New Hyundai NEXO 2019: hydrogen car available to order now for £65,995

New hydrogen-fuelled Hyundai NEXO SUV promises five-minute fill-ups and 414-mile range

Hyundai Nexo

The Hyundai NEXO hydrogen-fuelled SUV is now available to order directly from Hyundai Motor UK, priced at £65,995 after the government plug-in car grant.

Like all hydrogen cars, the NEXO is driven by electric motors, but instead of their energy being drawn from a battery that you need to plug in to recharge, it's stored in a fuel cell, which generates electricity from hydrogen, producing only water vapour as a by-product.

The NEXO needs to be refuelled with hydrogen in similar fashion to refuelling a petrol or diesel car, with the caveat that the UK hydrogen filling-station network is still very limited.

The exterior of the NEXO incorporates many features designed to reduce aerodynamic drag and thus boost efficiency as much as possible.

There are 'curtain' intakes in the front bumper that direct air over the aerodynamically designed front wheels, as well as flush handles that retract into the doors once the car starts moving. There's also a hidden rear wiper blade that retracts under the rear spoiler when not in use.

The underside is fully enclosed, too, while front and rear wheel air deflectors are the final touch. All this combines to give the NEXO a drag coefficient of just 0.329.

Hyundai NEXO hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain, electric motors and performance

The NEXO's electric motor puts out a total of 161bhp, and the car has returned a range of 414 miles from a full tank under the latest WLTP fuel-economy testing procedure. The claimed 0-62mph time is 9.5 seconds, while the top speed is 111mph.

Power is generated by combining oxygen from the surrounding air with hydrogen in the car's tank, creating a stream of electrons that charges the NEXO's 1.56kWh battery. Only water vapour is emitted in the process, and the NEXO, like most hybrid and electric cars, also employs regenerative braking to recapture otherwise-wasted energy when slowing down.

Interior, specification and technology

Hyundai is initially offering the NEXO in a single, high-specification trim level for that £65,995 post-grant price. It's called Premium SE and on the outside features LED headlamps and running lights, 19-inch alloy wheels and gloss-black mirror housings.

Hyundai Nexo

Inside, the NEXO boasts two-tone cloth and faux-leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats with full power adjustment, dual-zone climate control, a sunroof, separate rear ventilation, a heated steering wheel, USB ports, a wireless phone charging pad and a powered tailgate.

There's a 461-litre boot with the back seats up, expanding to 1,466 litres when they're lowered. Environmentally friendly materials derived from sugar cane, vegetable fibres and corn have been used throughout the interior, further boosting its green credentials.

Up front, there's a seven-inch LCD screen in front of the driver to display the instruments, as well as a display showing the camera feed from the car's blind-spot monitoring system. The centre of the dashboard also has a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, controlling a KRELL audio system, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

The larger screen can be split between different modes, showing things like navigation, audio, climate settings and vehicle status information at the same time. The screen can also relay information such as energy flow and hydrogen tank operating conditions, as well as real-time air purification and CO2 reduction levels.

Hyundai Nexo

The NEXO comes with a full suite of driver assistance systems, including lane-following and lane-keeping assistance, automatic high-beam headlamps, adaptive cruise control and remote parking assistance. The latter allows the driver to stop near a space, then get out of the car and direct it to park itself using the keyless-entry handset.

Autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and driver fatigue monitoring are also standard, with the NEXO already recording a five-star Euro NCAP independent safety rating.

Price, availability and on-sale date

The Hyundai NEXO is available to order now for £65,995, but has to be purchased directly from Hyundai Motor UK rather than going through a dealer. There's just the one trim level, but a choice of five exterior colours: White Cream, Cocoon Silver, Copper Metallic, Dusk Blue and Titanium Grey.

Hyundai is supplying the NEXO with its usual five-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, plus roadside assistance, five annual 'health checks', a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty and an eight-year hybrid battery warranty.