What is it like on the inside?
Because the Nexo isn’t just a modified version of an existing product, you get an interior that resembles and indeed feels like no other (at least European) Hyundai. There’s a lot of Lexus going on in the centre-console, and a fair amount of Mercedes in the twin LCD displays and shiny speaker grilles. The seats are comfortable, high-quality items that (in the front anyway) are both heated and cooled. It does the normal, Korean thing of using six materials where one or two would do, but at least none are brittle or scratchy enough to worry about.
We’ve not seen this infotainment system in a Hyundai before, nor a screen of this size. The graphics are slick and operation smooth and easily deciphered. It’s a touchscreen but, like iDrive, you can use a rotary controller on the centre-stack if you’d rather. And we would. In a world where manufacturers seem intent on eliminating all buttons from their interiors, that Hyundai hasn’t bothered is refreshing.
Of some concern with cars like this is space and practicality. Hydrogen has to live in reinforced tanks (the Nexo has three…) and fuel-cell drivetrains can be bulky and tricky to package efficiently. The Nexo’s is smaller and lighter than the ix35’s, and because this is a bespoke object designed from the get-go to accommodate such a drivetrain – rather than an existing platform that’s been cut-and-shut to make one fit – Hyundai has been able to maximise the space on offer to occupants and their belongings. Sounds a bit PR-y I know, but the truth is the Nexo is genuinely quite spacious. There’s enough head- and leg-room in the back for two adults to sit comfortably (not three), and the boot doesn’t feel as though it’s been compromised too badly by everything that has to live under it. With the seats folded total luggage volume is 839 litres.