MPG: 61 MPGe combined, 65 city / 58 highway
PRICE: $58,735 - $62,185
TRIMS: 2 – Blue, Limited
NHTSA OVERALL SAFETY RATING: Not been rated
First introduced in 2019, the only hydrogen-powered crossover SUV sold in the U.S. uses a fuel cell for power. It has a 95-kW fuel-cell stack with 440 individual cells and a 40-kWh battery pack powering an electric motor. Water is its only emission. All told, it produces a respectable 161 horsepower with 291 pound feet of torque. The base Blue model can take you 380 miles on a tank of hydrogen. Well, it’s actually three hydrogen tanks in the vehicle, but you get the point. Step up in trim level to the Limited, and you can travel 354 miles. Standard features include LED headlights, keyless entry, automatic climate control, heated front seats, simulated leather upholstery, navigation system, 12.3-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three USB ports and a wireless charging pad. The driver-assistance features that come standard are impressive: forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure mitigation. Here is some valuable insight from a NEXO owner: “You get $7,500 federal tax credit if you buy, not lease, but California gives you a $4,500 check refund. Just make sure you apply for the rebate within 90 days of purchase.”
The NEXO is significantly bigger than its rivals, measuring 183.9 inches in length, with a wheelbase of 109.8 inches. It’s 73.2-inches wide and tips the scales at 3,990 pounds, which rises to 4,116 for a fully-loaded Limited. When it comes to colors, the word “drab” comes to mind. There are only four — white, silver, blue and copper. C’mon, Hyundai, we’re not asking for anything too exotic. Any driver of a hydrogen-powered car wants to chat about it with strangers. The least you can do is help start the conversation by providing choices of eye-catching color. The center console is a sea of buttons, in excess of 30. You’ll have to bury yourself in the manual before you gain mastery of it.
It’s only available in select areas of California, and hydrogen availability is limited to specific hydrogen fueling stations. Hyundai has helpfully programmed their location into the nav. When you pull up, there’s only one pump, so if there’s a car ahead of you, there’s a bit of wait time. And hydrogen is pricey. The cost for a kilogram (the equivalent of a gallon of gas) is roughly $15.