New Lexus owner - GX - questions


Hi, just purchased my first Lexus - a 2023 GX 460 Premium - after owning a new 2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 for 20 years. We basically wanted another V8 4Runner which is why we chose the Lexus as Toyota discontinued the V8 in the 4Runner years ago.

The Lexus is obviously so much more luxurious and feature packed than the 4Runner. I was psyched to get the 17-speaker Levinson sound system as part of the package. So I was pretty disappointed that the sound is just okay. Wondering if anyone else has similar experience or opinion.

1) In the 'Surround Mode' (default), it sounds like mono sound coming from front center speaker. Really disappointing.
2) Turning off the Surround Mode, the sound immediately casts a stereo image, much sounds like all sound comes from front
3) Using the Fader to move the sound field back, the volume becomes much lower (naturally), but it also sounds like the equalization is different - filtered. I know Toyota does this on my 2015 Avalon - they filter the rear sound because they want it to be just a filler.
4) I asked the tech guy at Lexus dealer, he acknowledged they have had complaints of the "all sound coming from front" and said it was so one would feel like they are at the Opera!
5) In fairness, the fidelity of the sound is very good - you can tell the speakers are markedly better than most stock OEM speakers. The 330 watt amplifier sounds okay but those numbers feel very inflated.

I would love to hear about others experiences.

Finally - I have the heated steering wheel which is wood and leather (I live in Florida LOL) - why is only the leather portion of the wheel actually heated? Wouldn't the wood portion (which is more than 60% of the wheel) be the coldest feeling part and therefore the very part you'd actually want heated? I found this disappointing and I'd really not like it if I lived up north where its cold.

Thanks all,