The Prius Prime, an evolution of the Prius which was introduced in the U.S. in 2000, has been one of the top eco-conscious choices since its debut in 2012 as the Plug-In Prius. It provided impressive mileage gains for the Prius family. The 2021 Prius Prime continues this tradition keeping prices reasonable and fuel economy high. To compete in the growing fuel-efficient vehicle market, Honda introduced the Honda Clarity in 2017. Drivers who want to save at the pump can now choose between the Clarity Plug-In and the Clarity Fuel Cell. In this head to head, we'll take a look at the Prius Prime vs. Clarity Plug-In.
As plug-in hybrids, both of these vehicles are outstanding performers when it comes to fuel economy. The base-grade Prius Prime LE has an EPA-estimated 133 MPGe for a starting MSRP of $28,220. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid starts at $33,400 and has a Combined Gas-Electric Driving-Range Rating of 340 mi.
Aside from the obvious efficiency gains, both of these sedans also offer the latest in technology and convenience.
So, which plug-in hybrid sedan is for you? Check out how the Prius Prime and Clarity Plug-In do in categories like performance, price, and reliability.
Published Date: 02/23/2021
When you choose a plug-in hybrid vehicle, like the Prius Prime or Clarity, you are joining a small and future-focused group of drivers. Read on to learn more about driving these plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicles.
When it comes time to "refuel" your plug-in hybrid, the Prius Prime takes less time to recharge. For a standard 120V outlet it takes less than five and a half hours and about two hours and ten minutes to recharge on a 240V outlet. The Suggested Full Charging Time for the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is 12 hours to charge on a 120V outlet and two and a half hours on a 240V outlet.
The Prius Prime also can keep you on the road longer with an EPA-estimated 55/53/54 (hybrid mode mpg city/highway/combined) MPG rating and an MPGe rating of 133. MPGe is the EPA-equivalent of gasoline fuel efficiency for electric operation. Comparatively, the Clarity Plug-In has a gasoline-only EPA-estimated MPG rating of 44/40/42 (city/highway/combined).
Additionally, the Prius Prime features standard Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) to avoid backward rolling and to help you avoid drifting near the car behind you on a steep incline. The Honda Clarity specs page does not currently list such a feature.
High efficiency isn't the only way the Prius Prime impresses consumers. It comes packed with tons of standard interior options and ways to upgrade for less.
The Prius Prime has three trims to choose from: the LE, the XLE, and the Limited. The Honda Clarity only has two trims, the base Plug-in Hybrid and the Touring.
While the base trim Prius Prime LE has a starting MSRP of $28,220, the base trim Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a starting MSRP of $33,400. This means you can upgrade for less with the Prius Prime. The most expensive Prius Prime Limited costs less than the most expensive Clarity Touring model with a starting MSRP of $34,000 and $36,600, respectively.
This price advantage comes in handy when considering media options. Both cars have Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth®, and SiriusXM® compatibility. Where they differ is standard screen size and speaker options. The Prius Prime LE comes standard with a 7-in. touchscreen and six speakers. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid has a standard 8-in. touchscreen and eight speakers. However, even the more pricey Clarity Touring still only has an 8-in. touchscreen. Both the Prius Prime XLE and Limited come standard with a much-larger 11.6 in. touchscreen with a split-screen display.
Not only do you get a bigger infotainment display, the Prius Prime Limited also has Integrated Navigation and 10 JBL® speakers. The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ is only available on the Clarity Touring.
Beyond what's offered in the car itself, Toyota and Honda vehicles come with coverage to keep your car running. However, only the Toyota Prius Prime goes the extra mile.
The Prius Prime comes with a hybrid battery warranty that lasts 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. The Clarity's hybrid battery warranty lasts only 8 years or 100,000 miles.
Plus, all new leases and purchases of Toyotas come with ToyotaCare. This factory-scheduled maintenance plan lasts 25,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first. ToyotaCare also includes 24-hour roadside assistance that lasts for three years and unlimited miles. The Honda Clarity has 24-hour roadside assistance that lasts for 3 years and unlimited miles. However, the maintenance program costs extra. The maintenance program duration and what it covers depends on the plan you buy.
With extra coverage comes more customer confidence. The Prius Prime received a 5-star Consumer Rating in Reliability based on Kelley Blue Book®. The Clarity Plug-In got a 4.5-star Consumer Rating in the category of Reliability.
Overall, both of these plug-in vehicles are competitive but have key advantages. The Honda Clarity boasts more speakers and a larger touchscreen on its base model. However, the Prius Prime has better EPA-estimated MPG ratings at a lower MSRP, backed by a longer hybrid battery warranty. This means you’ll have more budget for upgrading the Prius Prime than the Honda Clarity.
Not only does the Prius Prime have an EPA-estimated 55/53/54 (hybrid mode mpg city/highway/combined) MPG rating and MPGe rating of 133, it also will charge on a standard 120V outlet in approximately less than five and a half hours. Comparatively, the Honda Clarity has a lower EPA-estimated 44/40/42 (city/highway/combined) rating and will take about 12 hours to charge on a 120V outlet.
What's more impressive is that the most expensive Prius Prime trim, the Limited, has a lower starting MSRP than the Clarity's highest priced Touring trim. The Clarity Touring has an MSRP of $36,600 while the Prius Prime Limited has an MSRP of $34,000.
Once again Toyota has proven over the competition that when it comes to saving money on the latest features and on fuel, the Prius Prime is hard to beat.