Buying a Clarity this week - 2 questions

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Chris Cousins, May 23, 2018.

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  1. Chris Cousins

    Chris Cousins New Member

    Is the Touring worth the extra $3000? I use my phone for nav, so it would basically be for the interior leather and seat adjustment. My gut says the base is obviosly the better buy, though the cost difference is not a major imposition for me. What say you folks?
    Also, I plan to put down a sizable down payment and finance the rest, then pay the remainder off over the next two months. Is Honda financing reasonable? Prepayment is allowed and they don’t do anything like front loaded interest do they? I’m a novice car buyer with excellent credit - your help is appreciated!
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  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    I find the Touring was worth it for the seats - to me they are more comfortable with tons of adjustments for the driver (except for no lumbar support adjustment). I don't even use the Garmin navigation - for me Google maps/Apple Maps are just easier to use.

    As for financing - if you have excellent credit and have been with a bank or credit union any length of time, they will usually do a better job, especially if you end up having to extend that payout period beyond two months...
  4. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    We chose the base model and haven't missed dropping back to the standard seats but that's all a matter of preference - as with @dstrauss others choose the Touring.

    We originally were going to pay all cash but instead put down 15k and got 1% Honda financing since we had the money in account that was earning more than the 1%.

    Novice car buyer? Beware!
    The dealers like to focus on monthly payments and not what your overall cost is - make sure you know the total you are paying including tax, title, tags, destination fees, etc and work backwards on Financing to get what you want. If you aren't knowledgeable about financing you can always take a friend or family with you - it's always funny to see the look on the dealers faces when you have someone who can start whipping out interest calculations faster than the financing guy.

    Watch for the up-sell! Our dealer tried to scare us into a warranty that would have cost over $20,000! Anybody with a bit of financial sense would know that they could put that money away instead and have much of the cost of a new car at the end of five years and certainly enough for any repairs.*

    Look around for a dealer that gives extras. We get free oil changes for life and our first Clarity service (called the A01) with oil change, inspection and tire rotation cost us $26 while others have been quoted more than $100.

    *There are apparently some reasonable warranties out there so if no one chimes in on this thread about them search the forum.

    Good luck, you'll enjoy your car.

    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  5. Chooch

    Chooch Member

    I must say I think the nav is terrible - it never finds what I ask for unless it is right around the corner so I just use the google one via my phone. I believe it was decided, via a separate thread, that the only leather parts on the Touring seats are the perforated sections; the rest I believe is same as base model.
    That said I am still glad we went with the Touring for the auto adjust seats and for the overall more luxury car feel. It was an out of the ordinary big ticket item purchase for us and we have no regrets re the extra money spent (financed) for the Touring.

    Sorry, not sure re financing details.
  6. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I would say that the thing I would miss the most is the power memory seats (not relevant to our neighbors up north, they don't get them at all). I share the car with my wife and if we had to manually adjust the seats every time, it would really annoy me. As it is, as soon as I open the door, the seats adjust to my settings automatically if my wife drove it last. If you don't share the car, this won't be an issue. Is it worth $3000 by itself? Probably not. The other stuff, leather, navigation (I don't prefer the Garmin system over my phone), ultra-suede dash/door trims, I could easily live without but all added in, it was worth it for me. Besides, I bought the car last Dec when Congress was threatening to kill the tax credit. There was no base model available then so I risked losing $7500 if I waited. How a GOP congress allowed an environmentally positive policy to stay, I'll never know but I'm not complaining.
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  8. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    If those sections of the seat are faux leather, they feel amazing. I assumed they must be real leather because the material on the arm rests on the door feel different and artificial. I wonder if Honda uses a higher grade of faux leather on the seats than on the doors? If that's fake, there's no need for real leather!
  9. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

    I went with the Touring and like the marginal increase in materials quality and features but I could have lived happily with the Base. The magic is in the drivetrain, overall quality and performance.
    AndyBA and K8QM like this.
  10. seattleclarity

    seattleclarity New Member

    I bought the Touring because I like the luxury feel. I have also an older Toyota with cloth seats and they are pretty stained and shabby after 10 years, so I hope the leather will look nicer for longer. My spouse also occasionally drives the Clarity and appreciates the one-button memory seat adjustment.

