Unsung Heroes: Lexus Features You May Not Notice but Should

July 19th, 2016 by

There is so much attention to detail, thought and intuitive technology put into every Lexus that some features may go unnoticed by Lexus drivers.  These unsung heroes may not get the same attention that the new 12.3-inch Navigation & Multimedia Display Screen does, but these features are important nonetheless and equally impressive in their specific purpose.  Let’s take a look at some of the Lexus features that you may not notice, but definitely should…


LED Cornering Lamps

Provides additional illumination in the direction of travel, at the sides, and above when turning at an intersection, ensuring excellent pedestrian visibility even in low light situations.  These wide angle LED cornering lamps provide additional illumination when the turn signal is engaged.  The extra white light is directed towards pedestrians that may otherwise be difficult to see when turning at an intersection using only the low beam headlamps.  You can find the LED Cornering Lamps on the NX (pictured above) and other popular Lexus models.


Ambient Lighting in the Lexus RC F

Ambient lighting gives your Lexus interior a warm, luxurious look when driving in the evening.  Subtle thin strips of LED lighting run along the lower edge of the interior trim on the dash and doors.  Adding intrigue to the design of the interior, the available ambient lighting brightens or dims based on whether the vehicle is moving or parked.  Ambient lighting can be found on the new Lexus RC coupe, GS, ES, RX and more!

ES Ultra Luxury Flaxen Interior Ambient Lighting

Ambient Lighting in the Ultra Luxury Package Lexus ES350

Easy Vehicle Exit.  Providing added comfort and ergonomics, the easy vehicle exit feature on Lexus vehicles makes it easier to enter and exit.  When turned on, the driver’s seat slides all the way back while the steering wheel tilts up and away as soon as you push the power off button.  What’s even better is that the seat and wheel will return to the previous position when power is turned on again.  Seat and steering wheel can be adjusted to three settings (Full, Partial and Off) via Lexus Personalized Settings (LPS).


Easy Vehicle Exit- Standard on the new Lexus LX, GX, RX and more.

Electronic Parking Brake.  Gone are the days of guessing whether or not the parking brake is engaged.  Now handled by the electronics in your Lexus (shift-lever position linked), no manual effort is needed to set or release the parking brake.  What makes this feature even better is that it actually saves up to 16 pounds versus a conventional system and takes up less cabin space, allowing for more room inside your Lexus.  The electronic parking brake also includes Brake Hold.  Give your foot a rest at those red lights and let Brake Hold keep you in place.   This handy feature keeps a virtual “foot on the brake pedal” when the vehicle is stopped with the motor running and in gear; the system releases the brake when the accelerator pedal is depressed and allows smooth start off.


Electronic/Auto Parking Brake and Brake Hold Feature in the Lexus NX200t.

Hill Start Assist (HAC) is a kind of “brake hold” function that helps keep a vehicle from rolling backward when the driver pulls away when on an incline or hill.  Hill Start Assist is great and allows Lexus drivers to execute a smooth start on a steep hill.  Here is how Lexus explains the function behind Hill Start Assist:

Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) can help hold a vehicle in place while the driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the accelerator. On steep hills, this feature can help keep the vehicle from rolling backward before the driver steps on the accelerator. In effect, HAC provides the same benefit as holding the parking brake while starting on a steep hill. With the vehicle at a standstill, HAC is set automatically when the driver presses down forcefully on the brake pedal for approximately 3 seconds. A chime sounds and the brake lights illuminate when HAC is activated. About 3–5 seconds after the driver steps on the accelerator, HAC releases the brakes. A chime sounds twice when HAC releases brake pressure.


Hill Start Assist is a standard feature on the Lexus RX, IS, GX and more Lexus favorites.

Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) Front Seats.  These smartly designed front seats allow for the driver and passenger to shift rearward into the seatback in the event of a rear-end collision, effectively reducing the space between the head and the headrest which lessens whiplash.

Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) seats feature forward placement of front headrests, an optimized seatback shape and reinforced seat side frames. In the event of a rear-end collision, the front seats have been designed to push backward, allowing the occupants to sink into their seats. This can help limit excessive head movement by reducing the space between the head and the headrest, helping decrease the severity of whiplash injury in certain types of rear-end collisions.


Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats in the Lexus IS

Illuminated Entry System.  The illuminated entry system provides a warm welcome to Lexus drivers when approaching their vehicle and enhances visibility, convenience, and peace of mind.  This automatic illumination can be customized based on every Lexus owners preference and is activated when the SmartAccess fob or key card is within the exterior vehicle detection area, or when any door is unlocked through key or remote operation, then opened. The system includes illumination of the power button ring, seatbelt buckles, interior footwells, switches, courtesy lights, inside door handles, front/rear personal and interior lights, plus the puddle lamps mounted on the underside of the outside mirrors.


Illuminated center console on the Lexus LX570


Illuminated controls inside the Lexus LS460

Siri Eyes Free makes it even more convenient to use your iPhone and keep you connected while in your Lexus.  With Siri Eyes Free Mode, you interact with Siri using the vehicle’s microphone and speakers, not those on the actual phone (which can be stored safely in your purse or pocket) allowing you to text, reply to email and more.

Screen Shot 1

Siri Eyes Free Mode

Here are just some of the functions available with Siri Eyes Free Mode:

  • Place phone calls and dictate text messages and e-mails
  • Hear incoming text messages read over the vehicle’s speakers
  • Set reminders, appointments, alarms and timers
  • Hear weather reports, stock prices, and sport scores
  • Control the phone’s iTunes® library (music will play over the vehicle’s speakers)
  • Find points of interest, such as nearby coffeehouses or restaurants
  • Navigate using the phone’s navigation capabilities:
    – Navigation uses Apple Maps
    – Use Siri’s spoken directions instead of looking at the phone’s map display

Siri Eyes Free

Last, but not least, we think the genuine wood accents used in Lexus vehicles definitely deserve to be on the best of Lexus features list.  The wood trim symbolizes the pride, craftsmanship, and attention to detail in every Lexus vehicle.  The story behind the making of the Shimamoku wood found in the Lexus LS and LX is awe-inspiring and we just recently wrote about the impressive Sapele Wood Trim that can be found in the Lexus RX and GS.  Read more about the craftsmanship behind the wood trim in your Lexus here.


Shimamoku Wood in the Lexus LS460


All of your wood trim options on the 2016 Lexus RX


Lexus GX460 wood trim on Premium model.


Sapele Wood trim in the 2016 Lexus GS350

Now we want to know what’s your favorite feature?  Let us know with comments below or email us at jbrennan@lexusdominion.com.