2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: a solid alternative to an all-electric car

The 2020 Honda Clarity PHEV is the best among the three Clarity variants in Honda’s portfolio. Also, the Clarity is among the most odd-looking vehicles in the market today. The love-it or hate-it styling is here to stay for 2020, but the Clarity PHEV remains a solid alternative to an all-electric car.

And while Honda ponders on whether to bring the e all-electric vehicle into the loving arms of American car buyers, the Clarity PHEV happens to be an ideal choice if reducing the carbon footprint is your primary motivator in buying a new car.

How much is the 2020 Honda Clarity PHEV?

The 2020 Honda Clarity remains available in two trim models: Base and Touring. The base Clarity PHEV starts at $34,355 (including destination and other charges) and includes a generous amount of standard equipment. This includes an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, pushbutton start with keyless entry, and Honda Sensing.

The Clarity Touring spec starts at $37,555 and adds perforated leather seats, a navigation system, a new Utrasuede interior trim, and power-adjustable seats. All 2020 models of the Honda Clarity PHEV also receive heated side mirrors as standard.

The new Honda Clarity PHEV is eligible to receive up to $7,500 in federal and state tax rebates including single-occupant California HOV lane access.

Advanced hybrid powertrain

The new Honda Clarity PHEV is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson cycle gasoline engine combined with an electric drive motor. Power for the electric motor is fed by a 17 kWh battery pack. The electric motor alone produces 181-horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. Meanwhile, the total system output is rated at 212-horsepower.

Exceptional fuel economy, acceptable electric range

Remember, you’re buying the Honda Clarity PHEV for the fuel savings. And with that, you won’t be disappointed. For starters, the vehicle achieves 47 miles of all-electric driving range using zero fuel. For some people, this is more than enough to cover the daily commute. The EPA fuel economy rating of the 2020 Honda Clarity PHEV is 110 MPGe.

However, the Clarity PHEV’s gasoline engine can act as a direct power source under certain driving conditions, although it mainly turns on to generate electricity. Because of this, the clarity PHEV achieves 44/40/42 MPG and a total driving range of 340 miles in a full tank of gasoline.

It also has a new vehicle alert system

In all-electric mode, the Honda Clarity PHEV is as quiet as a church mouse. This is good for comfort and refinement, but it’s not so good for pedestrians, cyclists, and other motorists on the road.

New for 2020 is an updated Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). It operates whenever the vehicle is traveling at low speeds in all-electric mode to alert pedestrians and other road users.

Other versions of the Honda Clarity include the electric and fuel cell model. The Clarity Electric is available for lease only and achieves 89-miles of range, which is abhorring compared to other electric cars in the same price range.

Meanwhile, the Clarity Fuel Cell is good for 360 miles of range and is available on a 36-month lease offer. The bad news? The Clarity Fuel Cell is only available in California. And with that in mind, the 2020 Clarity PHEV makes more sense in the real world if you want a long-range, spacious, and fuel efficient hybrid car.