2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Vs. 2020 Toyota Prius Prime

By Justin Cupler | August 6th, 2020

 Plug-in hybrids offer a bridge between traditional cars and electric vehicles with their shorter EV ranges and backup hybrid powertrains to keep the car running after the battery runs out. Two great options in this segment are the 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and 2020 Toyota Prius Prime.

Which is the better option for our Rochester area hybrid shoppers? Find out below.

Exterior

The Honda Clarity lineup hit showrooms in 2017 with a striking look that included a bold nose with L-shaped accent lights, an Accord-inspired grille, a swoopy roofline, and small wheel skirts for enhanced aerodynamics. This wild look may be a little over the top for some buyers, but others who enjoy bold styling that stands out in a crowd will love it.

 

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime also boasts an interesting design, but it is pretty toned down next to the Honda Clarity Plug-In. It boasts thin LED headlights, sleek vertical LED accent lights, a shallow-raked rear liftgate, striking LED taillights, and more.

 

 

In terms of size, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is a fairly large vehicle. At 192.7 inches long, 73.9 inches wide, and 58.2 inches tall. This makes it 9.6 inches longer, 4.6 inches wider, and 0.3 inches taller than the Prius Prime. It is also up to 694 pounds heavier than the Prius Prime.

 

 

The 2020 Honda Clarity Hybrid is relatively well-equipped on the outside from its base level. Its standard exterior features include 18-inch alloy wheels, variable-intermittent windshield wipers, a security system with remote entry, LED taillights, a rear decklid spoiler, Smart Entry With Walk Away Auto lock®, body-color power mirrors, a shark-fin antenna, LED turn signals, LED headlights with automatic on and off, and LED daytime running lights.

 

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime is similarly equipped compared to the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, but it has smaller 15-inch wheels to help with efficiency. Its other standard exterior features include variable-intermittent windshield wipers, a carbon-fiber-reinforced liftgate, quad-LED projector headlights with automatic off, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, a touch-to-lock and -unlock driver’s door, an active grille shutter, heated power mirrors, and remote climate control.

 

Measurement 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2020 Toyota Prius Prime
Length (in.) 192.7 182.9
Width (in.) 73.9 69.3
Height (in.) 58.2 57.9
Wheelbase (in.) 108.3 106.3
Ground Clearance (in.) N/A 5.1
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,052-4,059 3,365-3,375

 

Advantage: 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  •       Bold design language
  •       Larger standard wheels

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Prius Prime

  •       Toned-down design
  •       Smaller and easier to manage in traffic

Interior

Inside, the wild-styled 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In takes a leap toward the traditional with a relatively timid dash design with a focus on horizontal lines, a large infotainment touchscreen, and other bits you’d expect to see in any other car on the market. Its push-button transmission gives it a bit of a futuristic feel, but this is becoming commonplace in Honda vehicles.

 

The 2020 Prius Prime’s interior is far more advanced looking with its winglike gloss-black accents that shot across the dash from the center stack. Also adding to its advanced looks are the center-mounted gauges, the funky gear shifter, and the massive available 11.6-inch touchscreen. While these features make the Prius’ interior look more futuristic than the Clarity Plug-In, this cabin is far from over the top in this area.

 

 

The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid offers plenty of roominess up front with 39.1 inches of headroom, 42.2 inches of legroom, 59.7 inches of shoulder room, and 55.5 inches of shoulder room. While these measurements beat the Prius Prime by 5.5 inches in shoulder room and 2.1 inches in hip room, they come up short by 0.3 inches in headroom and 1 inch in legroom.

 

 

In the rear seats, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s 36.2 inches of legroom, 57.3 inches of shoulder room, and 55.6 inches of hip room beat the Prius Prime by 2.8 inches, 4.3 inches, and 4 inches, respectively.

 

As for standard interior features, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid boasts heated front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button ignition, HomeLink® universal home remote, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power windows with one-touch up/down, power door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Illuminated vanity mirrors, LED map lights, a sunglasses holder, an eight-speaker 180-watt audio system, an 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen, HondaLink®, Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™,    SiriusXM® radio, HD Radio™, Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming. Remote climate control, and more.

