Realistic full range - is 340 miles gonna happen?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Danabw, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Danabw

    Danabw New Member

    We're considering a Clarity plugin hybrid, and were wondering if the 340 mile range provided by Honda is realistic in normal use.

    Has anyone taken a long ride and confirmed it?

    And wanted to confirm that when you start a long ride like that, that the best approach is to go to HV mode as soon as you hit the freeway.

  2. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’ve only done 750 miles in HV but I always beat the EPA range on all my trips (80s-09s F, no passengers, 65-75 mph, ac on). I start out in HV with a full tank and battery, and only lose 2 bars on the battery gauge in 250 miles. I consistently get 50-51 mpg (by gas pump receipts) or 49-50 mpg after accounting for the small amount needed to charge the battery back up to full. And that’s on a round trip that accounts for changes in altitude. So for me, it’s quite reasonable to drive 340 miles before looking for cheap gas while still having a 50 mile reserve of battery and last bit of gas. Since I try not to use EV on a long trip and since my bladder in no longer a teenager, I stop for both of us way before that point.

    Of course, speed, loads, climbs, and temperature (especially cold batteries and heater use) will naturally reduce the best case scenario and will need to be planned for. In the winter, I know my ranges will be reduced, but I don’t have enough real world experience to know how much lower, so I’ll just keep an eye on the HV range estimate and refuel when it gets to 50 miles left.

    And yes, count me in the camp that advocates starting in HV and a full (or at least significant) SOC which IMHO allows the algorithm the most freedom to switch between driving modes to provide the best economy, power, and driving experience. And subsequently, I’ve never heard the high reving “angry bees” even on steep hill climbs.

    Now if I could just remember to always put it back into HV after each stop! (May have to make an HV note like @insightman uses on the drive button)
  3. Clarity_Newbie

    Clarity_Newbie Active Member


    I ran 356 miles*** on 6.8 gallons of gas while testing the limits of the fuel For that trip I got a calculated 52.36 mpg.

    As you are aware, driving habits, terrain, environmental conditions etc all contribute to mpg.

    Hope this helps.

    ***EV miles were discounted so the above is actual petrol miles...or near about lol
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  4. My best so far was 414 miles on a tank, but that includes using almost all of the EV range, too. This was running with cruise set on 75 mph. Most of the terrain was relatively flat.
  5. Danabw

    Danabw New Member

    Great information thank you very much to all of you for the details.

    We are trying to decide between an Accord hybrid and the Clarity. I was hoping confirming the relatively long range would help push my wife towards the Clarity, which is the car I want.

    She is buying the car for her use, wants something very simple to drive. As I've explained the info around drive modes to her she has been losing interest in the Clarity. The whole issue of having to remember to set to HV for longer freeway driving, having to remember to reset it to HV if she stops for gas or had a multiple destination errand, is just not something she feels she should have to deal with. Her comment was along the lines "Well that's stupid." Not sure I entirely disagree with her, but I get the issues that constrain how the car start up defaults have been set.

    So sadly, I think I see an Accord hybrid in our future. Really wanted to get our first vehicle with EV mode but not looking good right now.
  6. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Unless you live in CA, you probably won't find many Clarity models in the rest of the country. You'll have better luck finding a Chrysler Pacifica PHEV or Chevy Volt outside of CA.
  7. Danabw

    Danabw New Member

    We're in CA, and they have been relatively easy to find for us, several dealers have them in stock. The Volt is too small for us, the Pacifica much too large.
  8. Teslawannabe

    Teslawannabe Active Member

    The Clarity is basically customer proof. You can put driving strategies to work or just drive it. Either way it is great. Driving pure electric is a silent joy. Most errands usually are less then the 55 mile range I usually get. My 40 mile work commute is all electric. I'm just saying. Enjoy which ever one decide on. Clarity is the best of both.
    Sent from my SM-N960U using Inside EVs mobile app
    fotomoto likes this.
  9. Teslawannabe

    Teslawannabe Active Member

    Just a side note: I sent my wife to the dealer to test drive, telling her to try sport mode. " I received a text back after the drive " It sold me". She really liked the silent torque from stops.
    Sent from my SM-N960U using Inside EVs mobile app
  10. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    In warm and mild weather it is easy to beat the EPA estimates regardless how you drive a Clarity. All electric and hybrids take a bigger hit percentage wise compared the themselves than gas cars do when cold weather happens. However, from an MPG standpoint hybrids will generally go farther on a gallon of gas than their comparable gasoline counterparts even in the cold.
  11. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I can sort of see that if it was presented to her as something that you have to always remember to do. I personally suspect that a lot of potential Clarity sales are lost because salespeople and reviewers don't start out with the fact that the car can be driven like a regular car. We have at least one owner on here who drives their Clarity exactly like that and never messes with switching in and out of HV mode. Most of us control electric use but I don't know if we are representative of most Clarity drivers. Maybe we are, but even so that's mainly because of driving preference. We really like driving in EV mode, however we have realized that it is most enjoyable on surface streets, and that is where we are most likely to miss it when it runs out. So if we think about it ahead of time we shift to HV mode on the freeway where it usually has little to no effect on the driving experience anyway, in order to save EV mode for later surface street driving. But even that strategy is only needed on a day when you will be driving past the EV range, which for many owners is not every day. And again, it's optional.

