Clarity PHEV vs Rav4 Prime observations

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Ray B, Aug 2, 2022.

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  1. Ray B

    Ray B Active Member

    My wife recently received her '22 Rav4 Prime SE and I've had a couple of opportunities to drive it after about 4 years driving my 2018 base Clarity PHEV. Just a few quick observations on differences - mostly the driving and convenience features ... (I'm a noob to the R4P so some of these may be moot if I research it a little more)
    • Regen is only through the brake pedal - no paddles. It's fine, but I just like to drive with the paddles doing most of my braking around the local roads
    • Pedestrian 'music' warning is much more obnoxious, and persists up to ~22 mph. Even plays when the car is 100% stopped at a stop light
    • The cruise control needs to be turned on every time you want to use it after the car has been shut down. It shuts it off when the car is 'rebooted'
    • ACC following distance defaults to 3 bars and it doesn't remember the setting when rebooted. So when I want to use ACC in the R4P I have to switch it on, set my speed and change my following distance, rather than just hitting 'Set' in the Clarity
    • The engine is quiet, but a little more noticeable than the Clarity in HV mode around town probably more more vibration than outright noise.
    • The overall ride is obviously much different and not 1:1 comparable, but overall the Clarity in EV is smoother and quieter, as you would expect.
    • The R4P dash display is very busy but paradoxically has less detail than the Clarity. Some examples... EV range estimate is in full digits (no decimals = no big deal for me), EV battery gauge is an analog dial, but there are no gradations, the power meter is off to the left and not in the line of sight which would be better IMHO, overall more info clutter when using the range estimate screen option. Here's an example image from[​IMG]
    • There is no warning/control for triggering the engine in contrast to the detent on the accelerator on the Clarity in ECO-EV mode; though I drive gently enough that it has not triggered
    • I haven't been able to figure out how to decrease the volume on Waze or Google Maps in Android Auto. When turning the volume knob or buttons it activates the music to start playing instead of changing the volume as it says it should; the Clarity responds appropriately, so I doubt it is an AA issue
    • My Clarity has three garage door buttons, and I haven't found such a thing built into the Rav4 (to my surprise)
    • The Toyota app only seems to be able to register with one owner. Also the app doesn't provide the state of charge for the EV battery. Only tire pressures are the only sensors data available from what I can see.
    • From what I can tell, there is no option to have the R4P lock automatically when I walk away with the key, as I can with the Clarity. I don't see that setting in the options. But touching the door handle does unlock the doors.
    • The Rav4P came with 8 manuals/books/guides (!), including a full size manual. So the glove box is already full :) But many of the above mentioned things are not covered from what I can tell though I've only browsed it so far
    Most of these are mild criticisms, but it is only because I am used to the Clarity. I am sure if I got used to the R4P and switched back there would be some similar adjustments to deal with. But also have to keep in mind that although the R4P is bigger and has more storage space, it was ~$14k more expensive, with about 7 less miles of EV range when new.

    On the plus side the R4P has:
    • real windshield wipers
    • a full sized gas tank
    • a volume knob
    • a tuning knob
    • a backup camera that out-performs a potato
    • no 'wings' to break a knee on
    • With the 2.5L engine, I doubt the R4P will struggle up long hills at 0EV (when not thinking ahead), at least to the degree that the Clarity does
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
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  3. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Well-Known Member

    Thank you for posting this!

    Perhaps like others here, I've considered upgrade to RAV4 Prime, but then the prices started with 5K over MSRP the idea went out the door (for me).
    I presume some options exist with RAV4 prime that I do want:
    - You mentioned the main one (bigger gas tank)
    - I'd like rails to mount stuff too like my Subaru had. i.e. Maybe not even Kayak but at least for bike/s.
    - I'd like the (official) option to tow even if not large items.
    - All wheel drive option (i.e. for snow).
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I believe the government requires the audible pedestrian warnings for all EVs and PHEVs to behave this way--including the more recent Claritys.
  5. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    The rationale for this is clear, but can you imagine the chorus of noise from dozens of different vehicles (each manufacturer making a different 'noise') stopped at a busy intersection when EV's become the norm rather than the exception? It seems there must be a better way.

    Also, it seems clear to me that many modern ICE vehicles are extremely quiet when idling. Why don't the regulators require 'noise makers' on ICE vehicles when they fall below some minimum decibel output?

