Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2021 – Review, Fuel economy, Price

There are two versions of the 2021 Honda Clarity, but there’s really only one that’s relevant for most drivers: the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). It’s also one of the most appealing in its rapidly expanding segment of vehicles that blend emissions-free electric driving with range-anxiety-free hybrid driving. Not only does it have more electric range than everything (unless you count the recently discontinued Chevrolet Volt), but it’s generally nicer to drive and has a richer, quieter cabin than others in the segment. Its price tag isn’t even that outrageous and it gets better when you consider hefty rebates. Now, for the other version: the Clarity Fuel Cell. It’s a well-executed hydrogen-powered car, but it’s only available for lease in California … which is also the only place where you can realistically fill it with hydrogen. This car is really only relevant if you live in California and you’re interested in trying the novel fuel cell technology. Price, technical specifications, interior, exterior of the car – Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2021 read below.

New Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2021

The Honda Clarity has been around for a good 5 years now since its relaunch. For 2021, the car will carry forward the same cues from last year with only minor modifications in the standard feature offerings. While its fuel cell variant is a force to be reckoned with, the plug-in hybrid is the more practical option to go for. And with that kind of practicality, come the equally pragmatic adversaries like the Toyota Prius Prime, and the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in Hybrid. To keep things clear and well defined, the Honda Clarity PHEV is offered in a choice of 2 trims, Base and Touring. While both of the trims have almost similar features, the Touring trim gets the plusher cosmetic upgrades that make it feel more uptown. Besides the existing features, Honda also offers a bucketload of additional packages and accessories that come in handy during the customization stage and help you build the Clarity to your heart’s content. While both of the trims seem like a great choice, the base trim is pretty encompassing in itself. It comes with most of the creature comforts and tech features of the upper trim and yet stays value for money. Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2021 – review, fuel economy, engine and release date, read about all of this below!


What we like. Excellent electric range in the plug-in. Bigger, quieter and more comfortable than other plug-in hybrids. High-quality cabin. Refined driving experience. Large trunk for a plug-in hybrid. What we don’t. Frustrating last-gen infotainment and safety tech. Hydrogen model’s meager availability. Small trunk in hydrogen model. So-so total range in the PHEV compared with competitors. Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2021 – see the photo at the end of the article!


One look at the Honda Clarity, and you might confuse it to be a cross between the Honda Accord and the Acura NSX. The body lines follow the structure of the Accord while the headlamps and highlights carry the accents of the NSX. The structure is smooth flowing as long as you stick to the front but as you move towards the back, it starts to look boxy and more like a minivan, especially around the rear wheel where it has a square cut-off section along with a modest attempt at giving it a widebody look. The notable features of the exteriors are: 18-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires; Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers; Security System with Remote Entry; LED Taillights; Body-Colored Decklid Spoiler; Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock; Heated and Power operated side mirrors with turn signals; Fin-Type Roof-Mounted Antenna; LED Headlamps with DRLs and Auto On-Off. Besides these features, there are a lot of accessories that you can pick up during customization to “soup-up” the ride and at least make it look sporty, even though it isn’t.


If you’re looking for cutting-edge alternative-fuel technology in a Honda, the 2021 Clarity lineup, which consists of two very different powertrains, is a good place to start. The Clarity plug-in hybrid is sold nationwide and boasts an estimated 48 miles of electric-only driving range. Now that the Chevy Volt is dead, the Clarity beats every other plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in this price range. The more exotic option is the hydrogen-powered 2021 Honda Clarity fuel cell, which has a claimed range of 360 miles. It’s available only to lease and only in California, where there’s at least some of the necessary hydrogen-refueling infrastructure. The equipment that makes the Clarity environmentally friendly is heavy, so neither Clarity has the light, precise feel that distinguishes Honda’s conventional cars. Still, it’s easy to make a case for the plug-in hybrid if you want an EV-like driving experience with a gas engine in reserve for the times you’ll need it.

Fuel economy

Fuel economy has always been one of the key factors in Plug-in Hybrids since these vehicles tend to offer a much better MPG figure. On that note, the Honda Clarity PHEV offers 44 MPG in the city, 40 MPG on the highway, and 42 MPG combined. For a car that is planning to take on segment leaders, these are pretty respectable numbers. Although the Clarity’s numbers are impressive, they are still far behind the segment leader, the Toyota Prius Prime. With a bigger fuel tank and better fuel economy, the total range of the Prius Prime is more than double than what a Honda Clarity can offer after a full refuel.


Breathing life into the Honda Clarity is a perfect combo of a 1.5L I-4 engine and 2 electric motors. The combined power from the system is 212 hp and the combined torque is 232 lb-ft of torque. The marvelous job of taming the power from the powertrain and putting it to the front wheels is a CVT transmission system. Despite being a CVT run car, the Clarity is a spirited driver. When compared to the others, the engine of the Honda is the smallest while Toyota employs the biggest engine. But, Honda has much more reliance on electric power with 2 motors while the other two stick to just one.

Technical specifications

The 2021 Honda Clarity plug-in hybrid is motivated by a 181-hp electric motor fed by a 17.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The car’s gas engine, a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, serves mainly as a generator for the batteries and rarely drives the Clarity PHEV’s front wheels directly. Combined output is 212 horsepower. In our testing, the Clarity PHEV scooted to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds. The hydrogen-powered Clarity comes with a 174-hp electric motor that draws electricity from a fuel cell. As with the PHEV, the fuel-cell Clarity’s electric motor drives the front wheels. In our testing, the hydrogen Honda Clarity hit 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. That’s quicker than the Hyundai Nexo and Toyota Mirai, which are the only other hydrogen-fueled vehicles currently on sale. Both versions of the 2021 Honda Clarity excel at touring. The ride is compliant, and the cabin is well insulated from wind and road noise.


