Review: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Offers CarPlay, a Revamped Infotainment System, and Tons of Safety Features

Hyundai was one of the first brands officially announced as a CarPlay partner back in 2014, and the feature is now available across pretty much all of the carmaker's lineup. I recently spent some time with ‌CarPlay‌ and Hyundai's native infotainment system in the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata, and I've been impressed with not only Hyundai's ‌CarPlay‌ implementation but also just how much technology in general Hyundai has managed to include in the Sonata for its price.


The 2020 Sonata starts at $23,600 and is available in four trim levels, topping out with the Limited trim at nearly $34,000 plus destination charges. My test vehicle was the high-end Limited trim, which comes with all of the bells and whistles Hyundai offers without any additional packages needed, with the exception of a $300 upcharge for the Quartz White paint and optional accessories like floor mats and cargo customization. A traditional hybrid version of the redesigned Sonata with an available solar-panel roof should be available in the coming months.


Technology and Safety Features


The 2020 Sonata is packed with technology, offering nearly every popular safety feature, including many of them even on the base SE trim. Forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, driver attention warning, and smart cruise with stop and go are standard on all trims, while SEL and higher trims add blind spot collision avoidance and rear cross traffic avoidance.

Video feed of left-side blind spot

At the top end, the Limited trim includes parking collision avoidance, highway drive assist (which is an option on the SEL Plus trim), and a very convenient blind view monitor that pops up a video feed of your blind spot anytime you activate the turn signal. The video appears right in the gauge cluster and makes it very easy to check exactly what's next to your vehicle, a significant step up from the traditional blind spot monitor that only illuminates a light if an object is detected.

Standard gauge cluster view

Speaking of the gauge cluster, the Limited and SEL Plus trims come with a nice all-digital 12.3-inch screen, and it's available as part of the convenience package on the SEL trim. The Limited trim also includes a head-up display for even more information available at a glance without needing to take your eyes off the road.


And of course, there's the Limited-only "Smart Park" feature made famous with a Super Bowl ad this year, which lets you remote start the car and move it slowly forward or backward without you even needing to be in the car. Hyundai markets it as a feature for letting you get the car in or out of tight parking spaces, and while it feels like mostly a gimmick to me, it's another sign of the semi-autonomous technologies that continue to roll out across many car manufacturers.

Infotainment


When it comes to infotainment, the base Sonata comes with an 8-inch screen, but my Limited trim includes a larger 10.25-inch widescreen display with built-in navigation. The larger display is also available on the stepped-down SEL Plus trim as an option if you add the $2,750 tech package that also includes a sunroof, LED interior lights, premium Bose audio, and highway drive assist. ‌CarPlay‌ and Android Auto are standard on all trims, regardless of display size.

Home screen icon view

Hyundai has rolled out a revamped infotainment in the 2020 Sonata, and it's a massive improvement. It offers a clean look with layouts and designs that will feel familiar to any smartphone user. Customizability is embraced throughout the system, with the ability to edit the home screen icon and widget layouts, and this customizability extends throughout the vehicle systems with a vast array of options accessible through the infotainment system.

Home screen widget view

Similar to ‌CarPlay‌, the Hyundai infotainment system offers a couple of different home screen views, starting with a dashboard-style screen that lets you customize widgets such as navigation, audio, weather, and more. A swipe on the screen switches over to an icon-based home screen that gives you access to all of the system functions. You'll find all of the usual functions here, including data on your driving performance, a handy app for recording voice memos, and even a "Sounds of Nature" function that lets you pipe relaxing sounds like a forest scene, sea waves, rain, or a crackling fireplace throughout the car.

Sounds of Nature app

There's really only one tactile hardware control, and that's the volume knob, but there are several capacitive buttons on either side of the display. You can't really find them by feel as you would be able to do with physical buttons, but at least they make it easy to jump to frequently used infotainment functions without needing to navigate through the system's UI. There's also a dedicated "star" button that can be configured to offer one-touch access to ‌CarPlay‌, for example.

Configuring the "star" button to activate ‌CarPlay‌

Built-in navigation is provided by HERE, and it proved to be a capable system with a solid POI database that was able to pull up nearly every destination I attempted to find. It's also easy to search by POI categories, set shortcuts for multiple frequent destinations, and select your route options.

