Chevy Volt Vs. Honda Clarity Plug-In: Plug-In and Battle it Out

By Justin Cupler | February 27th, 2019

Plug-in hybrids like the 2019 Chevy Volt and 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid offer our Wheaton buyers the best of both worlds: great EV range and backup gasoline engines. These models give you all the range you need for your daily commute and a gasoline engine for those longer journeys without worrying about running out of charge. Which of these plug-in hybrid sedans is a better buy for you? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

On the outside, the 2019 Chevy Volt looks like a traditional sedan, but it also has a sporty touch that gives it an extra something the younger crowd will appreciate. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is a mixed bag with its Accord-inspired grille that is sharp and mature, but its rear end loses some points for its funky wheel skirts, exaggerated hip lines, and odd-shaped trunk taper.

The 2019 Chevy Volt is 180.4 inches long, 71.2 inches wide, and 56.4 inches high. It rides on a 106.1-inch wheelbase. The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is significantly larger than the Volt at 192.7 inches long, 73.9 inches wide, and 58.2 inches high. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid rides on a 108.3-inch wheelbase.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Volt

  • Traditional sedan styling
  • Surprisingly sporty touches

Advantage: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • Accord-inspired grille and front end

Interior

Inside, both plug-in hybrid sedans are very traditional, as there is little to indicate these are high-tech plug-in sedans. Both models also have great standard tech, including large touchscreens, comfortable seating, three-spoke steering wheels, and much more. Despite its wilder exterior, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s cabin is the more toned down of the two, as the Volt has extra satin-chrome trimming that the younger crowd may enjoy.

In its front seats, the 2019 Chevy Volt offers 37.8 inches of headroom, 42.1 inches of legroom, 56.5 inches of shoulder room, and 53.7 inches of hip room. The 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s front seats are far roomier with an extra 1.3 inches of headroom, 0.1 inches of legroom, 3.2 inches of shoulder room, and 2.1 inches of hip room.

In the rear, the 2019 Chevy Volt has 35.8 inches of headroom, 34.7 inches of legroom, 53.2 inches of shoulder room, and 51.3 inches of hip room. Like the front seats, the Clarity Hybrid’s larger body leads to a ton more room in the rear seats. It has 1.3 extra inches of headroom, 1.5 extra inches of legroom, 4.1 extra inches of shoulder room, and 4.3 extra inches of hip room.

 

Cargo room often takes a hit in plug-in hybrid cars due to their batteries eating up interior space. The Volt suffers from this with just 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid does a little better at 15.5 cubic feet but it still middle of the road in its class.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Volt

  • Accent trim adds extra style
  • Swoopier cabin

Advantage: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • Toned-down and refined interior
  • Roomier seating and trunk

Performance

The 2019 Chevy Volt uses the second-generation Voltec electric drive system that delivers 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque. This system’s 18.4-kilowatt-hour battery delivers a 53-mile all-electric range. Once you use up its range, a 1.5-liter high-efficiency gasoline-fueled generator kicks in to deliver another 367 miles of range for a 420-mile total driving range with a full charge and a full tank of fuel. The Volt’s torque-heavy electric motor delivers a respectable 8.4-second 0-to-60 time.

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid uses a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor that delivers a combined 212 horsepower. The Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has a 47-mile all-electric range, that combines with its engine’s range to deliver 340 miles of total driving range. Despite its lower power output, the 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid sprints to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds.

 

In the plug-in segment, charging times are important in the decision-making process. The Volt’s standard 120-volt charging cord delivers a sluggish 13-hour charging time. When hooked up to a 240-volt charger, the 3.6-kilowatt charging module refills the battery in 4.5 hours. Upgrading to the 7.2-kilowatt charging module drops the 240-volt charging time to just 2.25 hours.

The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In takes just 2.5 hours to charge on a 240-volt charger and 12 hours on a 120-volt charger.

