Blame the Dealers for Lower Clarity Sales

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Shelly, Jul 25, 2018.

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  1. Shelly

    Shelly New Member

    I own a 2008 CRV and 2013 Leaf and plan to "gift' my CRV to my son, who will be graduating from college soon. Just started my research for next car. I went for a test drive at a local dealership. They had six Clarity's in stock. The salesperson stated that sales were slow. Well no wonder, he brings me out to a demo car, the battery is at two bars. I asked to drive a car that had a charge. He physically checked and none of the cars were charged. So I was stuck with a demo that drove on gas. Not a good look. Quite a bit of engine noise, which I have to say turned me off. This is unfortunate, and I could see why potential buyers might be turned off. The sales rep had a really basic knowledge of EV''s sad.

    Aside from this, I found that the AC was not very cold and took quite some time to cool the cabin down. Granted it was a very hot day in LA, but my Leaf and CRV seem to do a better job. Has anybody else had this experience?

    I'm not sure if this is the car for me. My knee was pushing up against the center console; the right turn camera was distracting ( though i did like that you could see pedestrians, and bikers). Help me out. Don't want to buy gas guzzlers like the Outback, Forester,etc.
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  3. weave

    weave Active Member

    As far as the right camera goes, you can turn that off. In fact, there are a ton of options you can set to your liking. Also, each key fob has it's own options set automatically so if your partner prefers the camera on and you off, that's possible and set automatically depending on who is driving.

    The car I test drove was the same way. Loud, and lethargic -- because the main battery was really low. It slowly got better as I drove it (after buying it, I had to drive 60 miles home) until I put it on a proper charger.

    Just find out how long it's been sitting on the lot. If a few months and they never charged it, that's not good.

    Personally I hunted around for one that wasn't on the lot for months and ended up buying from a dealer 200 miles and two states away. That one had only been on the lot for six weeks (and still had a low battery)

    But honestly, it's been fine since. When driving a long distance you can switch to hybrid mode before it gets down to two bars of electric and then keep some battery in reserve for performance when needed.
  4. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    First thing I did was turn off the right turn camera, it is distracting most of the time (useful at times) you can engage it from pushing the button at the end of the turn signal stalk.

    The knee in the console, can't help that. If the car isn't a good fit look elsewhere, I find it fine to drive though.

    AC seems fine for me in Iowa, but max temp around mid 90s at worst.

    Ask them to charge the car, as long as the battery doesn't drop to zero bars it should be fine if sitting on the lot (if they show 1 or 2 bars they are fine). If they don't have a car charged, put the car in HV Charge mode (press and hold HV mode button for 3 or 4 seconds). This will charge the battery some, but takes maybe 20 minutes.

    I didn't like the car on the test drive, like it a lot now. I wouldn't have bought it based on the initial test drive with a dead battery, but my wife liked it and wanted it so we got it anyway. Was much more pleasant driving the next day. You get used to any buzzing from the engine after time if you drive on gas a lot.

    The car has an electronic CVT so it drives like a gas car with a CVT with a flat battery in that the engine revs to a fixed RPM and the car changes speed without the engine RPM changing (it creates an odd sound/sensation if you are used to shifting transmissions). Driving on electric power you can avoid this, and it generally isn't noticeable on the highway as long as you don't accelerate rapidly (I did a 0-80 mph run the other day and it revs to high RPM and stayed constant through the entire run).
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  5. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Being a Leaf owner, you understand the joy of EV driving, so no one needs to convince you of that. If you find the seating uncomfortable due to the center console, however, you won't enjoy driving the car. Have you checked out the 2019 Insight? It has a different console, but can go barely a mile in EV mode.

    Your experience with the A/C seems at odds with the reports on this forum, however. I don't remember reading any complaints about how it takes a long time to cool the cabin down. My personal experience in the cooler climate (90 degrees) of Michigan is very positive. It cools faster than our other two Hondas (a gen 1 Insight and a gen 2 Insight).
  6. oko

    oko Member

    We are in Texas, and we have a leaf (since 2013). I can very easily say that Clarity's A/C is way better than Leaf's.
    GTO 409 likes this.
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  8. bfd

    bfd Active Member

    One problem with being a BEV owner is that you may expect the Clarity to be a better EV experience. It's not a BEV. It's a PHEV, so the car will run the gas engine when needed. That can annoy some people who expect a pure EV experience. It was hot down south today as well, and the AC worked fine. It may be that the car was in ECON mode when you drove it. That has an impact on AC… check to see if a little green leaf is showing on the display.
  9. Chuck

