Honda is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 sec, from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.1 sec, from 0 to 160 km/h (100 mph) in 20.8 sec and the quarter mile drag time is 16.5 sec.

How many Honda Clarity plug ins are sold? ›

How Many Honda Clarity Have Been Sold Per Year in the U.S.?
YearTotal Sales
20172455
201820,174
201911,654
20203,664
10 more rows
Jun 20, 2021

What is Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid? ›

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid lets you charge up and drive on electricity, and tap into a gas reserve when needed. It uses a high-capacity battery for longer all-electric driving and, like a traditional hybrid, uses a gas-powered engine as backup for when electricity runs low.

Why did Honda discontinue the Clarity plug-in? ›

Honda chose to end the production of the Clarity's electric version because the automaker wants to focus more on the proposed electric vehicles it has in the planning stage. Its goal is to release more EV models in the next few years.

Why did the Honda Clarity fail? ›

We continue to make significant investments in fuel cell infrastructure and battery technology.” The reality of the situation appears to be, simply, that sales of all three Clarity models were underperforming – possibly due to their limited market availability.

Will there be a 2021 Honda Clarity? ›

Honda Clarity models

The 2021 Honda Clarity is available in two basic forms: the Plug-In Hybrid and Fuel Cell. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine (212 horsepower, 232 lb-ft) with an electric-motor hybrid system and a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery.

Is Honda Clarity being discontinued? ›

Honda will end production of the Clarity fuel-cell and plug-in-hybrid models in August 2021. The Clarity was initially available as an EV as well, but that model was dropped last year. Honda says the Clarity will still be available to lease through 2022.

What is better a hybrid or plug-in hybrid? ›

A plug-in hybrid may be able to get a little charge through regenerative braking. But since a plug-in car has a larger battery that it relies on more, it needs to be connected to an external power source to fully recharge. Full hybrids can recharge their electric batteries through regenerative braking.

Will there be a 2022 Honda Clarity plug in hybrid? ›

[12] The 2022 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has been named Best Buy of the Year among electric and hybrid cars by Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com. [13] 2022 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring. MSRP includes any selected accessories.

Is Honda making a 2022 Clarity? ›

The Honda Clarity Won't Be Back in 2022.

Will Honda have a PHEV in 2022? ›

The Breeze PHEV will be put for sale in the second half of 2021. The SUV E:Prototype's production version is scheduled for spring 2022.

Why is Honda Clarity lease only? ›

The Clarity Fuel Cell was a lease-only car and it has been reported that a poor hydrogen refueling infrastructure contributed to slow demand for the model. The least-expensive lease, according to Honda's U.S. website, was a 36-month term with $2,878 due at signing and a $379 a month payment.

How much does it cost to fill up a Honda Clarity fuel cell? ›

Refueling the hydrogen fuel cell can cost up to $100, but Honda will foot the bill for up to $15,000 in fuel over the course of the lease.

Where is the Honda Clarity plug in hybrid made? ›

Honda also plans to close its factory in Sayama, Japan, where the Clarity is built. The plant also makes the Honda Legend, which was sold in Canada as the now-discontinued Acura RLX; and the Honda Odyssey for global markets.

How does Honda Clarity hybrid work? ›

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid utilizes Honda's innovative two-motor hybrid technology, which consists of (1) the hyper-efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder gasoline engine engages to generate electricity for the electric motor ; (2) an ultra-quiet 181-horsepower AC synchronous traction motor; and (3) a 17- ...

Does Honda have a plug-in hybrid? ›

An Electrified Family

The innovative Honda Clarity becomes the first vehicle family in the automotive industry to offer fuel-cell, electric, and plug-in hybrid technology options.

Will there be a 2020 Honda Clarity? ›

The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at approximately $34,355 for the standard model and $37,555 for the Touring trim. The Clarity Plug-in is eligible for a $7,500 federal income-tax credit, plus other local and state incentives.

Videos

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