 

The 2020 Toyota Prius is similarly equipped with its standard 4.2-inch color multi-information display, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, SofTex leatherette-trimmed steering wheel, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, digital instrumentation, heated front seats, power windows with one-touch up and down, power door locks, Apple CarPlay®, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming, and more.

 

The Prius comes up a little short in the infotainment area with just a 7-inch standard touchscreen and a six-speaker audio system. But its standard in-car Wi-Fi® makes up for it.

 

Measurement 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2020 Toyota Prius Prime
Front headroom (in.) 39.1 39.4
Front legroom (in.) 42.2 43.2
Front shoulder room (in.) 59.7 54.2
Front hip room (in.) 55.8 53.7
Rear headroom (in.) 37.1 37.2
Rear legroom (in.) 36.2 33.4
Rear shoulder room (in.) 57.3 53
Rear hip room (in.) 55.6 51.6
Cargo room (cu. ft.) 15.5 19.8

 

Advantage: 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  •       Roomier seating
  •       Clean interior design
  •       Better equipped

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Prius Prime

  •       More advanced-looking interior
  •       More cargo room

Performance

The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid comes standard with a 103-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that pairs with a 181-horsepower electric drive motor to produce 212 combined horsepower. This power heads to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission and sprints the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid to 60 mph in a zippy 7.7 seconds. This relatively quick acceleration makes the Clarity feel more like a traditional car than most other plug-in hybrids, especially the Prius Prime.

 

 

The Prius Prime pairs a 95-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a 71-horsepower electric motor for a combined 121 horsepower. With so much less power, the Prius Prime is significantly slower than the Clarity, strolling to 60 mph in 10.2 seconds in hybrid mode and 12.2 seconds in electric mode.

 

 

Acceleration is great and all, but these plug-in models are all about efficiency over performance. The 2020 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid delivers up to 47 miles of all-electric driving after a 2.5-hour charge on a 240-volt charger or 12 hours on a 120-volt household plug. This range amounts to a 110-mpg-e rating. Once the battery runs out, it delivers 44 mpg city, 40 highway, and 42 combined in hybrid mode.

 

The 2020 Prius Prime is dramatically slower but makes up for this in its efficiency. It can drive only 25 miles on electricity alone, but it requires far less draw on your electricity, as it takes just 2.2 hours to recharge on a 240-volt charger and 5.5 hours on a 120-volt household plug. This amounts to a 133 mpg-e rating. One the battery runs out, the Prius Prime remains superior at 55 mpg city, 53 highway, and 54 combined in hybrid mode.

 

2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid 2020 Toyota Prius Prime
Engine 1.5-liter 4-cyl 1.8-liter 4-cyl
Engine horsepower 103 hp at 5,500 rpm 95 hp at 5,200 rpm
Engine torque 99 lb-ft at 5,000 rpm 105 lb-ft
Motor AC permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor AC permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor
Motor horsepower 181 hp at 5,000-6,000 rpm 71 hp
Motor torque 232 lb ft at 0-2,000 rpm N/A
System output 212 hp 121 hp
Transmission Single-speed E-CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
Battery 17-kWh lithium-ion 8.8-kWh lithium-ion
Charging time 2.5 hrs at 240V/12 hrs at 120V 2.2 hrs at 240V/5.5 hrs at 120V
0-60 time 7.7 seconds 10.2 seconds (hybrid mode)/12.2 seconds (EV mode)
EV Range 47 miles 25 miles
MPG-E 110 133
MPG City 44 55
MPG Highway 40 53
MPG Combined 42 54

 

Advantage: 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

  •       Drives more like a traditional sedan
  •       Quick acceleration for its class
  •       Longer EV range
  •       Respectable handling

Advantage: 2020 Toyota Prius Prime

  •       Superior fuel economy
  •       Quicker charging

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid has just two trim levels — base and Touring — and their starting prices range from $33,400 to $36,600.

The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime has three trim levels: LE, XLE, Limited. Their starting prices range from $27,750 to $33,650.

