Well if you plan on purchasing a Toyota car, truck or SUV and want to have all of the latest infotainment features easy to find on your new vehicle’s center touch screen then you definitely want to make sure you tick the box for Entune. Like many car maker’s current systems, it features a number of handy apps which hook through an Entune app you download onto your smartphone. If you are a little too classy for just a plain Toyota then you will be wanting to look into Lexus and its somewhat similar yet more comprehensive Enform Infotainment system. Got that?
In this article, however, we are going to focus on only Toyota’s Entune system and our most recent experience with it in a 2015 Toyota Camry XLE V6 where it come in conjunction with an upsized 7-inch center mounted touch screen as well as a sweet JBL Green Edge Sound System. Gone are the days when the Camry was seemingly designed to force you to be one of those people who only listens to AM talk radio. Now, frankly, what with Apple and Android taking what seems like an eternity to bring their infotainment systems to market, Toyota looks like a revolutionary having had Entune available since late 2011. And unlike MyFordTouch, it has always proven reliable if sometimes a bit quirky.
By quirky we just mean through Toyota’s somewhat odd choice of app offerings which at least you as the owner you can remedy by banishing the apps you don’t really need to the third and last page and just keep your favorites on the first page that comes up when you press the rather enormous APP button on the dash. In fact, on the 2015 Toyota Camry we noticed not only were all the dash buttons huge and printed in large, easy to read type but so were the touch screen buttons. I have a hand tremor so I say thank you to Toyota and I am sure many of the Camry’s older buyer’s do, as well.
Entune as an infotainment system may lack the complexity some techno-geeks long for but when it comes to user friendliness it’s pretty hard to beat. As I said before, getting to the available apps is a breeze as you just have to press one enormous and obviously labeled button that I am sure even an astronaut in the orbiting international space station could read. As far as pricing goes, only Sirius/XM satellite radio requires a monthly fee after its standard first three months of free use runs out.
If your new Toyota is equipped with the “App Suite” which includes the touch screen for JBL audio/premium audio and display navigation functionality then all of your basic apps are free. This is also true if you just select HDD navigation. These apps include Pandora Radio, iHeartRadio, Slacker, a Bing internet search function, Facebook connectivity, Movie times, Yelp and more all operable once you download the Entune App Suite via your smartphone on iTunes or Google Play for example.
There is also a handy data service package that is free forever on vehicles with touchscreen navigation and audio or free for three years (then there is a monthly fee) of vehicle ownership. Data services include the latest stock prices, sports scores, fuel prices at the nearest gas stations, up to the minute traffic reports and the weather. So no point in watching the evening news when you get home from your evening commute then.
Entune generally comes as part of an option package on most every Toyota model currently on sale barring the Yaris, most noticeably. Those shopping for a Corolla, Camry, Venza, Tundra, Tacoma, Sequoia, Land Cruiser, Avalon, 4Runner, Highlander and the whole Prius family offers Entune in some form on the V, C, lift back and plug-in. Go to Toyota.com/entune to learn more about models, pricing and Entune feature availability at the time of your vehicle purchase as the system adds more features and apps all of the time.
Final Expert Opinion: Toyota’s Entune system has a serious advantage over upcoming infotainment systems from the likes of Apple and Android simply due to the fact that it not only has been quite reliable since its launch in 2011 but it also has been on the market for years getting real world testing. So if you are leery of any in-car electronics that are so complex you are just certain they will not work after a year then Toyota’s Entune is well proven and should put your mind at ease. It is easy to use and offers more than enough features for most consumers.