2020 Hyundai Nexo review: This hydrogen fuel-cell SUV deserves your attention

    The Nexo is the best-looking hydrogen-powered automobile on the market.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    We’ve been listening to for many years that hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles could be the long run, but it surely’s by no means actually occurred. Sure, there have been some limited-run manufacturing vehicles just like the Honda FCX, in addition to numerous ideas and prototypes. But proper now, and provided that you reside in California, there are simply three hydrogen-powered vehicles you should buy: the Honda Clarity, Toyota Mirai and Hyundai Nexo. After spending per week with a Nexo I can safely say that it is the better of the bunch. And if you may make hydrogen life be just right for you, it is a implausible all-around crossover besides. 

    LikeFantastic inside stylingExtremely quiet and composed rideLong driving varyTons of tech onboard

    Don’t LikeSlow acceleration and no AWDFilling up is usually a acheOnly accessible in California

    First, a fast primer of how the Nexo truly works. The hydrogen gas is saved in a tank underneath the ground of the automobile. That hydrogen will get despatched to the fuel-cell stack, the place it is mixed with oxygen from the air intakes in an electrochemical response, creating electrical energy and water. A single motor on the Nexo’s entrance axle makes use of that electrical energy to drive the entrance wheels, producing 161 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. The water is dumped out beneath the automobile, which you too can do on command on the press of a button (I’m not precisely positive why).
    2020 Hyundai Nexo is a good-looking, concept-like hydrogen crossover
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    The EPA says the bottom Nexo Blue has a variety of 380 miles, with the Nexo Limited (like my check automobile) getting a 354-mile vary due to its bigger wheels. That bests the vary of each EV this aspect of a Tesla Model S, and it is even higher than the entire vary of many gas-powered vehicles. I discover the Nexo’s vary readout to be very correct if not truly pessimistic at instances; after 260 miles of driving I nonetheless have a few third of a tank left, with the Nexo saying I’ve round 120 miles of vary. And not like an electrical automobile, refueling the Nexo at a hydrogen station takes simply 5 minutes, like filling up a conventional automobile with fuel, although hydrogen is dearer.

    Driving the Nexo is just about like driving every other electrical automobile. Hyundai says the Nexo will speed up to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds but it surely feels faster than that, and also you get the acquainted, satisfying punch of instantaneous EV torque off the road. The steering is not too gentle, an issue that a variety of EVs have, and the Nexo is definitely fairly enjoyable to chuck right into a nook.The Nexo has regenerative braking, which has three adjustable depth settings or might be turned off totally. While I’m at all times joyful to have regen and the Nexo’s system works effectively, I want the automobile had true one-pedal driving capabilities, like an EV. The Nexo will gradual manner down in essentially the most intense regen setting, however even at decrease speeds you continue to have to hit the brakes to return to an entire cease.

    There’s no frunk underneath the hood.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    Without any hyperbole, the Nexo is likely one of the quietest and comfiest vehicles this aspect of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The suspension damping is classy, even with the 19-inch wheels, and it isn’t unsettled by even the largest potholes and bumps. A bit of little bit of wind noise and tire noise makes its manner into the cabin, however in any other case the Nexo is useless silent. It’s an especially calming automobile each to drive and be pushed in, and even after lengthy journeys I get out feeling refreshed.

