Honda Clarity was hit with the ugly stick...but net cost over looks!

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by LaCucaracha, Aug 26, 2018.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. LaCucaracha

    LaCucaracha New Member

    Hello all, I work for an electric utility in Northern California. Many of my coworkers have all electric or plug-in electric cars, as the bastion of save-the-earth, carbon dioxide is killing the world, liberals. I pretty much laugh at their mankind is sending Mother Earth into oblivion, because organic respiration and decomposition is somehow a 21st century phenomenon. It is hilarious to see the Tesla and Leaf owners parked at our 480v fast charger, reading a book for an hour just to get enough juice to get home!

    As a capitalist and pretty much cheap guy, I’m always looking for the deal to take advantage of the system, how does that go, “if you can’t beat them join them!” For the most part, I like Honda’s and have purchased several new ones over the years.

    I was trying to decide on what to buy as a new commute car for my 130 mile round trip. I retired a 2005 Civic Hybrid with 323k miles (several years with the yellow HOV stickers!) and recently gave my 2013 Civic LX to my daughter. I was thinking of a new 1.5l turbo Civic at 42 mpg highway or the nicely redesigned Accord at 38 mpg. I visited the local Honda dealer and looked at these and the new Insight at 55 mpg. Off sitting by itself, covered in dust and with a sun bleached window sticker was this thing called a Clarity plug-in hybrid; my God it was butt ugly: front end of a Civic, sides of the old Insight, and the rear of a 2003 Prius!

    Unfortunately, I could only look in the window, Why?, the battery was dead... The internet/fleet sales guy even said, “yeah we call this car the ‘cockroach’,” (hence my forum name). The manager said Honda dealers were ‘forced’ by the factory to take these cars based on sales volume.

    They, as most Honda dealers, do not know what to do with them or how to sell them. From what they told me they sold a few the first few weeks at the beginning of the year but now they just sit tucked away in the corners of the lot. Probably a combination of shale oil, competition from other good fuel economy Honda’s, and styling that’s ready to be an extra in the next Logan’s Run sci-fi remake.

    After doing some research in my liberal, think tank of an office, I found out employees get to charge their electric vehicles for free at work! (To my knowledge, out of 200+ personal and corporate EV’s and PIEV’s no one has a Honda “Cockroach.”) This got me thinking, well how much does one of these weird cars cost in comparison to a Civic, Insight or Accord, particularly comparing 2018 premium and nice to have features?

    So after doing some homework, research, and dealer arm twisting...

    I just bought a Clarity plug-in hybrid Touring, 8/24/18, here in California. Contacted 40+ dealers, paid $32,480, with no dealer add ons.

    I was going to by the base, but the dealer only had Touring models, so they knocked extra off to, “please buy one!”

    This cost while higher than the sales prices for other vehicles is then minus the following rebates/incentives:

    -$500 Honda college graduate (used my daughter)
    -$500 PG&E rebate
    -$1500 CA State CARB rebate
    -$2000 local San Joaquin Valley air district rebate
    -$7500 Fed tax credit for 2018

    Net cost to me $20,480 (not including tax, Lic, and the ‘required’ $80 doc fee)

    $10k down.

    Honda 0.9% financing at 60 months, required for college rebate, will cash flow payoff in 4-6 months.

    +$22 for CA red HOV stickers through 1/1/2022.

    I’m pretty happy with the deal! In the end, I bought this car because the net cost was about what a regular plain Civic LX or EX-T would have cost with far fewer extras...and I get my carpool stickers back! If I close my eyes as I get in, I just pretend it looks like the redesigned Accord. From the inside, it is not too bad, not great, but better than a Civic.

    I have no illusions that this first generation car and first Honda plug-in Honda will not be without issues similar to the first Civic hybrids (a class-action or two always seems to provide some financial remedy ). This car seems like a technology nightmare, but for the net cost I’m willing to take that risk and beat the heck out of it for a couple of years...especially with all that free money...I’m happy to take some of that back!

    I will keep you updated on the progress of La Cucaracha!
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. chris5168

    chris5168 Member

    40+ dealers and none had the base model?
  4. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    20K net cost got me beat. I thought my net cost at 27K for the Touring last Dec. was an incredible deal. Although the Clarity is rather unique in appearance, I think it looks far better than the Prius. The Volt is probably more attractive if you're looking for something similar to ICE cars but the Volt looks just like the Chevy Cruz (same platform), a cheap compact car mostly sold to college students and rental companies. As the OP points out, the Clarity after incentives is the best deal out there for a ultra fuel efficient, big luxury car. It's crazy how cheap to buy and operate the Clarity is!
  5. LaCucaracha

    LaCucaracha New Member

    No, several in California had the base model, but it was all about negotiating the best price. Most dealers either want to sell at the MSRP or slight discount, but then add dealer installed options that bring the cost back closer to the MSRP.

