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Discussion Starter #1
My family is shopping for a new car with the following requirements:


  • Plug in with a range of at least 25 miles (I have a 22 mile round trip commute with free charging at work)
  • Decent cargo space - good family car
  • Affordable
  • Good efficiency
  • Is fun to drive
I test drove the Niro PHEV last weekend and liked it a lot. Because of our cargo requirement we weren't thinking of either the clarity or ioniq but in looking at them more they're both bigger than the niro. With it's lower price tag, longer EV range, and hatchback style I'm really wondering about the ioniq. I'm going to try to test drive both this week but am curious to hear others experiences if they've tried these cars. If they're functionally smaller than the niro I think we'd just go ahead with the niro as we both really liked it.
 

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My family is shopping for a new car with the following requirements:


  • Plug in with a range of at least 25 miles (I have a 22 mile round trip commute with free charging at work)
  • Decent cargo space - good family car
  • Affordable
  • Good efficiency
  • Is fun to drive
I test drove the Niro PHEV last weekend and liked it a lot. Because of our cargo requirement we weren't thinking of either the clarity or ioniq but in looking at them more they're both bigger than the niro. With it's lower price tag, longer EV range, and hatchback style I'm really wondering about the ioniq. I'm going to try to test drive both this week but am curious to hear others experiences if they've tried these cars. If they're functionally smaller than the niro I think we'd just go ahead with the niro as we both really liked it.
for me, ride height, ease of exit and entry, won it for the niro
 

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The Ioniq is longer and technically can carry more styrofoam peanuts. The Niro has better rear legroom and headroom. If you are going to doing mostly EV miles, the Ioniq aero advantage is largely irrelevant.

I don’t remember the reasons why, but is seems most cross shopping these cars reject the Honda.
 

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I looked at the Ioniq and went with the Niro. Most important is I liked the ease of entry and exit due to the height. It seemed roomier in the rear seat area (I put a 60# Labrador on the floor regularly). And the ability to carry bigger loads with the back seats down won over the slightly bigger CF of the Ioniq trunk.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the responses. There's a 2019 Honda Clarity at a dealer near me (East Coast) so at least for now they're not limited to California.

I have a small child, who is most often going to be the only passenger in the back. I occasionally drive other adults but I'm from a short family and very few people I'd be driving around are tall, so while I'd like it to be comfortable in the back that's not on the top of my list. With this vehicle I'm hoping to get the most storage space for camping and weekends away. I currently have an older honda accord and the only time it's too small is in those instances.
 

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I drove the Clarity a couple of times, and my son-in-law has an Ioniq HEV (not plug-in).

For me, the Ioniq isn't as comfortable a place to be. It feels a little more cramped in the seating area, the infotainment system has a smaller screen (he has the mid-level trim), and I really don't like the view out the back window in the mirror. During braking, it makes little noises that I don't hear in the Niro, even though the Ioniq and Niro PHEV is basically the same powertrain. Overall, I just don't feel as comfortable driving it. I don't think it would be any different for me if his was the PHEV version. But he likes it, and even with his lead foot he gets over 50 MPG.

The Clarity is a much larger car, but I discovered that when the rear seats are folded down the opening between the seating area and the trunk isn't full size, so capacity isn't as good as it could be. When the Clarity has a charged battery, it drives pretty nice. The first one I drove had zero battery charge, and between the CVT and the droning engine, I couldn't stand the racket. After about 2 miles it calmed down, but it's a completely different animal with a charged battery. Also, the Clarity has zero electric information on the dash, both while driving and while charging. Other than the battery range indicator (and probably a regen gauge, I can't remember) it tells you nothing. When you plug it in, there's a little green light by the plug telling you its charging. No dash display of any kind telling you time to charge, nothing. Oh, and the infotainment screen is both not very attractive and is also quite sluggish when touching the screen.

That said, the Clarity certainly has the best EV range short of a Volt. But I decided it was larger than I needed, I didn't care for its uncharged operation, and frankly it isn't as nice looking as the Niro (in my opinion, obviously). After three months, I am still certain I made the right choice.
 

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The Niro is a great car and at the top of my short list, primarily due to its form factor -- I love wagons!

However, since the Chevy Volt has been mentioned -- it may be heresy to say this here you -- might want to consider that also. It is actually quite a good car that has double electric only the range of the Niro.

It's form is closer the Ioniq which means that it is lower & doesn't have the same ease of entry & exit that the Niro has -- a major factor for many Niro buyers. Less of a factor for those who have smaller stature and are younger.

