2020 Ford Escape PHEV vs. 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape PHEV have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Escape PHEV has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escape PHEV offers an optional backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

To help make backing safer, the Escape PHEV’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 Escape PHEV’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 Escape PHEV 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 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, rearview cameras and available rear parking sensors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Escape PHEV the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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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 Escape PHEV’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Escape PHEV 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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 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 16th in initial quality. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 19th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Escape PHEV has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (11.2 vs. 7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Escape PHEV 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.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Escape

Clarity

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The Escape PHEV offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Escape PHEV has 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.

For better maneuverability, the Escape PHEV’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s (37.2 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Escape PHEV is 1 foot shorter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, making the Escape PHEV easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Escape PHEV has 2.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (104 vs. 101.5).

The Escape PHEV has .9 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, 2.2 inches more rear headroom and 2.7 inches more rear legroom than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape PHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (34.4 vs. 15.5 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Escape PHEV’s cargo door uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the cargo area. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s useful trunk space.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Escape PHEV SEL/Titanium’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Towing

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The Escape PHEV has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has no towing capacity.

The Escape PHEV can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Escape PHEV can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Ergonomics

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The Escape PHEV Titanium offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Escape PHEV and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape PHEV 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 Escape PHEV’s exterior PIN entry system. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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

The Escape PHEV’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Escape PHEV Titanium’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Escape PHEV has a standard rear wiper. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Escape PHEV 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.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Ford Escape PHEV Titanium has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) for the front seat. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Escape PHEV Titanium offers an optional 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 Escape PHEV Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

The Ford Escape outsold the Honda Clarity by almost 21 to one during 2019.

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