2021 Hyundai Nexo

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2021 Hyundai Nexo Review: The Real Eco-Warrior

by Aiden Eksteen

Electric vehicles are the future, but are they really eco-friendly? That depends on where the electricity they utilize is sourced from, and while most EVs draw power from the grid, the 2021 Hyundai Nexo gets it from the most abundant resource in the world: hydrogen. The Nexo SUV is powered by a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell that, through converting hydrogen into electricity, generates up to 161 horsepower for the front wheels. That's enough to get the compact crossover moving, and with up to 380 miles of driving range, there's really no reason not to own a Nexo - unless you live anywhere outside of California, that is. With the hydrogen refueling network limited to the state of California, it would only make sense to purchase the Nexo or one of its very few alternatives, the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity Fuel Cell, if you live there. If not, then the Hyundai Tucson and Volvo XC40 Recharge may be more logical choices. With its $58,935 starting price, the 2021 Hyundai Nexo SUV is a pricey car, but it offers superb value for the money and is one of the most eco-friendly cars money can buy.

Read in this review:

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2021 Hyundai Nexo Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Nexo?

Hyundai introduced the Nexo SUV to the USA in 2019 and it has received no significant updates in the interim.

Pros and Cons

  • Impressive H20-only driving range
  • Spacious and comfortable interior
  • A-grade technology and features
  • Superb IIHS-specified safety rating
  • Mundane and unengaging drive dynamics
  • Hydrogen technology is still expensive
  • Hydrogen fueling network is very limited
  • Powertrain reliability is still uncertain

Best Deals on 2021 Hyundai Nexo

2021 Hyundai Nexo Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Single Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Hyundai Nexo Trims and Specs

2021 Nexo Exterior

2021 Hyundai Nexo Front View Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Side View Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Front View 1 Hyundai
See All 2021 Hyundai Nexo Exterior Photos


  • 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

2021 Nexo Performance

2021 Hyundai Nexo Front View 2 Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Three Quarter Rear Left View Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Engine Hyundai

Engine and Transmission

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

2021 Nexo Interior

2021 Hyundai Nexo Dashboard Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Infotainment System Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Driver and Passenger Right Side View Hyundai
See All 2021 Hyundai Nexo Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

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

2021 Nexo Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Hyundai Nexo Luggage Space Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Trunk Floor Storage Hyundai
2021 Hyundai Nexo Luggage Space 1 Hyundai

2021 Nexo Safety and Reliability


  • 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
  • Maintenance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Hyundai Nexo a good SUV?

There's a lot the 2021 Hyundai Nexo has to offer as a modern SUV and especially as a hydrogen-powered vehicle. Though it is to no extent exciting to drive, that was never its intent. The Nexo is a pleasant cruiser designed to be easy-going and efficient. With its PEMFC powertrain, acceleration responses are instant due to low down torque, but it tapers off quickly, and with driving ranges spanning from 354 to 380 miles, you don't have to worry about range anxiety and refueling regularly as you might with a regular electric car. Unfortunately, you can only buy a Nexo in California, where you'll also find the only proper hydrogen-refueling network. As hydrogen cars are such a rare breed, it's a seller's market and prices show as much. Should more embrace the technology, that may very well change. What few hydrogen-powered vehicles do exist in the US, however, are superb.

The Nexo sports a rather home-spun aesthetic, but it has a featureful and spacious cabin, and is fairly practical. Only the IIHS has subjected the Hyundai Nexo to review but awarded it with their coveted Top Safety Pick+ award by virtue of its superb design and comprehensive driver-assist and safety feature consignment. It's an expensive investment at the moment, but it's one of the only alternative-fuel cars that is genuinely eco-friendly.

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