Loved my Prime, but battery range pushed me to Honda Clarity

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by CyberDyneSystems, Jul 27, 2019.

  1. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Titanic Social Director

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    I hear you.

    Both myself and @Salamander_King had 2nd gen Honda Civic Hybrid (first model year 2006). Can't speak for Salamander, but our's started going "off" within a year or two.

    Honda came up with several software revisions, which seemed to primarily reduce the use of the battery, protect it. Essentially moving it more in the direction of a conventional car.

    The car was doing "recalibration events" for most of it's life, which means the computer expected a certain charge level from the hybrid battery, but found in actuality there was less.

    Honda replaced the battery more-or-less gratis at one point (warning lights FINALLY came on), and the replacement battery was behaving like the old one within a year.

    Thankfully the transmission gave up the ghost and we had an excuse to bury the dang thing.
     
  2. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yeah Honda has always been hard headed, wanting to do things their way, and using something different that's suppose to be superior. Their original hybrid system just didn't work well but I think they swallowed a lot of corporate pride, took that experience, and designed their new systems more like the successful ones of others. We'll see......
     
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  3. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    IMA was a mild hybrid system that pushed the NiMH battery too hard in some models. Honda handled the fall out of their design decisions badly, but if the problem was with the CR-Z and not the Civic, there would have fewer customers wronged, making it a smaller news item.

    They fixed the battery pushing when they switched to Li-ion. The drive train in the Clarity is the same as in the Accord, so it isn't truly new.
     
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  4. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Well, my experience with HCH (2008 model) was not as bad as yours. It was my first hybrid car bought used 4 years old with about 60K on it. At the time of purchase, I was looking at both used Prius and HCH, but HCH for comparable year and mileage was $3K cheaper than Prius for the obvious reason of known reliability issue. I took a chance and got HCH instead. AFAIK, it had the original IMA battery on it. I drove three years and gave it to my son when I switched to a new Gen3 Pri. We never had much of mechanical issues for 6 years we owned it, except, as expected for this year model, the IMA battery did crapped out at ~149,000miles. Fortunately it was replaced by Honda under warranty for free. I can't say how long the replaced battery would have lasted, for my son totaled the car not too long after the battery replacement. That being said, I am sure if the car was not totaled it would be still driving OK. My son liked HCH so much, he decided to purchase a used 2015 Honda CRZ hybrid as replacement. It has essentially the same IMA hybrid system, but I think the model has lithium battery instead of NiMH that was in the earlier HCH. So far his CRZ is running very good, no issue of battery degradation. If Clarity did come in a hatchback model, I may have replaced my PRIME.
     
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  5. Clark_Kent

    Clark_Kent Junior Member

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    My experience is similar to yours in some respects. When I was searching for a hybrid, I set my sights on the Toyota Prius and soon realized that a similar model year and mileage Prius was a few thousand more than the HCH. I moved forward and purchased my HCH (2007 model) in 2010 with 77k miles on the clock due to price. I believe I paid $12,000 for the car and thought it was fair based on KBB/NADA at the time and the excellent condition of the car despite the "high" mileage.

    The car was a tank and I had no issues with it other than the IMA battery going out at ~163,000 miles. AFAIK, it was also on the original IMA battery. Honda wouldn't pay for a replacement IMA battery outright and offered a minor discount. Instead, I replaced the IMA battery from a third party for $2,100 and the car was eventually totaled last year at ~229,000 miles some 4-5 years after the IMA battery replacement. We consistently got 45-50mpg out of that car and have no reason to believe it would've died had it not been totaled. My wife and I still miss that car.
     
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  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    My HCH may have been the most economical car I have ever owned. It was the first car I started recording very precise "cost to own" for the purchase price, taxes, fees, fuel, maintenance, repair and accessories that includes every penny that was spent for the car. There might have been other cars previous to it that was cheaper overall. But, comparing HCH which was purchased used and Gen3 Pri purchased new, the cost to own and operate the car came out to be $0.344/mile for HCH vs $0.584/mile for Gen3 Pri. This with HCH getting lifetime average 43.1mpg vs Gen3 Pri with 49.2mpg.
     
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  7. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Yep, at this point I just want something that works....not necessarily something 'better'.
     
  8. mistermojorizin

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    I drive a lot, didn't want to take the chance. I also checked reliability on Consumer Reports who do much more scientific reliability surveys, and the Clarity's reliability was *poor*. Prime's reliability was top notch, just like the other Prii. It just seemed like a straight forward decision for someone like me who's very risk averse and drives 22,000 miles a year.
     
