2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid vs. 2018 Mercedes C 350e

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the C 350e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Honda’s powertrain warranty covers the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the C 350e. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the C 350e ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

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

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Honda 2 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the C 350e:

 

 

Clarity

C 350e

 

 

Running on electricity

117 city/102 hwy

45 city/61 hwy

 

 

Running its gasoline engine

44 city/40 hwy

28 city/32 hwy

 

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 47 miles, about 5 times as far as the C 350e’s 9-mile range.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The C 350e requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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 C 350e doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has larger tires than the C 350e (235/45R18 vs. 225/45R18).

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the C 350e.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid a Mid-size car, while the C 350e is rated a Compact.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has 11.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the C 350e (101.5 vs. 90).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has 2 inches more front headroom, .5 inches more front legroom, 4.4 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear legroom and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the C 350e.

Cargo Capacity

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the C 350e (15.5 vs. 11.8 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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 C 350e doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the C 350e. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C 350e.

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

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