Plug-in hybrid: $34,355; Touring plug-in hybrid: $37,555; Fuel cell: $59,445. The plug-in hybrid version of the 2021 Honda Clarity is the obvious choice here, because it’s offered in all 50 states, is available to buy or lease (and is far less expensive), and it’s easier to recharge and refuel. Both versions of the Clarity come with dual-zone automatic climate control, smartphone integration, and all available safety features. The Touring model offers some worthwhile comfort upgrades, including a power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings, high-quality perforated leather upholstery, and factory navigation.


Honda cars have earned their name by being one of the most reliable and safe cars in the world. And the Honda Clarity PHEV only takes that premise further. It comes with Honda Sensing Safety & Driver Assistive Technologies as standard in both the trims. The features that fall under this safety suite are: Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow; Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS); Forward Collision Warning (FCW); Lane Departure Warning (LDW); Honda LaneWatch; Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Dynamic Guidelines; Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS); Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA); Traction Control; ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD); Emergency Brake Assist; Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); 8 dual stage airbags; Front 3-Point Seat Belts with Automatic Tensioning System; Child-Proof Rear Door Locks; The IIHS and NHTSA have not tested the Honda Clarity yet. However, with the elaborate safety suite and collision mitigation systems in place, the brand has made sure that every ride is a safe one.


We came close to matching the Clarity plug-in hybrid’s EPA-estimated 48 miles of electric-only driving range in our testing. (Combined electric/gas EPA range is 340 miles.) Traveling at a constant 75 mph, we covered 41 miles before the gasoline engine fired up and provide power. That’s double what we’ve achieved in Toyota’s Prius Prime. It takes about 2.5 hours to recharge the Clarity PHEV’s batteries from a 240-volt source or as many as 12 hours on a 120-volt circuit. The EPA pegs the hydrogen-powered Clarity’s range at 360 miles, but depending on conditions and your driving style, you might fall well short of that number. Refueling the car’s hydrogen tank takes three to five minutes. When you lease a fuel-cell Clarity, Honda provides a fuel card good for $15,000 worth of hydrogen.


The interiors of the Honda Clarity are pretty similar to what you would expect in a Honda Accord. Contrasting leather or cloth upholstery with wood and metal inlays give it a very uptown feel. The center console is decorated with the infotainment system and various in-vehicular controls. The seats are comfortable in the front but get slightly cramped towards the back. Anyone over 6-feet might find the rear legroom to be subpar since it is comparatively small, despite being the biggest in its competitors. The other notable features you will find inside the cabin are: Multifunction steering wheel with Tilt and Telescopic adjustment; Push-Button Start; Keyless entry; Dual Zone Automatic Climate control with interior air filtration; Auto Dimming rearview mirror; 2 One Touch power windows; Auto Locking doors; Cruise Control; Dual Front Illuminated Vanity Mirrors; LED Map Lights; Front and Rear Cupholders; Sliding Sun Visors; Leather Wrapped Steering wheel; 8-Way power adjustable driver seat with power adjustable lumbar support; 4-way power adjustable passenger seat. Along with these features, there are many accessories and add-on packages available that are forever ready to raise the bar of the interiors to new heights.


Honda has discontinued the all-electric version of the Honda Clarity. The surviving plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell models have an updated audible alert feature to warn pedestrians and cyclists that the Clarity is approaching; it now operates whenever the Clarity is being driven at low speeds. Honda has made updates to the 2021 Clarity fuel cell to improve its cold-weather startup performance. It also gets standard heated side-view mirrors, and Crimson Pearl replaces Bordeaux Red on the color palette. The Clarity PHEV has a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4 engine, with a version of Honda’s two-motor hybrid system, which gears one motor directly to the engine while the other is geared to the front wheels. The system effectively saves the weight of a transmission and allows the driving characteristics of an electric vehicle much of the time. Altogether, the Clarity PHEV makes 181 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque, with a 17-kwh battery pack. Once the electric range has been used it earns EPA fuel economy ratings of 44 mpg city, 40 highway (42 combined), for a total driving range of 340 miles. The Clarity PHEV has Normal, Eco, and Sport modes, plus an HV mode that maintains the battery’s state of charge if it’s been plugged in, so you can save it for later—like when you’re back in the city.

Release date

Charging the Plug-In takes up to 12 hours on a 120V household AC socket, or just 2.2 hours with a Level 2 (240V) charge point. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid costs $34,355 for the base model, or $37,555 for the Touring, including a #955 destination fee. The Touring adds perforated leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power driver’s seat, and navigation with charging-station information. It’s eligible for the full $7,500 EV tax credit, and it’s only stocked by dealerships in California, where it’s eligible for another $1,000 from the state. Honda says though that it’s offered by order in all 50 states.


The Honda Clarity might look like the NSX from a glance, but in reality, it is far from it in terms of performance. The ride is meant for cruising down the road rather than breaking any speed records. The suspensions are tuned for comfort and provide the same to a good avail. Cutting a tight corner is also not a challenge since the ride will stick the turn very nicely. The steering wheel is weighted just right and offers a lot of feedback like all other Hondas. Despite packing a lot of weight, the car handles like a charm and can be likened to driving a much smaller vehicle. The cabin stays silent at all times and the absence of any vibrations further make sure that the ride remains calm and comfortable.

Photo Gallery 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

All information about Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2021: Price, Interior, Fuel economy, Motors, Exterior, Horsepower, Colors, Safety, Configurations, you read on this page, and in the end – see the photo!

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