The Honda Clarity is, in many ways, a vehicle ahead of its time. It uses a range of alternative fuel technologies to produce power, making it one of the greenest cars around.
The Clarity isn’t just about fuel efficiency alone. It has luxurious seating, advanced technology (ApplePlay and Android Auto capability), and impressive safety features.
In this article, we discuss the durability of the Honda Clarity to determine if it is suitable for long-term use.
Here is the short answer to how long the Honda Clarity lasts:
The Honda Clarity comes with a 100,000-mile/8-year warranty protection. Based on this, we estimate the average the Honda Clarity has a lifespan of 100,000 miles to 150,000 miles. If you drive around 15,000 miles annually—the average for Americans—your Honda Clarity should last six to ten years.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Honda Clarity?
Some people will tell you alternative-fuel vehicles are unreliable and cannot last long. Such statements are not entirely false, especially for some models.
However, you can rest assured your Honda Clarity will eat up miles without breaking down on you.
As said earlier, Honda itself covers the battery pack on the Clarity for 100,000 miles or 8 years, whichever comes first. This gives us an idea of how long the average Honda Clarity will last.
We estimate you will get 100,000 miles out of your Honda Clarity, and 150,000 miles at most.
Unlike regular vehicles, the Honda Clarity does not come with a manual detailing scheduled maintenance.
Rather, what you get is a Maintenance Minder feature that monitors your car’s condition and alerts you when it needs maintenance.
We advise that you pay attention to the alerts from the Maintenance Minder if you want to keep your car for long. Why?
It will ensure you keep the car in good health by telling you what maintenance activities are needed. This will ensure components function seamlessly and don’t suffer premature failure.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust on A Honda Clarity?
From what owners say, rust isn’t that much of a problem on the Honda Clarity. This is mostly because of the extensive use of aluminum in making the components.
Unlike steel, aluminum doesn’t rust. Therefore, you won’t find rust on your Honda Clarity for a long time.
Nevertheless, some parts on the Honda Clarity are prone to corrosion, particularly those that are made from steel.
This includes bolts, fasteners, nuts, etc. These might rust within the first 10 years of ownership, if exposed to corrosive materials such as salt.
Please also read our article about driving the Honda Clarity in snow and winter.
How Long Do Honda Clarity Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the performance and longevity of green vehicles like the Honda Clarity. Here, we compare the vehicle to other models.
Honda Clarity vs. Toyota Camry Hybrid
From our research, the Toyota Camry lasts much longer than the Honda Clarity. The best you can get from a Honda Clarity is about 150,000 miles.
This is much lower than the lifespan of the average Toyota Camry Hybrid, which is about 250,000 miles.
That the Camry Hybrid outmatches the Honda Clarity’s longevity isn’t surprising, especially when you compare reliability for both models.
The Honda Clarity gets a barely above average reliability score of three out of five from J.D. Power. On the other hand, the Camry Hybrid has a much higher reliability score of four out of five.
Given that the Camry Hybrid comes with a comparably lower price tag, we would suggest picking it over the Honda Clarity. You’ll spend less on the upfront fee and get a car that’ll last you longer.
Honda Clarity vs. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid can give you 200,000 miles of use before it breaks down. This is a full 50,000 miles higher than what you would get on a Honda Clarity.
Besides, it has a lower initial price and will cost less in terms of ownership.
While the Honda Clarity definitely has a lot greener credibility than the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, consider the difference in durability. With the Sonata Hybrid, you will get more service life at a lesser cost.
Honda Clarity vs. Ford Fusion Hybrid
The Fusion Hybrid has an average lifespan of 200,000 miles, which about 50,000 miles higher than the Honda Clarity’s lifespan.
Honda Clarity vs. Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is an all-electric vehicle that boasts green credibility similar to the Honda Clarity’s. Generally, both the Nissan Leaf and the Honda Clarity have the same lifespan, which is 150,000 miles on average.
How Reliable Is a Honda Clarity?
The Honda Clarity is still, for the most parts, a new vehicle and it is difficult to determine if it’s reliable or not. Nevertheless, we believe the model will be reliable, given Honda’s reputation for reliability.
Moreover, the model uses a lot of aluminum, which doesn’t rusts. This means the structural integrity of the components in your car will remain solid for years.
J.D. Power gives the Honda Clarity a 3 out 5 rating for reliability, which is better than what most cars get.
