Longtime CarPlay holdout Toyota is making good on promises to deliver Apple's automotive infotainment platform to drivers, and plans to integrate the technology in its all new 2019 Corolla Hatchback this year.
Due for unveiling at this week's New York Auto Show, the 2019 Corolla Hatchback will arrive bearing an 8-inch touchscreen running Toyota's Entune Audio in-car infotainment system. The latest version 3.0 will, at least for the Corolla Hatchback, feature built-in CarPlay integration and optional Qi wireless charging.
Entune 3.0 also supports Siri Eyes Free and comes with an auxiliary audio jack, as well as a USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control. The step-up Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, which is standard on XSE models and optional on SE CVT trims, tacks on HD Radio, SiriusXM with Cache Radio and remote connectivity services. At the top end, Entune 3.0 Audio Premium, available as an option on XSE CVT, delivers an 800-watt, 8-speaker system from JBL with Clari-Fi processing, dynamic voice recognition and navigation, dynamic point of interest search and other connectivity features.
Amazon Alexa support also comes standard, but Android Auto users are out of luck.
As noted by CNET, the five-door variant of Toyota's popular compact is a carryover from the Japanese automaker's defunct Scion marque. Sold under the "iM" moniker at Scion, the vehicle came into Toyota proper last year as the Corolla iM, but will drop such branding altogether in 2019.
Corolla Hatchback sports only minor aesthetic enhancements over last year's model, but sits on Toyota's new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform with a sport-tuned suspension and 2.0-liter four-cylinder power plant mated to either a six-speed iMT manual transmission or a Dynamic-Shift CVT. The chassis is more aggressive, being lower to the ground with a wider and longer wheelbase compared to last year's model.
Second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) technology is standard, offering drivers pre-collision warning and brake assist, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alerts with steering assist, automatic high beam and a new feature called lane tracing assist. The latter technology helps keep drivers in their lane by providing steering assistance based on tracked white or yellow lane markings or the path of a preceding vehicle.
Toyota first revealed plans to integrate CarPlay into select cars in January, saying this year's Avalon and certain Lexus models would receive compatibility with the arrival of Entune 3.0. Long a CarPlay holdout, the company in 2015 said it had no plans to support the technology and would instead concentrate on internal infotainment efforts.
Corolla Hatchback is expected to go on sale this summer, though Toyota has not yet disclosed pricing.