Remote Touch Impressions - 2013 Lexus GS 350 Long-Term Road Test

2013 Lexus GS 350 Long Term Road Test

2013 Lexus GS 350: Remote Touch Impressions

September 13, 2012

2013 Lexus GS 350

iDrive. COMAND. MMI. Now, Remote Touch. How does Lexus stack up against zee Germans?

Well, like anything, there's the good and the bad. Let's start with the good.

The controller and palm rest are well placed and just feels right under your hand. Moving the mouse-like toggle pad is as intuitive as interfaces get. The simulated detents (when you roll over an on-screen button) are incredibly helpful, clever and just plain cool. The graphics look rather dated (as shown in my last post), but at least they're legible.

Now the bad -- well, maybe bad is too strong a word. Here's where it could use some help.

The menus and tabs aren't all that intuitive. After a few days, though, I started to "get it" and navigating around the various systems got a little easier. Think of it as your favorite website that just went through a redesign. All the stuff you need is there, it's just rearranged and you need to figure out the logic behind it. For some reason, I also find myself needing to pay more attention to the screen than I do with other systems. Finally, those cool detents I mentioned above could be a bit more aggressive. Even at its highest setting, I'd like more of a button stop.

The staff here is split on what interface is best. Personally, I think Audi's MMI system is the best. It has tack-sharp graphics that look as modern as a 21st-century car should. The menus are also better organized, at least for my way of thinking. I'm ok with iDrive, it doesn't irk me the way it does to some. Mercedes' COMAND is probably my least favorite. No matter how much time I devote, it never manages to feel right to me.

I'd place Remote Touch in second place, just after Audi.

What do you think? Which system fits you best?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 2,327 miles

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