  9. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    :LOL::LOL:
     
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  10. Prius Maximus

    Prius Maximus Senior Member

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    With a little more Energi, you could have cMax'ed that Insight! Instead, I'm Outback with the Aspens in Tahoe trying to be a Challenger.
     
  11. noonm

    noonm Active Member

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    My previous car was a first gen HCH (2004). It was a great car except for that battery. The original hybrid battery died at roughly the 70,000 mile mark. The cheapest, remanufactured battery that I found kicked the bucket at roughly 95,000 miles. That's when I threw in the towel and got my Prius Prime.

    To be fair, part of the issue was that I wasn't driving it enough to keep the battery in good shape. Hybrid batteries don't seem to handle not being driven for long periods of time very well.
     
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  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    NiMH can have a high self discharge rate. So a parked hybrid with one may end up with the pack spending more time in the 'too low' range for long life. Li-ion are better in that regard.
     
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  13. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    The availability of the Clarity PHEV is kind of interesting. I remember when I was interested in the Prime, Toyota wasn't selling them except in a few states. Now they are available nationwide. The Clarity was initially available nationwide, but now it appears that Honda is only willing to ship them to California. So if you are wondering why Prime is outselling Clarity by such a wide margin, it has more to do with availability than the quality of the car.
     
  14. noonm

    noonm Active Member

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    Yeah, I learned that the hard and expensive way.
     
  15. Blue-Adept

    Blue-Adept Active Member

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    Happy I kept the Prius Prime instead of trading it for the Clarity. Looks like Honda may be pulling the Clarity from the US markets. Service and parts would become a nightmare. My 2016 Mini Cooper S 4 door hardtop in 2018 took 3 weeks to get a windshield. Next owner lost the torque and it took 6 weeks. He is now waiting for another part.

    The poor Clarity owners may soon be in the same boat. The Clarity is a slick car. Hate to see it end this way.......

    We need to keep the competition so TOYOTA builds a better Prius or BEV.

    Blue
     
  16. farmecologist

    farmecologist Senior Member

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    Yep, I saw that too. Odd...maybe the costs are too high for Honda to make the numbers work?

    Report: Honda Clarity PHEV Sales Now Limited To Only California
     
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Too bad. I wonder if Honda is running into battery supply issues.

    The Clarity of a bit of a rush job in order to have a newer FCEV to compete with the Mirai. That meant designing it without GM's fuel cell knowledge that Honda now has access to. The BEV and PHEV were made to financially support the FCEV. Perhaps Honda is getting ready to release its next FCEV.
     
  18. ewxlt66

    ewxlt66 Active Member

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    Been driving the wife’s Prime since school let out (she’s a teacher) the 3rd week of June.

    I’ve logged 1,300 miles so far and the ICE has only run for about 50 miles of that, since most of my summer jaunts are under what the Prime can do on EV. Sitting at that 199.9empg ceiling.

    I love how much faster it is on EV than our old 2015 Prius...and quiet.

    Wife goes back to school in a few weeks. Her commute is 25 mi each way. EV there. ICE home. Averages out to 118mpg. Needs to fill up on gas every 2 weeks.

    I assert this is the best, most Prius Prius ever. We only get dissatisfied with it when we compare it to our pure EV dreams. I easily do this as we also own a Model 3.

    However, the Clarity couldn’t tempt me. Elon did...and won. But we’re keeping the Prime until the carpool stickers expire. Then, I doubt we’ll jump to a Honda.
     
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  19. KGPriusPrime2020

    KGPriusPrime2020 New Member

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    Irs does not give any tax incentives on the 2020 Prius Prime according to their website. Is that true ? The Prime Prime XLE comes to about 28K OTD in VA and Clarity comes to about 29K after Tax incentives.
     
  20. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    What website? The tax code is not out yet for 2019, so no one knows for sure. If no changes in tax law for 2019 income tax return covering the tax credit for PHEV and BEV, there should still be tax credit for both PHEV and BEV according to the battery size up to $7500 and availability for the manufacture. Toyota should still have plenty of numbers left before the phaseout takes effect.

    Just remember that Prime tax credit is $4502, whereas Clarity with bigger battery can take a full $7500 credit. However, you have to have that much of tax liability to begin with to take a full advantage of the tax credit. If you do not have enough tax liability, you can only get credit up to the amount of your tax liability and the rest can not be rolled over.
     
    #100 Salamander_King, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
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