Prius Prime (Adv) Vs Honda Clarity (Touring) Analysis

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by reddie, Oct 23, 2018.

  1. reddie

    reddie Member

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    Hi guys, I did a brief analysis on Prius Prime (Adv) vs Honda Clarity (Touring version). After my analysis, I find the Clarity cheaper when you consider all the factors involved.Below is my analysis. Let me know your thoughts/Highlight mistakes That I've made if any:

    1.The Clarity is a 5-seater vs 4 seater Prime. The prime offers the convenience of a Hatchback, while the Clarity is more of a Mid sized car (Likes of Accord/Camry)
    2.The battery capacity and therefore Electric only range of Clarity is higher than Prius Prime.Also the Federal tax credits and MA state rebates are higher for Clarity.
    3. Of course the Prius Prime has better fuel economy and Better MPGe than Clarity (Partially attributable to the higher curb weight of Clarity).

    Now coming to the Pricing Analysis:

    The MSRP of Clarity Touring in Massachusetts in about $37500 vs Prius Prime Advanced MSRP of $34500. The price difference at MSRP level is almost $3000.

    However, doing a detailed price analysis (Considering federal tax benefits, MA state benefits, Manufacturer Rebates and Comparable dealer Discounts) I found the Honda Clarity to be cheaper.This Analysis takes the best Quotes available for Prius Prime and Clarity in the MA Region. Here is the analysis:

    1. Honda Clarity gets $3000 extra in federal tax benefits vs Prius Prime. ($4500 for Prius Prime vs $7500 for Clarity)
    2. Honda Clarity gets $1000 extra in MA state rebates vs Prius Prime. ($1500 for Prius Prime vs $2500 for Clarity)
    3. Currently Toyota offers a cash rebate of $2500 for Prius Prime in MA. Honda is offering $3000 Rebate for the Clarity in MA. That is $500 higher for the Clarity over Prime.
    4. As of today , Dealer discounts (Over and above manufacturer rebates) are higher for the Clarity. I have emailed all the dealers of Toyota and Honda in MA state (yes all of them- Didn't miss even once) and got Quotes from most of them. Analyzing all of these, here are the best quotes I got:

    Prius Prime Advanced - MSRP 34500; Selling Price :28000 $6500 Off MSRP ( Includes Toyota incentive of $2500 for MA and $4000 dealer discount) Dealer offering this Quote: DCH toyota of Milford.

    Honda Clarity Touring: MSRP 37500 ; Selling Price: 30260 : 7240 off MSRP (Includes HOnda incentive of $3000 for MA and $4240 dealer Discount) Dealer offering this Quote: Bernardi Honda.


    Overall, the scales tilt strongly towards Clarity in this Clarity vs Prime analysis.
    1.Clarity has higher federal tax credits($3000 Higher),
    2.Clarity has higher MA State benefits ($1000 Higher) ,
    3.Clarity has higher Manufacturer Rebates ($500 Higher) and
    4.Clarity has better Dealer discounts ($240 higher).

    Keeping in mind the Clarity is priced $3000 MSRP higher than the Prius Prime (at the high end Trim),
    Overall benefits make the Honda Clarity at least $1740 cheaper than Prius Prime. This analysis is as of today and applicable only to the State of MA. (Both Honda and Toyota Incentives last till the end of Oct 2018)

    Going by this analysis and looking at the historic sales Numbers for PHEV cars, (Link: Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard - Honda Clarity is strongly increasing its sales numbers while Prius Prime sales have been more or less constant), I somehow feel Toyota might increase its incentives by atleast $1000. (from the $2500 to $3500) on the Prius Prime.

    Do let me know your thoughts on this Price Analysis . The pricing details and rebates are applicable only to MA area.
     
  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Clarity is a nice vehicle. Right now, you can get excellent deals too. That will change at some point, obviously. Take advantage of the moment or wait to find out what's coming?

    Knowing there will be a mid-cycle refresh of the regular Prius and that tax-credit phaseouts will shake up the market, it is reasonable to wonder if something could change for the 2019 Prime. Late November is the LA auto show. That is likely when we'll either find out or get a teaser. My guess it will be the latter with a full reveal in Early January for the Detroit auto show.

    Think about the positioning of GM with respect to plug-in hybrid choices. The expected 50% drop for their tax-credits in April and how much of a struggle sales have been anyway, it makes sense that Toyota has simply been laying in wait. After all, we saw them do the very same thing already. We witnessed the quiet of gen-1 plug-in Prius, with lots of spin during that supply halt that was just plain wrong. Why compete when it will only serve to confuse potential customers, especially when you can focus on refines (production, design, cost, etc.) in the meantime?

