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Lexus LS600h L - Communication
A fully featured, handsfree Bluetooth telephony interface is what you would expect from a car of this stature. And that's nearly what you get. In practice, the pairing process with a mobile handset is fairly straightforward, even if the Bluetooth options are buried rather deep in the system's menu. As ever, results will vary according to the make and model of your phone.
We experienced a number of compatibility issues, both minor and major, with an LG Viewty handset including problems making outgoing calls. More disappointing is the fact that, yet again, telephony is an area where the British LS draws a short straw compared with its North American cousin. Both telephone number input and contact name recognition are off the voice command menu. Only the memory presets can be summoned by speech alone.
Bluetooth aside, the LS is short on networking support, Internet browsing or anything of that nature. High rollers in the back must whip out their own 3G devices if they want to keep in touch with the outside world. Admittedly, in-car Internet access is only just beginning to reach the market. The LS has been on sale in the UK for over 18 months, probably making it one of the very last uber saloons to launch without some kind of Internet access. BMW, for example, is beginning to roll out its ConnectedDrive Internet access technology across its range, allowing full web browsing in some models including, crucially, the latest 7 series. Undoubtedly, lack of Internet connectivity will increasingly become a weak point for the LS, given its target market.