You’ll find some good and some bad inside the GV70. Genesis says its design approach was “inspired by the aerodynamic sections of aircraft wings”; as such, you’ll find elliptical shapes everywhere inside. It gives the GV70 a sort of retro-futuristic, Atomic Age vibe that I really enjoy.
Materials quality in the top GV70 trim stands out, with Nappa leather upholstery and suede inserts — and as you can see in the photos, it doesn’t have to be a boring color. I drove an Audi Q5 Sportback shortly after the GV70, and the Q5’s interior felt a bit more solidly put together than the Genesis’, but overall, the GV70’s interior is right up there with its peers.
Interior space, however, can feel a bit lacking. The front seating area is dominated by a large center console and might feel cramped to some, but I thought the snugness enhanced the GV70’s sporty feeling. The backseat offers decent amounts of head- and legroom, but at 6-foot-1, I found it difficult to sit comfortably behind my driver-seat position. Cargo space is also a bit tight. It felt adequate for daily errands, but our testing measured it at 16.15 cubic feet; that’s less than we measured in a Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe, which is the kind of SUV we always knock for sacrificing utility for style.
From a technological standpoint, the GV70’s 14.5-inch touchscreen display has crisp graphics and looks quite sharp. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, but not wireless. The GV70 also offers driver profiles that are accessible via a variety of methods, including a fingerprint scanner mounted to the right of the steering wheel. It certainly feels futuristic, but you don’t have to use it if you don’t like the idea of your car having access to your fingerprints.
Cars these days can’t seem to be luxury cars without a few questionable design choices, and the GV70 has a few inside. First, that 14.5-inch touchscreen is placed so far away from the driver’s seat that even my arms and their 36-inch sleeve measurement couldn’t easily reach it. There’s a raised dial controller — though not the confusing, flush dial you’ll find in other Genesis models — to help alleviate that issue, but controllers are not the ideal way to navigate touchscreens, particularly when using features like CarPlay.
Speaking of dials, guess what else in the GV70 is a dial? The gear selector. Having two raised dials adjacent to each other in the center console was confusing, and I often found myself grabbing the gear selector instead of the multimedia controller. Fortunately, like coins, the two dials have different textures, but it’s still frustrating. Adding to my personal frustration was that unlike most vehicles with multimedia controllers, the GV70’s is positioned ahead of the gear selector instead of behind it, though buyers not used to that sort of setup probably won’t care.
The 2022 GV70 is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Plus for 2021 (model years and IIHS award years don’t always line up). The GV70 aced every test, but the front crash prevention vehicle-to-pedestrian test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had not yet tested the GV70 as of this writing, but when it does, you’ll find the results here. In our Car Seat Check, the GV70 received mixed scores.
Is Genesis Finally There?
We said once that the 2021 Genesis G80 sedan was “nipping at the Germans’ heels.” Well, the GV70 isn’t just nipping at the heels of German luxury compact SUVs, it’s taking full chomps.
With a starting price of just over $42,000, the GV70 undercuts the competition, though perhaps not as much as other Genesis models have in the past. Our test vehicle carried a sticker price of $65,045, which is more in line with performance-oriented — but not the highest-performance — versions of its competition. Once you start adding options to the German SUVs, however, the Genesis is likely to seem like an affordable option.
In terms of driving performance, the GV70 is certainly a luxury compact SUV, and the interior mimics the good (quality and style) and bad (questionable design and user interface choices) of many of its rivals. It should absolutely be on every luxury compact SUV shopper’s list, but whether it does enough to convince those who care what name is on their car remains to be seen.