Built-in navigation search screen

The navigation system provides a side-by-side view with a larger screen showing your overall upcoming route and a smaller side panel with specific information for your next upcoming turn, but you can also drag over another side panel to essentially divide the widescreen display into thirds and simultaneously show other infotainment system data like audio.

Built-in navigation with split-screen view

‌CarPlay‌


‌CarPlay‌ on the 2020 Sonata requires a wired connection, which is still very common among car manufacturers, although many are starting to move toward wireless connectivity options in their next-generation infotainment systems that are just starting to roll out.

‌CarPlay‌ home screen in widescreen

Perhaps my favorite thing about ‌CarPlay‌ in the 2020 Sonata is the ability to set a user preference for widescreen or side-by-side screens. Widescreen infotainment systems are becoming more and more popular, and manufacturers have typically fallen into one of two camps when it comes to supporting ‌CarPlay‌ in them: let ‌CarPlay‌ take over the entire screen or limit it to a portion of the screen while leaving a smaller side panel to display information from the native system.

Apple Maps in full widescreen view

Hyundai lets the user choose, although it's not a setting you'll be able to easily switch while driving as it's managed within the settings for the connected phone.

‌Apple Maps‌ in split-screen view with native audio widget

Regardless of which option you choose, you'll see a typical ‌CarPlay‌ experience with interactions happening through either the expansive touchscreen or Siri. Maps in particular looks great on the widescreen, but even at the smaller size you'll have a reasonable view of what's around you.

‌Apple Maps‌ in split-screen view with native weather widget

The touchscreen is responsive in both the native system and ‌CarPlay‌, and I experienced no issues with ‌CarPlay‌ connectivity in my testing. The capacitive buttons on either side of the display make it simple to hop out to the native system, while the customizable star button makes for one-touch access to get back into ‌CarPlay‌.

‌CarPlay‌ "Now Playing" screen in widescreen

As is typical for steering wheel controls, there's a single voice control button that serves dual duty. A short press brings up the Hyundai voice system while a long press activates ‌Siri‌.

Sonata steering wheel controls with voice/‌Siri‌ button at top left of left cluster

Climate Controls


Despite the raft of features included in the 2020 Sonata, Hyundai has done a lot to minimize the complexity of the controls. Climate controls thankfully remain hardware-based and separate from the infotainment system, and it's a relatively clean setup that even integrates controls for the heated and ventilated front seats.

Climate controls

Hyundai has made fairly heavy use of space-saving switches for things like A/C mode controls, fan speeds, and drive modes, making for a simpler layout than other systems that use multiple buttons for each function.

Ports and Wireless Charging


The Sonata features a pair of USB-A ports up front on all trims, with one for data and one for charging only. A single charge-only USB-A port for rear passengers is included standard on the Limited and SEL Plus trims, while it's part of a $1200 convenience package on the SEL trim. It's not available at all on the base SE trim.

Rear USB port

Hyundai also offers a Qi wireless phone charging on some trims of the 2020 Sonata, with the charger coming standard on the Limited trim and as an option on the SEL Plus trim. It's not available on the SEL or SE trims.

Front USB ports

I experienced a bit of quirkiness with the charger, as it was not able to charge my iPhone 11 Pro Max with Apple's Smart Battery Case. Upon setting my phone charging pad, my phone would vibrate as if charging had started, but then it would repeat every few seconds and the charging status light above the charger would never illuminate.

Qi wireless phone charger

I removed the ‌Smart Battery Case‌ and tried with the bare phone, and charging worked fine. I also tried with an iPhone XS Max with and without the official ‌Smart Battery Case‌ for that model and everything worked fine.

Convenient phone storage slot between cupholders

The Sonata offers another handy phone storage option, and that's a slot in the center console between the two cupholders. A phone sits upright in the slot, making it easy to grab on your way out of the car, and it's a convenient space-saving solution for holding the phone even while connected to the infotainment system for ‌CarPlay‌, as long as you put the phone in upside down.

