The interior layout, fit and finish
Hyundai isn't exactly known for its interior design, but the Nexo is no regular Hyundai. Step inside and you’re met with a dashboard that looks more reminiscent of high-end Lexus than a Tucson or Santa Fe. You get perforated leather seats with electric adjustment plus heating and cooling functions, a metallic 'floating' centre console, a 12.3in touchscreen for infotainment and a 7.0in display between the instrument dials, all helping to give some real pizzazz.
But while the interior looks the part, it doesn’t necessarily feel it. Like BMW with its i3, Hyundai has used a number of sustainable materials, such as sugar cane and bamboo, to build the Nexo's dashboard. But unlike in the i3, you wouldn’t necessarily know it. Everything feels a little too plasticky, with hard materials used in a few too many places that you’ll come into contact with regularly. This is an SUV that costs more than the plush Audi Q7 after all.
The infotainment system is also a bit of a mixed bag. We like the fact that it’s responsive and displayed on a vast screen, but the graphics aren’t quite as crisp as those of the Jaguar I-Pace or Tesla and the software isn’t all that intuitive to use with slightly confusing menus. At least you get the option of using the system with a rotary dial controller with physical shortcut buttons, although again this isn’t as intuitive as BMW’s iDrive.
Happily, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are standard and are displayed on the entire 12.3in screen. Wireless phone charging is standard and you get three USB ports up front, although we’d have liked to have seen one or two in the rear. At least those in the back have a 12v socket they can plug an adapter in.
And while we actually quite like the buttonfest that is the centre console (physical touch points are far easier to use while you're driving than a screen), we fear buyers will be less impressed. After all, more or less every manufacturer is moving toward touchscreen-dominated interiors to create that minimalist feel.
Visibility is for the most part very good thanks to an array of cameras that come as standard. Not only do you get rear and bird’s eye view cameras as standard, but a couple that cover your blindspots, too. Every time you indicate left or right, these cameras show a live image in the 7.0in driver’s display. We wouldn’t want to rely on this entirely, but it does give additional peace of mind. Our only complaint is that the rear screen pillars are quite thick.
And because the driver’s seat and steering wheel have a good range of adjustment, both the vertically gifted and challenged should be able to get comfortable.