What’s that Button: Part V

Our popular “What’s that Button” series is back and this time we’re going to show you around the SUV’s of Lexus.  Whether you drive the Lexus RX, NX or LX, you are sure to come across one or two buttons that have you wondering what would happen if I press that…?  What’s that Button: Part V will answer any lingering questions you may have on the various buttons and features found on the popular line up of Lexus SUVs, or at the very least, should be an entertaining read for Lexus enthusiasts.


What’s that Button: Lexus LX 570

If you have a 2016 or 2017 LX 570 then you more than likely have the Cool Box which is considered one of those “standard added options” for most new LX’s built for the Southern area.  How do you know if you have the Cool Box in your Lexus LX? If you see a button like the one below, you’re a lucky owner of a Lexus Cool Box.

Cool Box Power ON button in 2017 Lexus LX 570
Driver’s seat on 2017 Lexus LX

If you have the Lexus LX or any other Luxury Model Lexus then you will have an extra adjustable feature for the driver’s seat.  This feature is perfect for taller individuals and is the control you see on the very end – far left – in the picture above.  This button is called the Driver’s Seat Power Cushion Extender and will provide additional thigh support for the driver.

LX What's that Button.png

We get this question quite a bit.  The button with the arrow directed at it above is the Easy Access Mode switch.  You can select this mode for easy access and easy loading of your Lexus LX.  Easy access mode is available when the vehicle height mode is in normal and stopped on a flat surface while parked with the engine off.  When the vehicle begins to lower a beep will sound twice, and while the vehicle is lowering the indicator light will flash to alert the driver and surrounding people that the vehicle is lowering.  The indicator light will stop blinking as soon as the shift in height is completed.  If the engine is turned off within 30 seconds after the vehicle stops while this mode is on, the LX height is lowered automatically.

LX What's that Button(1).png

The button above (the one with the big arrow pointing at it) is where you can disable the height control feature.  We call it the “Height Control OFF” button.  You can press this button when the vehicle is stopped and the height control “OFF” indicator will appear on the multi-information display making the LX height fixed at the current mode.  Pressing the switch again will turn the system back on.  On a side note, even if the system is turned off, the vehicle system will intervene automatically if the LX speed exceeds 18 mph while in high or low mode and/or 50 mph while in normal mode.  You should also know that if the vehicle is loaded too heavily, or the undercarriage of the LX has come into contact with the road surface, the vehicle height cannot be raised or lowered.

LX What's that Button(2).png

The large button, or dial, pictured above is called Multi-Terrain Select.  Multi-Terrain Select is a system that helps drivability in off-road situations and will basically turn you into a serious off-roading pro while navigating the toughest back roads.  Multi-Terrain Select gives you 5 different modes to choose from and by turning the dial and reading your multi-information display you can select the mode that most closely matches the type of terrain on which you are on.  The 5 modes include Mud & Sand, Loose Rock, Mogul, Rock & Dirt and Rock.  Not sure which terrain you’re on?  Read a complete description on how to operate the Multi-Terrain Select here.

LX What's that Button(3).png

The button pointed at above that reads “ECT 2nd” is the button used for selecting 2nd Start Mode in the LX570.  You would use 2nd Start mode when driving on slippery road surfaces such as snow.  Texas drivers would not have to use this button very often.

What’s that Button: Lexus GX 460

The Lexus GX460 was built for adventure and offers a sublime smooth ride plus versatility that knows no bounds.  Although the GX has fewer center console controls than the LX we just went over, there are still a few buttons that may have drivers asking themselves, what’s that button?  To help answer this question and maybe point out a few more buttons that you might have missed, we will explore the Lexus GX460 here.


On the GX Luxury Model you will have a center console that looks like the one pictured above and includes controls for your Adaptive Variable Suspension System.  The AVS System allows you to select different drive modes to suit driving conditions.  For example, you can move the AVS switch up to Sport Mode when driving on winding mountain roads or high speed driving.  Normal is perfect for every day and is the center option.  Comfort mode is selected by moving the button to the bottom option (where you see COMF on the switch above).  Comfort mode, when compared to normal mode, ride comfort is improved.


The Lexus GX460 Luxury with Driver Assist Package will come with the Pre-Collision System and have a steering wheel that looks like the one pictured above.  The Pre-Collision System is on by default, but did you know that you can disable or turn off PCS?  If you’re looking under the steering wheel and see a PCS off button and it is pressed in, then PCS is disabled and a “PCS” warning light will turn on the MID.  Good to know, just in case you press this button without actually wanting to turn off the valuable driver assist system.

PCS Button in GX
Disabling PCS on GX
PCS OFF Warning Light on GX
Warning light you will see if PCS is disabled.