    You'll enjoy either vehicle. My advice is to think about your charging needs... home, work, timing, speed, etc. How does that fit into the financial decision?
     
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  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    One thing comes to my mind is that not every buyer can utilize full $7500 tax credit. If your tax liability is less than $4500, there is not going to be any difference between those two cars for actual tax credit. And yes being the first year offering Honda is almost giving away Clarity. I was looking for a second car, and almost signed a 3 year lease for Clarity for $219/mo no money down, tax and fees included. But in the end, I did not pull the trigger. I already have Prime, and what I need for second car is more cargo space than PRIME or Clarity. If Clarity was available when I purchased PRIME in 2017, I might have picked Clarity over Prime.
     
    #3 Salamander_King, Oct 23, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
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  4. Pdxprimeguy

    Pdxprimeguy Member

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    I would probably pick a clarity because it is very roomy, seats 5 and was very quiet when I test drive one. It had good acceleration too. The big down fall was how reliable will it be long term.

    It’s Not my favorite styling but it was acceptable. Otherwise if it was as reliable as a prime. It would win me over for sure.
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    That was my concern too. Thus 3 year lease made perfect sense to me despite losing on federal tax credit. That said, sedan with trunk was deal breaker for me. After owning Civic Hybrid (sedan) then 3Gen Prius, no way to give up the utility of hatchback.
     
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  6. RobFL

    RobFL New Member

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    What's the goal of your analysis? From what I can tell - the theme is PRICE. I'm betting the Prime has a better resale value, and lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

    20 years of production, experience, evolution, and refinement are behind the Prius Prime - and Prius' have been extremely reliable during that time. Honda is going to undercut the Prius Prime just to get sales, and to make up for the years of not paying attention.

    If you're trying to find the best price for a Plug-in Hybrid - add in the Volt and the Ioniq. Compare all the trims.

    All of these cars are just a gateway drug to a Tesla.
     
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  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    No problem with the purchase price analysis but there wasn't much about operational performance:
    1. TSS-P equivalent - for us a mandatory requirement, the Toyota has both optical and radar sensors which helps in poor light.
    2. kWh and MPG per 100 miles - along with EV range, local electric rates, and gasoline cost, so we can calculate local and long distance cost per mile.
    3. Fast DC charging - optional, need identify the connector.
    4. L2 charging rate - optional, need to identify best case recharge rate including the maximum amps.
    You might consider using the TABLE tags and column delimiters to improve a visual summary:
    1. "TABLE", "TABLE=HEAD" and "/TABLE" - delineate where a table is drawn.
    2. Each line is a new row - using "TABLE=HEAD" give sortable headers.
    3. "|" or "," - separate columns
    A minor suggestion, include the Chevy Volt as another reference point. Under 'head em off at the pass," this can preempt the Volt advocates.

    Bob Wilson
     
  8. coach81

    coach81 Active Member

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    I went test drive a clarity at my local dealer, told them I wanted it fully charged when I got there, they assured me they would have it. I get there... "we had a problem with the charger", no electric driving!!! In addition, the clarity has a nice "lane assist camera".. but only on the RIGHT SIDE.. absolutely no blind spot indicator on the driver's side?????

    In addition the tax credit increase would not affect me as I am poor have don't have that much tax liability. And although the increased range would be nice, I'm looking for most efficient fuel saving vehicle... 41 MPG vs 53 MPG is a no-brainer.

    In addition, the vehicle will switch between EV mode and HV mode as it sees fit (from what I understand), I want all electric when I can.. and I want to be in control of it.

    Ioniq would be the "best" price for a plug in... but then let's talk about track record.. and dependability....and resale...
     
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  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    And availability both local to the New England CARB states and nation wide. For example, I flew to Rhode Island and drove our 2017 Prius Prime home, 1200 miles.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  10. coach81

    coach81 Active Member

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    /bow to Bob....
     
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  11. reddie

    reddie Member

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    Thanks for this Info John. Insightful tidbits.
    I did search about the 2019 Prius Prime upgrade, But couldn't get anything that talks about major changes for the 2019 model. I did not Include Volt in the discussion as I was focussing on just the Japanese Companies (Reliability, low cost maintenance etc).

    Very True. I guess it's because of the Introductory year that we are getting Clarity for a steal. However - reliability matters. Also the convenience of a Hatchback matters too.

