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Two out of three variants of the Clarity are considered to be zero-emission vehicles. With over five years to choose from, which is the best year Honda Clarity?

The Clarity nameplate refers to Honda's vehicles powered by different powertrains ranging from hybrid to all-electric, and even hydrogen fuel-cell. With innovative fuel technologies, Honda has tried to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

2019 is the best year Honda Clarity as it adds a lot of advanced features as standard to all variants. The vehicle is equipped with many modern safety features, such as collision prevention. The base hybrid variant can easily be termed one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles out there.  

The Clarity adds a lot of innovation to become a low-emission and zero-emission vehicle. Two of its variants don't have an exhaust pipe because they do not need it. Even the hybrid variant relies more on the electric system for power than the engine mounted on it.

Many car experts believe that the hybrid Clarity is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the market. It flaunts a luxurious interior and offers a smooth, comfortable, and quiet ride. They have a mixed opinion about the hydrogen-powered Fuel cell variant as it is hard to refuel with minimal hydrogen stations. The electric variant, experts believe, is suitable for everyday driving around the city.

Table of Contents

2019 Honda Clarity

The 2019 Honda Clarity is available in three different powertrains, the Plug-in Hybrid, the All-Electric, and the Fuel Cell. They are so different that they could have been separate models altogether. But they also have a lot in common; all of them stand out for their efficiency, and they offer more features than what you will find on other eco-friendly vehicles.  

The most commonly found variant is the plug-in hybrid. A reason for its popularity is that people understand hybrid technology better than the other two. The electric has limited range and needs significant charging time after a long run, and the fuel-cell version requires pressurized hydrogen, which is rare to find. This is not to say that the other two variants are bad; they are just suited for limited areas and buyers.

The Plug-in Hybrid Clarity can be found in the standard and Touring trims. The electrical and fuel-cell variants are difficult to find, but they come in a single, standard trim.

Design Features

The 2019 Honda Clarity is approximately the same size as the Honda Accord, but it wears different proportions. It is taller, has a significantly high rear end, and looks quite bulky from behind. The Fuel cell variant comes with a black roof, which tones down the vehicle's bulky appearance. However, this feature is not found in other models.

From the front, the car wears a Honda appearance. The chrome bar on the grille stretches over to the headlights, making them all seem like one part. The bumper houses sporty-looking DRLs and turn signals, which give the car a sleek appearance from the front. The hood features prominent creasing that adds to the vehicle's sporty appearance.

The roof slopes down towards the vehicle's rear, making the car more aerodynamic. But more importantly, the rear end is shaped in such a way to accommodate the hydrogen fuel tank. The spoiler on the trunk lid helps disguise the vehicle's rounded shape, and it hides away the second window in the trunk lid, which improves visibility when backing up. The double window is required due to the tall rear end.

Step inside, and things take a turn for the better. The interior feels luxurious and looks graceful. The dashboard design is like that found on other Honda models. The materials used in the cabin include artificial wood. Ultrasuedes in soothing colors can be found on higher trims, making them feel super-luxurious. Most features make the car feel like a regular car inside. However, the small drive selector points to the unique powertrain.

Overall, the car is stylish from the inside and outside. We only have an issue with the high rear end, which gives the vehicle a bulbous look.

Performance Features

With all the hype about efficient powertrains, you might have already guessed that the 2019 Honda Clarity does not keep performance on high priority. The vehicle strives to maximize efficiency and is relatively frugal in energy.

All three versions of the Clarity come with different powertrains, but it is the Hybrid variant that is most popular. This variant is powered by a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, which works with a dual-motor hybrid system, and omits the standard transmission. The engine and the motors produce 181 hp and 232 lb-ft torque.

The car is programmed to run more on battery power, and it does not turn the engine on until the battery charge is depleted. Even after entering the hybrid mode, the engine mainly acts as a generator to charge the batteries. This means that the engine noise might not feel synchronized with the gas pedal or the vehicle's speed. The engine is primarily quiet and smooth during city and highway driving. However, it does get a little noisy on hilly roads when the 1.5-liter is trying to pull a mid-sized sedan up a steep hill.

The advanced system also allows the driver to save battery if they wish to use it later by using different driving modes. The car can be operated in three modes, Sport, Eco, and Normal.  

The Clarity is equipped with a 17 kWh lithium-ion battery pack located at the front of the trunk. When plugged into a 240-volt outlet, it takes 2.5 hours to charge from zero to 100%.

The other two variants, the Clarity Fuel Cell and the Clarity Electric are both powered by electric motors that deliver power to the front wheels. However, the source of power for these motors differs on both models, which results in different levels of power output. The Fuel Cell variant produces 130 KW of power, ten more than the all-electric variant at 120 KW.

The Fuel Cell variant has a stack of fuel cells under the hood. They are supplied with hydrogen from two high-pressure tanks behind the rear seat. This variant also has an additional battery pack, which comes into play when the vehicle needs extra power.

