Lexus' 2019 ES will be its first model with CarPlay support

Toyota's upscale badge has joined the modern era.

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Toyota has slowly been entering the modern era with full smartphone integration in its cars, and now it's time for the company's upscale Lexus badge. Lexus has revealed that the 2019 ES sedan is its first-ever vehicle to support Apple CarPlay, giving iPhone owners familiar apps and Siri while they ride in style. There's still no Android Auto support, sadly, but you do get Alexa voice control both in and outside of the car.

The ES is a tech-laden car even if you don't care for voice assistants. The standard model includes an 8-inch center display, but you can spring for a navigation package that gives you an ultra-wide 12.3-inch screen and a mobile Verizon hotspot. Every variant comes with an updated pre-collision detection system that can detect cyclists. And this being a Toyota brand, there's naturally a hybrid variant -- the ordinary V6-equipped ES 350 is joined by a hybrid ES 300h whose updated electric motor is better at mimicking the power delivery of a gas engine. You shouldn't see as much of an obvious change when the electric motor kicks in.

Lexus hasn't divulged pricing for the new ES (the 2018 model starts at $38,335), but it should reach dealerships in September. We'd expect CarPlay to reach other Lexus vehicles as the 2019 model year arrives. As with the earlier Toyota announcements, this iPhone tie-in isn't likely to reel you in by itself. Rather, it's that you no longer have to rule out a Lexus if CarPlay is a must-have.

CarPlay in the 2019 Lexus ES

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