Worst-missed features and planned modifications to my Clarity...

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Insighter, Mar 22, 2020.

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  1. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    I've had my new Clarity Touring for over a week now, and here's what I'm noticing is better about it, what is missing from it and what I plan to add. This is in comparison to my Prius Prime Advanced, which is the first car I've owned with modern driving-assist and other high-tech features:

    1. Almost twice the electric range. With my driving habits, I will almost never buy gas anymore.
    2. Easier to get in and out of, more comfortable driving position.
    3. Much better lane-keeping features
    4. A trunk (and a large one, at that). I carry equipment, and I missed a trunk.
    5. Larger wheels/much better handling.
    6. Better, more-usable screen positions.
    7. Apple Car Play (not present on my 2017 Prime Advanced)
    8. Better acceleration.
    9. A larger backseat, though I'll almost never use it.
    10. Better, more easily-accessed climate controls.
    11. Better styling, inside and out.
    12. Better charging port location (front driver side instead of rear passenger).
    13. A larger backseat, though I'll almost never use it.

    1. No front, rear or side parking sensors (the Prime Advanced has all of that).
    2. No blind spot warning/rear cross-traffic warning system.
    3. The headlights are nowhere near as bright. MUCH less bright (they do use less electricity)
    4. Hybrid mileage much less.
    5. Fewer and smaller screens, less information can be simultaneously displayed.
    6. Fewer steering wheel controls and not as good, no heated steering wheel.
    7. The voice control on the infotainment seems less accurate (not sure of this yet, though).
    8. You can't adjust the climate control temperature in the app when you start climate remotely.

    Things I am changing:
    1. I'm adding blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic warnings, and front and rear parking sensors. It will cost about $2200. It's more than I want to spend, but really not more than the price these would add to the cost of other vehicles that would have them (standard hybrids which wouldn't have the all-electric range). I never had these before my Prime, but I find them to be very useful, and i have gotten used to having them.
    2. I'm adding turn signals to the mirrors. I have this on my Prime, but I had to add it on the Prime, too. I think they're very useful in adding visibility to a car.
    3. I'm also adding a Compustar alarm, which I've created another post about. I actually couldn't add a good alarm to my Prime. They have to customize an alarm for each vehicle, apparently (or at least the instructions), and apparently it is too difficult/not worth it for the Prime. It is suited to the Clarity, though.

    One thing I've already done is tinting the windows with 3M Crystalline tint. I did 40 rear and sides, and 70 on the windshield (which is clear) The heat reduction from it is AMAZING! I mean you wouldn't believe it. It also has great glare reduction.

    I had ceramic tint on an Insight years ago, and it was incredible for heat reduction. This is especially true when you tint the windshield. The heat from the sun beating down on you is just a vague fraction of what it is without tint. This was particularly important on my 2003 Insight. It did not have electric air conditioning. If you wanted the great fuel economy that came with the ICE shutting down when you stopped, the car started getting hot. NOT with the ceramic tint. It completely solved the problem.

    Overall, I'm much happier with the Clarity. The fact that the headlights are not as bright is the one thing I really miss that I don't think I can really change (at least not in a way that would look acceptable).
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
    Daniel M W likes this.
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  3. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Well-Known Member

    Neat modifications. What rear cross traffic system/blindspot monitoring package are you thinking of? I tried one and didn’t like it, still looking for a good alternative.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    Insighter likes this.
  4. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    Hi - I don't know the brand. The shop I use is very good, and they've installed it on a lot of cars. The owner says he has a different system on his wife's car that they don't like as much because it's not "can" based (I don't know if I spelled that right). The one I'm getting is can based (it takes readings from the OBD port or something). So it is speed based, which means it doesn't go off once you've stopped at a light. The owner of the shop knows how particular I am, and he says it works great.
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Have you tried the rear camera on the wide, fish eye setting? I’ve found that it is the poor man’s cross traffic alert allowing you to see to the sides once the back bumper is even with the cars to either side.

    I too find the headlights rather anemic, especially the brights. I did have them adjusted (they were aimed too low from the factory) which helped somewhat. They are easily adjusted with a screwdriver to the correct level. If you’re a DIYer, just Google or YouTube it.
    K8QM, Cash Traylor and Insighter like this.
  6. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    Thanks, I'll try that. I do like the fish-eye setting more. I've just gotten used to that audible warning for cross traffic.
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  8. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    You used the air-conditioner in your gen-1 Insight? The only time I turned on the A/C in my 2000 and 2006 Insights was when my wife was with me as we drove to our annual August wedding-anniversary dinner. The rest of the time I just baked with the windows closed to maximize my fuel economy numbers. Sometimes I would turn the A/C on briefly when descending a long hill in hot weather when it wouldn't affect the fuel economy. Things are different with our Clarity PHEV. It doesn't bother me to run the A/C and use up a little battery power rather than gas. Perhaps if the Clarity had lifetime fuel/electricity read-outs like the gen-1 Insight's lifetime fuel-economy read-out I'd revert to OCD mode.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  9. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    That's funny. I love air conditioning. I almost never turn the heat on in my home, but the AC is on almost constantly. I forgot to add to my list that the AC in the Prime is, I believe, more powerful. It won't be an issue with this tint, though. In my experience, when you don't feel the radiant heat from the sun, you don't need nearly as much cooling inside your car to be comfortable.
  10. Andrew97

    Andrew97 Member

    Hey man, what kit of turn signals to the mirrors will you install, i'm also very tempted to do that!
  11. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    I had the cross traffic alerts on my Subaru Outback. I found it over sensitive as it would slam on the brakes if I backed out of my driveway at more than 1 mph. Turning my head around and using the backup camera is more than sufficient for me.

