2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime vs. 2020 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 Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime XSE offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking 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.

The Rav4 Prime has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The Rav4 Prime XSE 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 Rav4 Prime’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.

Both the Rav4 Prime and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 Prime 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 17 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Rav4 Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Honda is ranked 12th.

Engine

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The Rav4 Prime’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 90 more horsepower (302 vs. 212) than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s 1.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Rav4 Prime has 7.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (14.5 vs. 7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Rav4 Prime’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid:

Rav4

Clarity

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.2 inches

The Rav4 Prime’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 Prime XSE has standard 19-inch wheels. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Rav4 Prime 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 better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 Prime is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 Prime SE’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The Rav4 Prime XSE’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Rav4 Prime is 11.8 inches shorter than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, making the Rav4 Prime easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime has 2.4 inches more rear headroom and 1.6 inches more rear legroom than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Rav4 Prime’s rear seats recline. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Rav4 Prime has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid (33.5 vs. 15.5 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Rav4 Prime’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, especially for short adults, the Rav4 Prime has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the Rav4 Prime XSE, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Towing

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The Rav4 Prime has a 2500 lbs. towing capacity. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

© 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 Rav4 Prime offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction 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 Rav4 Prime and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime 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 Rav4 Prime XSE 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 Rav4 Prime XSE 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.

On extremely cold winter days, the Rav4 Prime’s optional 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 Toyota Rav4 Prime XSE/Limited offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Rav4 Prime XSE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, 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.

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