Toyota's flagship four-door sedan will also be its first model in North America to offer integration for Apple iPhones. It's been a long time coming.
Until the Monday debut of the 2019 Toyota Avalon at the 2018 Detroit auto show, the Japanese automaker had resisted allowing smartphone operating systems access to its infotainment systems, citing security concerns. Toyota was among the few automotive holdouts without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility.
Brian Inouye, Toyota's Chief Product Owner for App-based & Connected Services, told The Car Connection in an emailed statement that the automaker's upcoming CarPlay integration is "consistent with Toyota's privacy principles."
That consistency doesn't extend to Android Auto—at least not yet. Inouye gave no hints about the potential for Android Auto integration in the future. For iPhone users who want a new Toyota, however, the 2019 Avalon opens the floodgates.
"After Avalon, any (model year 2019) vehicle that adopts the Entune 3.0 platform will receive Apple CarPlay," Inouye said. "Those additional models will be announced at a later date."
Toyota's Linux-based Entune 3.0 infotainment system debuted last summer in the 2018 Toyota Camry and it is also fitted to the 2018 Toyota Sienna. But Toyota won't be retrofitting Apple CarPlay compatibility, to 2018-model year vehicles.