GX Park Assist.png

Pretty much ever 2017 Lexus GX460 will have Park Assist as one of the many safety features found on the Premium package model and up.  If you have Park Assist turned on and go to park or pull in close to another object or car you will see a display like the one pictured above.  Park Assist alerts you when you are getting close to an object, but do you know how close you can really get without hitting that object?  Below is a helpful chart on the distance associated with the different bars and colors that you will see on your Lexus display screen when PA is on and working for you.

Park Assist Sensor Map Lexus GX

A good rule of thumb is that when you see the Red with lines then you should stop.  Yellow just means you’re close but not yet too close.

What’s that Button: Lexus RX

The Lexus RX is one of our best-selling and most popular Lexus models.  Enjoyed by many, the Lexus RX has lots to offer and the 2017 model comes with more standard equipment than ever before.  This long list of features includes the new Safety System+ which is on by default but can be controlled via new steering wheel and other buttons found throughout the front cabin of the Lexus RX.

RX Steering Wheel buttons.png

The button pointed at above controls Vehicle to Vehicle Distance which is just one Safety System+ setting that can be adjusted by pressing a button on the RX steering wheel.  Pressing this button changes the vehicle-to-vehicle distance to either Long, Medium or Short.  By default the distance is set to long mode but if you want a tighter following distance then press this button and select away.

RX Vehicle to Vehicle Distance

Another common question asks about the button located just below the Drive Mode Select dial that has a car icon and “OFF” written below it.

RX VSC off button.png

This is one button that I would just ignore since pressing it turns off a valuable driving assist system that you will want to remain on.  If you do press it though, you do not have to worry as it is very easy to turn back on and the car will alert you when or if turned off.  The button pictured above controls the vehicle’s TRAC system – traction and vehicle stability control.  You may see the TRAC indicator light flash on the MID while driving from time to time as this flashing light tells you that the TRAC/VSC systems are operating.  If your RX gets stuck in the mud, dirt or snow, the TRAC system may reduce power from the engine to the wheels.  Pressing that button in this instance may make it easier for you to rock the vehicle in order to free it.  To turn TRAC off, quickly press and release the button.  The “Traction Control Turned Off” will be shown on the MID.  Press the button again to turn the system back on.

Another feature that you might have missed on the Lexus RX is the extra storage available on models with the Display Audio Package (no navigation).  If you have the RX with Display Audio, you can lift up on the lid below your rotary dial that operates the multimedia display system for some extra storage.  Pretty useful!

RX with Display Audio Package and Rotary Dial
Extra Storage on RX with Display Audio Package


What’s that Button: Lexus NX

2017 Lexus NX200t with Premium Package

Straying a little from – what’s that button; we wanted to point out how you can tell the difference between a Premium and a Starting (base model) NX200t for the 2017 model year.  The one major difference is easily spotted while looking at NX’s either on a lot or while out driving and this is the new wheel that you get on the Premium Package NX (see above).  These new wheels will be on the Premium Package and will also tell you that this NX more than likely has a Moon Roof, Blind Spot Monitor, Park Assist, Rear Power Door and Heated/Cooled Seats – at the very least.  The 2017 NX with these wheels also tell you that the NX may have Navigation as the Premium Package, or upgraded wheel option, is always grouped with the Navigation Package (unless special ordered otherwise).

2017 NX200t with the Starting Package Level (base model)
Active Sound Control in Lexus NX F SPORT

If you’ve seen this button in your Lexus NX200t then you know that you have the F SPORT model and you can now control an electronic sound system that generates engine sound, conveying the kinetic situations of the NX’s acceleration and deceleration to the driver through the speakers inside the instrument panel.  Move the dial up to make the sound louder and down to lower the sound.  When you see the green light, like the picture above, you know the ASC is turned on.  This ASC system can be operated in normal or sport mode.  Driving in Sport mode with ASC turned up will make the “engine sound” even louder to match your sporty driving.

Automatic Parking Brake in the Lexus NX

Every NX will have an electronic parking brake with an automatic mode.  Automatic mode is selected and turned on when you see the green light above the AUTO (pictured above).  When in auto mode, the parking brake is set or released automatically according to the shift lever operation.  If you find that your NX is not in AUTO mode and you would like it to be, just swing by North Park Lexus at Dominion and we will put this on for you.  If you like to do things yourself, here’s a handy instructional picture from the NX Owner’s Manual (page 205).

NX auto parking brake how to

That about wraps it up for Part V of What’s that Button?.  If you have any questions on any of the buttons mentioned in this SUV specific post or if you have questions on any buttons not mentioned, please let us know!  We love hearing from our Lexus drivers, friends and fellow enthusiasts.

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2 thoughts on “What’s that Button: Part V

  1. Georgia Brown

    My 2015 nx 200t Lexus does not have the automatic trunk flip button on my key nor is there a button in the car. I have to open it by hand on the trunk itself. Are all models made as such?


    1. No, but you may have an NX without that feature. The feature code is PB and it would be listed on your window sticker if you had it (and you would see the power rear door button inside your NX and on your key). You can upgrade to one with that feature!


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