2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid vs. 2018 BMW 330e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 330e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the 330e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.


Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 330e. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the 330e ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 3 times as many Honda dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the 330e:







Running on electricity

117 city/102 hwy

66 city/78 hwy



Running its gasoline engine

44 city/40 hwy

28 city/34 hwy


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 47 miles, about 4 times as far as the 330e’s 13-mile range.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid higher (8 out of 10) than the BMW 330e (3). This means the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid produces up to 30 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 330e every 15,000 miles.


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The 330e doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has larger tires than the 330e (235/45R18 vs. 225/50R17). The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 330e (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 330e’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 330e.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is 1.9 inches wider in the front and .7 inches wider in the rear than on the 330e.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the 330e is rated a Compact.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has 5.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 330e (101.5 vs. 96.2).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has .2 inches more front legroom, 4.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the 330e.

Cargo Capacity

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the 330e (15.5 vs. 10.8 cubic feet).


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 330e doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The 330e doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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

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