Saw this review of the Clarity on another site, and I think the owner really provided an excellent assessment,
It is post 4:
http://www.insideevsforum.com/community ... enger.292/
"Once a 100% Honda family we drifted over to Toyota, and are now coming back. Both brands are good, it was just a matter of the right car at the time. So returning to Honda we find they've come out with many things that weren't available then.
This car is in a whole different class than the Prius Prime. I appreciate the Volt but with only 4 seats and 10 Cu Ft of cargo space we didn't even consider it. I also am still concerned about long term reliability of GM cars in spite of the Volt's good track record. With a combined 200,000 miles on our two Prius cars we had exactly zero problems. Not so much as a loose screw.
I'm not too concerned about how a car looks. The evidence is we've owned two Prius cars since 2008. But looks are subjective and I do think the Clarity is a very nice looking car. Some complain about the way the rear wheel well is designed. It doesn't bother me. Being a sedan, switching from a Prius which is a hatchback, there is no rear windshield wiper. The LED high beams are not as good as the Prius which was quite good. I like the placement of the plug in hatch just forward of the driver's door. That way the driver can simply plug in without having to walk around the car. Some Plug-In cars have the hatch by the right rear area.
Entry and exit are exactly the same as the Prius which is good because we liked it. Grab the door handle and it unlocks. The car can be unlocked from the driver's door, front passenger door, and trunk. When exiting the car just push the black button. Keep the key fob in the pocket at all times.
Cargo space is very important to us. Mostly it is about the ton of stuff we put in the trunk for beach days. The Prius would swallow huge amounts of stuff. The Clarity has 15.5 Cu Ft of cargo space, and fold down rear 60/40 seats.
The interior of the Clarity is elegant. It is the opposite of the Prius Prime with it's flashy accents. The steering wheel is rich with buttons. The main gauges are right in front of the driver where they should be. After 9 years of driving a Prius I hated the center mounted gauges. The 8" screen is a practical size and in my opinion quite adequate. I really didn't want the huge screen of the Prius Prime or Tesla. They seem out of place where the Clarity LCD panel seems to blend in much better.
The electronic features are way beyond a brief description. I've been in the high tech industry, both hardware and software, my whole working life. I spent 10 years coding user interfaces. I've built my own desktop PCs. I'm the family and friend go-to person for technical things. The first night we had the car I sat in it for hours (having read the entire 600 page PDF user manual the night before) and had to leave the car because I was overwhelmed with all of the options.
There are two USB power ports in front in addition to a 12V socket. There is also a 12V socket for the back seat passengers.
The car is spacious. It is several inches wider than the Prius and Volt. Three adults can fit comfortably in the back seat. We bought the Touring model which has many soft touch surfaces.
The Touring model has memory seats. When my wife approaches the car with her key fob and opens the door the seat moves to her driving position. Same with me. Very cool. My legs are much longer so it was difficult to get into the Prius after she drove.
Electric drive and the ICE:
The Clarity has three modes. Econ, HV and Sport. Econ is full electric unless you push the car hard or the traction battery is low. We haven't had the engine kick in yet on our normal daily drives which include a few miles of freeway. The HV mode is Hybrid, much like the Prius where the engine is used quite a bit. (44/40/42 mpg). The sport mode combines the electric and ICE for more power.
It is possible to charge the battery, drive in HV mode and conserve the rest of the battery charge to use later. One might, for example, drive on the freeway using hybrid mode for 100 miles, then switch to Econ battery only mode when driving around in the destination city. Furthermore it is possible to ask the ICE to recharge up to 57.7% of the traction battery while driving.
The first thing we noticed about the Clarity is how quiet it is. Not only because the engine isn't running, but Honda did a bang-up job on sound deadening. On top of that the electric motor is almost silent so if feels like we're floating on a cloud when driving the car. This isn't a hot rod or a sport's car. It corners quite well but it is 1,000 pounds heavier than the Prius and I feel that added weight. In my case though I do like the softer more luxurious ride. It has 181 horse power in Econ mode which is quick but frankly we drive for economy so rarely ever put our foot down hard. Speaking of putting your foot down hard the Clarity has a "detent" built into the accelerator pedal. Pushing past that point while in Econ mode will fire up the ICE. Letting off on the pedal the ICE will shut down again. It's like entering sport mode but you don't have to push a button. This would be perfect for passing cars on a two lane highway.
I have felt zero brake pedal grabbing or releasing when going in and out of regeneration. But then again I never felt it with the Prius where many people do complain about it. To me everything feels and sounds very smooth.
Things I wish were different:
Clearly the positives overwhelm the negatives in this car. We had to give up a few things but they are the nature of the beast. For example I swore I would never buy a car without a spare tire - but here we are.
Cargo space is better than we thought it would be, but still not what we were used to. This car is a sedan so it has a sedan trunk. The lid is small and the opening could be better. Hatchbacks make so much more sense to me. Where Honda really screwed up is the fold down seats. There is a "pass-through" but not big enough for our son's small plastic kayak. The car has an internal structure that is not removable and hinders use of the area behind the seats and above the trunk. Ugh.
I'm quite thrilled with the whole dash board area. It's simple but rich with features. Honda messed up in two ways in my opinion. The center console is completely dedicated to shift buttons. The design looks like a patch, almost like they forgot to include the shift buttons until the last minute and one of the designer's six year old kids came up with the design they used. The Odyssey design looks much better.
To make things worse those "wings" you see next to the shift buttons are non-functional. They could have been storage spaces. Which is the second thing that could have been better. There just isn't anyplace to put something small like coins. The armrest storage is small too.
But really the trunk space, console, and storage trays are my only complaints. The list of positive things is gigantic.
Just a taste...
- 4 window auto up/down
- heated door mirrors
- two position memory driver seat (Touring model only)
- Front power seats
- 47 mile EV range
- HondaLink app for the smartphone.
- Level 1 or Level 2 charging (so far we have Level 1 only)
- Electronic emergency brake
- A feature called "break hold" which works like this. The car is in Drive mode and you're in stop and go traffic. You stop with the brakes, then push the Break Hold button. You can take your foot off the break pedal. To go forward simply push the accelerator pedal.
- Lane Departure warning shakes the steering wheel if you are leaving the lane without the directional signal turned on.
- Lane Keep Assist LKAS steers to keep the car in the lane when between 45 and 90 mph, but demands you keep your hands on the wheel. It's an assist not a substitute driver.
- Electronic Stability Control
- ECO assist tells you if you are being aggressive or not with the accelerator pedal
- Steering wheel paddles to increase or decrease regeneration. Handy when approaching a stop or going down a hill.
There are many many more features."