    I found Southern Califonia, which has the most dealers and Clarity’s, had several large dealerships with the same lowest price $30,418/base, $33,480/Touring. However, some dealers would add in wheel locks, splash guards, door trim, magical paint and interior sealant, etc. The San Francisco Bay Area didn’t really want to negotiate or compete on price. Northern California was hit and miss on dealers wanting to negotiate.

    In the end, my Central Valley dealership, where I have negotiated several Honda’s was going to trade for a base to sell me one. They lowered my best offer on a Touring to buy on the lot by $1000. For a difference of $2000, I decided to go for the full leather and memory seats...

    The Touring at $32,480 without dealer add ons, seems to be the lowest price you can get one of these and I spoke or emailed all sales managers in California and Nevada.

    For me, it was all about the price...
  6. V8Power

    V8Power Active Member

    Wow, crazy good deal where you are! It goes to show how under marketed the car is and under educated the dealers are.
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. SkipperT

    SkipperT Member

    ... I’ll be more curious to hear back from you in a month or so to see if you actually enjoy driving the car and saving money on fuel.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. barnesgj

    barnesgj Active Member

    Hey! I take offense at anyone calling my car a cockroach!
    KenG likes this.
  10. LaCucaracha

    LaCucaracha New Member

    I know, but it’s so ugly it’s cute!! Actually who cares what it looks like as long as it is dependable, fuel efficient, safe and fun to drive. So far it works for me! I’m going to be putting about 750 miles per week on it, all in the carpool lane!
    David A likes this.
  11. Dustin

    Dustin Member

    Haha. I bought it for similar reasons and seem to have similar feelings towards the car. Not the best looking, best handling, best performance, or best tech, but was cheap.
    craze1cars likes this.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. I guess because for most dealers, they are easier to sell other better sellers, so they don't want to bother a car they're not familiar. They're more comfortable and feel easier to sell you a Civic, Accord or CRV.

    I never found Clarity is ugly, in contrast, I think Teslas Model X is ugly which reminded me Internet people are saying the NC Miata, my daily drive, is a soap box.
  14. Electra

    Electra Active Member

    Can you charge at work? My commute is almost as much as you, but I can't charge at work. The small 7 gal tank is a real turnoff.
  15. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    Basically same reasons about the Clarity. I can charge at work for free, and have only a 15 mile commute. After driving 2009 Accord (for 9 years) and a 2011 Outback for a few months, I was looking forward into it. Wife wanted me to look at something smaller when she realized it was the same size as an Accord, but after doing the numbers, after the tax credits, this was a no-brainer.
    David A likes this.
  16. Candice

    Candice Active Member

    This post makes me sad because I love how my Clarity looks. I did research on electric vehicles and loved it from the first article I read. I love the front, the back, the sides. I am happy when I am outside of the vehicle and I am very happy inside of the vehicle. Love love love! I am glad you got a good deal on this beautiful car.
  17. Heino

    Heino Active Member

    I’m with Candice... I love the look of my Clarity. Gun metal gray with tinted windows. Beautiful car.

    I don’t know why Honda dealers can’t sell these things.. as a techie I love this car, and probably would have no difficulty selling them.
  18. jdonalds

    jdonalds Well-Known Member

    I've thought of going to hang around the Honda dealer and dragging people over to see the Clarity. Larger numbers can only help all of us, and way too many people are not being exposed to this car.
    Arason, coutinpe and insightman like this.
  19. lanb

    lanb Active Member

    I think Honda and dealers are deliberately not pushing these cars because it will eat into their bread and butter Accord sales now.
    When the federal rebate ends (either by number or by the next act of "tax cut"), the public may be turned off by the high price
    and I believe Honda does not want that until they can get the price down to parity with the Accord.
  20. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    Yeah, I don’t get the ‘ugly’ label either. I wouldn’t call it gorgeous, but I think it’s a nice looking car.
    coutinpe and jdonalds like this.
  21. Crota

    Crota Member

    Accord Sales are much lower than expected as the classic sedan is being out classed by the SUV. There is a lot of incentives on the Clarity and the numbers are great. I think the car really is a techie car and you need a techie person to be excited about the car to really sell it without being pushy. People saying "My round trip if 55 miles so it won't work for me" really miss the point of the car too.
    coutinpe and Viking79 like this.
  22. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    Seems the joke is on you.
  23. Vezz66

    Vezz66 Member

    I love the look of my white Clarity with the black interior. Never thought of it as ugly. I thought it looked strange at first look through the Honda marketing pictures, but when I saw it in person it was fine.

    Test drove it once (almost empty) and that was it.

    Everyone I’ve shown it to like it, except my sister (who has not actually made any comments on it) but she’s got no taste in cars :cool:
    Insighter likes this.

Share This Page