Consumer Reports Testing

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Sandroad, May 28, 2018.

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  1. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    For those that follow reviews/tests/ratings, etc., I see that Consumer Reports has finished testing their base model PHEV Clarity. It scored 72 (on a 0-100 scale) in their ratings system and is a recommended model. The full report is on their web site for subscribers and it will be in their print magazine soon. I'm not going to "interpret" or "spin" their report, other than to say that for me, there were no big surprises or concerns.
    atr, AlanSqB, glockgirl and 2 others like this.
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  3. bobcubsfan

    bobcubsfan Active Member

    Just curious. Did CR talk about ICE coming on when it shouldn't? Or the rattling noise from the airbag pillars in front? Or the cruise control issues?
  4. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Can you summarize it? Just curious what they felt.
  5. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    The main gripes: they complained about the "angry bees" (but didn't call it that), didn't like the push-button shifter, and complained about the last-gen infotainment, the steering wheel controls being "too similar" to each other, and camera-based lane-change monitoring. They also didn't like the effect of the car's weight on the handling, and complained about the limited gas-only range. They mentioned the adaptive cruise but didn't report any issues with it in their testing. Apparently their test vehicle didn't experience any rattling noises.

    Generally speaking it came out about even with the Prius Prime (CR's highest-rated PHEV, at 77 vs. 72), except for the reliability guesstimate of 3/5 and satisfaction guesstimate of 4/5, which seem to have been the source of the rating gap.

    Incidentally, something seems to be way off with their annual gas usage estimate, which is nearly twice that of the Prime and nearly 3x that of the Volt; by my math all I can figure is they completely disregarded any use of charging whatsoever in their estimate, since it comes out to 39 mpg rather than the 102 mpge they calculated based on their own testing.
  6. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Ah, the CR I know and love :) with twice the EV range as Prime it should use much less gas unless you only drive road trips, we have averaged over 100 as well (looking only at gas usage, and I think that will be on the low side for most Clarity drivers). Otherwise sounds pretty fair assessment.
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  8. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    I reported the math error on the website, which also affects their estimated "cruising range" apparently; we'll see if that leads to any changes.

    Incidentally the CR "cruising range" for other PHEVs seems to be based on the same algorithm used by the oft-ridiculed HV range calculation on the Clarity, since it shows 935 miles/tank(!) for the 2018 Volt, presumably based on its mpge...
  9. CaryLyn

    CaryLyn New Member

    They rated hybrids and plug-in hybrids in the same category, which only continues to confuse the consumer IMHO. Between the Prius Prime, Volt, and Clarity, the Prius received 5/5 for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction, while the Clarity had a 3/5 for reliability and a 4/5 for owner satisfaction. (Personally I love my Clarity, but they didn’t ask me ;). The Volt is loved by their owners 5/5, but received a 2/5 for predicted reliability. Prius Prime scored 77/100, Clarity 72/100, and Volt 59/100. We have a CR membership, so I’ll write back with more info once I read their up-to-date ratings.
    KentuckyKen and jdonalds like this.
  10. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    I found it a bit humorous that they were critical of the Clarity’s “300-mile” range, while back when they tested the Tesla Model S, the limited range didn’t seem to be much of a weakness, even though Tesla’s charging time is far longer then gassing up the Clarity. It just depends on how you weigh the car’s strengths and weaknesses. None of the other plugins could carry five adults in comfort; the Clarity is in a class of its own.
    DaleL, qtpie, lordsutch and 3 others like this.
  11. LAF

    LAF Active Member

    I have driven in both and there is no comparison in the quality of the ride and road noise, not to mention the comfort from the difference in size in both the front and back. I obviously don't have to say which car is which in this comparison which says it all. (also only a few $1000s difference after rebates)
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  13. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Is there a new Tesla Model S version (eg. a "25?") that costs only a few $1000s more than a Clarity PHEV? Or is there a $50K Tesla rebate I haven't heard about?
  14. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Perhaps the comparison is with Toyota’s plugin.
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  15. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    I just received the print magazine and noted a couple problems (one real, one potential) with their Clarity report. The real one is they report the Clarity has a CVT. The potential one is they didn't do a good job of reporting on the drives modes they used leading to a "strikingly loud" gas engine. I'm concerned that some folks may think the gas engine always creates a "ruckus". Since it does not have a CVT and the engine is not always loud (at least in ours), I've emailed them about both problems.
    atr, KenG and Johnhaydev like this.
  16. Hi.Ho.Silver