    I financed the car with Honda Financial Services because the dealer offered a $400 discount if I would. I made one payment (to demonstrate 100% on-time payment history for the credit reporting companies), then paid off the balance. I think I incurred about $45 in total interest charges. I prefer to own the car rather than have the bank own it.
    Chris Cousins and AndyBA like this.
  11. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Well-Known Member

    Can't offer opinion re. the Touring vs. not -- that's personal. We went for Touring (agree, Nav is useless) for the interior. "Worth it?" Prob. not. Nice? Yes.

    Re. the financing: Also depends on your financial situation. Honda is offering 0.9% financing, nothing down, no prepayment penalty (max term 5 years I think). We could have paid cash or paid it off, but instead borrowed $37k and turned around and paid off a 3.5% student loan to the same amount.

    As a first time buyer: yes, they will try to get you to buy various insurance, Simoniz, etc, and will focus on monthly payment not total cost. Up to you: we declined all. At a minimum don't pay the first price, they will readily cut it by 40-50% to make a deal.

    Has quirks, but love, love love the car.
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  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Ditto on all of the above very astute observations and recommendations.

    Thanks to this forum I found the Honda D80 (8yr/100,000m/0deducable)extended warranty that my dealer’s financial weasel wanted $2,650 for,for a lot less on line at Hyannis Honda. It was only $1,304. They gave me an online quote which I had my dealer match.

    I took the 0.9% Honda financing and folded in everything (taxes, fees, ins) to have no out of pocket up front costs. This way instead of paying cash, I let my $ earn 5% and set up auto pay. Even taking in to account time value of money, I’m still coming out way ahead. It’s a normal car loan with no prepayment penalties so I can change my mind at any time.
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  14. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    For us it was all about the seats. My my wife and I have quite different body shapes. The automatic seats are wonderful for use everyday.

    The GPS wasn't a big draw especially because you can't program it while you're driving.
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  15. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    In Canada we don’t get the automatic seats. So the touring isn’t even close to being worth the extra $4k it costs here.

    I’d say the upgrades in Canada are worth an extra $1,500 at most yet cost $4,000. But I also don’t consider additional paint colour choices worth anything.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  16. Chris Cousins

    Chris Cousins New Member

    Thanks for the replies! I dread haggling but I’ll do my best tomorrow. I think I’ll decline the extended warranty. If the base interior is drab I may sprig for the touring. 0.9% is a great rate, but I’ll probably pay it off after a few months regardless - like Seattle clarity above I like to own cars outright, and unlike Kentuckyken I can’t count on 5% from any risk free financial accounts. I can’t wait to own this car!
  17. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    (Reposting here instead of the dupe thread.)

    If you go with the Honda financing and qualify for the 0.9% rate for 36 months (longer in CARB states), I'd take the financing, put as little as possible down, and stick your money in a CD ladder from one of the online banks; they're running around 2-2.2% for a 1-year CD, so you'd come out ahead.

    As far as I know, there's no prepayment penalty and interest compounds over time like most other car loans.
  18. Rajiv Vaidyanathan

    Rajiv Vaidyanathan Active Member

    Ditto to most of the comments here.

    1. I just could not justify the additional cost of the Touring. I am the only driver of the car (rare exceptions) so don't need to move seats often and I use Android Auto for navigation.

    2. I was prepared to pay car in full, but 0.9% financing was too good to pass up. I know my brokerage account portfolio will earn more that 0.9% and so just set up autopay and will have it paid off in the 36 months.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  19. M.M.

    M.M. Active Member

    This is me as well. 5'10" vs 4'10", so there was really no question about which model. I don't care much about leather and I've never even used the nav; why would I when my phone works better.

    Though the fact that the mirrors don't auto-adjust with the seat memory is a serious bummer. If I'd known that before I bought I would have seriously considered saving the money and going with the base model.

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