Wrap-up


The 2020 Sonata packs an impressive amount of technology for its price points, and I'm looking forward to seeing these capabilities and the revamped infotainment system make their way across the rest of the Hyundai lineup.

While I'd like to see wireless ‌CarPlay‌, the wired solution works well and integrates smoothly with the new infotainment system. The spacious widescreen display available on higher trims is terrific, and I love the amount of customizability Hyundai provides, extending all the way to allowing for standard or full-screen ‌CarPlay‌.

The 2020 Sonata starts at a reasonable $23,600 an maxes out at just about $34,000, even with all of that technology built in. Aside from an engine that lacks some of the pep found in similarly sized luxury cars, the Sonata in a higher-end trim feels like a much more expensive sedan than it is.
Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Hyundai

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Study Claims Using CarPlay While Driving is More Dangerous Than Texting

A new study conducted by driving academy and UK independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart suggests that using Apple CarPlay while driving is more dangerous than texting or holding a phone to converse.


Drivers reacted 36 percent more slowly when using the voice function of ‌CarPlay‌, and 57 percent more slowly when using ‌CarPlay‌'s touch functionality. Comparatively, texting caused 35 percent slower response times, and using a hand-held phone caused 46 percent slower response times.

The study found that using ‌CarPlay‌ or Android Auto with touch control caused drivers to struggle with controlling the vehicle's position in the lane and keeping a consistent speed and headway to the vehicle in front. Some of the study's other findings:

  • Participants failed to react as often to a stimulus on the road ahead when engaging with either Android Auto or Apple ‌CarPlay‌ - with reaction times being more than 50 per cent slower

  • Reaction time to a stimulus on the road ahead was higher when selecting music through Spotify while using Android Auto and Apple ‌CarPlay‌

  • The impact on reaction time when using touch control (rather than voice control) was worse than texting while driving

  • Use of either system via touch control caused drivers to take their eyes off the road for longer than NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recommended guidelines

  • Participants underestimated by as much as 5 seconds the time they thought they spent looking away from the road when engaging with Android Auto and Apple ‌CarPlay‌ via touch control.


It's worth noting that this ‌CarPlay‌ test involved just 20 participants, with 20 other participants using Android Auto, which is a small test group and may not be representative of the usage experiences of all ‌CarPlay‌ owners.

It's also not clear how familiar the participants were with the ‌CarPlay‌ interface before beginning the test or whether they had used it prior to the testing, but IAM RoadSmart says there was a "comprehensive familiarization process."


The test consisted of asking participants to complete three drives on the same simulated test route: a control drive, a voice-enabled drive (interacting with ‌CarPlay‌ via voice commands) and a touch-enabled drive (using ‌CarPlay‌'s touch controls only).

The route included two music-related tasks accessing music on Spotify and BBC radio while following behind a car (2.4 miles), two navigation tasks to a restaurant or a petrol station in a simulation of erratic motorway traffic (5.6 miles), and a figure eight loop done while reading texts and making a call (two miles).

Each participant was asked to react by flashing their lights when a red bar appeared on the screen, which was done to measure reaction time to an external event. These red light flashes appeared at four times during the drive when the driver was engaged with ‌CarPlay‌.

Driving performance was measured by reaction time to the red bar, behavior measures like speed, lane position, and headway, eye gaze behavior, and self-reported performance.

Given the results of the study, IAM RoadSmart is calling on industry and government to "openly test and approve" ‌CarPlay‌ and Android Auto to develop "consistent standards that genuinely help minimize driver distraction." The full distracted driving study conducted by IAM RoadSmart can be read on the company's website [PDF].
Related Roundup: CarPlay

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CarPlay May Support Wallpapers in iOS 14

CarPlay may support custom wallpapers when connected to an iPhone running iOS 14, according to leaked code obtained by 9to5Mac.


The report claims Apple is currently testing the feature with default wallpapers available in iOS 13, adding that the wallpapers would automatically switch between light and dark versions on the CarPlay interface depending on the time of day.

