Clarity Purchase/Accord Hybrid Touring/RAV 4 Prime/Model Y?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by jpkik96, Feb 7, 2021.

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  1. jpkik96

    jpkik96 Member

    All - I have 4 months remaining on my 2018 Clarity Touring lease and am considering my options. When I leased in June 2018, I put no money down and am paying $380/month. I also installed a ChargePoint 240V charge receptacle outside my garage. I have had 36M trouble-free miles with the Clarity (except for a dead battery that was replaced under warranty and quick wear-out of the Energy Saver tires that I replaced with Michelin CC+). For me, the Clarity is not my ideal car - I definitely would enjoy a better infotainment center, sunroof, and more power but have enjoyed driving the Clarity. So here are my options:

    1.) Continue the Clarity lease for another 12 months or purchase off-lease for the $16.5M residual. Today re-sale value for Clarity Touring's in excellent condition is lower so unless I can somehow purchase off-lease cheaper is not a good financial option. Also, with minimal changes made to the Clarity, except for the benefit of a new HV battery and factory warranty coverage I don't see the benefit of leasing another one.

    2.) I can lease a 2020 Accord Touring Hybrid for the same monthly cost but would need to come out of pocket $2M at inception. I test drove the Accord and like its amenities and Power. 2.) I also like the fact that I will be under warranty for another 36 months. However, the engine does drone under hard acceleration and I will give up the ability to drive 40-50 miles in Electric mode and temporarily stop using my ChargePoint...

    Option 3 and 4 assume I drive the Clarity through lease expiration in June AND NJ will renew the Drive Electric incentive in Summer 2021.

    3.) Purchase or Lease a RAV4 Prime XSE - I test drove one a few weeks ago and appreciated the amenities and Power missing in the Clarity Touring. I could have purchased it slightly under MSRP but even with the $7.5M tax credit, It still does not seem to me to be a good value. I am hoping supply ramps up to the 20M Toyota is forecasting for annual production by the summer and as other EVs and PHEVs are introduced that pricing will be more reasonable.

    4.) Purchase or Lease a Tesla Model Y. - I also rented a Model Y Long Range on Turo late last year and enjoyed driving it. However, the Model Y ride is much firmer than all of the traditional cars above, and given build quality concerns, I would not buy one until Tesla can fully work out their production issues. I also still prefer AA and Apple Car Play and traditional switches and guauges over Tesla's one-screen infotainment. Finally, even with Tesla's extensive charging network in the Northeast, I still like the convenience of having a gas engine for backup when you are driving "off the grid".

    I have really enjoyed following this forum and reading everyone's collective input so value your thoughts on the options I have outlined above. Thank you in advance.
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  3. Boston_Pilot

    Boston_Pilot Member

    What’s with all the references to millions? I’m thinking you mean “K” for thousands, not “M” for Also, related to NJ’s Drive Electric program, there is a HUGE likelihood that there will be no money in the budget for the summer re-launch, so don’t count on that. Sounds like you’re right at the sweet spot to buy your lease out. Also I’m from NJ myself. Also, I’m 2 days older than you, so listen to your elders! J/K lol…..
  4. jpkik96

    jpkik96 Member

    Boston_Pilot - good catch on the "K"! Agree NJ budget shortfalls do seem to make this program less financially viable but stranger things have happened in NJ! What are your thoughts on the 2020 Accord Hybrid Touring - would you stop driving the Clarity for new tech and a car that likely will have much better long-term support from Honda? Thanks again for your review and reply!
  5. 228ra

    228ra Member

    Mustang Mach-E!
  6. Well, you have a Hybrid sedan, a PHEV mini-SUV and a BEV sedan on your list, and you currently drive a PHEV sedan. That’s 4 different animals.

    The lowest cost option seems to be keeping the Clarity. Next would be the Accord followed by the Rav and the Model Y. If you want an ICE backup, cut the Tesla from the list.

    Then you’ll need to decide what features are important to you and what you’re willing to spend to get them.
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  8. jpkik96

    jpkik96 Member

    228ra - I should have mentioned the Mach-E as option 5! I have not been able to test drive one yet but have been watching the YouTube reviews and they seem overall favorable except for the overall efficiency, which even for the LR is much lower than Tesla. (270 for the Mach E versus 322 for the Model Y). My other concern with the Mach-E is the lack of current non-Tesla charging infrastructure if I wanted to take a road trip. I definitely prefer the Mach-E's infotainment set-up and am not opposed to Ford....I also own a '15 Mustang GT Conv. 6 speed! Thanks for your suggestion!
    228ra likes this.
  9. Boston_Pilot

