STATUS: Unchanged for 2020 - The Clarity brand has been around for a few years, but the latest versions - hydrogen, electric and plug-in hybrid - are the most sophisticated and versatile. The Clarity was initially launched in California with hydrogen-electric propulsion in early 2017. Since then, the Clarity became available for lease in many other U.S. states as a battery-electric model. However, it travels only 89 miles (maximum range) between charges. The plug-in hybrid version is clearly the most viable choice. It can operate with only occasional gasoline engine assistance for up to 47 miles on a full charge. It comes equipped with a 102-horsepower four-cylinder engine backed by an electric motor/generator that combine to produce 181 horsepower. That gives the plug-in Clarity a maximum range of 340 miles. Replenishing the batteries using a 240-volt outlet takes about 2.5 hours. With 120-volt household current, expect close to 20 hours. The plug-in model is available in two trim levels, but base versions should serve most buyers' needs.
Base price (including destination): $34,300 (plug-in hybrid)
Type: Midsize sedan
Engine (h.p.): 1.5-liter I-4, with electric motor (181, plug-in); 161 (electric)
Transmission: Single-speed controller
Base mpg (city/highway/combined): 44/40/42, (110 combined, equivalent on battery only)Base weight (lb.): 4,050 (plug-in)