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.
Hyundai introduced the Nexo SUV to the USA in 2019 and it has received no significant updates in the interim.
See trim levels and configurations:
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
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.
Deciding which 2021 Nexo model to go for is wholly dependent on your preference, with the one real deciding factor being between driving range or features. The entry-spec Blue offers the best in driving range, offering up to 380 miles with a full tank, which is 26 miles more than the Limited's 354 miles. The Limited does come with more features than the Blue, however, including premium comforts and conveniences such as a heated steering wheel, front-seat ventilation, a sunroof, a surround-view camera, and a hands-free tailgate. The infotainment system in the Limited is also upgraded with a premium eight-speaker audio setup. That's still not all too much more than what the Blue comes with as standard. So if you're not completely drawn by the handful of additional luxury features the Limited model offers over the Blue, the lengthier driving range and good selection of features the Blue still make it a very compelling offer.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Hyundai Nexo: