Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2019 Hyundai NEXO OVERVIEW
Much of the country might not know it, but California has been a testing ground of hydrogen-powered vehicles for some time now. More than a few automakers have quietly offered low-volume fuel-cell specials for lease in the Golden State, and Hyundai, having jumped into the silent fray a few years back with a hydrogen-powered Tuscon, returns for 2019 with the all-new Nexo. Unlike its predecessor, the Nexo is purpose-built, riding on an exclusive platform not shared with any volume models. The automaker's extensive efforts makes the 2019 Hyundai Nexo a compelling option in the small and interesting niche of hydrogen-powered automobiles.
What's New for 2019
The 2019 Nexo is an all-new model.
Choosing Your Hyundai Nexo
Due to its existence as a low-volume regional special, there's just two available trims and no options to speak of. It goes without saying that there's certainly no optional powertrains on tap. The lack of extras doesn't mean the Nexo is just spartan transportation, however. Hyundai has made sure their gasless wonder comes well equipped with all the bells and whistles expected of cars costing 60 grand.
Most of the Nexo's price tag, of course, is attributable to the hydrogen fuel-cell powerplant under the hood. The stack of fuel cells generates 95 kW of power and is paired with a 40 kW battery producing 240 volts of juice. It's efficient enough to return an EPA-estimated 65 miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent city, 58 MPGe highway, and 61 combined for Blue models or 59/54/57 MPGe (city/highway/combined) for Limited trims. This mileage, coupled with a 41.4-gallon hydrogen tank, gives drivers an estimated 380 miles of range before needing to refill. The five minutes of anticipated recharging time is akin to filling up a standard-sized gas tank at the local Shell station.
From a performance standpoint, the front-drive, single-geared Nexo makes 161 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are good enough to move the Nexo to 60 mph in 9.5 seconds, which is a marked improvement from the 12.5 seconds it took the Tuscon FCEV to reach the same speed. The Nexo also trumps its predecessor in weight, charging time, cargo space, and all-important total range.
Range anxiety is a real issue for these types of alternative-energy curiosities, but keeping drivers in the know is a driver information feature called Blue Link. It provides to-the-minute range and fuel level status, a monthly vehicle health report, and even a fuel station locator. The latter is particularly helpful, considering that there are only a few dozen hydrogen stations in operation throughout the state.
All Nexos are built with safety in mind. Standard safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic assist, a surround-view monitor, lane keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, driver attention warning, and high-beam assist. The standard blind-spot monitoring feature is a claimed industry first. It uses wide-angle cameras mounted on the exterior pillars to project an image of the blind spot on the center screen. Drivers merely need to look at the screen rather than crane their necks to discern whether they're in the clear to switch lanes.
Unlike many hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, the Nexo can be purchased as well as leased in its two trims:
A hydrogen-powered vehicle isn't for the faint of heart. An expensive price tag, the dearth of hydrogen stations, and the price of hydrogen fuel – filling the tank often costs two to three times more than if it were gas – make it a tough sell over an electric car. If none of this deters you, we'd lease the 2019 Hyundai Nexo rather than purchase it. The depreciation curve of such a specialty vehicle will probably not be in the buyer's favor.
Hyundai carries on with most of the same offers we saw last month. Leases don't see any change with the 2020 Elantra being the most affordable at $149/month. Interestingly,... View All Hyundai Lease Deals