    One quick question to all - is there a way we can write to Toyota regional sales about this this? (Clarity undercutting Prius Prime on Price?) May be we can end up getting higher Rebates from Toyota on Prime. Remember, the rebates went up to $5000 on Prius Prime on the 2017 model earlier this year. Right now the rebate on the 2018 Prius prime is at $2500 in the New england area. May be Toyota can afford to bump the Manufacturer rebate by a bit if they get to know of this price competition ?

    I know the physical location of Toyota regional office (in Mansfield MA), but does anyone know an email ID that we can write to?
     
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    As long as the incentives are in effect, all these cars will have higher depreciation in comparison to an equivalent ICE car.

    The idea is to provide cover the area of the right side that can't be seen from the driver's seat.

    With nearly double the EV range, the Clarity's engine is less likely to fire up than a Prime's.

    You have been miss informed, "One of the best features in the Clarity Hybrid is subtle, but critical: There’s a step built into its throttle pedal travel -- more than a step, really. It’s something like an automatic transmission kick-down switch of yore, or a hard point that requires obvious effort to push past, and it’s the spot past which the engine will fire. That step in the throttle pedal makes it difficult to get to the engine by accident."
    Read more: 2018 Honda Clarity: Everything you need to know
     
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  13. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    Similar to how in most cars only the right-side mirror is wide-angle, because that's really the only side that needs it. The problem with the left side for most people is that they don't have the mirror adjusted correctly, most people have it pointing too far inward. People instinctively adjust the mirror so that they can just see the left side of the car. It needs to be pointing farther away from the car in order to have a view of the blindspot on the left side.

    I drove my sister's Honda which had the right-side camera and I liked it. But maybe that's because I was an early adopter for backup cameras, having used one since 2006. Whereas a lot of people are not fully comfortable using a backup camera, or a right-side camera. I guess I'm old-fashioned because I'm less confident in blind-spot monitoring and would prefer to see things for myself via a camera (and also of course by actually turning my head and looking to the right). And then you also don't have to endure false alarms. I appreciate what BSM does I'm just saying personally I also like right-side cameras, but that's a moot point since they seem to be going away. Other Honda models have eliminated the mirror camera and replaced it with blind spot monitoring. The complaint in many reviews of the Clarity is that it still has the mirror camera instead of BSM and has the older info/entertainment system.

    I read that in one of the driving modes, I forget which one, ICE will have a tendency to come on at times even when the pedal has not gone past the throttle detent position. But apparently as long as you stay out of that mode then you can control ICE pretty good using the throttle detent.

    It's somewhat odd that Honda only offers the rebates to residents of the CARB states. Or I guess looking at it another way, it's odd that Toyota offers it to out of state residents since I don't think they get CARB credits for those sales.
     
  14. bresna

    bresna Active Member

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    But which one gives a more comfortable ride? I am seriously thinking about changing out of my Prime as it's just not that comfortable for my daily 130 mile commute that doesn't allow for charging on one end. But the Clarity's 41 MPG... I can get a 2019 Toyota Avalon Hybrid and get 44 MPG on the highway. :)
     
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  15. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    As a general rule (there are of course exceptions) a larger, heavier car like the Clarity will be more comfortable. I sat in a Clarity at a car show and it seemed quite comfortable. The rear seat was much more roomy and comfortable than the Prime. Reviews and online comments indicate that the Touring level power seats are comfortable, the non-Touring manual seats not as much. What does seem to be a consensus is that the Clarity ride is very smooth and quiet. Handling is average, with one advantage that body roll is minimized due to the low center of gravity which is the result of the battery being located below the passenger cabin.

    The only stickler is that stupid flying bridge center console which intrudes into the legroom. Besides looking stupid, taller drivers say that their legs come into contact with it. I'm 6 ft 2 and I don't remember it being a big issue, but I didn't sit in it all that long and I didn't drive it.
     
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    You are forgetting the Clarity's 47 miles of EV range.
    The Avalon will use 2.95 gallons of gas on your commute.
    The Clarity will burn 2.02 gallons, plus whatever the amount of electricity is for the EV miles.
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    automakers do get carb credits from certain states. ny,nj, ma that i know of.

    one downside of clarity is overall range. but with those discounts, i might be tempted

    i doubt writing to toyota will change their rebate. likely, the follow other mfgs incentive programs.

    toyota is not trying to sell more primes than other mfgs phevs, they raise and lower the rebate by how many carb credits they need, to make up for all the land barges they sell.
     
