It’s very early days to have many benchmarks for production-ready fuel-cell cars but, thanks to the Mirai road test, we do have some – and so compare we must.
And although it didn’t beat the Mirai in every respect for which we recorded objective figures, the Clarity outperformed its rival in most.
Needing 9.0sec to hit 60mph from rest, the Clarity is not only almost precisely as accelerative as Honda claims, but it’s also more than a second quicker than the Toyota and about as quick as the average modern four-cylinder diesel executive saloon.
In fact, the Clarity not only neatly avoids being vulnerable to criticism for its performance, but it actually does a better job than a conventionally fuelled rival in one or two ways, too.
Because the car’s electric motor drives the wheels directly and therefore peak torque is behind you once you’re beyond around 40mph, performance feels strong at low speeds and increasingly less strong as you accelerate onwards.
But pedal response is always excellent and that makes driveability first-rate, particularly around town. There isn’t really any accelerative increment over which the Clarity is quicker than, say, a BMW 520d. (It might have been over 0-20mph, but we don’t measure that.)