    Chuck Member

    Perhaps it is a function of the battery being flat? It has been in the mid 90's here, I remote started the A/C from the App when I leave my desk. It takes at least a minute for it to actually start (it is much faster on my wife's Bolt). The App shows the interior temp between 110 and 120. By the time I get to the car (5-8 minutes) it is down in the high 80's. Even on a 100 degree day the A/C blows very cold. I am very happy with the car, the knee on the console is the only gripe I have aside from the way Honda does the blind-stop monitoring. That said the camera is not distracting at all to us.
  10. Shelly

    Shelly New Member

    I have a 2013 Leaf. I went directly from the Leaf into the Clarity before and after the test drive.
    Maybe it had something to do with the dealers seemingly lack of interest in maintaining the cars.
  11. I'm in LA and survived the 120F day.
    My wife also said the AC was cold as her Beetle before, but that's because it was on Auto which also controls the fan.
    Turn up the fan manually and blow strong cold air out, she hasn't complained since then.
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  13. Emanuel Green

    Emanuel Green Member

    Even if the dealer doesn't have a charger, they can still put the car in HV Charge mode for a while to build up a charge in the battery. When I bought mine, I made them let me take two test drives. The first one I put the car in HV Charge mode. Then for the second I used EV. The latter was a much nicer experience :)

    Dealers are definitely not doing themselves a favor by having dead-battery Clarities on their lots. On the other hand, maybe you can get a good deal on one?
    Shelly likes this.
  14. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I'm actually quite pleased with how quickly the AC starts to blow cold air. Yes turning the Econ off has a major impact on the AC.
    Shelly likes this.
  15. I have found that lowering my seat prevents my knee hitting the shift console. The first Clarity I drove had no charge and the engine seemed pretty loud to me, I was not impressed. The dealers need to get with the program and charge their cars. I guess they don't want to get the included charge cords dirty...
    GTO 409 and Shelly like this.
  16. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    I advised my dealer to show the price after the rebates in MA which are 10K making the Clarity much cheaper than an comparably equipped Accord or Accord Hybrid. He looked at me funny and said, that's a good idea.

    My AC cools remarkably fast! Maybe it works better with battery charged. This is by far the best car I have ever owned both on daily driving (all EV) and long trips (very comfortable). It cost less than the Acura I bought in 2002!
    GTO 409, Texas22Step and Shelly like this.
  17. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    A 120v EVSE comes with every Clarity. The dealers have absolutely no excuse for allowing their Clarity cars to go uncharged.
  18. FlaDave

    FlaDave New Member

    My dealer delivered the car to my office. He wasn't even sure where the charging cable was. When he found it, it was still wrapped up in plastic and bubble wrap. I'm guessing he didn't charge it all before he brought it over to me! :rolleyes:
    GTO 409 and Shelly like this.
  19. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    Every Clarity I test drove before buying ours had a low charge on the big battery.
    I'm going to contact Honda corporate about this because having people test drive a new car with a thrashy engine is not helping anyone.
    Potential customers first impression in that scenario is not representative of the product.
    Texas22Step and Shelly like this.
  20. Atkinson

    Atkinson Active Member

    Honda said they would take action to address the issue, but since it's internal, there wouldn't be any way for me to know what they do from here.
    The notes probably say customer stuck his head out the window and a said "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more".
    Shelly likes this.
  21. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    About the AC.
    I drive all in EV on Econ and even on 95 F days the AC blows out sub-Arctic air almost immediately. And I have not noticed any loss of AC cooling in Econ which has pleasantly surprised me. I was expecting to either have to take Econ off or up the fan setting from its auto lower speed bias, but I’ve not had to. And the AC has never caused the ICE to come on.
    The AC is amazing!
    The only thing I ever do is if it’s parked out in the sun for a while is to run the fan on a higher speed for a minute or two then back to auto and I’m cool as a cucumber.
    Disclaimer: I have ceramic IR/heat reflecting film on all windows including the windshield which cuts down quite a bit on the solar heat gain.
  22. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    So I test drove one at one dealer had it had a battery fully charged. Great EV experience for being the first one. But I did tested other PHEVs. Volt, Prius Prime, 2017 Fusion. I could not find a single Ionic in a 100 mile radius. The other 3 cars, all had low batteries...

    The dealer I'm picking mine up is another one, and did not do a test drive and planned on doing so before taking delivery. But I'm thinking on showing up tomorrow morning to look at car and check to see what condition it is in. I told them I wanted the newest stock number, but there are 2 other of the same color.

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