    The only real drawback would be if someone is overly sensitive to the engine noises that sometimes occur in HV mode. They are not loud in my opinion, but they are different at times than a regular car, or even a regular hybrid. Due to the weight of the car and an emphasis on efficiency I think this is the tradeoff that was made. I think a PHEV could be designed that is much more seamless in HV mode, at the expense maybe of some efficiency. I have not driven other PHEV's, maybe some of them are already more "car like" or at least more hybrid like in HV mode. Again personally I don't see Clarity as loud or annoying in HV mode but it is slightly different, and not everyone is looking for different. I recommend convince her to take a test drive, have her drive in both EV mode and HV mode, and then explain that the car will automatically use up EV range first and then switch to HV mode, and unless she wants to change that she doesn't have to do anything.
  12. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Happy wife happy life. She’s primary driver and she wants an Accord. Get the Accord. As a bonus the road trip range will be MUCH longer. I do a lot of road trips and the 7 gallon tank on the Clarity definitely annoys me once in a while. Get into a headwind on a long interstate run at high speed and I have seen range drop to about 250. Yes 340 happens sometimes. Not often.
    Daniel M W likes this.
  13. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    She might like the Clarity. The OP didn't indicate if she has driven in it. We keep hearing about people who drive one unplanned and fall in love with it. Rare only because the car is rare. She may like the gas savings. And depending on her commute she would save time spent at gas stations, which adds up if you go 2-3 times per month, counting total time from pulling off your normal route to when you are back on it.

    Or after test driving she might say "meh" and still want an Accord. Game over. But I suggest at least have her take a test drive.
  14. Danabw

    Danabw New Member

    Thanks for the additional perspectives. Thoughtful and useful for me. I am definitely going to make sure she test drive both cars, and based on comments will definitely make sure she tries sport out as well. she can have a heavy foot sometimes when she's driving so that could be something that might help a lot.

    Also found that there is a $5,000 manuf>dealer incentive on the Clarity that runs through Sept 3rd, which could, along w/the Fed/CA tax credits make the Clarity extremely attractive to my wife's strong frugal nature.
    Teslawannabe likes this.
  15. Danabw

    Danabw New Member

    This is the most (only?) concerning post I've seen regarding range...we don't take a ton of long road trips currently, but with her retirement getting closer that will likely change. Her normal cruising speed on a long drive is around 75 and she is a relatively conservative driver on the freeway - finds a lane and sticks with it, not constantly looking for an opening and changing lanes/passing (which is my behavior). Can you tell me what you mean when you say "high speed?"
  16. Ryan C

    Ryan C Member

    How does the pricing on the Accord Hybrid compare to the Honda Clarity and it’s $9,000 tax credit? That’s ultimately what sold me.
    Any extra thought or button pushing generally is for tinkering, playing or hyper mile type driving. I am trying to get to 200 mpg, currently 177, by driving mostly in EV mode. I forgot to plug in the car the other day and had a quarter tank of gas and 2 mile EV range. Essentially I forced myself to drive the car as it was intended and it was brilliant. Didn’t have to think and didn’t have to do anything. The brilliance of this car is it rarely feels different than driving a regular sedan
  17. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    My average range has been around 300 miles on the road trips I've taken in my Clarity. 300 miles is over 4 hours of driving, and no way I'm driving 4 hours non-stop without a rest break. The 7 gallon tank is plenty of range, and it means I'm not lugging around extra fuel that I won't use during my daily commute.
    fotomoto likes this.
  18. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    It’s basically a function of wind and math. I’ve taken cross country road trips many times, one of 4500 miles. Blasting across Nebraska for example into a 20 mph headwind with cruise control set at 80 mph on an 80 mph speed limit interstate, we got around 33 mpg. 7 gallons times 33 mpg = 231 miles per tank and that assumes you go to fumes which nobody does. We were forced to fill up every 180 to 200 miles for a stretch there, which honestly can get a bit scary when some fuel stops are 80 or more miles apart in the middle of nowhere. Most of the time with cruise control set at 75 mph I find this car gets its EPA rated 40 mpg. 40 times 7 gallons = 280 mile range....sending you looking for gas every 250 miles. Battery range added to this becomes irrellevant on a long road trip because you’re not charging if driving 600 miles a day.

    If a primary goal of driving this car is long range between gas stations on long road trips, this is not a good choice. Then again many people don’t have bladders that last 250 miles, so maybe it’s irrelevant for some...

    We love it as a commuter, running around town, etc. it goes great on the highway and is comfy for long road trips too. But if it’s long interstate runs of 500 to 800 mile days, we stop for fuel every 250 miles. Not necessarily a hardship and the fuel stop is usually less than 20 bucks, but the fact is that most similarly sized cars have much longer range than this, due to larger fuel tanks.

    Accord hybrid in comparison is rated at 48 highway and has 12.8 gallons. That’ll get you past 600 miles on a road trip tank. Clarity is not even in the same zip code by that measure.

    I freely admit in some ways I kinda wish we had chosen Accord or Camry Hybrid over Clarity. Long cross country road trips in particular, and we do many. Yet in many other ways I’m very glad we chose Clarity. It’s a great car. Different strokes for different folks...
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  19. On our FL trip we ran HV all the way. At an average of 42 mpg, with about 1 gal remaining we'd have gone about 250 miles. In real life, at about 225 miles we'd start planning for a fuel stop, looking for the cheapest gas prices advertised in the area.
    craze1cars likes this.
  20. AlAl

    AlAl Active Member

    Having driven both, I felt the Accord Hybrid to be the superior vehicle if you plan to use gas most of the time. Drivetrain is definitely smother, more powerful, and its handling is a bit more spirited than the Clarity. Creature comforts are better as well (lumbar support on seats, HUD, sound and infotainment system). Overall, cost was the factor which steered me over to the Clarity in the end. The compromises which were made, I felt justified the $10k savings over the Accord Hybrid (Touring-Touring).
    4sallypat and craze1cars like this.

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