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I was planning on trading in my 2014 (Gen 1) Volt this year to upgrade. Originally, I had plans for the Model 3, but the repeated delays and potential tax credit slipping away made me think the 2018 Volt may be the car for me.

I went and test drove it and just felt "meh." It felt like more of the same from Gen 1, which could be good, but... The blind spots are even worse. I couldn't justify an upgrade just for more range.

Just for fun, I went to Honda and test drove the 2018 Clarity PHEV, and immediately fell in love. Spacious, beautiful high-quality interior, great infotainment system, and a similar range to the Gen 2 Volt. I bought one the next day. I'm glad to post any pictures or answer any questions folks may have. Honda is a bit lax on on the info about this car and I've had to figure out most of it from forums and experimentation.
 

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CONGRATS!

I know it's not a popular message here and some other sites but there's more to an EV vehicle than just range (although the Clarity has an abundance for a phEV).

Yes, give us a more in depth report. I guess most will want to hear about the EV drive experience and how it compares to the Volt. I personally want to hear how it does it highway hybrid mode (is it easy or hard to achieve EPA, etc).
 

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Thanks fotomoto! I don't think I would have bought the Clarity if it didn't break 40 miles... But that's because I already had a Gen 1 Volt I could hit 37 reliably in (which aftermarket tires, which hurt, not help).

The EV driving experience in the Clarity is similar to the Volt in terms of acceleration and smoothness. Whether the engine is on or not, you cannot feel the car shift and it is always smooth. If you're willing to let the engine come on (there is a notable click in the accelerator before it does), the car's acceleration feels faster than the Gen 1 Volt. Actual 0-60 times disagree, so I could be wrong here.

The primary differences I noticed are the cabin noise levels and the engine noise levels. The cabin is much much quieter and the engine is a bit quieter than the Gen 1 Volt as well.

In highway hybrid mode, I've been able to easily hit EPA cruising. I don't drive particularly aggressively, so I may be a bad benchmark, but I managed ~43 MPG over the 20 miles I drove on the interstate (not stop and go).
 
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Congrats!
Personally, I can't even stand looking at the car. Let alone driving it.

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I've been thinking about test driving a Clarity PHEV as well -- possibly even trading in my 2016 Volt for it. I am that dissatisfied with the poor interior quality of the Gen2 Volt, with its unending creaking and rattling of the loose interior plastic pieces.

The deal killer on the Clarity for me is that it does not include an all-electric-no-matter-what mode. If they just added such a mode I would be very sorely tempted.

I'm not that concerned about exterior appearance. I've ridden in many Hondas owned by friends, and they have consistently impressed me with their build and materials quality, especially their rock-solid, noise-free interiors. My impression is that Honda steers clear of the quick-install plastic clip pieces that seem to pervade the Gen2 volt interior.
 
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Congratulations! I've had good luck with Hondas--I hope your Clarity is as trouble-free as mine were. The only thing I don't like about it are those "fender skirts" over the rear wheels. Reminds me of the 1st gen Prius. But as long as it gets you to where you need to go without burning gas, more power to you!
 
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I've been thinking about test driving a Clarity PHEV as well -- possibly even trading in my 2016 Volt for it. I am that dissatisfied with the poor interior quality of the Gen2 Volt, with its unending creaking and rattling of the loose interior plastic pieces.
I've owned 2 Acura. Both rattle and the plastic pieces inside the cars scratch easily. I have never owned any Hondas but I can't imaging they are any better than their luxurious brothers.

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I was interested in possibly replacing my Gen 1 Volt with a Honda Clarity, but it was not available in my area in December 2017.

I was concerned the new tax plan going through congress at the time looked like it may end the $7500 tax rebate so I found a Gen 2 Volt and bought it instead. I agree the interior of the Gen 2 Volt is a bit lacking when compared to the Clarity (although I have a Premiere so maybe it is not as bad as an LT which I did not look at), but the Gen 2 Volt is much better than just improved electric range. It also has better acceleration, better gas mileage, is quieter, has a better electric heater (which uses less power too), than the Gen 1 Volt.

The Clarity is also a foot longer than the Gen 2 Volt and since it is only me, the wife, and a couple of dogs the Volt has enough space for me. I'm not even sure I could get it in my garage. I also don't like the fact that it does not have a true full power electric mode, but I suppose I could get used to it (note that keeping it in all electric mode makes the 0-60 times much slower than in hybrid mode). It also only has a 6.6 gallon tank, which is a bit small. Why not at least 8?

A guy at work did get a Clarity in December by traveling out of state to get his. He did not know about the Volt until I told him about mine. I like the interior of his Clarity and his only knock on it was the infotainment system lags at times. Also the blind spot warning system is a bit odd in that it only seems to work on the passenger side and uses a camera to show you the view. I did not get to drive his Clarity, but I sat in it and though the visibility was much better than either Gen 1 or Gen 2 Volts. I also like the bigger trunk, but would have preferred a hatch back.

