Anything to look for in a "CarPlay" car?


I have the Sport Touring trim, which can be had in Canada (and I did get it with) a 6 speed manual transmission. I absolutely love the car and any time I can take it into twisty, winding roads I end up with a big, goofy grin on my face :slight_smile:

CarPlay was a pretty major factor for me too. I was looking at some Acura models and the Mazda 3, but none of those had CarPlay at the time (2017).

1 Like

Yeah I think it’s different based on where the screen is - when I had a Mazda the screen was high up and further back so I was using the wheel 90% of the time
With the Subaru the screen is big, low and close so they don’t need a job wheel


I had aftermarket CarPlay receiver in my VW Jetta / Currently I have a Subaru Impreza with CarPlay. I would say it is so much better being built in instead of aftermarket. I’ll never buy a car that doesn’t have it.


Recently updated the software in our 18 year Land Rover Discovery. The connection is intermittent and often requires the removal of USB cable a few times to get things working. Interested to know if anyone else experiences these issues or maybe they’re specific to my car?


Chevy Bolt here, which has a touch screen but it’s single touch so there is no pinch and spread to zoom the map. Our other vehicle has a spinning dial for its navigation and infotainment display which is a horrifying, time wasting, error prone and distracting UI. IMHO touch screen is less distracting as it’s more efficient. A button on the steering wheel summons Siri (take me home, take me to work, etc).
My Bolt’s screen displays 5 icons wide by 2 deep. I have used CarPlay in several rental cars where the display was 4 icons wide by 2 deep. This is ever so slightly annoying, but apart from that it’s fantastic to get into a rental car and have the exact same navigation and entertainment system that you are already used to and has all of your content.
One CarPlay annoyance is designers, Apple included, who think it’s ok to put a list on a touch screen when a grid of icons would be better would be more space-efficient and touch friendly. Especially as the scrolling of the list disables when the vehicle is in motion. Turns out that when you do want to play that one podcast that is off the bottom of the list, all the remaining traffic lights in your journey will turn green due to Murphy’s Law. Siri can help but there are some things she just won’t get for me, like Tim Ferriss - interpreted as Tim Ferris and then there’s no such person. Sigh.
I normally don’t experience having to wait for CarpLay to connect. However, USB cables differ - some are only good for charging and unreliable for data. Being left in the car in the hot sun can cause them to fail over time. I’d suggest if there are connection issues, use a new, high quality cable to connect.


This is my exact experience too. My wife and I bought two new cars both with CarPlay last year. I find that they are basically the exact same experience except for some of the car manufacturer slight differences. I like that my Honda Clarity has a slightly bigger, and I think more responsive, touchscreen. But the right turn camera sometimes gets in the way of what I’m trying to do. It also does not have a knob for volume but touch controls just next to the screen. My wife’s Mitsubishi Outlander doesn’t have quite as nice a screen but I love that she has a little volume knob to quickly adjust the volume. Both of us have steering wheel controls that works slightly different but are fine and I’ve never had any problems with connectivity or anything on either one.


I used to rent a lot of cars. One of the cheaper cars I rented had a really dim screen - basically it was unusable during the day. Given how many cars I rent, I know how to fight through the menus to find the brightness and contrast controls - this car just didn’t have them.

So the upshot of my comment is just to test drive, and be sure you really like it on the car.


Actually, using CarPlay in a rental car is ideal. Most of the time, rental cars are stripped models that don’t include a navigation system or satellite radio. With CarPlay, I can use my phone’s navigation system (Apple Maps, Google Maps, etc.) for directions, as well as the SiriusXM app for radio.

I love CarPlay in my 2018 Lincoln. Now Ford has to just make it wireless!


VW Alltrack owner here. My CarPlay experience has been excellent… both through touchscreen (my preference) and knobs. Both work fine with VW’s implementation.

I also installed this D-Dock (think of it as simple docking station for phone). Love it. Subtle and simple, but it is so nice to simply slide my phone in and be done! Works great

Hope this helps — jay


Don’t get a BMW while this nonsense continues:


Here in the UK I have bought a MG ZS which has a large colour touch screen with CarPlay. I had never used CarPlay before and this is great especially with Waze. Could not go back now.

1 Like