The 2019 Hyundai NEXO hydrogen fuel cell electric SUV has earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for vehicles built after June 2019. The NEXO, which is only available in California, is the first such hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that IIHS has tested.

A vehicle such as NEXO would not normally be included in the IIHS routine test schedule, but Hyundai nominated its own NEXO for early testing. Evaluating the NEXO was also beneficial to IIHS, by offering its first early opportunity to evaluate a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

To qualify for a 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. It also needs an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good headlight rating. The NEXO, a midsize premium SUV, has good ratings in all six crashworthiness tests.

Its standard front crash prevention system earned a superior rating. The vehicle avoided collisions in 12 mph and 25 mph track tests and has a forward collision warning system that meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration criteria. In addition, NEXO comes with standard high-beam assist, which may automatically switch between high beams and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles.

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An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at AaronOnAutos.com.

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