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Toyota Corolla 2018 and Lexus UX to miss out on CarPlay for Australia

A shot of the US-market Corolla interior, featuring Apple CarPlay.

The 2019 Toyota Corolla and all-new Lexus UX will finally introduce Apple CarPlay to the Toyota group, but Australia will have to wait a little longer than other markets.

Toyota and Lexus have confirmed that US versions of the new Corolla hatch and the UX small SUV will join the (US-only) Avalon featuring the smartphone integration technology as part of its multimedia offering.

Toyota Australia product PR manager, Orlando Rodriguez, told CarsGuide that the technology was “not ruled out for Australia” but as “the US is a bigger market, they get technologies like this first”.

“The US is a bigger market, they get technologies like this first.” “The US is a bigger market, they get technologies like this first.”

As such, the tech will not be in the Corolla for its August launch. Rodriguez was unable to confirm a timeline for Apple CarPlay to arrive locally in Toyota vehicles.

Similarly, Lexus Australia PR manager Nick Raman told CarsGuide that Apple CarPlay would not be available at launch in Australia for the brand’s first small SUV.

The Lexus UX will also receive CarPlay connectivity in the US, but not Australia yet. The Lexus UX will also receive CarPlay connectivity in the US, but not Australia yet.

It has also been reported that Lexus and Toyota are working with Google to bring Android Auto to both ranges, but the technology is not ready yet.

Other news from Lexus in the US was that the brand will debut a subscription-style ownership service with the launch of the UX. When quizzed on whether the same service would be available locally, Raman said that the service would “need to be evaluated for the local market” so no timeline or confirmation either.

The UX will also share the Corolla’s drivetrain, consisting of a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine. While specs have not been released for the Corolla, it has been confirmed that the UX will produce 125kW in non-hybrid UX200 form, and 131kW for the hybridised UX250h – giving us at least a hint to the hatchback’s output.

The UX will share its engine with the 2019 Corolla. The UX will share its engine with the 2019 Corolla.

The Corolla and Mazda 3 are the main volume-sellers in the segment that still do not offer Apple CarPlay, facing off against the likes of the Hyundai i30, Subaru Impreza, Holden Astra, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf that all offer the connectivity.

Does the availability of smartphone integration affect your purchase decision? Let us know in the comments.

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