New 2019 Hyundai NEXO SUV
Hyundai NEXO SUV
The only hydrogen SUV in the world, the 2019 Hyundai Nexo is a futuristic alternative to alt-fuel cars. It is offered in California only.
2019 Hyundai NEXO Pricing
For Sale Near 20146
2019 Hyundai NEXO KBB Expert Review
Appearing as if from the future, the all-new 2019 Hyundai Nexo is one of just three hydrogen-powered vehicles available, and the only one that’s an SUV. The Nexo is Hyundai’s technological flagship and boasts luxury-car levels of amenities. The real draws are its zero emissions, longer range and quick refills. Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, which also include the Toyota Mirai and Honda Clarity sedans, can be refueled in minutes like a traditional car and boast greater range than all-electric cars like Teslas. The Nexo can be filled with hydrogen in about five minutes and has a range of up to 380 miles. At roughly $60,000, it’s pricey to purchase outright, though a lease starts at $399/month. The biggest hurdle is availability: Hydrogen cars can be had only in select regions of California.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a hydrogen-powered crossover SUV, the Hyundai Nexo is the only one of its kind and one of just three such fuel-cell vehicles available. These specialized, California-only models are also eligible for carpool stickers and up to a $5,000 Clean Fuel Rebate.
You May Not Like This Car If...
To buy or lease a Nexo, you’ll have to live in California, and a specific region at that to ensure there’s access to a refueling station. At present, there are only about three dozen public refueling stations for the entire state.
What's New for 2019
The 2019 Hyundai Nexo fuel-cell electric vehicle is all-new. Available for lease or purchase only in select regions of California, the Nexo 5-passenger crossover SUV replaces Hyundai’s prior hydrogen-powered Tucson SUV.
In some respects, the Nexo feels like an all-electric vehicle, and in other ways it doesn’t. Like a battery-powered EV, the hydrogen-run Nexo wafts along smoothly and quietly. No gasoline engine means none of the noise and vibration that come with a traditional internal-combustion engine. Unlike an EV, though, the Nexo isn’t terribly quick. The Nexo’s 0-60-mph time is a rather leisurely 9.5 seconds. We didn’t think it was dangerously slow, and it’s faster than the previous hydrogen Hyundai Tucson, but the Nexo won’t pack the punch of a Tesla or even a Chevy Bolt. Otherwise, the Nexo is perfectly pleasant. Steering is light, and this Hyundai is easy to maneuver. Numerous safety and driver-assistance features are available, even one that enables the Nexo to park itself (see Favorite Features, below). Perhaps what Nexo drivers will appreciate most, though, is its range. This hydrogen Hyundai has up to 380 miles of range for Nexo Blue trims, or an estimated 354 miles for the heavier Limited trim.
REMOTE SMART-PARKING ASSIST
This feature allows the Nexo to park itself, even if you’re outside the car. With the press of a button on the key fob, this Hyundai can even slot itself in and out of parallel or perpendicular parking spaces.
This is unlike any blind-spot system out there. More than just flashing a light to make you aware of a car in your blind spot, it uses cameras and shows a real-time video view of what’s behind and to both sides of the Nexo, right in the digital instrument cluster.
The Nexo’s 2-row/5-passenger cabin is even more futuristic than its exterior, for better or worse. The massive central console is clearly inspired by a jet plane, and it could be the most polarizing and confusing element in this SUV. The central console has a dizzying array of buttons and switches, including ones that put the vehicle in Park, Neutral, Reverse and Drive. We counted over 40 buttons and functions. Above them is a 12.3-inch high-res screen that relays navigation, audio and other info. What really separates the Nexo from its hydrogen rivals is that as an SUV, it has ample room for passengers and cargo. The rear hatch boasts nearly 30 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and the rear seats fold in a 60/40 split to expand that space to 56.5 cubic feet. In an attempt to make even the materials used in this car green, the Nexo’s Leatherette upholstery is vegan.
The Nexo looks like no other Hyundai, and few other cars for that matter. It has a sleek and slippery shape that serves both form and function. With specialized wheels, flush door handles that pop out upon entry, and even hidden windshield wipers, the 2019 Nexo was designed with aerodynamics in mind. And the Nexo isn’t all that big. At 183.9 inches, it’s just a bit longer than a Honda CR-V compact SUV and is several inches shorter than a Hyundai Santa Fe. The base Blue trim has 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Limited trim wears 19-inch alloys. The Limited trim also comes with roof rails for added utility and more SUV-like aesthetics.
Notable Standard Equipment
As a specialized, limited-availability model, the 2019 Nexo is offered in just two trims: Blue and Limited. Even the base Blue model is well-equipped, and it also boasts more range than the Limited model. It includes heated and power-operated front seats, wireless phone charger, automatic climate control, and an infotainment system with a 12.3-inch screen, navigation, AM/FM/SiriusXM/HD Radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Also standard is a roster of safety and driver-assistance features that include forward-collision avoidance system with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, smart cruise control and a driver-drowsiness monitor. As with its Toyota and Honda rivals, the Hyundai Nexo comes with complimentary fuel. For the Nexo, it’s three years or $13,000 worth of hydrogen. As with other Hyundais, the Nexo has a fantastic warranty that covers 10 years or 100,000 miles for the powertrain. Special to this vehicle, you get a free vehicle rental for up to seven days for three years in case you need to travel outside the range or refueling stations.
Notable Optional Equipment
Stepping up to the Nexo Limited adds the self-parking system and Blind View Monitor (see Favorite Features), sunroof, 19-inch wheels, hands-free power tailgate, ventilated front seats, roof rails, and surround-view camera. A surprisingly welcome feature in the Nexo Limited is an upgraded audio system from none other than Krell, an ultra-high-end brand.
Under the Hood
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles such as the Nexo are unlike any other vehicle on the road. While they are similar to an electric vehicle (EV) in that they use electricity and a motor to ultimately power the wheels, the way they make energy is different. Instead of storing the power in a battery like an EV that has to be charged, hydrogen is fed into a fuel-cell stack. From there a chemical reaction with oxygen takes place, creating energy that is fed into a battery, which thereby powers a motor and then the front wheels. Rather than producing harmful tailpipe emissions, the Nexo’s byproduct is merely water. That’s a very simplified description of an extremely complicated process.
On a more pragmatic level, refilling the car with compressed hydrogen is done via a pump similar to those used for gasoline. The process takes about five minutes -- far less than the time needed to recharge an electric vehicle. Currently there are about three dozen public filling stations in California. The estimated range for the Nexo is 380 miles for Blue trims and 354 for the Limited version. All Nexo models are front-wheel drive and use a single-speed reduction-gear transmission. Drive modes can be tailored to Comfort, Eco and Eco Plus.
Fuel-cell stack, electric motor
291 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 65/58 mpg, 380-mile range (Blue trim); 59/54 mpg, 354-mile range (Limited trim)
The 2019 Hyundai Nexo has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $58,300 for a Blue trim or $61,800 for the Limited model, before the $1,045 destination charge. Those prices are also before incentives, such as the $5,000 California state rebate. That starting price is almost directly in line with that of the Toyota Mirai. The only other hydrogen-powered car, the Honda Clarity fuel cell, is lease-only. If you opt to lease the Nexo, it’s $399 a month for the Blue model or $449 for a Limited trim, both for 36-month terms. The Mirai lease starts at $349/month, while the Clarity fuel-cell is $369/month. As the Hyundai Nexo is an all-new vehicle, our analysts haven’t estimated its resale value yet.
Hyundai NEXO Consumer Reviews
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2019 Hyundai NEXO Photos and Videos
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