 

EPA ratings are king in this class, and the Volt is respectable at 106 mpg-e on electric alone and 42 mpg combined when the gasoline generator kicks in. The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In has a slight advantage at 110 mpg-e but the same 42 mpg combined when using the gasoline generator.

 

Handling is not something plug-in hybrids are known for, but the 2019 Volt’s low-sitting battery pack and chassis do a good job keeping it planted on curvy roads. The Clarity Plug-In is not terrible in the corners, but it’s not great either. It is, however, supremely comfortable and keeps things quiet inside the cabin.

Advantage: 2019 Chevy Volt

  • Sharp handling
  • Big range advantage

Advantage: 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  • Comfortable ride
  • Slight EPA fuel-economy rating

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Chevy Volt has just two trim levels — LT and Premier — and their starting prices are $34,395 and $38,995, respectively.

 

The 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has two trim levels, base and Touring, and their starting prices range from $33,400 to $36,600.

2019 Chevy Volt Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LT: $34,395

  • 1.5-liter four-cylinder range-extender and electric motor
  • 18.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery
  • 3.6-kilowatt charger
  • Electric power steering
  • Electric parking brake
  • Regen on demand paddle
  • 17-inch five-spoke painted aluminum wheels
  • Body-color power mirrors
  • Front intermittent wipers
  • LED daytime running lights
  • LED headlights
  • LED taillights
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Chevrolet Infotainment System 3 with an 8-inch HD touchscreen
  • SiriusXM
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Teen Driver
  • Two USB ports
  • Vinyl shift knob
  • Vinyl steering wheel
  • Cruise control
  • Keyless open and start
  • Ambient LED lighting
  • OnStar
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Keyless entry
  • Remote ignition
  • Cloth seating
  • Single-zone automatic climate control
  • HD rearview camera

 

Premier: $38,995

  • All LT features, plus
  • 7.2-kilowatt-hour fast charger
  • 17-inch Ultra-Bright machined aluminum with painted pockets
  • Body-color heated power outside mirrors
  • Automatic heated driver and front passenger seats
  • Leather seating
  • Automatic heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Heated, power, body-color outside mirrors
  • Six-way power driver’s seat
  • Automatic park assist
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Base: $33,400

  • 1.5-liter engine and electric motor
  • Electric power steering
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Variable intermittent wipers
  • Security system
  • Remote keyless entry
  • LED taillights
  • LED turn signals
  • LED headlights
  • Body-color rear spoiler
  • Keyless entry with walk-away auto lock
  • Body-color power side-view mirrors
  • Fin-type antenna
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless ignition
  • HomeLink universal home remote
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down
  • Power door locks
  • Cruise control
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • LED map lights
  • Sunglasses holder
  • Front and rear 12-volt power outlets
  • Floor mats
  • Heated front seats
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • 180-watt eight-speaker audio system
  • 8-inch Display Audio System
  • HondaLink
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM
  • HD Radio
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Pandora radio
  • SMS text messaging function
  • 1-amp USB port
  • 1.5-amp USB charging port
  • Multi-angle rearview camera
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road-departure mitigation

 

Touring: $36,600

  • All base features, plus
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat with two-position memory
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • Perforated leather seating
  • Navigation with voice recognition

Who Should Buy the 2019 Chevy Volt?

The 2019 Chevy Volt is a great option for younger buyers looking for a more exciting plug-in design without it being too over the top. The Volt’s sportier handling also caters to the younger crowd.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid?

Buyers seeking a comfortable ride, a roomy cabin, and loads of features in a plug-in hybrid will find a perfect suitor in the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid.

Tackle your daily commute to Wheaton In style and with amazing fuel economy in the 2019 Chevy Volt. Head down to Sunrise Chevrolet today to take the 2019 Volt for a spin and fall in love with it. Whether your path takes you to Carol Stream every day or to Lombard for a weekend trim, the Volt can get you there and back without fuel. Can’t make it in for a test drive? Check out our online inventory to see if we have a 2019 Volt in stock that meets your needs.

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