The 2019 Toyota Corolla is making its global debut at the New York International Auto Show this week, and it has a few surprises hidden inside its tiny hatchback — most notably Apple’s CarPlay and Amazon’s Alexa.
Toyota first added CarPlay earlier this year in the 2019 Avalon. It was a shift for the Japanese automaker, which famously abstained from adopting either CarPlay or Android Auto in its cars for years. Up until 2015, Toyota was on record as preferring its own in-house proprietary operating system, and even when Toyota eventually switched to another company’s system in 2016, it was to adopt Ford’s SmartDeviceLink app platform, not Apple or Google’s software.
It’s a shift for the Japanese automaker
Now, the auto giant is going all-in on third-party software providers, and it's taking it a step further by making both CarPlay and Alexa standard features in the Corolla. There’s still no word on whether Toyota will be adding Android Auto to its new vehicle models anytime soon.
The Corolla, which is powered by Toyota’s Entune 3.0 infotainment system, also comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes Free, AUX, a USB 2.0 port, and hands-free phone calls and music playback via Bluetooth. A tray with optional Qi-based wireless charging is built in to hold an iPhone. (Despite featuring a standard Qi wireless charger, there’s sadly no support for wireless CarPlay, so you’ll still have to plug in a cable to take advantage of the feature.)
Also standard in the new Corolla is Toyota Safety Sense, the automaker’s suite of safety technology that includes pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, radar-assisted cruise control, lane tracing, and steering assist.