2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Base: $33,400

  •       1.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       AC permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       One-speed transmission
  •       Electric power steering
  •       17-kWh lithium-ion battery pack
  •       6.6-kW onboard charger
  •       18-inch alloy wheels
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Security system with remote entry
  •       LED taillights
  •       Rear decklid spoiler
  •       Smart Entry With Walk Away Auto lock®
  •       Body-color power mirrors
  •       Shark-fin antenna
  •       LED turn signals
  •       LED headlights with automatic on and off
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Heated front seats
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       Cloth upholstery
  •       Dual-zone automatic climate control
  •       Push-button 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
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       LED map lights
  •       Sunglasses holder
  •       Cargo-area light
  •       Floor mats
  •       Eight-speaker 180-watt audio system
  •       8-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  •       HondaLink®
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Android Auto™
  •       SiriusXM® radio
  •       HD Radio™
  •       Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming
  •       SMS text messaging function
  •       1.0- and 1.5-amp USB ports in the lower front console
  •       Remote climate control
  •       Electric parking brake with automatic brake hold
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Road-departure mitigation
  •       Adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow
  •       Lane-keep assist
  •       Forward-collision warning
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Honda LaneWatch™
  •       Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines

Touring: $36,600

  •       All Base features, plus
  •       Satellite-linked navigation
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Eight-way power driver’s seat
  •       Four-way power passenger’s seat
  •       Perforated leather seating

2020 Toyota Prius Prime Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LE: $27,750

  •       1.8-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       AC permanent-magnet synchronous electric motor
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       E-CVT
  •       15-inch five-spoke alloy wheels
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Carbon-fiber-reinforced liftgate
  •       Quad-LED projector headlights with automatic off
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       LED taillights
  •       Touch-to-lock and -unlock driver’s door
  •       Active grille shutter
  •       Heated power mirrors
  •       Remote climate control
  •       4.2-inch color multi-information display
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seat
  •       SofTex leatherette-trimmed steering wheel
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Digital instrumentation
  •       Cloth seats
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Power windows with one-touch up and down
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       Power door locks
  •       Cargo-area light
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system
  •       7-inch touchscreen
  •       Scout GPS Link
  •       Siri Eyes Free
  •       Apple CarPlay®
  •       Amazon Alexa
  •       USB port
  •       Two USB charging ports
  •       Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming
  •       In-car Wi-Fi® (data plan required)
  •       SiriusXM®
  •       Integrated rearview camera
  •       Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  •       Lane-departure warning with steering assist
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Full-speed dynamic radar cruise control
  •       Stolen vehicle locator
  •       Roadside assistance
  •       Automatic collision notification

XLE: $29,650

  •       All LE features, plus
  •       Automatic on/off headlights
  •       Smart charging cable lock
  •       Touch-to-unlock on three doors
  •       Predictive fuel-efficient drive
  •       SofTex leatherette-trimmed seats
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Wireless charging pad
  •       Navigation
  •       11.6-inch touchscreen
  •       HD Radio™

Limited: $33,650

  •       All XLE features, plus
  •       LED fog lights
  •       LED accent lights
  •       Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  •       Heated steering wheel
  •       Auto0dimming rearview mirror
  •       HomeLink® universal home remote
  •       10-speaker JBL audio system
  •       Color head-up display
  •       Parking sensors
  •       Blind-spot monitors

Who Should Buy the 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

The 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid with its long range is a great option for buyers with longer commutes who want to use nothing but electricity. Also, with its roomier cabin, this plug-in model is great for a family.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Toyota Prius Prime

Buyers seeking the thriftiest model they can get will find this in the Prius Prime. Sure, it may have less EV range, but its mpg and mpg-e ratings are superior.

 

Is the 2020 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid the right green model for you? Head down to Garber Honda serving Rochester, Henrietta, Pittsford, and the surrounding areas to test drive this thrifty sedan. Can’t make it to our Rochester area new-Honda showroom today? You can also navigate to our online inventory page, choose a few in-stock Clarity Plug-In Hybrid models that suit your needs, and schedule a test drive around your busy life.

 

Disclaimer: MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $955.00 destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.

Disclaimer: 110 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 44 city/40 highway/42 combined MPG gasoline-only rating. 47-mile maximum EV mode driving-range rating. 340-mile combined gas-electric driving-range rating. Based on 2021 EPA ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.