This is the future! We had the pleasure of test-driving the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and it was pure innovation. The car is a mixture of old school charm (especially in Moonlit Forest Pearl!) complete with velvet trimming and retro air vents and state of the art Honda technology and we’ve never seen anything quite like it. With a 1.5-litre, 16-valve, Atkinson cycle DOHC, 4-cylinder engine, Eco-Assist System and a combined total 212 horsepower, this wide and low-riding vehicle places fuel economy and consciousness first. Would you believe we filled half a tank of gas for less than $15? With gas prices plummeting over the past week, we fully capitalized on this, taking our travels from City to Countryside and the 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid was game for whatever we threw its way.
Furnished in a classic style, we got the best of new and old school with this spacious, push-button shift ride which seats five comfortably. USB Charging Ports are tucked away neatly out of view so not to tamper with the vehicle’s sleek aesthetic. And we cannot get enough of that 8 inch display with Honda Satellite-linked navigation, allowing us to control climate, listen to Sirius XM, the radio and also stream Spotify off our smartphone. Our Blackberry Key 2 had no issues syncing here and we were relieved! Its eight-speaker audio system sounded so fantastic, we couldn’t help but do Caraoke with it! More to come on that.
There are a litany of safety features which highlight the Clarity. We love that it has brake assist, a four-wheel anti-locking brake system, hill assist, lanewatch blindspot display, forward collision warning, lane departure and lane-keeping assist. In terms of passive safety, it has Smartvent side airbags and side curtain airbags and even a front driver knee airbag! We felt safe and even on the worst road conditions in our rural driving, we never slid once.
Now for a few quirks, which we ever rarely have had to report about with Honda vehicles. The Clarity‘s deep drink holders are designed specifically for the equivalent of a coffee tumbler or a Venti-sized beverage. This means we fumbled reaching for our Grande-sized beverage, resulting in messy, hot spills as we squeezed our cup a bit to hard trying to grip it out of the holder. One cool thing though, we got a notification to check our smartphone on the display after the connected USB cable became wet from the spilled drink. The car’s acoustic windshield wipers we found a tad loud and jarring when in operation and defogging the rear-view and passenger mirrors was a bit challenging in these wet, frigid conditions. Some rear-window wipers would’ve made a world of difference.
While we applaud the Clarity‘s ambition of encouraging drivers to go the electrical route, one drive home from downtown wiped-out the battery charge completely. While we love the $15 half-tank of gas, we found ourselves having to fill-up more frequently and this takes a bit of getting used to. Admittedly it still is tough to find electrical charging stations around town, especially in our travels outside the City.
We’re glad we got to experience the Clarity‘s sophistication and we’re sure the best is yet to come with this one.