    Hi.Ho.Silver Active Member

    6F7EADB7-A378-4FEF-A1BF-E8CDF71E120E.jpeg 81B918CA-D431-4B83-A5DE-81907FCC9A07.jpeg They also said that the front seats were not comfortable and had limited adjustability. They tested a base model (based on price listed) and that may be why. I have a touring and find the seats extremely comfortable. See the report with these two attachments:
    atr, KenG, Pushmi-Pullyu and 3 others like this.
  17. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I disagree with the commentary. Actually I've lost confidence in Consumer Reports' car reviews. This seemed like a harsh review to me.
    There was no mention of the fact that one can easily remain in EV mode without the ICE coming on for weeks or even months at a time.
    I also think the steering is very responsive and haven't noticed any body roll. In fact I'm quite surprised at how flat the car remains in corners and how well it handles.

    How seats feel is subjective. I think they are great. I recently commented to my wife that long trips now seem easier to take and I feel more rested when reaching the destination, all because of the overall comfort of the Clarity.

    Okay I wish there was a shift lever instead of buttons. But "fussy" is a strange term to apply to the shift buttons. Does Consumer Reports think the car is uncertain about going in reverse if the reverse button is pushed? What does "fussy" mean here?

    And what does "distracting video feed" mean when applied to the right side view. I don't find it distracting. I find it informative.

    Overall I think this is a poor review.
    DaleL, altfuelcarguy, atr and 6 others like this.
  18. Gearhead

    Gearhead Member

    I've lost confidence in CR the past few years. My biggest issue is with their interior controls obsession. No doubt usability varies between cars but, no matter how convoluted, I'm going to figure it out and once I do I'm set. Not only do they overemphasize this area, they roll their controls conclusions into their reliability score. My idea of reliability is whether the car is going to leave me on the side of the road or spend a lot of time in the shop, not how difficult it is to set the wiper interval. I also don't get their ratings on customer satisfaction and reliability based on zero data points.

    Overall the review was OK but didn't take into account the different usage scenarios that has huge impact on fuel use.

    I test drover the Prius Prime and compared to the Clarity it was OK but from a totally different class of car in performance, space and comfort. How CR rates it higher overall than the Clarity is a complete mystery. And the center 'iPad' controls? That strikes me as a major safety issue which woud keep me from endorsing the car entirely.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
    altfuelcarguy likes this.
  19. loomis2

    loomis2 Well-Known Member

    I was going to comment on the term "fussy" as well. That implies that it doesn't work reliably, which it does. CR sounds like they have never reviewed a Honda before since they have used that "distracting video feed" in cars for years. And they better get used to that "fussy" gear selector because it looks like Honda is bringing that to all their cars soon.

    I will agree that the car does feel heavy when driving it, but it is a Touring model so it is supposed to value comfort over handling.
    atr likes this.
  20. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    I've only read CR's reviews of Telsa's cars, due to my high degree of interest in Tesla, but it seems to me CR has a pretty clear pattern of being arbitrary and perhaps even capricious in their reviews. I'd definitely recommend for car reviews, rather than CR.

    As the worst example of CR's capriciousness, look at this ratings summary for the Tesla Model S P85D:

    For the 2015 model year, CR has rated it in various categories from the low of a single "Fair", to the high of multiple "Excellent" ratings in various categories -- yet somehow they summarized these ratings in various categories with an overall "Poor" rating!

    What the hey? :confused: :eek: o_O

    I have no doubt Consumer Reports does a fine job of reviewing many products in general, and especially appliances -- dishwashers and washing machines and the like. But I get the impression that they simply don't have the depth or breadth they need in their car review department to do a proper job with those.

    Stick with is my advice.

    From "2018 Honda Clarity Review"

    Unfortunately, so far as I can see, has not yet done an extended driving review of the car.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
    Gearhead and Ken7 like this.
  21. lordsutch

    lordsutch Member

    At least those are based on reports from member surveys, rather than the pure guesswork behind the Clarity's reliability rating.
  22. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Even their inconsistency is inconsistent!
    Ken7, lordsutch and Pushmi-Pullyu like this.
  23. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    We can certainly praise CR's methodology in sending out and tabulating very extensive surveys of several hundred actual car owners for a given model every year. But if they're going to be so arbitrary in their overall ratings, apparently ignoring the results of those surveys, then what good does it ultimately do? Seems to me it's just a lot of time and energy spent on surveys -- both by those filling them out and those tabulating them -- which are ultimately not given much consideration by CR's reviewers.

    Just my opinion, of course.


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