Congratulations on your Clarity! I'd love to hear long term what people think of them. I love my Gen 2 Volt, but I am still disappointed I didn't at least get a chance to drive and compare the Clarity and Gen 2 Volt before I ended up buying.
 

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Is it difficult to keep it in all Electric mode? I heard that when it is in ECO mode, it will stay in all electric mode just like the volt unless you press the accelerator past the detent.
 

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I hope GM uses this healthy competition to offer more desirable plug-ins. Volt/Bolt is unfortunately a very limited market. Honda was smart to offer a more mid-sized variant.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Is there any underfloor trunk space to put a spare tire?
Unfortunately, no. There's enough room to store about 2 120v EVSEs (the size of the Volt ones).

I've been thinking about test driving a Clarity PHEV as well -- possibly even trading in my 2016 Volt for it. I am that dissatisfied with the poor interior quality of the Gen2 Volt, with its unending creaking and rattling of the loose interior plastic pieces.

The deal killer on the Clarity for me is that it does not include an all-electric-no-matter-what mode. If they just added such a mode I would be very sorely tempted.
The poor interior quality of the Gen2 Volt is what drove me to the Clarity. It's a 40k car with a 20k car interior. Not to mention the creaking and rattling, but my Volt did have ~60k miles on it when I traded it in, so I guess that's normal.

Honestly, you have to really PUMP the accelerator to get the engine on. I've found reviews online to be pretty incorrect about this. I do wish it was electric-only, but it's not a dealbreaker for me. I have 400 miles on the car now and about 6 of those are gas miles, as an example.

Congratulations! I've had good luck with Hondas--I hope your Clarity is as trouble-free as mine were. The only thing I don't like about it are those "fender skirts" over the rear wheels. Reminds me of the 1st gen Prius. But as long as it gets you to where you need to go without burning gas, more power to you!
I'm not the biggest fan of them either, but they do look better in person (IMO).

I've owned 2 Acura. Both rattle and the plastic pieces inside the cars scratch easily. I have never owned any Hondas but I can't imaging they are any better than their luxurious brothers.

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I've owned an Accord before. Put 60k miles on it over 3 years and didn't even have a single issue with it. I bought it used and traded it in after 3 years losing almost no value on it.

The Clarity is also a foot longer than the Gen 2 Volt and since it is only me, the wife, and a couple of dogs the Volt has enough space for me. I'm not even sure I could get it in my garage. I also don't like the fact that it does not have a true full power electric mode, but I suppose I could get used to it (note that keeping it in all electric mode makes the 0-60 times much slower than in hybrid mode). It also only has a 6.6 gallon tank, which is a bit small. Why not at least 8?
It is quite a long car. Truth be told, it barely fits in my garage. That part is a bit inconvenient. As stated above, you have to really PUMP the accelerator to get the engine on. It's not as big of a deal as I thought it would be. If you test drive one, you'd see what I mean. I'm not sure why they didn't put an 8 gallon tank in it, though.

Is it difficult to keep it in all Electric mode? I heard that when it is in ECO mode, it will stay in all electric mode just like the volt unless you press the accelerator past the detent.
Correct. There is a REALLY tactile "bump" in the accelerator you feel in Eco mode before it switches to gas. There's almost no way to put it in hybrid mode by accident. I have 400 miles on the car now and about 6 of those are gas miles, so I don't find it hard at all.

I hope GM uses this healthy competition to offer more desirable plug-ins. Volt/Bolt is unfortunately a very limited market. Honda was smart to offer a more mid-sized variant.
I couldn't agree more. I want more competition because I want EVs to succeed.
 

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My daughter bought a Clarity PHEV mid-April and is very happy with it.

I rode along on the test drive and the silence was awesome.

Honda opted away from the "science experiment" experience that is the Volt. It doesn't give you the statistics of kWh and gallons consumed, so there's less material to work from in the bragging department. Honda also won't tell you what to expect in terms of maintenance mode ICE operation, etc.

As was the case with Chevrolet and the Volt, we found that many Honda dealers don't know how to sell plug-ins, sending them out with flat batteries for test drives. After the first experience with that she learned to specifically request that the car get charged before she showed up to try it.
 
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Looked at the Clarity (I ended up buying my Volt from the local Honda dealer). It was too big (wouldn't fit in any of my garages, lean to, storage sheds). To ugly (there's no getting around those rear fenders). Ugly interior (suede dash? black wood trim, something I could do in my shop if I was tarting up by myself, in fact I did just that to my '71 Javelin on the centre arm rest when the vinyl split). No hatchback. No total control of your mode like the Volt has. While a candidate for those who have to have the rear seat room, it was a no go for me.
 

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What are the limitations if you want to keep it in electric mode? How is the acceleration up to the detent, and can you run the heater in electric mode? Any other things you have to give up to stay electric?

I thought the fender skirts were a turn off from the press pictures, but seeing it in person, it is a pretty good looking car and the skirts don't stand out much at all. The rear seat looks huge compared to the Volt.
 
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