2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan Hydrogen Hero

On occasion, we journalists are allowed to step through the virtual time machine and sample a manufacturer's greatest hits of yesteryear. You've seen the stories: new M3 versus BMW's museum-piece E30 original! Well, Honda has its own collection – mostly regular old cars that should've been beat to hell long ago, but instead are sitting there in showroom condition. There's a teal '90 Accord wagon with dope plastic wheel covers with my name all over it.

But today, that time machine's going the other way. Sure, the headline and badge reads 2017 Honda Clarity, but it sure as heck looks, feels, and drives like a 2022 Honda Accord. The dimensions would be consistent with a next-next-generation midsize sedan, the look is familiar but evolutionarily advanced, and the cabin is different enough without being concept-car kooky. Oh yeah, and it's powered by hydrogen.

That's obviously its most futuristic element, but Honda's latest hydrogen fuel cell powertrain is also why the Clarity feels less like a low-volume science project of today and more like a regular car beamed in from tomorrow. Get behind the wheel and it accelerates like an electric car with no weird noises or sensations. The steering, the brakes, and the handling in general are Accord normal. Look around the cabin and you'll see five seats uncompromised by odd bulges disguising powertrain components. Much as the real cars of 2015 didn't fly, the ones from 2022 aren't likely to be that different, either.

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