2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid vs. 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Camry Hybrid 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 Camry Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Camry Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies 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 Camry Hybrid XLE offers an optional Rear Cross Traffic Braking that use 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.

The Camry Hybrid XLE offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid only offers a rear monitor.

To help make backing safer, the Camry Hybrid’s optional 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.

Both the Camry Hybrid 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 blind spot warning systems.

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 front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Camry Hybrid its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 54 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Camry Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Camry Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Camry Hybrid’s reliability 49 points higher than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

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As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Camry Hybrid is faster than the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid:

Camry Hybrid

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

Zero to 30 MPH

3.3 sec

3.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

8.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.6 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92 MPH

86 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The Camry Hybrid has 6.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (13.2 vs. 7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Camry Hybrid

Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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The Camry Hybrid has a standard 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

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camry Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2.9 inches longer than on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (111.2 inches vs. 108.3 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Camry Hybrid LE’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The Camry Hybrid SE/XLE’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s (38 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Toyota Camry Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 600 pounds less than the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

The front grille of the Camry Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Camry Hybrid has .5 inches more rear headroom and 1.8 inches more rear legroom than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

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A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Camry Hybrid. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

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The Camry Hybrid uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Camry Hybrid XLE offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation 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 Camry Hybrid and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Camry Hybrid 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.

The Camry Hybrid’s 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Camry Hybrid 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.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Camry Hybrid XLE offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Camry Hybrid XLE 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.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Camry Hybrid as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camry Hybrid first among midsize cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid isn’t in the top three.

The Toyota Camry outsold the Honda Clarity by almost 21 to one during the 2019 model year.

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