    Boston_Pilot Member

    No worries. The 20/21 Accord Hybrid is a nice piece of kit, for sure. I test drove them before I just bought my clarity.
    ugly as sin!
  10. jpkik96

    jpkik96 Member

    Landshark - Definitely covering all my bases! Honestly, if Honda made a PHEV Accord it would be a no-brainer for me but that does not seem to be in the cards, at least in the near future! I have had two 5 speed Accords in the past and have always enjoyed them. At 30k, the 2020 Accord Touring Hybrid is a decent value. I also actually prefer the 17" tires on the 2020 versus 19" on the 2021. Next on my list would be the RAV4 Prime XSE IF prices adjust. Definitely has all the features I am looking for - unfortunately, with Toyota, you need to get a premium XSE to get the faster 6.6V onboard charger and I regularly use quick charging - especially on weekends - when driving around locally with the Clarity.

    The challenge I am facing is that the 2020 Accords will likely be gone when my lease expires in June and the RAV4 Prime prices likely will not have I guess my other option will be to see if I can re-lease my Clarity for 6 months and try again at year-end....thanks again for your reply!
  11. mattheo0118

    mattheo0118 Member

    Sounds like a Chrysler Pacifica PHEV should be your next car.

    Roomy, updated tech, more powerful, comfy ride. Lol jk
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  13. I have a feeling if they made an Accord PHEV, it would just be a Clarity in a different dress.
  14. jpkik96

    jpkik96 Member

    Landshark - Agree with your thinking; My only other wish would be for Honda to offer a future Accord/Clarity 5-door "Touring" version similar to the Civic Touring....can't beat the practicality of a hatchback! One can dream...
  15. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    The ID.4 is also worth a look, but anything non Tesla poses a challenge for long trips with limited charging ability and slower fast charging (this is improving rapidly, but 6 mos is a short window).
    Some people will rent an ICE (or Tesla) for the occasional longer road trip instead of hauling an ICE around all the time for a once every year (or two) longer trip.
    Moving from a 40-50 mile electric range to 250+ opens up a lot more electric driving for many that would exceed their range in daily driving. This can be doubly true in areas that have a real winter (NJ falls in this category).

    Leasing can also be a money pit.
    You spent over $13K on your lease. If you bought a RAV4 Prime, took the $7500 Tax credit (and any NJ money), then sold it in 3 years my guess is you would be out a lot less than $13K for the 3 years of usage. You would need to run the numbers for your particular situation.
  16. mattheo0118

    mattheo0118 Member

    I'd be one of the first in line to buy it..

    The Accord interior + exterior is 10x better than the Clarity
    228ra likes this.
  17. jpkik96

    jpkik96 Member

    DucRider - You are correct; the Clarity is the first car I have leased and did so because 1.) I was experimenting with going electric and 2.) the Clarity was brand new and I hoping would be improved when my lease came due. Fast forward three years and the Clarity is basically the same car, which is not a bad thing but also not outfitted with the features I would want to buy. Agree a RAV4 Prime purchase might make sense but as you noted through leasing I have effectively made a $13k down payment toward purchase, hence Option 1. As Landshark noted, I now need to decide if I want to pay for the added feature content available in the Accord Hybrid Touring or RAV4 Prime XSE/Model Y...thanks for your feedback!
  18. If Acura squirted out a TL wagon with the Clarity drivetrain I’d be moderately interested. I much prefer a station wagon over a hatchback, but we have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 3/4-ton truck with an 8’ bed, so another vehicle with room for stuff isn’t a high priority.
  19. neal adkins

    neal adkins Active Member

    I would just drive the mustang when you feel the need for speed. I already bought out my lease and if fuel prices continue to rise, the Clarity may prove to be the smarter choice. If power and comfort are the main factors just get a Mercedes or Bently
  20. The $16,500 buy out on the Clarity is a price that may hold up for a year or two. It may drop a few thousand. You may be able to sell it at little to no loss, at some point down the road. Certainly there will be significant depreciation if buying a new, $40,000+ car over a 1-2 year period. A new loan on $16,500 would be less than what you might finance on the other cars as well, and possibly lower than a lease payment on the Accord.

    I’d prioritize your wants, infotainment upgrades, charging rates, cost, ICE back up, etc and determine what matters most to you.
    neal adkins likes this.
  21. joethebeekeeper

    joethebeekeeper New Member

    M is the roman numeral for 1,000. Million would be "MM" or a thousand thousands.
  22. Indeed. Pretty simply to understand, even if it was a typo. Similar to the European practice of using comma, 2,5kW whereas a period is the US standard, 2.5kW.
  23. Boston_Pilot

    Boston_Pilot Member

    Don’t recall anyone mentioning Roman Numerals.

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