When you review cars for a living and spend your life hopping from new car to new car each and every week, you are bound to land in something that changes your perception of personal transportation forever. The only car we have found to be truly capable of doing this was quite surprisingly, a “green technology” vehicle meant to save the Earth from the catastrophe of our waning supply of fossil fuels and our preternatural need to poison our atmosphere.
The thing is, this vehicle was so fun to drive that we used up all of the hydrogen in the tank twice—and attention Leaf owners, this Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen Powered sedan traveled about 230 miles each tankful which makes it feasible as a daily driver. Yes, that would of course mean we would have to install hydrogen refueling pumps at every local gas station in the country but isn’t that what is going to be required for electric vehicles? Can’t we have more than one option as to what powers our new car in 2025?
If you just don’t think Hydrogen is safe, do note that the kind used in cars is no more flammable than gasoline and since Honda designed a whole new platform for the FCX Clarity, they also placed the fuel cell at the very center of the vehicle so the likelihood of it ever leaking out in the event of an accident is very low. And if it did, it’s a gas and would disappear into the atmosphere unlike liquid fossil fuels which leak on the ground.
Beyond all of the technology is the simple fact that Honda FCX Clarity Hydrogen powered sedan is more fun to drive than any hybrid, any electric car or anything that runs on ethanol. The Clarity rides, steers and handles with the precision of an Accord yet it does so to the accompaniment of an unearthly hum when you floor the throttle leaving little doubt about how annoying it is to drive a hybrid with those moaning CVT automatics.
Piloting the Honda FCX Clarity makes you feel like you are flying a transport shuttle up to the Starship Enterprise on “Star Trek.” At cruising speeds it is silence but the sound is so cool you’ll want to hear it again and again. It’s too bad that Honda isn’t able to mass produce this car as it got as many complements on the styling during 4 days in our care as it did people wanting to know more about the hydrogen system.
Beware, drive a Honda FCX Clarity and you just might start looking at other “green” models as hopelessly out of date. (Note: Honda does build Clarity models periodically and you can see what it takes to be selected under their program requirements to lease this car for three years. First off, make sure you live in Southern California where all of the hydrogen refueling stations are located.)