Honda sets pricing for 110 mpge plug-in hybrid Clarity

Honda puts its all-new Clarity Plug-in Hybrid sedan, which achieves 110 mpg equivalent, on sale just in time for Christmas.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2 min read
2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid goes on sale December 1, at a base price of $33,600 before government incentives.


Today, Honda announced that its all-new Clarity Plug-in Hybrid sedan will hit dealer lots on Dec. 1, at a base price of $33,400. This five-passenger sedan uses an electric motor to drive the wheels, with electricity coming from a battery pack and gasoline engine, the latter acting as a generator.

Buyers will also be able to take advantage of a $7,500 federal tax credit, as the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has a big enough battery to qualify for the program. Many states also offer incentives to further reduce the price.

Honda tends to make few options available on its cars, including features by trim line. The base model includes Honda driver assist systems, such as automatic emergency braking, and an 8-inch center touchscreen infotainment system with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Buyers can also opt for the  Clarity Plug-in Hybrid in Touring trim, for $36,600, which adds upscale features such as leather trim, and onboard navigation with a database of charging stations.

Most automakers are integrating electrification into their drivetrain strategies, helping to mitigate climate change and reduce the cost of driving for customers. These efforts range from mild hybrid systems to fully electric vehicles. With a plug-in hybrid system, owners can charge the car's battery from home or a public charging station and get some fully electric driving range. After depleting the electric range, the car's engine turns on to enable greater range.

The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid uses a 181-horsepower electric motor to power the front wheels, which gets juice from a 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack. With a fully charged battery, the car can go 47 miles as an electric vehicle. 

Honda boasts that this range is greater than any other plug-in hybrid sedan. The Chevrolet Volt can go 53 miles under electricity, but that car is classified as a hatchback.

When the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid needs to go into hybrid mode, it relies on a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which can also contribute power directly to the wheels under certain conditions. 

Honda states the EPA-rated fuel economy as 110 mpg equivalent, a figure used to take into account purely electric driving, and notes that under hybrid operation, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid achieves 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid joins two other Clarity models in the Honda lineup, one a purely electric vehicle and the other relying on hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity.