Although at first glance the interior of our Lexus RX 450h seemed a bit austere in terms of helpful gadgets, we soon found out that nothing could be further from the truth. It had a dual-zone climate control system, a state-of-the-art Mark Levinson Surround Sound audio system with no less than 15-speakers and a 330 Watt output, electrically-adjustable and three-stage heated front seats, four automatic electrically operated windows and an electrically-operated rear hatch.
Naturally, apart from the aforementioned features, an [rather small] electric glass sunroof and an electrically-adjustable steering wheel, our test car was also fitted with a very helpful navigation system and an intelligent bi-xenon headlight system.
The list of helpful, or not so helpful, gadgets continued with a fighter-plane inspired head-up display and Lexus' own version of an iDrive/MMI/Comand system. Called the "Lexus Remote Touch", this system works by integrating most of the major car systems to be controlled by a contraption similar to a fixed mouse.
Like a rollerball system, the center console "joystick" uses haptic feedback. The controller provides reaction force and force feedback, so that the on-screen cursor can move to nearby virtual buttons automatically. Although some of its functions can be configured by the driver using the on-screen interface, we found it to be a bit less intuitive than its German counterparts, especially since the driver is required to look where the cursor is moving on the center console display. But hey, at least it's original. Continue reading