Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto: Where Are They Now?

lexus es 350 2022 34 apple carplay center stack display interior sedan scaled jpg 2022 Lexus ES 350 | Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

Cords are so 2010. They been disappearing from desktops, networks and phone accessories for years, and increasingly, they are disappearing from vehicle consoles — both for phone charging and for integrating Apple CarPlay or Android Auto into the dashboard screen. Each model year brings more vehicles (and more inexpensive vehicles) that offer wireless connectivity for these smartphone services along with wireless charging for devices.

Related: Honda to Retrofit Accords With Wireless Smartphone Connection

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto continue to expand beyond our earlier lists of the feature’s availability for the 2022 and 2023 model years. Below are the model-year 2024 cars that offer wireless smartphone integration, followed by more details on these wireless features.

Note that a handful of vehicles have wireless Apple CarPlay but not wireless Android Auto, and that getting wireless phone integration on a vehicle might require an option package or a certain trim level — so shoppers will need to verify the specific vehicle’s details. This list might grow through the year as full official specs for a few 2024 models still are yet to be released.

Models With Wireless Smartphone Integration for 2024

  • Acura: Integra, MDX, RDX, TLX, ZDX
  • Alfa Romeo: Tonale
  • Audi: A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, E-Tron GT, Q3, Q4 e-Tron, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q8 e-Tron
  • Bentley: Bentayga
  • BMW: 2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series, iX, i4, i5, i7, XM, X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6, X7, Z4
  • Buick: Enclave, Encore GX, Envision, Envista
  • Cadillac: CT4, CT5, Escalade/Escalade ESV, Lyriq, XT4, XT5, XT6
  • Chevrolet: Blazer, Camaro, Colorado, Corvette, Equinox, Malibu, Silverado EV, Silverado 1500, Silverado 2500/3500, Suburban/Tahoe, Trailblazer, Traverse, Trax
  • Chrysler: Pacifica, Voyager
  • Dodge: Durango, Hornet
  • Fiat: 500e
  • Ford: Bronco, Edge, Escape, Expedition/Expedition Max, F-150, F-150 Lightning, F-Series Super Duty, Mustang, Mustang Mach-E, Ranger
  • GMC: Acadia, Canyon, Hummer EV Pickup/SUV, Sierra 1500, Sierra 2500/3500, Terrain, Yukon/Yukon XL
  • Honda: Accord, Civic, CR-V, HR-V, Pilot, Prologue, Ridgeline
  • Hyundai: Elantra, Kona, Kona Electric, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Sonata, Tucson, Venue
  • Ineos: Grenadier
  • Infiniti: Q50, QX50, QX55, QX60, QX80
  • Jaguar: E-Pace, F-Pace, F-Type, I-Pace, XF
  • Jeep: Compass, Gladiator, Grand Cherokee/Grand Cherokee L, Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer, Wrangler
  • Kia: Carnival, EV9, Forte, K5, Niro, Seltos, Sorento, Sportage
  • Lamborghini: Urus
  • Land Rover: Defender, Discovery Sport, Range Rover, Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar
  • Lexus: ES, GX, LC, LS, LX, NX, RX, RZ, TX, UX
  • Lincoln: Corsair, Nautilus, Navigator/Navigator L
  • Lucid: Air
  • Maserati: Ghibli, GranTurismo, Grecale, Levante, Quattroporte
  • Mazda: CX-30, CX-5, CX-50, CX-90, Mazda3, MX-5 Miata
  • Mercedes-Benz: C-Class, EQB, EQE Sedan, EQE SUV, EQS Sedan, EQS SUV, GLA, GLB, GLC, GLE, GLS
  • Mini: Clubman, Convertible, Hardtop, SE Hardtop
  • Mitsubishi: Outlander
  • Nissan: Altima, Ariya, Armada, Frontier, Pathfinder, Rogue, Titan/Titan XD, Z
  • Porsche: 911, Cayenne, Macan, Panamera, Taycan
  • Ram: 1500, 2500/3500
  • Subaru: Ascent, Crosstrek, Impreza, Legacy, Outback, Solterra, WRX
  • Toyota: bZ4X, Corolla/Corolla Hatchback/GR Corolla, Corolla Cross, Crown/Crown Signia, Highlander/Grand Highlander, GR Supra, Land Cruiser, Mirai, Prius, RAV4, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza
  • Volkswagen: Arteon, Atlas/Atlas Cross Sport, Golf GTI/Golf R, ID.4, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Taos, Tiguan
kia k5 ex 2021 android auto  center stack display  detail  front row  interior 29 jpg 2021 Kia K5 EX with Premium Package | Cars.com photo by Joe Wiesenfelder