Actually the cars mentioned here very good cars. It comes down to what fits your family needs and budget best. Of course the Korean models have the 10 yr warranty advantage. A great source for detailed info and real world comparisons of these models is Alex on Autos. He has a great videos that run 25-30 for each model. Well worth your time IMO.:nerd:

We would love to hear what you choose and why!
 

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If you're cross shopping the Ioniq vs. Clarity vs. Niro then I would put the Volt on that list as well. I used to own a Volt and it is the superior PHEV/EREV of the 4 in terms of range/battery management/transmission/less frequent maintenance. However, it is not the most comfortable. I have test driven and know people that own the Ioniq/Clarity/& Niro and those will be much more comfortable in terms of seat comfort. What made me switch in the end from the Volt to the Niro was the seat comfort, crossover seating position, crossover ground clearance, and roof rails for bikes/camping cargo/etc.

I do miss the range of the Volt, the single reduction gear transmission (very smooth like a CVT no gear changes), and the less frequent maintenance, but I'm much more comfortable in the Niro PHEV and I really enjoy the sunroof, ventilated seats, roof rails, raised seating position, and back seat passenger room that it provides. It's a tough decision with so many options out there. The Outlander PHEV is also an option if you need more room as is the Pacifica PHEV. Best advice is to go try them all and make an informed decision after that.
 

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The Pacifica PHEV is tough to beat if you need the room. My daughter easily get 1500 miles on a tank of gas. It has just enough EV range (32 EPA) to allow her to commute completely EV unless the engine needs to run for heat. Even once the battery is depleted, she still gets 30 MPG or better. And this is a full size 3 row minivan with all the bells and whistles. But if you don't need that much room, I'm (obviously) a big fan of the Niro PHEV. I just wish I had a bit more EV range. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I tried the Ioniq, and if price and efficiency were my only factors I think that would be what we go with. The dealer didn't have it charged up so I had to try it in HEV mode, but it was a nice car. Compared to the Niro it felt really low (not a problem for us but I prefer the Niro position), and for me the deal breaker is I don't think you can ultimately fit more cargo in the Ioniq than the Niro. As others have said here I didn't love the split window in the back of the Ioniq, I could live with it if I had to but again not ideal.

The volts are no longer eligible for the federal tax credit so that ultimately takes them off our list. We really would prefer a minivan or crossover which is how we ended up at the Niro.

I'm glad someone here mentioned the tiny pass through space on the honda clarity. That's a deal breaker for us as we want to be able to haul a good amount of stuff. The Mitsuibishi Outlander is bigger than we need I think.

I just realized that the Pacifica is eligible for a $7500 tax credit and there are affordable 2018 models available near us so we're going to try that one next. The Niro is much more my style but the Pacifica seems like it could be really practical also.
 

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I just realized that the Pacifica is eligible for a $7500 tax credit and there are affordable 2018 models available near us so we're going to try that one next. The Niro is much more my style but the Pacifica seems like it could be really practical also.
The Pacifica is a great car and gets great reviews. The minus is that it will certainly cost more for maintenance, and the warranty is not as good.
 

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The volts are no longer eligible for the federal tax credit so that ultimately takes them off our list. We really would prefer a minivan or crossover which is how we ended up at the Niro.

I'm glad someone here mentioned the tiny pass through space on the honda clarity. That's a deal breaker for us as we want to be able to haul a good amount of stuff. The Mitsuibishi Outlander is bigger than we need I think.
The Volt is still eligible for a partial tax credit. Until Sept 30 it's $3750 (half the full amount), then Oct 1 it drops again to $1875. It's completely gone on April 1, 2020.

Make sure you actually look at the passthrough space on the Clarity. What I saw was an online video that showed the host barely able to pass himself through the opening. That was too small for my possible needs, but it might work for you.

While it's still to early for any long term opinion, my daughter has had her Pacifica for about a year with zero maintenance beyond the scheduled stuff. But yticolev is certainly correct that KIA and Hyundai have much better warranties.

I feel the same about the lower seating position in the Ioniq. Not as bad as my daughter's GTI, but still too low for this senior citizen. :D
 

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yes, only 10% ice mile isn't too bad but I feel unclean every time the ice turns on.
I cringe when it fires up. I made a 250 mile trip on Monday, and have to go about 150 tomorrow, so this tank is going to suck. After 342 MPG with my last quarter-tank, this one's going to really irk me since I know I probably won't be able to get it back up over 100. :crying:
 

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yes, only 10% ice mile isn't too bad but I feel unclean every time the ice turns on.
Other than turning on sport mode to get up to 80 getting on the freeway, I am alarmed for a moment every time it comes on. Seems like something has gone wrong for a second, then I realize it is just the engine turning on...which is something going wrong, just a little.
 
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