2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid vs. 2018 Toyota Prius

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the Prius 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.

The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid weighs 972 to 1049 pounds more than the Toyota Prius. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.


The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s standard 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 91 more horsepower (212 vs. 121) than the Prius’ 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is faster than the Toyota Prius:




Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.9 MPH

78 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Prius (117 city/102 hwy MPGe vs. 58 city/53 hwy).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 47 miles, 47 times as far as the Prius’ 1-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 Toyota Prius (7). This means the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid produces up to 5.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Prius every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius:




Front Rotors

12.3 inches

10 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

10.2 inches

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid stops shorter than the Prius:





60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has larger tires than the Prius (235/45R18 vs. 195/65R15). The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius (235/45R18 vs. 215/45R17).

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 Prius’ standard 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Prius. The Prius’ largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Prius (108.3 inches vs. 106.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the Prius’ (60.9% to 39.1%). This gives the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Prius Two Eco (27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Passenger Space

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has 8.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius (101.5 vs. 93.1).

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has 2.4 inches more front hip room, 4.7 inches more front shoulder room, 2.8 inches more rear legroom, 3.7 inches more rear hip room and 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius.


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 Prius doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Touring, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Prius doesn’t offer memory seats.

If the windows are left open on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Prius can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Consumer Reports rated the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Prius’ headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Two Eco/Three/Four.

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 Prius doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats are only available on the Prius Four. 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 Prius.

The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Prius doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the Prius offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Prius doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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

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