2014 Lexus CT 200h Hybrid Hatchback Infotainment Review

2014 Lexus ct200h takinga look at the Lexus enform infotainmentsystem right here we have the navigationequipped CT so do keep that in mind as Igo through this particular system if wefirst take a look at the center consolethis is where you’ll find the dual USBinputs as well as an auxilary stereoinput also have a 12-volt power outletright there and then we have the heartof the system which is this lexus remotetouch controller you can think of itsort of a as a mouse or a joystick typeinterface we also have a dedicated menubutton zoom in and out button and a homebutton right therethe Lexus remote touch joystick doeshave haptic feedback so as you can seeright now it returns to Center if Iclick it over there to that off that’son the upper right hand side of thescreen it stays over there if I move itdown to the bottom right hand screen itstays there if I click it push itupwards you can see that it snaps to adifferent button up there on the top ofthe screen so it does have feedback inthat manner let’s take a closer look atthat screen I also have the remote touchcontroller down here on the right-handside

of your screen so you can see howthat interacts this is the home screenthat is now spreading its way acrossLexus and Toyota products this screeninterface is very similar to what werecently saw in the Lexus gx460 it’sbasically the same software except thatthe GX uses a touchscreen to interactwith the same software and the CT likemost other Lexus products uses thisLexus remote touch controller right herein the center console I think the Lexusremote touch controller is one of myleast favorite input methods butstrangely enough

I find the softwareitself it’s running in the dashboard oneof my favorite software entries so it iskind of a mixed system for me this homescreen is fairly intuitive appear on theupper left we have our fuel economyscreen we have entertainment below thatand then we have navigation on thisright-hand side you can click thislittle icon right up here in the upperright in order to change what you wouldlike to see on the home page so if youwant to see climate control you can putclimate control here for instance andthen the screen will rearrange itselfand now you can see that we have

climatecontrol over there it is highlyconfigurable and you can also changethat layout to a two screen layout ifyou so desire you can also put the twooptions on one side or on the other sonow you can see we have our infotainmentor entertainment right over here on theright and our climate control right overhere on the left clicking one of theseoptions takes you right over to thatscreen so if we click right over hereyou’llsee we were taken directly to theclimate screen we can press back on thehome button and we return to the mainmenu and if we click over here on theleft to our satellite radio now we’reback here on the audio interface nowthis audio interface is a good place tosee why I really don’t like the Alexusremote touch controller because they’rean awful lot of little buttons here andwhere if you had a infotainment screenthat was a touchscreen you could justlook at this and then you could juststab at it with your finger it would berelatively

easy to do with this Lexusremote touch controller it does requirea decent amount of a hand-eyecoordination to get the right option onthe screen as you’re wandering aroundwith this little joystick thingfortunately this screen is set fairlyhigh in the dashboard I’ll zoom outreally quickly so you can see how it’slocated here it is located fairly highon the dashboard and that does helpimprove visibility and help keep youreyes from being quite so distracted outon the road but it is a little bit moredistracting than most of the otherinfotainment systems especially versusLexus’s touchscreen

infotainment systemslet’s go on to the main menu this iswhere you’ll find most of the options inthe system we have climate navigationthe ours is the navigation to equipmodel for Lexus app suite info screenradio media phone setup and then up herewe can change our display options you’rejust in the climate screen which isfairly self-explanatory we’ll take alook at the navigation screen now thisis basically the same navigationsoftware that Lexus has been using for awhile only it’s been updated and thespeed has been greatly

improved becauseit’s now using a micro SD card for themap software rather than a DVD or a harddrive that really does improve theresponsiveness of the systemit’s a highly responsive system andanother a big change this year is thatour traffic is now delivered by HD radioas you can see right here we have littleHD radio icon there so that is freetraffic you no longer need asubscription in order to get thattraffic and also if you’re outside an HDradio area the system can now startdownloading the traffic information viayour pairedBluetooth smart phone that reallyseparates us from other entries outthere who don’t have that option ofbeing able to receive trafficinformation two different ways so ifyou’re in an area that doesn’t get acellular signal you can get it via HDradio if you’re an area that doesn’t getHD radio you can get it via the cellularsingle of course have multiple differentmap views in the system we have a 2dview a 3d view yet doyou you can get compass view as well youcan choose all those various differentviews there you can choose a flatter 2dview using that little button rightthere we still get traffic informationyou can use this direct access buttonright there on the Lexus remote touchcontroller

