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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I might have just steered a friend in the direction of the Clarity PHEV. He was thinking seriously about the Prius Prime, but he has a 40-mile commute each way to work. Also, he is looking to buy and can absorb the full $7,500 tax credit, which I believe the Clarity is eligible for.

So yes, it's a more expensive car than the Prius Prime, but it's also bigger (and seems nicer). I know several people here have also picked up the Clarity PHEV. Any quirks to look out for? Don't worry about putting it in "EV speak" as I can translate. I'm also fluent in Bocce. :cool:
 

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Several folks have owned a Volt and a Clarity PHEV. See the similar threads at the bottom of the page. Went to see a Clarity about 2 weeks ago. Very nice. Unfortunately, I dislike the rear visibility of the Clarity as much as the rear visibility of the Gen 2 Volt. Guess I will stick with my 2015 Volt until something with a Voltec-like drive and a real rear window comes along. I like amphibians but only if I can see what is behind me.

KNS
 

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Clarity is anemic if you want to keep the ICE off -- you can't get full power on EV alone. Not sure if that's an issue for your friend, but some prefer the opportunity to have a full time EV with full power. Reviews claim the drive is more sedate than the Volt.

Also, if the goal is fuel savings, a good question is whether your friend has charging at work. If so, even a used Gen 1 Volt might be able to make the commute all EV in warmer weather--at a substantial up-front savings on cost.

If the car is going to be used for work, like taking others to lunch, etc., than Clarity offers better headroom in the back.

No matter what, the Gen 2 Volt will offer the most EV range and, without charging at work, may also offer the highest overall MPG per commute. But we're really talking smaller differences in overall fuel consumption. Test driving required.
 

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I looked at the Clarity. Here were my impressions:
Didn't like the rear fender design, the rest is OK (gets a passing mark).
Prefer a hatch to trunk.
Not impressed with interior (some like it), from black (real/fake) wood accents to the suede dash.
and the real kicker, can not practically be driven with out the engine coming on to support the electric drive. Don't want a cold engine coming off and on all/some of the time. Basically this currently eliminates all current PHEV's except the Volt. This may change in the future (may not).
Clarity is a large (read mid to full sized car) and while fine for some, does not fit in my parking spaces (garages, lean to or shed).

Positives:
It's larger size means the back seat is more usable for adult sizes (even little kids grow up). The back seat in my Integra got used maybe a dozen times in its 27 year history. This can be a big thing for some, means nothing to others.
Honda dealerships may provide a more even service experience across the board while Chevy may be more hit and miss which means this may be a factor or it may not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, my friend can charge at work, but he has stated to me that he does not want to buy an American car. Trust issues.

It's good to know that it's not truly a full-time EV, though he'd probably be dipping into gas during his commute anyway.
 

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..... he has stated to me that he does not want to buy an American car. Trust issues.

..... it's not truly a full-time EV, ....
Does he have any data to support these 'issues' with new PHEV's? Or is it 20 yr old gossip?
Does he know how well Honda's CVT system has held up in the past? (although I don't know how the Clarity handles it..)
There are some very high mileage Volts out there!

100% EV is a REAL FEATURE !!!

2 yrs between oil changes, no cold engine powering up and being asked to make lots of power. ~50 miles of EV range.
Full rated power on tap regardless of which mode it's in.

Technically the Volt is way ahead in the PHEV game!

The Prime is still just another patch to the prius.
 

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Does he have any data to support these 'issues' with new PHEV's? Or is it 20 yr old gossip?
It’s not all 20 year old gossip. I’d trust my 07 Toyota with almost 200k miles on it before I’d trust a new GM product to drive across the country after owning 2 of them and dealing with complete incompetence on GMs part with both of them and getting a buyback on one of them. “Imports” will always be better. They care about their customers and make a reliable product. GM has proven to be happy just taking the money upfront and then not caring what happens afterwards.
 

