Lexus, Let’s Talk About Your Infotainment

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Modern Lexus vehicles are fun, reliable, and luxurious. They typically are the top-selling premium cars in the United States. They’re purchased by the young and by the old. But why oh why is the infotainment so difficult to use?

I was recently in a RX350 F-Sport, which I’ll be talking about soon, and it had the beautiful new 12″ screen for the infotainment. It’s high-resolution and the colors are great. It shows you all sorts of information at once and is quite useful.

But to control that screen, and the other functions of the system, you have to use the mouse controller interface. It’s not that good to use. Scrolling around on a display while driving is difficult, and I found myself often overshooting the mark. It wasn’t much better when the vehicle was in park.

Some manufacturers that use a secondary controller like that allow you to also touch the screen. Admittedly, the screen is pretty far away in the RX to be a useful touch screen, but it’d still be better than the mouse. However, if you reach up and touch that screen all you’ll do is smudge it and nothing else will happen.

I’m not the only one who thinks this. Jalopnik‘s Jason Torchinksy isn’t a fan, either. It’s actually hard to believe that more people haven’t complained, especially customers.

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The system that Toyota uses in their vehicles is easier to operate and better to use because you can touch the screen. For some of us, it’s a night-and-day contrast.

The trackpad isn’t better, either. That’s the one you’ll find in the RC line and the RC F. Maybe it’s because I’m left-handed, but I find it even more irritating to use.

It’s sad because the rest of the car I’m a big fan of. But there are easy solutions to the problem that Lexus could easily implement.

If you look at Mazda’s system, they offer a rotary dial as well as a touch screen. The rotary dial is limiting in direction, but capable of quickly scrolling through the menus.

BMW’s i-Drive controller is also quite useful, now that the system has been updated to work properly. Early i-Drive implementations were troublesome because BMW was ambitious with the features but didn’t have the hardware to keep up.

Another way to solve the problem, at least for me, is to offer Google Android Auto and Apple Car Play support. Toyota and Lexus are one of the biggest manufacturers who aren’t offering it or not planning on offering it in the future.

Sure, not too long ago the technology was just introduced, but many brands are rolling out with it, and people who have used either system seem to prefer it over the stock infotainment that comes with these vehicles. Even the really good systems don’t seem to quite cut the proverbial mustard the way these systems do. Hopefully they’ll consider it in the future.

So what do you all think? Are you okay with the Lexus infotainment or would you like to see an overhaul? Let us know in the comments below or over in the forums!

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