to zoom in and out or you canuse the zoom in and out buttons rightdown there entering an address into thesystem is very easy either via thisinterface or via the natural voicecommands we also have the option for websearching via the system right herewe can also call the Lexus destinationassistance so you can talk to someonehave them assist you in entering the DESaddress the address entry is in verynatural voice commands and that is mypreferred method of entry in a systembecause if we click over here to thissystem right here and I’ll enter a housenumber you can see we will then move onto a street name and now we have tointeract

with a regular old keyboardusing this Lexus remote touch controllerand that is quite distracting honestlywhether you’re driving or whether you’reparked it’s not the easiest way to enteran address into the system however thevoice commands the system do work verywell after the beep please say a commandplease say help at any time foradditional instructions navigation go tonavigation please say a navigationcommand enter an address enter anaddress please say the full addressincluding the city and state or province897 Hinkley Road Burlingame Californiain addition to being relatively rapid asfar as recognizing your voice commandthe voice commands for actual navigationroute instructions are very fluid andvery attractive as well going back tothe main menu we can go

on to our Lexusapp suite this is very similar to theToyota app suite that you’ll find aToyota products we have Bing integrationiHeartRadio movie tickets open tablePandora Facebook Places etc these allrequire that there be an app running onyour paired at USB smartphone in orderfor that to work there are additionalapps that Lexus claims will be availableat some point soon but these apps ingeneral worked very well it’s relativelyeasy to search for addresses via Bingyou can also stream your media viaPandora the Facebook Places isn’t as inas BMWs iDrive is but does work verywell for itself the info option is whereyou will find things like fuelconsumption of our fuel consumptiondisplays in the CT you can see our pastrecord right here see where our energyis going their typical hybrid energydisplay right thereand you can see every time you’ve resetthe trip record you can see

where yourfuel economy has been I’ve beenaveraging about forty two point onemiles per gallon in this car over mytime I also have traffic incidents againdelivered by HD radio we have weatherreports again delivered by HD radio aswell you can see our current weather youcan also see other local cities or aweather map you can see a current or athree-day forecast and a six or 12-hourforecast for our area right here we tooka quick look at the radio screen butlet’s go back there take a look we haveour presets over here on the left-handside of the screen you can use the Lexusremote touch controller to move thislist up and down this is a combined listof am/fm and satellite radio presetsright over therescan we can channel lists we can changeour sound options get the various textentries from that satellite station

thatwe’re on right there and we can go uphere and change our source you canchange the source between all of yourvarious input methods we do have ashortcut to iHeartRadio and Pandora inthe same interface it’s good over to theother side and you can see we also havethe AV input in the system now you canaccess your Bluetooth device or youriPod via that input right there or youcan actually go to back to the main menuclick media and then use your device inthat fashion there as well right now wehave a device connected via Bluetoothaudio to this system and this is whereyou can see we have a very advancedBluetooth interface compared to some ofthe other entries out there in theluxury segment especially because we canactually browse our Bluetooth device ourplaylists artists albums genres etcright via

bluetooth we don’t need theUSB cable to be actually connected tothe phone as you can see right now myphone is not actually physicallyconnected to the system but I can browsethe playlists in this I device and thenyou can select tunes right from thisplaylist this additional functionalityvia bluetooth is very handy because ifyou’re using an eye device like I amright here and you’re on iOS 7 then youmay have some problems interfacing withthat eye device via your USB cable rightthere in the center console and that’sbecause it seems that there is an appleproblem that Apple has not addressed ontheir latest software package hopefullythey will address it soon older AIdevices running iOS 6 don’t seem to havea problem but the latest ones do overhere on the phone interface you willfind your stereotypical phone interfacewe also have messaging support if yourdevice supports it Bluetooth devicesfrom Apple do not support this at thistime as you’d expect from

Bluetoothphone interface we do have a dial pad wehave a contacts list call historyfavorites etc if we go back we have thesetup options where you can changevehicle settings as well as systemsettings right here in the Lexus enformsystem overall I like Lexus enformalthough I really dislike this Lexusremote touch controller for me thishelps put the system below outies MMIBMWs iDrive even something like my Fordtouch or my Lincoln touch in thissegment I definitely place this systemslightly above my Ford touch if it hasthe touchscreen so in the Lexus gx460 Idefinitely rank the system higher but incars like this Lexus ct200h where wehave this Lexus remote touch controllerit does rank about fourth or fifthoverall for me the input method is a bigdeal when it comes to a navigation andinfotainment system that you’re going touse while you’re drivingI do find this does make me a lot moredistracted while I’m driving than thetouchscreen system that’s in the Lexusgx460 hopefully Lexus will come up withsome answer to this distraction problemin ^pfuture software versions but at thecurrent moment I would definitely buythe system over the base system thatjust has iPod integration but doesn’thave navigation or the Lexus remotetouch controller.

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