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Although many here feel that a PHEV that uses the gasoline engine to deliver full power is somehow bad, I can tell them, having lived with one (Energi) for several years after trading in a Volt for it, it isn't. It's a non-issue for me because I drive for efficiency; that's a big reason why I own a PHEV in the first place. In almost 4 years of ownership, I think I've had it come on unintentionally 3 times.

Using both sides is just more efficient. That's why my Energi, with it's weaker EV, is still as fast or faster than a Gen 1 Volt yet better gas economy despite a much higher profile. And that's why the Clarity is just as efficient as the Gen 2 Volt despite being a much larger (mid-size) and heavier car (500 lbs).

The Prime especially as a commuter shouldn't be overlooked either. With it's lower price and extreme efficiency, its costs/mile even when using gas is lower than the volt or clarity.

80 miles per day in LA traffic? I get the one that's the most comfortable and has the best ACC performance.
 

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I think of the Clarity as somewhere between a Prius and a Volt.
 

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It may not matter to most prospective buyers but the Clarity plug-in hybrid has a 7 gallon fuel tank. EPA MPG numbers are 44 city, 40 highway, 42 combined. Assuming you would take the Clarity on a road trip the effective range using only gas is 280 miles. Using only gas, the Gen2 Volt can travel beyond 370 miles using 8.9 gallons of fuel. The Volt can travel ~100 miles (25%) further than the Clarity before refueling.
 

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I'd be very hesitant with this being the first year of the Clarity.


I junked my 03 Accord for a new Volt. At 190k it was burning 3 qts of oil per tank, yes that's about 1 qt/100mi. I thought with a timing chain I'd never have to worry about timing belts changes - WRONG, the chain stretched and had to be replaced at ~100k. Radio blew at about the same time which caused the hvac lights to stop working. Transmission was leaking and likely on it's way out too.

The only saving grace was that I received 6k from the government for scrapping the car to buy an EV.


There are plenty of similar complaints online and at: http://www.hondaproblems.com/vehicles/accord/

but Honda did nothing to address them.

I for one, will never buy Honda again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the feedback, everyone...

Another suggestion I made was (if absolute price was the biggest concern) the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV. To me, it's the most directly comparable to the Prius Prime, but Korean automakers also seem to give him pause.
 

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Thanks for the feedback, everyone...

Another suggestion I made was (if absolute price was the biggest concern) the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV. To me, it's the most directly comparable to the Prius Prime, but Korean automakers also seem to give him pause.
Ioniq PHEV shouldn't be a problem in California, but in colder locations I wouldn't recommend it: the Ioniq PHEV doesn't have electric heat.
 

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Another suggestion I made was (if absolute price was the biggest concern) the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV. To me, it's the most directly comparable to the Prius Prime, but Korean automakers also seem to give him pause.
Korean manufacturers make some of the most reliable cars (my brother-in-law preferred them to BMW as far as driveability) after a shaky intro with the Pony. I look at the Ioniq PHEV uses the motor for assist in power and uses a six speed auto transmission. It's just a hybrid with a bigger battery. Not what I was looking for.
 

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If you are doing a lot of highway driving, you may also want to check out the Malibu Hybrid which uses the Voltec system (with a *very* small battery). It gets really good (read: close to 50mpg) on the highway. I had one a while back as a loaner and it was pretty good on long distance drives. City not so much though.

Regarding Hyundai, I'd never buy another one. We had one many years ago and quickly learned that "America's best warranty" was completely useless.
 

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Regarding Hyundai, I'd never buy another one. We had one many years ago and quickly learned that "America's best warranty" was completely useless.
The key words are "many years ago". My sister had a first gen Elantra and in a few years it was falling apart. Go down the road a few years and they are getting the highest reliability ratings. My brother-in-law's Genesis is faultless and superior to the BMW he was thinking of buying.
 

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According to the 30 Malibu Hybrid owners who report their fill ups on fuelly.com, admittedly a small sample, the real world average MPG for the Malibu hybrid is closer to 42 MPG. Getting 50 MPG is possible but that result is definitely an outlier.
 
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