The all-electric version of the Clarity features a 25.5 KW battery pack, which is just an extension of what is found on the hybrid variant. It gives the car an unimpressive maximum range of 93 miles, making the car practical only as a grocery-getter.

All three variants of the Clarity feel solid on the road, with handling that is not too bad. We expected the car of this level to provide exceptional handling and driving pleasure, but this is not the case for Clarity. We find the Accord being more agile and precise in terms of handling. But the Clarity's turning radius of 17.7 feet is quite impressive for its size. The suspension seems to absorb most dips and crests on the road, giving a smooth and comfortable ride.

The hybrid and all-electric versions feel faster when taking off from a stop. The fuel cell variant cannot draw much energy from the small battery pack. Fuel cells work better at steady speeds and thus are not suited for rapid accelerations.

Comfort Features

The number of seats on the 2019 Honda Clarity varies according to the variants. The all-electric and hybrid are equipped with a five-seat arrangement, but the fuel cell variant can only seat a maximum of four. Overall, the sedan feels spacious inside and is comfortable to ride in.

The seats are comfortable, well-bolstered, and supportive, with power adjustment for front seats. They are more upright than the Accord, which features a racier layout. The legroom for the rear seats is pretty good, but the headroom can be an issue for tall passengers riding on the backseat.

Trunk space also varies among the variants. The plug-in hybrid has the biggest boot space at 15.5 cubic feet. It is followed closely by the all-electric variant at 14.3 cubic feet. With a 10,000 psi tank in the trunk, the Fuel Cell variant does away with only 11.1 cubic feet of space.

There are plenty of small storage spaces inside the cabin. Each passenger gets a cup holder that they can call their own. The car also features deep door pockets, numerous trays, storage bins, and a large console box.

The two zero-emission variants are supremely quiet when running on the road. On the Fuel Cell powered Clarity, you cannot hear the compressor, valves, and the pump, which was a common issue on the Toyota Mirai. Even the plug-in hybrid variant is relatively quiet; it is almost impossible to notice that the vehicle has switched on its 1.5-liter engine.

You will only notice the engine when you push it to its limits when going up a steep hill, for instance. But the car hardly gives out any noise when running on city streets.

Safety Features

The NHTSA or the IIHS have not tested the Honda Clarity. A reason for no test ratings can be the very few all-electric and fuel cell variants available.

However, given the safety record of other Hondas, we expect the car to keep the occupants safe during a crash and pass these tests with flying colors if they ever take place.  

The best year Honda Clarity is equipped with several standard and advanced safety features, ensuring a safe and secure driving experience. Some of the salient features are:

  • Four airbag sets to keep the passengers safe and protected all-around. These airbags include Frontal Airbags, Knee airbag for the driver, SmartVent side airbags for front passengers, and side curtain airbags, which deploy automatically if they sense a rollover.
  • Anti Lock braking helps the vehicle maintain traction during hard braking on slippery surfaces
  • Electronic Stability control ensures that the car remains within safe handling limits and under the driver's control

Among the advanced features that come standard across all variants of the Honda Clarity are:

  • Forward collision warning system with emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning and control
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind-spot monitoring system

Honda asserts that the high-pressure hydrogen cylinders have been tested in every way and are safe to be used on the Clarity. Honda claims that they will not lose their intensity even if the car crumples around them.

Variant Features

The 2019 Honda Clarity is available in four variants: the Plug-in Hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid Touring, Fuel Cell, and All-Electric.

The Plug-in Hybrid comes with the following features:

  • An eight-inch infotainment system with HondaLink, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, HD Radio, Bluetooth, eight speakers, and two USB ports
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Keyless entry with proximity FOB and push-button start
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated front seats
  • Driver assistance package discussed above
  • Rearview camera

The Plug-in Hybrid Touring adds the following features:

  • Voice recognition
  • Navigation
  • Leather upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •  Power-adjustable front seats

The All-Electric variant is equipped with the following:

  • A larger Lithium-ion battery
  • Single-speed transmission
  • Fast charging capability
  • Everything found on the Plug-in Hybrid Touring variant

The Fuel Cell variant features the following:

  • Fuel cell stack and a smaller lithium-ion battery
  • All features found on the Plug-in Hybrid Touring variant
  • 12-speaker audio system

Fuel Economy Features

The 2019 Honda Clarity can be called one of the most energy-efficient cars on the road. The Hybrid variant gets EPA ratings of 42 mpg when running using the hybrid system. It has a maximum all-electric range of 48 miles.

According to EPA ratings, the All-electric Honda Clarity gets a maximum range of 89 miles. Compared to many other electric vehicles, the range seems very limited.

The Fuel cell variant, which is not readily available, can run 365 miles on a full tank of compressed hydrogen.

Price Range of 2019 Honda Clarity

The All-electric and Fuel Cell variants are only available in minimal areas. However, the 2019 Clarity Hybrid variant prices start at $20,000 and go up to $35,000. The average price is approximately $27,500. These prices can vary according to trim features, vehicle condition, location, and mileage.


Best Year Honda Clarity

About The Author

Charles Redding

Charles Redding

I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.

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