2019 Ford Fusion Energi vs. 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The rear seatbelts of the Fusion Energi inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the Fusion Energi’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Fusion Energi’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Fusion Energi and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Fusion Energi the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 154 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are almost 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Fusion Energi’s warranty.

Reliability

The Fusion Energi has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Fusion Energi’s reliability 26 points higher than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Fusion Energi third among midsize cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

Fuel Economy and Range

The Fusion Energi has 7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (14 vs. 7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Fusion Energi has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Suspension and Handling

The Fusion Energi has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Fusion Energi’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Fusion Energi’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (112.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

The Fusion Energi’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.2% to 45.8%) than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Fusion Energi more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Fusion Energi’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s (37.5 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Fusion Energi uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Fusion Energi has .1 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more rear headroom and 2.1 inches more rear legroom than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Fusion Energi’s trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Fusion Energi. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring, the Fusion Energi Titanium has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Fusion Energi’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Fusion Energi and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Fusion Energi is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Fusion Energi’s exterior PIN entry system. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Fusion Energi’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Fusion Energi detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Fusion Energi has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Fusion Energi keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Fusion Energi’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Fusion Energi has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The Fusion Energi’s optional Enhanced Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2010. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Fusion Energi as their 2010 Car of the Year. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has never been chosen.

The Fusion Hybrid was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2010. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has never been an “All Star.”

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Fusion Hybrid as the 2010 North American Car of the Year. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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