2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: weekend drive review Page 2

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2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Hudson Valley, NY, Apr 2018

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Hudson Valley, NY, Apr 2018

Miscellaneous impressions from the drive included these:

  • We continue to love the tan Ultrasuede interior fabric; we don't know how it'll age, but it's great to see and touch
  • The big sedan suffers in handling and roadholding against its Accord sibling; it wallows and floats occasionally, while the Accord has sport-sedan handling
  • While the engine will switch on if you floor it on an uphill road (then stay on for 10 minutes), it's easy to keep the Clarity in all-electric mode if the battery's got charge
  • Under full power, the motorboat sound of the engine up front somewhere can get loud, but that was rare
  • The regen paddles (left to increase, right to decrease) didn't seem as aggressive as the Volt's
  • The charging door switch is almost invisible, on the lower dash at the height of the driver's knee
  • We did get used to the looks, or learned to ignore them

Overall, we covered almost exactly 40 percent of our 507.4 miles on grid power, despite having not one but two 115-mile highway runs.

CHECK OUT: Honda Clarity Electric, Plug-In Hybrid: first drives, impressions

Our 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Touring model carried a base price of $36,600, no options at all, and a mandatory delivery fee of $890, bringing the bottom line on the sticker to $37,490.

The car qualifies for a $7,500 federal income-tax credit, a $1,500 California clean-car purchase rebate, and a $1,700 rebate in New York state, along with various other state, local, and corporate incentives.

In that respect, it largely matches the Chevrolet Volt. But it's got the extra seat and a larger and more luxurious interior the Volt doesn't.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Hudson Valley, NY, Apr 2018

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Hudson Valley, NY, Apr 2018

When we gave the Volt our Green Car Reports 2016 Best Car To Buy award, we said it was so good we'd consider buying one ourselves.

There's a good chance we'd now transfer that nod of approval from the Volt to the Clarity Plug-In, despite 5 fewer rated electric miles.


 
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