    My Clarity headlights are very bright and light up the road quite well. I get brighted by oncoming drivers from time to time so I figure they are bright enough.
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  13. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    There aren't always great options.

    For any car, the first, best option is to buy some factory turn signal mirrors if the same model car has them in another market. I believe they are required in Europe. I did that for a Maxima. The second option is to buy an aftermarket kit that modifies the existing mirrors (I did that with my Prius Prime). In both of these options, the signal would hopefully be visible from behind the mirror and in front of it (one of those lighted strips across the bottom or middle of the back of the mirror that peaks out around the outside edge so that cars behind you can see it).

    The other option is to go through a company called Muth. They make replacement mirror glass that has the signals built into it. You've seen this from the factory on some cars and trucks. The mirror looks pretty much normal until the turn signal is put on, and then an amber or red LED arrow (actually a < or >) lights up at the outside edge of the mirror. They only make these for certain makes and models, but they tell me you can special order them for the Clarity ($199). Another Muth option is a set of blind spot mirrors with the signals built into them. I'm leaning toward the Muth custom mirrors, but I've actually already ordered a set of the blind spot turn signal mirrors ($129). I reluctantly put them on a Sienna I owned and I found I really liked them. The drawback with both of the Muth options is that people can only see the mirror signals if they're behind your car. One small advantage is that you'll never leave your turn signal on mistakenly because the driver can clearly see the Muth signals.

    The only other option would be to somehow modify your existing mirrors with some sort of LED strip or add-on. I suppose someone who really knew what they were doing could manage this and make it look okay, but it would be a task.
  14. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    That's interesting. I've only ever had rear cross-traffic alerts on my Prius Prime, and it does not stop the car. On the Prime, it just warns you with a series of warning tones/beeps (just like the blind spot monitors only warn you). The aftermarket system I'm getting also only warns you. I didn't know there were systems that would apply the brakes. I can see where that might be bothersome. I've never found the audible warnings bothersome (only helpful).

    I guess it's all in what you're used to. I was very surprised by my Prime's headlights (the Advanced ones) the first time I turned them on. They are very bright. I guess I've gotten used to them. My Clarity's lights are nowhere near as bright. I looked at a RAV4 that had an option for some advanced adaptive lighting system. It was very expensive. I guess makers are starting to put a lot of money into headlights.
  15. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    The Japanese market Clarity has side mirror signal lights, but it would be difficult to get them assuming they would drop in.
  16. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    That's interesting. There would be some issues with that. First, if it would require buying the entire mirrors, it would be quite expensive due to the camera on the right side. Second, the Japanese drive on the left side of the road, so the blind spot camera would be on the left, I presume. Third, the mirror is always different on each side (the magnification), so that would be reversed, too.
  17. Electra

    Electra Active Member

    I think that means it's aimed a little too high. ;)
  18. Then acquiring a Japanese passenger mirror and adding it to the driver side here would give the camera view for either lane change. I'd like that.
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  19. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    I'd like that, too, but it wouldn't be that easy. If you did that, you'd have one turn signal equipped mirror and one that wasn't. More significantly, there isn't any wiring in the driver door for the camera. Most significantly, I'm sure there isn't any connection for a second camera in the infotainment system. I suppose a really good 12v installer could create some sort of switching device to change between the view of one camera and the other. I'm guessing that to even attempt this, including the cost of the mirrors and painting them (you'd need both mirrors to try to harvest the turn signal from the passenger mirror), you'd be looking at well over $2,000.
    insightman likes this.
  20. Don't need both mirrors. I already have the passenger side with camera.
  21. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    Yes, but, like I explained, if you get only the left-side Japanese mirror, the mirrors won't match (the stock passenger won't have a turn signal). You could get rid of the turn signals, but the signals are the whole point of this mirror discussion.
  22. The whole point of my comment is wanting the camera. The turn signal does not have to be wired in. As much as you seem to feel the need to stay exactly on the discussion about mirrors (one of many in this thread) I don't.
  23. Insighter

    Insighter Active Member

    No need for animosity. The discussion regarding the mirrors was about the turn signals. You didn't say anything about not wanting the turn signals. For someone reading this thread, my point about the turn signals, if someone is just buying the Japanese left mirror, is important. Even if you didn't wire in the turn signal on the Japanese left mirror, it would still be there, meaning the mirrors still wouldn't match. As someone who has installed Japanese mirrors on an American market Maxima, I can tell anyone considering this that there's a good chance they'd run into other problems, and all of these are factors to consider if someone considers doing this. For me, I'm sure the cameras would make buying the mirrors too expensive.

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