2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid vs. Toyota Prius Prime: You Can’t Go Wrong

Honda makes such good cars that differentiating between them and Toyota has become more of an exercise in personal taste, with real hope of finding an outright winner. Take this comparison, for instance. There are enough similarities between the 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and the 2021 Toyota Prius Prime to make you want to engage in a game of “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe” to make a choice. However, we dug deep to come up with more than a few similarities and differences between the two to help you through the purchasing decision.

The similarities between the Honda Clarity and the Toyota Prius Prime

The Consumer Reports overview shows that the Honda scores a predicted satisfaction score of 4.0 out of 5.0 and an overall score of 74 out of 100 in the road test. As for the Toyota Prius Prime, it garners the exact scores on its Consumer Reports overview.

Just like Toyota, Honda is known for its reliability, with the 2021 Clarity scoring predicted reliability of 5.0 out of 5.0 – the same as the Prius Prime. They both seat five people and are front-wheel drive.

As for the warranty, you’ll be pleased to learn they both offer basic coverage for three years or 36,000 miles and roadside assistance for a similar number of years. Additionally, they both have a drivetrain warranty for five years or 60,000 miles, and corrosion coverage for three years.

What factors are different for the Honda Clarity and Toyota Prius Prime?


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The major one has to be pricing. That said, the base price for the Honda Clarity is about as expensive as the highest trim level of the Toyota Prius Prime, and that number rises to over $58,000 for the fuel cell version. On the other hand, the Toyota starts at just over $28,000 and maxes out at $34,000.

Because it’s bigger, you can expect the Honda Clarity’s fuel consumption to be higher. It is higher, and it’s so by a significant margin. The Prius has always been about fuel-saving first, and that, coupled with its small size, means it returns an impressive overall mileage of 69 mpg. That means you should expect an annual fuel cost of about $415, almost half the Honda Clarity’s $740.

That’s partly because the Honda Clarity is a midsize car while the Toyota Prius Prime is a compact car, and partly because the Clarity has better acceleration than the Prime.

The same theme extends to emergency handling as the Honda suffers because of its size, while the Toyota suffers for rear legroom and trunk space.

Honda owners found the Clarity more comfortable to ride in while the Toyota offered a better driving experience.

How these factors will guide the decision between the two cars

First off and the easiest differentiator, the two are in different categories. The Toyota Prius Prime is a compact electric hybrid while the Honda Clarity is a midsize car, so if you prefer a bigger car with more rear legroom and cargo space, then the Clarity is your car

When it comes to handling, bigger isn’t always better, and the Toyota Prius Prime takes full advantage of its lower center of gravity. Not only does it have better emergency handling, but its drivers’ also had a better overall driving experience than the Clarity.

As for warranty, if you squint real hard, you’ll realize that the Prius Prime offers unlimited miles for roadside coverage within three years, compared to just 36,000 miles in the Honda Clarity. Further, the Toyota offers maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles, something the Honda Clarity does not.

Finally, we address the elephant in the room: price. The Clarity at its base price is as expensive as the priciest Prius, while the Honda Clarity’s most costly spec is more than double the Toyota Prius Prime’s base model.