    A hydrogen automobile that is handsomeUnlike the, shall we embrace, divisive Mirai and Clarity, the Nexo’s good-looking design would not shout, “Hey, I’m a weird car powered by something future-ish.” I feel that is a great factor. Sure, the Nexo does look a bit like an idea automobile with unusual design quirks like its waterfall grille, flush door handles and triangular LED lights, however principally it simply blends in. If you are going to get a Nexo, I implore you to decide on the rose gold paint coloration, not less than.The Nexo’s inside is the true star right here, particularly within the two-tone Stone Gray coloration scheme of my check automobile. All of the upholstery is vegan leatherette that feels nice, however unusually the steering wheel is wrapped in actual leather-based. A horizontal faux-metal strip that accommodates the air vents runs throughout the size of the sprint, and comparable trim is discovered on the door panels. The massive, raised heart console is likely one of the finest components of the inside, with a bunch of analog buttons and knobs that give it a 1990’s hi-fi stereo vibe. I do not even thoughts the push-button shifter controls, and I particularly love the fab two-spoke steering wheel.The Nexo has one of many coolest interiors round.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    Interior area and cargo room are about on par with the outgoing Hyundai Tucson, however the Nexo has the good thing about a flat flooring inside. There’s numerous cupboard space underneath the middle console, together with USB ports and a wi-fi charging pad, however I want there was a couple of cupholder accessible for the motive force. The entrance seats are snug and supportive, and I like the fabric trim and orange accents all through. The 60/40-split rear bench is nice, too, and it folds virtually fully flat. (There’s no frunk although, because the area underneath the hood is taken up by all types of powertrain {hardware}.)A 7-inch digital gauge cluster and 12.3-inch central display screen are commonplace, with the principle infotainment show managed by way of contact or a knob on the console. The gauge cluster can show issues like nav data, journey knowledge or my private favourite, an power stream graphic displaying precisely what the powertrain is doing. The infotainment system is essentially the identical card-based setup you will discover in different new Hyundais just like the Sonata, however the Nexo will get some particular options. The navigation exhibits the closest hydrogen filling stations and might even give the gas costs, and should you enter a vacation spot that is farther than your present vary the system will change the route so that you hit a station alongside the way in which. There’s additionally a display screen to point out the standing of the hydrogen tank and gas cells, in addition to detailed eco driving knowledge.An fascinating worth propositionAs it is a Hyundai, there ought to be no shock that the Nexo packs a ton of options in as commonplace. There’s LED exterior lights throughout, 17-inch wheels, powered and heated entrance seats, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wi-fi cellphone charging, proximity key and keyless entry. Standard security tech consists of adaptive cruise management with cease and go, automated emergency braking, blind-spot warning and collision help, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping help and rear cross-traffic help.A 12.3-inch infotainment display screen exhibits detailed hydrogen station data.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    Jumping as much as the Limited mannequin like this check automobile provides the 19-inch wheels, an influence sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, ventilated entrance seats and a heated steering wheel, a implausible Krell sound system, an influence liftgate, parking sensors, a 360-degree digital camera system and Hyundai’s Smart Park automated parking function. The Limited additionally will get Hyundai’s blind-spot cameras that show within the digital gauge cluster, which I like.There are a number of omissions from the function record, although. The sunroof is a single pane above the entrance seats and never a panoramic unit like I’d desire. Only the entrance home windows are auto up/down, with the rears not getting auto performance in any respect. A head-up show is not accessible. But worst of all, particularly for such a well-designed cabin in 2020, there isn’t any inside ambient lighting.The base Nexo Blue begins at $59,910 together with vacation spot, with the Limited costing $3,450. To me, the Nexo feels effectively definitely worth the value. And I have not even gotten to the great things but. Not solely is the Nexo eligible for a federal tax credit score of as much as $8,000, it is also eligible for a California rebate of as much as $4,500. Anyone who purchases or leases a Nexo additionally will get a complimentary gas card price $15,000 (or 3 years) of gas, as effectively 7 days of free leases a 12 months from Enterprise over the course of 3 years. Oh, and you may drive the Nexo in California’s HOV lanes.Every Nexo will get unusual LED lights and pop-out door handles.
    Daniel Golson/Roadshow
    It’s onerous to speak about competitors for the Nexo. Obviously there’s the Honda Clarity and the Toyota Mirai, the one two different hydrogen vehicles in the marketplace, however each of these put on sedan our bodies and do not feel practically as plush because the Nexo. Then you’ve got acquired luxurious EV crossovers just like the Audi E-Tron, which has extra energy and all-wheel drive however a a lot decrease general vary and the next value (particularly should you’re leasing). So the Nexo is a little bit of a novel proposition, and that is a part of why I discover it so interesting.At this time there are fewer than 60 hydrogen stations in California, most of that are positioned in Los Angeles or the Bay Area, so it is harder to take the Nexo on a protracted street journey than it will be with an conventional fuel automobile and even an EV. Filling up at a station can nonetheless be tough, too, with busted pumps or different points not an unusual sight.But with a redesigned (and way more interesting) Toyota Mirai about to be launched, new stations popping up all through the state, and extra hydrogen-powered business autos and idea vehicles being launched on a regular basis, who is aware of — possibly the hydrogen renaissance is lastly, lastly on the horizon. Wouldn’t or not it’s cool to be on the forefront of it? If you’ll be able to reside with the caveats that include a hydrogen automobile, the Nexo should not be missed.

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