We wouldn’t blame you if you hadn’t heard of the Hyundai Nexo, but this is the hydrogen-powered SUV’s second year on the market. It’s still only available in California, but it gets a few minor feature upgrades for the new model year.
The 2020 Hyundai Nexo now features standard auto up/down windows, rear privacy glass, and a cargo cover. The range-topping Limited trim adds rain-sensing windshield wipers as standard.
Choosing Your Hyundai Nexo
The Hyundai Nexo comes in only two trims: Blue and Limited. Prices start at $59,855 including destination for a Blue or $63,305 for the Limited.
The starting MSRP is almost identical to the Nexo’s few fuel-cell competitors, the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell and Toyota Mirai.
The Nexo comes with only one powertrain, and it’s the star of the show. A 40-kWh battery pack is joined by a 95 kW fuel-cell stack, collectively powering an electric motor with 161 horsepower and 291 pound-feet of torque.
That’s a bit more than the Clarity or Mirai, but as the other two are sedans, the Nexo has some extra bulk to move. Power figures are also on par with mass-market compact crossovers, but the Nexo comes only in front-wheel drive.
The Nexo is the king in terms of total range, with up to 380 miles of range in the Blue trim, according to the EPA. Limited models feature 354 miles of range. The fuel-cell Clarity comes close at 360 miles, while the Mirai comes in third with 312 miles. All three are limited to areas with networks of hydrogen fueling stations, which is currently only California.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
The Nexo seats five in relative comfort. It’s not a large SUV, but second-row legroom is a healthy 38.6 inches. That’s substantially more than the fuel-cell sedan competition.
The Nexo pulls further ahead with its cargo capacity, which is 29.6 cubic feet behind the seats or 56.5 with them folded. Both numbers are within shouting distance of the gas-powered Hyundai Tucson.
You’d expect a futuristic car to have a full suite of safety tech, and you’d be right. Every Nexo comes with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, a driver attention warning system, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.
The Limited trim gets a blind-spot monitoring system that displays a camera view of the blind spot when the turn signal is activated, a surround-view camera system, and an automated parking system.
The IIHS hasn't yet tested the 2020 Nexo, but the institute declared last year’s model a Top Safety Pick Plus, which we expect to carryover.
Infotainment is equally comprehensive in the Nexo. A 12.3-inch touchscreen sits front and center, with two USB ports and full smartphone compatibility. Satellite radio, HD radio, navigation, and wireless charging are also included.
Hyundai’s Blue Link app is included for three years and adds features like remote start, remote heated and cooled seats, and a hydrogen-fuel station locator.
The cheapest Nexo still comes with a luxury price tag, but it includes luxury features to match. Leather upholstery is standard, as are power-adjustable and heated front seats, automatic climate control, push-button start, and keyless entry. The driver gets a 7-inch instrument cluster to complement the Nexo’s infotainment and safety features.
On the exterior, the Nexo wears LED lights and heated side mirrors that illuminate puddle lamps as the driver approaches. The Blue trim has a smaller sunroof than the Limited, as well as smaller 17-inch wheels that help contribute to the larger range.
Outside of the provided features, Hyundai allows buyers exactly one customization: exterior color, of which there are four. Otherwise, everything is standardized, including the stone-gray interior upholstery.
The Nexo Limited wears 19-inch wheels, which upgrade the looks at the cost of 26 miles of range. The Limited also gets the larger sunroof, roof rails, a hands-free power liftgate, and rain-sensing wipers.
The interior gets ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an eight-speaker Krell audio system. Don't forget the surround-view camera, automated parking, and blind-view monitor systems are also now standard.
The 2020 Hyundai Nexo’s extra range and utility make it a good choice for those able to transition to fuel-cell vehicle ownership. In our opinion, the upgrades in the Limited trim are worth the modest price increase.