Hyundai's hydrogen-powered Nexo earns Top Safety Pick Plus rating

The IIHS doesn't normally test a vehicle that is only likely to sell a few hundred units.

The Hyundai Nexo fuel-cell vehicle has joined the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's Top Safety Pick Plus ranks.

Available only in California and unlikely to sell more than a few hundred units annually, the Nexo doesn't fit the IIHS' focus on popular vehicles. Hyundai apparently made a special request, however, and gave the institute an opportunity to test its first hydrogen-powered model.

The midsize SUV earned top marks in all six crashworthiness tests and the front crash prevention assessment. Headlight performance has been deemed 'good' for vehicles built after June when Hyundai adjusted the factory aim to provide better visibility through curves.

The IIHS side-impact test is the only scenario that would have impacted near the Nexo's three hydrogen tanks, located in a row beneath the trunk and rear seats. The Capable of holding hydrogen at incredibly high pressures of up to 10,000 psi, the tanks are designed to handle accidents without rupturing.

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