The Fine Print

While some of the models listed have wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capability as an option or as standard on higher trim levels, that is rapidly changing to include even base models as vehicles are redesigned or refreshed; for example, the revamped 2025 Ford Explorer now has these features standard on all trim levels. The same steady democratization was true for Bluetooth calling and, later, wired smartphone integration as they rolled out.

There are some oddities, as well, since wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto generally require upgraded hardware. Hyundais and Kias, for example, have these features already with more recent base media systems that have a smaller display, but they’re not yet available for some of the large-screen systems found on higher trim levels and models. That’s being sorted out with redesigns, as with the new 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe, which now has wireless smartphone integration standard on all trim levels.

Are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Endangered Species?

A contradictory auto trend is underway — particularly in EVs — that could derail not only expansion of wireless integration, but also the availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto at all. Why? Money.

Automakers, watching subscription models fuel profits in tech and entertainment, would like to make their vehicles a source of subscription income. But BMW drew significant pushback when it briefly tried to charge owners for using Apple CarPlay, so that seems less likely (for now).

More significantly, there is money to be made on all of the personal data that could be mined from you and your driving. Mirroring your phone on the car’s infotainment screen gives much of that profitable data to others. The countermove for automakers would be to simply not allow smartphone integration, which Tesla and EV newcomer Rivian do not. Now, GM — a pioneer in smartphone integration — has announced it will drop Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in its upcoming EVs starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV. The company has partnered with Google to develop a new onboard vehicle navigation and infotainment system.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto FAQs

Without getting totally geeked out, here are answers to a few questions about wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Is wireless the equal of a wired connection?

Mostly, yes. Generally, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have no more lag time and are robust enough for equivalent quality for music and other uses. They also rarely lose the connection, but it can happen and, as with most tech, a wired connection still is the most reliable.

How do wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect to the car and the internet?

To replace the USB wired connection, wireless smartphone connectivity uses specific upgrades to the car’s multimedia system for a closed Wi-Fi connection with your phone. But in most cases, your phone still is using its cellular data connection to communicate with internet services (and could incur data costs depending on your phone plan).

Do they require my vehicle to have a Wi-Fi hot spot subscription?

No, an onboard hot spot is a separate feature. Hot spots let your devices go online using an onboard modem and its own cellular data connectivity, which generally requires a specific paid data subscription after a trial period.

What about phone battery life?

Data-intensive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto services drain your phone’s battery, which is not an issue with a wired USB connection that charges the phone at the same time. A wireless charging pad in the vehicle is an essential complement to wireless phone integration; otherwise, you’d be plugging a USB charging cord into your device anyway.

Can Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto Be Added Later?

Yes, but not easily. Some aftermarket multimedia systems offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, though that kind of project might be more appealing if you have a car with no smartphone integration at all. There are also a variety of aftermarket “dongle” devices for cars that have wired smartphone integration. The devices plug into the USB media port and connect wirelessly with your phone — though a survey of online reviews will reveal mixed experiences.

You might also get some help down the road from the automaker depending on the multimedia system in the car. Honda has announced it will offer a dealer-installed upgrade to add wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for model-year 2018-22 Accords that currently have wired capability. Honda says the upgrade will cost $112 plus the dealer’s labor charge, and buyers of certified pre-owned Accords can get the upgrade as part of their purchase at no additional cost.

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Former D.C. Bureau Chief Fred Meier, who lives every day with Washington gridlock, has an un-American love of small wagons and hatchbacks. Email Fred Meier

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