The Hyundai Nexo is a hydrogen fuel cell car which means that it is powered by hydrogen. It is essentially an electric car, but the difference here is that the power comes from hydrogen, not from the battery. It is also one of only a few hydrogen cars that even exist and are on sale today. So, is Hyundai Nexo a good car?
The Hyundai Nexo is actually a fairly good car, but it really does not make any sense in today’s day and age of electric and hybrid cars because hydrogen cars simply don’t have the necessary infrastructure for them to be usable as other types of cars. The car comes with a fairly well-rounded powertrain, but that is not enough to save the car.
When it comes to design, the Nexo does look authentic and noticeably different from other Hyundai products. It does share some resemblance to the new Tucson though. The driving experience is more or less the same as in most mid-size electric SUVs which means that it isn’t a true off-roader, nor is it a dynamic car.
Reliability seems to be okay, but true reliability is a mystery as not many of these have ever been delivered. Value is a tough one as the car costs a lot of money, more than $60,000 for lower-end models. Practicality is as good as with every other SUV of this size which means that it should satisfy your daily needs easily.
Hyundai Nexo – The powerplant
The Hyundai Nexo comes with a front-wheel-drive configuration which is a bit of a shame since it is an SUV after all. The Hyundai Nexo offers 161hp and 291lb-ft of torque which is a fairly decent number. You should expect to get around 350-380 miles if you top the tank up fully with hydrogen which is a really good number, even for regular EVs.
However, a hydrogen powertrain comes with many sets of challenges. First of all, finding a hydrogen filling station is difficult as there aren’t many of them around. States like California are widely regarded as those with sufficient hydrogen filling stations, but even these seem to be out of order more than half of the time and can’t really suffice the relatively small number of hydrogen cars in Cali.
As such, the hydrogen powertrain in itself is good, but the problems that come with it are serious as well. These are also unstable at times and can cause disasters if they aren’t dealt with properly. Fueling up a hydrogen car is also more dangerous than it is recharging an EV or filling up a regular ICE car.
Hyundai Nexo – Design and chassis
The Hyundai Nexo looks interesting, but it certainly isn’t anything special. The interior of the Nexo is also very well-appointed thanks to modern-day screens and cool-looking panels. The entire design language is noticeably different from other Hyundai models, but you do kinda see the resemblance between the Nexo and the Tucson as these are based on the same chassis.
When it comes to driving, we can easily say that the Nexo feels like any other EV SUV to drive. There really isn’t anything different with the Nexo at first glance. It is a heavy car which means that it does not like cornering all that much and that it isn’t dynamic by any means.
Hyundai Nexo – Reliability and common issues
When it comes to reliability, it is somewhat difficult to say as there aren’t many of these around. As mentioned, only California gets the Nexo as other US states don’t have a well-developed fueling infrastructure. However, there are some issues worth talking about in greater detail.
The most common reliability issues are associated with hydrogen fuel leaking and potentially even starting a fire. Other reports state that the Nexo is prone to issues with the brakes which can lose its braking performance and become unpredictable at times.
Hyundai Nexo – Value and practicality
With a starting price of over $60,000 for the lower-end model, the Nexo is a really expensive car. If you combine that with the fact that it is a hydrogen car not many people are interested in buying means that depreciation is unpredictable and probably really serious. As such, the value aspect is poor in this regard as it is a Tucson with a hydrogen powertrain after all.
Practicality is as good as all other cars in this segment which means that the car gets fairly large seats and a fairly accommodating trunk. Visibility is good, the car is easy to get in and out of, and there are many family-friendly features throughout the car.
Is Hyundai going to discontinue the Nexo?
The Hyundai Nexo is now somewhere in the middle of its lifetime as it recently got a refresh. It’s difficult to say if Hyundai is going to get rid of the Nexo anytime soon because this car was not developed for revenue as much as it is a testing bed for alternative technologies. We have seen this before with the Toyota Mirai.
The Toyota Mirai is on the market for more than twice as long as the Nexo, so if Hyundai is going to take notes from Toyota’s book, chances are that the Nexo is going to stay a bit longer as well.
Is the Hyundai Nexo better than Toyota Mirai?
The Toyota Miria and the Hyundai Nexo are the two world’s first “mass”-production hydrogen cars which makes them inherent rivals. The Mirai costs about $10,000, and it can last a few dozen miles more than the Nexo. The Mirai is also slightly more powerful than the Nexo as well.
Between the two, it’s difficult to pick a winner as people who prefer SUVs will likely go for the Nexo, but people who prefer sedans will likely go for the Mirai.
Are hydrogen cars the future?
Probably not in the foreseeable future, but no one knows what tomorrow brings for certain. As such, EVs got a huge head start over hydrogen cars which means that the infrastructure soon followed. Hydrogen cars are still in their infancy so it’s really difficult to invest in proper infrastructure as not many people are going to use it.