2019 Hyundai Nexo

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2019 Hyundai Nexo Review

While there are a couple of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles available, most notably the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity, there's just one manufacturer claiming FCEV rights in arguably the fastest-growing vehicle segment of them all, crossovers. Hyundai claims this honor, and for 2019 has replaced the aged Tucson Fuel-Cell with an all-new, bespoke FCEV dubbed the Nexo. Available only in certain parts of the state of California, the Nexo promises an EPA-approved range of 380 miles from a full stock of hydrogen. With no other FCEV crossovers, the Nexo finds rivals in the form of the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity and looks to put up a good fight with a 161 horsepower electric motor with 291 lb-ft of twist. It's big on tech and offers greater convenience than traditional EVs, requiring just five minutes to refuel, but hydrogen filling stations are few and far between and priced between $58,300 and $61,800 for the two trims, the Nexo is expensive.

Read in this review:

8.1
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2019 Hyundai Nexo Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 Nexo?

The Hyundai Nexo is all-new for 2019, replacing the old Tucson FCEV with a bespoke fuel-cell platform, exclusive styling, and an all-new name for the Hyundai line-up.

Pros and Cons

  • Passenger and cargo volume not affected by fuel cell placement
  • The only FCEV crossover
  • All the benefits of an EV, all the convenience of combustion with five-minute refueling
  • Super quiet operation
  • High levels of tech
  • 380-mile EPA range is hugely impressive
  • Hydrogen refilling infrastructure is scarce in the USA
  • Expensive: nearly double the price of a Kona EV
  • Only available in selected areas of California
  • Slow acceleration for an electric drivetrain

Best Deals on 2019 Hyundai Nexo

2019 Hyundai Nexo Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Blue
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$58,300
Limited
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$61,800
See All 2019 Hyundai Nexo Trims and Specs

2019 Nexo Exterior

2019 Hyundai Nexo Front View Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Side View Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Front View 1 Hyundai
See All 2019 Hyundai Nexo Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 183.9 in
  • Wheelbase 109.8 in
  • Height 64.2 in
  • Max Width 73.2 in
  • Front Width 63.7 in
  • Rear Width 64.1 in
  • Curb Weight 3,990.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • White Pearl
  • Dusk Blue
  • Copper Metallic
  • Cocoon Silver

2019 Nexo Performance

2019 Hyundai Nexo Front View 2 Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Three Quarter Rear Left View Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Engine Hyundai

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    Hydrogen Fuel Cell
  • Transmission
    Single Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

One of the Nexo's big points weighing in its favor is just how much it drives like a regular crossover. While the electric motor might not be high on power, there's a useable chunk of torque that makes it feel at home in and around the city.

Electrically assisted steering is now a staple for Hyundai, and while its no more feelsome here than it is in any of the other Hyundais equipped with this numb setup, it's suitably weighted for everyday driving, erring on the slightly lighter side of things that'll make it a firm favorite with those who frequently navigate tight parking lots. There's no huge amount of feedback, and at highway speeds, it's a little too light, but it's not particularly bad and most will be happy with its directness and the fact that there aren't any dead spots.

A particular strong point is the Nexo's braking, which outstrips the Mirai and Clarity by some margin, not just in the effectiveness of the brakes but in the feel of the pedal and the way the regenerative functionality is blended with friction braking. There are, as is the case with the Kona Electric, three levels of regen controlled by steering-mounted paddles, and the system works well overall.

The suspension is well sorted too, though nowhere near as sporting as the Kona Electric which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It rides well, cruises quietly, and absorbs large bumps and crunching potholes rather well. Body roll is kept to a minimum, and mid-corner bumps are dealt with without much fuss or dishevelment. It's yet another solid effort from Hyundai who is proving lately to be the king of exceptional ride quality.

2019 Nexo Interior

2019 Hyundai Nexo Dashboard Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Infotainment System Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Driver and Passenger Right Side View Hyundai
See All 2019 Hyundai Nexo Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.5 in
  • Front Head Room 39.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.0 in

2019 Nexo Trunk and Cargo Space

2019 Hyundai Nexo Luggage Space Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Trunk Floor Storage Hyundai
2019 Hyundai Nexo Luggage Space 1 Hyundai

2019 Nexo Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    7 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    10 Years \ 100,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2019 Hyundai Nexo a good SUV?

The Nexo is hugely compelling in a market where FCVs are few and far between. For the same money as you can buy a Toyota Mirai the Nexo not only gives you a popular, practical crossover, but it gives you a huge range, the convenience of a five-minute fill-up, loads of standard tech, and high levels of safety. Interior space, driving refinement, and a competitive price are further benefits, but the relative lack of hydrogen filling stations and the California-only availability of the Nexo are downsides that stunt the Nexo's practical usability. Still, if you're one of those that loves the idea of early adoption, the Nexo is without a doubt the best FCV available on the market.

2019 Hyundai Nexo Comparisons

Honda Clarity Fuel Cell
Hyundai Kona Electric
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Hyundai Nexo161 hp65/58 mpg$59,435
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell 174 hp68/67 mpg$58,490
Hyundai Kona Electric 201 hp132/108 mpg$34,000

2019 Hyundai Nexo vs Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

There aren't many fuel-cell vehicles around, but it's these two that top the lists of the best available. However, there are differences. Honda leases the Clarity, while you can actually buy a Hyundai Nexo, with two choices of varying specification levels to suit your budget and desires, and with both trims comprehensively beating the Clarity for specification and luxury. The Nexo's infotainment is vastly better too, as is its 380-mile range. Not just that, but the Nexo drives better from a ride and handling perspective, and trades on the current fad of crossover styled vehicles, bringing with it the full-sized cargo bay of 29.6 cubic feet that simply decimates the Clarity's setup. The Nexo is the best fuel cell vehicle around.

See Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Review

2019 Hyundai Nexo vs Hyundai Kona Electric

Perhaps the Nexo's greatest rival comes rfom within the Hyundai stable, as the Kona Electric panders to the electric craze sweeping the world. While the Nexo offers greater convenience than the Kona from a refuel/recharge perspective, the Kona matches the Nexo for approcximate driving range. However, the Kona is smaller than the Nexo by some margin, and offers less seating room, less cargo volume, and less in the way of fancy features and innovative infotainment systems. But the Kona performs phenomenally - driving like a hot hatch rather than an eco-friendly electric crossover. However, what really seals things in favor of the Kona Electric is its nationwide availability, which we feel compensates sufficiently for the inconvenience of having to charge your vehicle overnight instead of stopping at a filling station.

See Hyundai Kona Electric Review
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