What’s to like and not like

The Lexus Enform system has been around a while, and unfortunately, its age is showing. While I can’t complain that it doesn’t work, the joystick-controlled system just isn’t the most pleasing to use or the most user-friendly. It takes a while to become comfortable with. Enform also lacks modern features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Still, for all its faults, it’s a decent system. It just goes about the whole user-input thing a bit differently than other systems on the market. It’s hard to criticize Lexus for trying something different, right? Maybe, but it seems Enform might be holding Lexus back. Let’s have a look.

Continue reading for more information.

What I Like

A Brief Look at the Lexus RX350's Infotainment System
- image 763340
I really appreciate Lexus’ large, 12.3-inch landscape display: it not only looks great but also allows for split-screen viewing of different applications

I really appreciate Lexus’ large, 12.3-inch landscape display. It not only looks great but also allows for split-screen viewing of different applications. Navigation with its massive map can be running on the left, while the radio information is displayed on the right. It’s also awesome to have both split-screen views running the same application. For example, it allows for two different map views – one tight in and the other of an overview. With the radio, it allows for browsing of channel lists on the left while still seeing what’s currently playing on the right. It makes for an – informed – user experience.

Terrible puns aside, the system’s various menus and features are generally easy to find thanks to their logical arrangement within the system. Navigating through the menus is a slightly different story, however.

What I Don’t Like

A Brief Look at the Lexus RX350's Infotainment System
- image 763346
The joystick control seems like a good idea but put into practice, it fails to impress

There is just something intangible I’m not fond of with Enform. The joystick control seems like a good idea but put into practice, it fails to impress. The 12.3-inch screen covers a lot of real estate and shows tons of information at once. While that’s great for the eyes, it makes scrolling and selecting just the right button more difficult.

The joystick selector has a force-feedback action that draws the controller to buttons, but even then, it takes concentration and visual focus to use. Of course, that means the user isn’t paying attention to the road. That’s fine for a passenger, but frustrating for the driver. Enform is not an infotainment system that can easily be used while driving – not that you should, anyway, right?

What’s the Solution?

A Brief Look at the Lexus RX350's Infotainment System
- image 763338
Probably the easiest and most doable solution would be replacing the joystick with a touchscreen

I think the joystick idea is awesome in theory, but it’s the practical application that hinders Enform’s user experience. Probably the easiest and most doable solution would be replacing the joystick with a touchscreen. Aside from fingerprints, using a touchscreen can be easier since, well, it’s your arm and finger doing the work without a middleman (the joystick) getting in the way.

Lexus would do well by taking cues from General Motors and Fiat Chrysler’s infotainment systems. The Chevrolet MyLInk system and Chrysler Uconnect are two of the most user-friendly systems on the market. They have large, graphic buttons, respond to multi-gestures like an Apple device, and have a modern look about them. Best of all – they are touchscreens. Just have a gander at the new 2019 Ram 1500’s massive 12-inch portrait display. That’s a beautiful way of incorporating a computer into the dashboard.

References

Lexus RX

Quick Specs: 2017 Lexus RX350 Exterior
- image 763382

Quick Specs: 2017 Lexus RX350

2016 Lexus RX
- image 624726

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RX.

no article
- image 746643

Read more Lexus news.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: