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Lexus' Infotainment System

2013 Lexus LS600h L: Plenty of Tech, but Short on Value

SiriusXM and HD Radio are standard on the LS600h L. The infotainment system supports basic radio playback functions, but doesn’t enable time shifting like some other cars (not that this is feature I particularly care for). There is, however, one feature that the LS600h L boasts, which competing manufacturers should follow: mixing SiriusXM and HD Radio presets.

In theory, the capability is simple. It's a nice touch, though. I prefer the quality of HD Radio broadcasts, but sometimes SiriusXM has the music I want to listen to. By intermingling the presets rather than requiring I change sources every time, I can enjoy Pop2K on SiriusXM and the old-school lunch on KUBE 93 interchangeably. You're given access to 36 preset spots, which should be more than enough.

2014 Lexus LS 600h L: Media Playback

Flash drives and iPhones/iPods are supported through a USB port located in the front armrest. The user interface is straightforward; you can navigate by folder or track information (album, artist, genre, etc.). I was annoyed by one facet of folder-based navigation, though. Instead of maintaining the directory structure of your flash drive, Lexus' infotainment system only shows folders with music files. For example, let's say you organize your tunes in such a way that they show up as Music\Rap\Eminem\The Marshall Mathers LP. You don't see that in the LS600h. Instead, the infotainment system only shows The Marshall Mathers LP. This becomes problematic if you only remember artists and not album names.

So, overall, the radio functionality is excellent, while USB-based media playback can get a little clunky, depending on how you organize your library. It's not unusable by any measure; Lexus does well enough here.

Mark Levinson Premium Sound

Lexus taps Mark Levinson, another division of Harman, for the LS600h L's premium audio system. The standard premium package pairs 19 speakers with a 450 W amplifier. The 7.1-channel sound system features three-way front and rear channels, two-way center and rear deck channels, and a subwoofer to create in-car surround.

The Mark Levinson sound system worked great for movies, but I couldn’t get it dialed in for the music I listen to (hip hop, pop, rock, some trance, and some country). It simply doesn't offer enough mid-bass for my tastes. The tweeters are fairly detailed though, and they don't sound overly bright.

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