Apple CarPlay allows your iPhone to integrate effortlessly with your car. Cars with Apple CarPlay require you to simply plug in your iPhone, unlock your phone, and the familiar apps and icons appear on the car’s screen. You can make calls, send and receive texts, and listen to music while driving, all using voice commands to avoid distractions. You can even have Siri Google something while driving, all without having to touch your phone.
These kinds of features are usually reserved for high-end, luxury cars and come with a price tag to match. However, for the 2016 and 2017 model years, mass-market brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagon, Hyundai, Honda, and Volvo have gotten into the mix, bringing Apple CarPlay within budget for most car-buyers.
Why You Should Consider Cars with Apple CarPlay
CarPlay is designed to work with iPhone 5 and later, and the best way to decide if Apple CarPlay is right for you is to test it out. Most dealers will be happy to let you take a test drive or at least try out the technology in the parking lot to see how it works. Most reviews of cars with Apple CarPlay say it’s useful and works well in many situations. However, you shouldn’t expect Apple CarPlay to be as feature-rich as your phone is on its own. That’s probably a good thing, because you’ll be using Apple CarPlay while you’re driving, and there’s a fine line between driving aid and distraction when it comes to connected devices.
Apple CarPlay saw its first major wave of adoption from large car manufacturers in model year 2016. Since then, CarPlay has deployed on 2017 cars and is slated for more model year 2018 cars. Here are the top brands where you can get Apple CarPlay:
The 2016 Volvo XC90 review also shows CarPlay available in that model year. The 2017 S90, V90, and XC 90 all offered Apple Carplay. In 2018, expect CarPlay in the XC60 as well.
In the 2017 model year, BMW adopted Apple CarPlay and added it to their 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 series as well as the X3, X4, X5, and X6.
At first, Honda added Apple CarPlay to their Accord and Civic sedans in 2016. In the 2017 model year, Honda incorportated the CR-V, Ridgeline, Odyssey, and Pilot into their CarPlay offerings.
Mercedes integrated Apple CarPlay into their A-Class, B-Class, CLA-class, CLS-class, E-Class, GLA-class, and GLE-class vehicles in 2016 and 2017. They added the E-Class and SL-Class in 2017.
Cadillac added CarPlay to their lineup in 2016 with the ELR, ATS, ATS-V, CTS, CTS-V, CT6, Escalade, and XTS. The same models also came with CarPlay in the 2017 year, with the addition of the XT5.
Hyundai was another early adopter in the 2015 model year, with the Genesis, Azera, and Sonata. In 2016, Hyundai added the Elantra GT, Tucson, and Veloster. Then, in 2017 they included the IONIC, Sante Fe, and Elantra.
Kia was one of the early adopters of CarPlay, including it as an option on the 2014 Soul model. In 2015, they added CarPlay to the Optima, Sedona, and Soul EV. The 2017 model year saw the addition of CarPlay on much of their remaining lineup, including Cadenza, Forte, Niro, Optima Hybrid, Sorento, and Sportage.
Ford’s 2017 lineup included Apple CarPlay on the Edge, Escape, Expedition, Explorer, F-150, Fiesta, Flex, Focus, Fusion, Taurus, Transit, Mustang, and Super Duty. Prior to 2017, Ford’s cars weren’t equipped with CarPlay.
Audi offered Apple CarPlay on its 2017 model year, including the A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, Q2, Q7, R8, and TT. For the 2018 model year, it’s confirmed the Q5 will offer Apple CarPlay as well.
Volkswagon’s 2016 and 2017 model year Beetle, CC, Fox, e-Golf, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Lamando, Passat, Polo, Scirocco, Sharan, Tiguan, and Touran all supported Apple CarPlay. VW added Atlas, CrossFox, Gol, Saveiro, and Voyage to the list in 2017.
Chevrolet offered Apple CarPlay on 2016 model of Corvette, Camaro, Colorado, Cruze, Impala, Malibu, Silverado, Spark, Suburban, Tahoe, and Volt. In 2017, Chevy added Aveo, Bolt, Prisma, S10, Sonic, and Trax to the list of models with CarPlay available.
Adding Apple CarPlay Aftermarket
For Apple fans dedicated to the idea of having Apple CarPlay but not currently in the market of a new car, aftermarket options are available to install CarPlay in your existing vehicle. The Pioneer Apple CarPlay install kit is a great option to integrate your iPhone’s capabilities into your car seamlessly, as are options from Sony and JVC. To install an aftermarket Apple CarPlay kit, you’ll probably want to let a professional stereo installer do the work, since replacing your car’s current display screen can be a tricky process.