    #17 bisco, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
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  18. benagi

    benagi Active Member

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    The only real problem I have with my Prime is Entune. It really sucks. Still no apple car play and maybe not until 2020. I think I’ve heard the Clarity has a much better system.
     
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  19. jmarkd7

    jmarkd7 Member

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    Last weekend I sold my 2017 Premium for this reason- the short seat made my legs sore (I am 6'2" 210#, and my back is ok). I have a 160-mile daily commute and no charging on the work end. I averaged 66.6 MPG in the 48k miles I put on my Prime between Nov 19 2016 - Oct 20 2018. In summer my back would be sweaty, no matter what I did.

    On Monday I test drove a 2013 Avalon Hybrid Limited (no significant changes until the 2018 model) and found it comfortable and quiet on the short drive. The Limited has the thigh support button which makes the seat longer/higher.

    I also sat in a couple of new 2018 Ford Fusions- considering the Energi plug-in- but the seat was super short and won't work for me.

    For the next few months I am driving our old 2007 Sienna minivan, gritting my teeth as I fill up 2-3x a week :) Any ideas or insights on the comfort of other hybrids or plug-ins you've tried would be appreciated!

    I suspect the cloth seat Plus model would have been more comfortable, but I am not sure.
     
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  20. Since2002

    Since2002 Senior Lurker

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    It has CarPlay and Android Auto. There have been other threads with people asking what's the big deal about those. I have used Android Auto several times, most recently on a Chevy Malibu rental in Texas. The only Android Auto feature I have used is Google Maps and it is really great. Well to clarify (no pun intended) it actually is a somewhat hobbled version of Google Maps, but what is great is that it is on the big screen in the center of the dash, making it much more convenient and safer in my opinion than running Google Maps on my phone. I can more easily glance at the big screen to see where I am, easily zoom in and out, etc.

    Okay so all Nav's are on the big screen and let you zoom, search destinations, etc. But they all use crummy, clunky proprietary Nav interfaces with maps that are already out of date when you purchase them. Whereas Android Auto running Google maps is getting the map database via your phone, so it is always up to date.

    And you can even switch to satellite view! I just loved that, the same satellite view in Google Maps is displayed on the dashboard screen while driving. I found this very helpful because you can see for example that you will be turning just after passing a large building. And when driving at night you at least have an idea of what the surroundings look like.

    It also worked well providing alternate routes, showing the time differences, and also when there was traffic it told you about it and offered alternate routes. All of this coming from Google Maps via your phone.

    The limitation is that you have to plug your phone into the USB jack in the car, Android Auto does not work via Bluetooth. I'm guessing that is true with CarPlay also. No big deal for me as I am normally plugged in anyway for charging. And the nice thing is when you plug in your phone Android Auto immediately launches on the dashboard screen. If you unplug your phone it goes back to the generic screen (Chevrolet in my case)

    Another limitation is searching for destinations on the Android Auto dashboard screen just doesn't work as well as Google Maps on your phone. For example when adding a stop to your existing route you can only add generic categories like gas, restaurant, etc. and within those categories you can't narrow your search to particular brands of gas or restaurant. And when adding a stop to an existing route you can't add previous destinations or favorites like you can on your phone. The workaround is to cancel your current route and start a new route for the restaurant, gas, etc. Oddly for a new route it will let you search by name or by previous destinations. The other workaround is to simply unplug your phone, then use Google Maps on your phone to do the searching, click Start, then plug in your phone, and Android Auto will launch with that destination already programmed. Of course you should not be driving when using that workaround.

    Example - I was driving to Houston IAH airport to catch my flight, I needed to fill up the rental car but I didn't want to fill up near the airport where they gouge you price wise and also the lines at gas stations near the airport can be long. So I normally fill up 10-15 miles from any airport where I am returning a car, as it is more convenient and the gauge will still be on full when I turn in the car. So in Android Auto I already had the airport as my destination, I waited until it showed that I was just over 15 miles from the airport. On the dashboard I tapped to add a stop, and selected gas. It then displayed several stations, showing the current price, but also how much time each would add to my route. Some stations for example would add five minutes. But it listed a Valero station as adding just one minute to my route, so I selected that one. I followed the voice prompts onto an exit, at the end of the exit was a Valero station, where I filled up, then immediately got back onto the freeway.

    Maybe other NAV systems can do that also, but if the map is out of date you can really get burned when the gas station, store, etc. is no longer there. Or like used to happen to me on my Garmin it would take me farther than it needed because it was not aware of a newer store, etc. that was near my existing route.
     
    #20 Since2002, Oct 25, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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