Make sure to also read our article on how long the Honda CR-V lasts.
The Best and Worst Years for Honda Clarity
Based on the number of complaints about it, the 2018 Honda Clarity remains the worst year for the model. This is understandable, as most models have problems in the first model year.
With time, automakers will iron out the problems and the reliability of the model increases.
The biggest problem on the 2018 Honda Clarity was the engine’s high revs and occasional loss of power.
Some owners say the engine revs so high it feels as though it may blow up. Afterwards, the engine usually loses power, causing the car to stall.
This problem is severe as it can put drivers at risk of a collision or crash. In fact, some owners abandoned the car as they felt the engine problems made it unsafe to drive.
The NHTSA also received multiple complaints concerning drivetrain problems on the 2018 Honda Clarity.
Per reports of owners, the transmission on the model often slips or refuses to go into gear. This can cause loss of power or failure to accelerate.
The 2019 Honda Clarity has a much lower incidence of problems and complaints of any Clarity models.
While the 2020 model doesn’t have any complaints either, it’s still a new model and we cannot say if complaints about it will surface.
Thus, we’d recommend getting the 2019 Honda Clarity if you want a good alternative-fuel vehicle.
What About Recalls for These Models?
As the Honda Clarity is a new model–and a low-volume one at that–it has faced few recalls. We found only one recall for the Honda Clarity, and that was for the 2019 model.
Per the recall information, the problem on the 2019 Honda Clarity was that the seat belt mechanism may malfunction and fail to lock properly.
In event of a crash or collision, the seat belt may not restrain the passenger, leading to a higher risk of injury.
The problem affected only the rear seat belt assembly, and Honda instructed dealers to replace the defective components with newer ones.
If you’ll be getting a 2019 Honda Clarity, check the vehicle history to know if the owner replaced the rear seat assembly.
Also read our article about how long Ford Hybrids last.
Honda Clarity Model Year List
Here are all model years for the Honda Clarity since it begun production:
- 2018 Honda Clarity
- 2019 Honda Clarity
- 2020 Honda Clarity
Are Honda Clarity Expensive to Maintain?
Going by maintenance cost estimates for the Honda Clarity, you don’t have to spend a fortune to keep it running.
The average annual cost for servicing your Honda Clarity is $225.
However, this can increase depending on the incidence of extensive repairs, which cost two to three times the regular repair job.
Below are common repairs on the Honda Clarity and how much you’ll spend on them:
- Alternator Replacement: $304.76 – $325.76
- CV Axle/Shaft Assembly Replacement: $223.94 – $321.25
- Oxygen Sensor Replacement: $173.56 – $334.15
- Drive Belt Tensioner Replacement: $192.28 – $202.28
- Fuel Injector Replacement: $466
- Valve Cover Gasket Replacement: $225.09 – $258.93
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Brakes on Honda vehicles typically have a service life of 30,000 to 60,000 miles. The longevity of your Honda Clarity’s brakes will depend on the following factors:
- Your driving habits: Driving frequently in stop-and-go traffic, where you have to brake constantly, will wear out your brakes faster. Conversely, if you rack up mostly highway miles, your brakes will last longer.
- How you use the brakes: Braking hard will hasten wear on your brakes and reduce their lifespan greatly.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Owners have said the OEM tires should get you up to 50,000 miles before they wear.
Your driving style will determine how long your tires last. For example, tires wear faster from aggressive driving.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
The transmission on Honda-made vehicles lasts between 120,000 miles to 180,000 miles. Your Honda Clarity’s transmission lifespan is mostly subject to maintenance and use.
If you don’t abuse the tranny and service it properly, it will last a long time.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The Honda Clarity uses iridium spark plugs, which are good for 100,000 miles.
Per estimates, you will spend between $79 and $222 in both labor and parts costs to replace the spark plugs on your Honda Clarity.
What About Insurance Cost?
You will pay about $2,364 in annual insurance costs for the Honda Clarity. This translates to around $197 in monthly insurance costs.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Honda Clarity
Here are ways to increase the service life of your Honda Clarity:
- Ensure you monitor alerts from the Maintenance Minder and perform all servicing as required.
- Keep hard driving to a minimum, as this will reduce wear and extend the life of your car.
- Charge and use the battery regularly. Leaving your battery unused and without charge will cause it to deteriorate.