    We often approach a pedestrian from behind on a quiet private drive or in a parking lot and it is clear that they just don't hear us (even though the 'noise' is on). Of course we are aware of the situation and exercise extra caution. Then too, often a pedestrian will be listening to something with earbuds and they won't hear ICE's or noisemakers anyway !
  6. rodeknyt

    rodeknyt Active Member

    Friends of ours have a Chevy Bolt. The pedestrian warning on that sounds like an engine idling. Makes much more sense.
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  8. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    I'm upgrading to a different PHEV... 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Sahara. 375 hp and 470lb ft of torque. 0-60 in 5.5 secs, and widely available at dealers for MSRP or less (unlike the RAV4 Prime).
  9. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    For the trade-off, that Jeep gets only 22 miles of EV range vs 40 for the RAV4 Prime and 47 for the Clarity PHEV. Fortunately, the price of gas is slowly coming down.
  10. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I'm anxiously waiting for the Honda 2023 CR-V PHEV announcement. I hope it has a larger battery for at least 50 miles EV. I think it would be great if they just drop the whole Clarity drive train in it. For me the RAV4 just doesn't have enough EV range.
  11. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    The Chinese CR-V PHEV offers 53 miles of EV range, but that's not EPA EV range, so unless Honda re-engineers the CR-V PHEV for the US market, using bigger or better batteries than the Clarity or Chinese CR-V PHEV have, don't expect greater EPA range than a Clarity.
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  13. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    One can hope.
    leehinde likes this.
  14. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    It's very surprising to me that almost 5 years after it's introduction, there is still nothing 'better' than the Clarity in terms of a PHEV in the "50" mile range category.
  15. We’ll be adding a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe to the garage when they become available. Claimed EV range is 25 miles. Would more be preferred? Sure. In our case, 15-25 miles is a typical distance when running a few errands. Even if the engine runs on an occasional trip, we’ll have covered the first 20-odd miles without burning a gallon of diesel.

    Last weekend we spent some time in our friends BMW X5 45e, which has a 24kWh battery and a claimed EV range of 31 miles. Neither of them had read the manual so I was designated the chief button pusher in a somewhat unsuccessful attempt to figure things out on the fly. It’s complicated. I’m certain that we never determined how to operate the vehicle in the most efficient manner, however, the car does have the ability to fully charge the battery while consuming large quantities of premium fuel.
  16. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    The Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe is using the same powertrain as the Jeep Wrangler 4xe. It is a 2.0L Turbo 4 gas (not a diesel) engine paired with 2 electric motors.
  17. The Jeep GC that we currently own has a Diesel engine. So we won’t be burning oil every time we take the 4xe on a short drive. I didn’t make that clear.
    Mowcowbell likes this.
  18. I agree with you on the overly busy display on the R4P. Ours does have the garage door buttons on the mirror, maybe that was a small option. I want to figure out how to disable the "Welcome to <state>" message from the navigation system. We live in Vermont on the New Hampshire border, so almost every trip it interrupts the audio with the helpful message when we cross the river.
  19. DennisH

    DennisH New Member

    I really appreciate this original post. I have a 2018 Clarity Touring and when I bought it figured to keep it for 8 years, until the warranty on the drive batteries runs out. I assumed by 2026 there would be a wide range of PHEVs available with significantly longer EV range. Now I'm not so sure. My son has a RAV4 Hybrid but I have to say it's not as comfortable as the Clarity. I'm hoping the RAV4 Prime will come down in price (and maybe they'll deal with some of the shortcomings you mention in the original post), because if I had to get a new vehicle that's probably what I'd get now -- primarily due to the all-wheel drive option, which would come in handy here in NE Iowa winters. I hadn't seen any personal Clarity comparisons with the RAV4 Prime, so quite interesting.
  20. Sthomasa

    Sthomasa Member

    I loved my 19 Clarity but traded it in for a 21 Rav4 Prime. Bought the Prime at msrp and after all the rebates, tax credits, broke even on Clarity.
    The Clarity is a fabulously designed but odd car. Sad that it is discontinued. Maybe if trunk was a hatchback? Cut open the rear wheel wells? Miss it.
    R4P is a regular SUV with all the benefits of Clarity. The Toyota app is much worse than Honda and now after a year of it not working, they want to charge 8.00 a month for each function.
    Keep your Clarity! A future classic!
  21. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    This is academic for me, as I plan to go BEV-only from now on, but in the interest of advising others:

    What is the relation between the cabin heater and the ICE on the RAV4 Prime (and Prius Prime)? Ever since I found out, a few years ago, that the Sonata PHEV couldn't create heat without the ICE (and thus, presumably always ran the engine for all miles all winter), that has become my metric for what is a 'true' range-extended PHEV vs just a hybrid with a plug.

    I might consider another PHEV if one comes out with an EV range over 75 mi, but that seems unlikely given what we can see now in the market.
  22. What “extends” the range of any PHEV? In a PHEV, battery and fuel capacity determine range based on specific conditions.
  23. Walt R

    Walt R Active Member

    I think you missed the point. If turning on the cabin heat turns on the ICE to create waste heat, then that PHEV has 0 pure-EV range at any temperature below 60 degrees (15 C).

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