The report also claims that Apple Maps will provide more info for certain businesses in iOS 14, such as specific Genius Bar services that an Apple Store offers, movie theatres with IMAX showtimes, and places with discounts for children.
Related Roundups: CarPlay, iOS 14

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GM Introducing Wireless CarPlay in Select 2021 Vehicles, Including Trailblazer, Yukon, and Bolt

General Motors is introducing wireless CarPlay and Android Auto in several of its 2021 vehicle models, including the Trailblazer, Yukon, Suburban, Tahoe, Escalade, and Bolt, according to Electrek, Torque News, and various tweets.

CarPlay‌ is Apple's in-car platform that enables drivers to access a range of iPhone apps from the dashboard, such as Messages, Apple Maps, Apple Music, Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Pandora, WhatsApp, and Downcast. Since iOS 12, third-party navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze are also supported.

Wireless CarPlay in 2021 Yukon via Chad Kirchner

Wireless CarPlay works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for the iPhone to be connected to the infotainment system with a Lightning cable.

Wireless CarPlay is gradually expanding in the auto market. Ford is introducing wireless CarPlay in select 2020 vehicles through its SYNC 4 infotainment system, for example, while the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica will feature a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen that supports both wireless CarPlay and wireless Android Auto.

There are also many aftermarket wireless CarPlay receivers available from brands like Alpine and Pioneer for do-it-yourself installation.


General Motors says the 2021 Trailblazer will go on sale in spring 2020, while most other 2021 models will be available later in the year.

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: GM

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Review: Infiniti Joins the CarPlay Club With the 2020 QX50

Apple touts that there are now over 500 car models supporting CarPlay, and Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti is one of the most recent (and perhaps the last significant brand in the U.S. other than Tesla) to add the feature with the 2020 Q50 and Q60 sedans, QX50 crossover, and QX80 SUV.

I've had an opportunity to spend some time with a 2020 Infiniti QX50 and check out how the updated InTouch infotainment system and ‌CarPlay‌ work with the dual screens dominating the center of the dashboard, and I've come away fairly impressed with the performance and ease of use.


The 2020 QX50 comes in five trim levels starting at $37,250 for the base Pure trim and topping out at a little over $60,000 for a fully loaded Autograph trim. All trims are available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, with the latter costing an extra $2,000. ‌CarPlay‌ and Android Auto are standard on all trims, and dual center touchscreens with an 8-inch display on top and a 7-inch display on the bottom are uniform throughout the lineup.


My test vehicle was an all-wheel drive Essential trim, which is the middle of the five available trims, and it came with a $1,200 "Edition 30" appearance package that also bundles in the ProASSIST features such as distance control, intelligent control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure prevention, and adaptive front lighting. Toss in upgraded Majestic White paint and some welcome lighting and cargo packages, and my tester checked in at just under $50,000.

InTouch Hardware and Software


Infiniti is certainly not the only manufacturer to pursue a dual-display infotainment solution, and I've had some previous experience with such a system in the Audi A7. Part of what sets Infiniti apart here, however, is that hardware buttons were thankfully not sacrificed in favor of all-screen controls. The lower screen of the InTouch system is surrounded by hardware controls, including climate controls along the left and right sides and some hardware audio buttons and a knob along the bottom just below the CD drive.

Infiniti's dual-screen InTouch infotainment system

There are also some quick-access hardware buttons for jumping between the main InTouch home screen, the audio screen, and the climate screen where only a few digital adjustments like manual fan speed can be made, but almost all of these are also accessible through the hardware buttons on either side of the screen. Add in the usual bevy of steering wheel controls, and you can accomplish a heck of a lot just by feel, which is fantastic.

Settings screen typical of high-level menus

The upper screen is largely dedicated to the built-in navigation that's standard on Essential and higher trims and optional on the second-level Luxe trim, and this is also where ‌CarPlay‌ shows up. Even here, Infiniti provides options for interacting with the content, supporting both touch directly on the screen and indirect control via a knob and a few buttons on the center console. I generally prefer using touch or voice for interacting with ‌CarPlay‌ and built-in navigation systems, but it's nice to have another indirect method available for quick adjustment or for those who prefer it on a more regular basis.

Infotainment control knob next to gearshift offers quick access buttons for map, camera, and back functions, plus twist-to-scroll and select for navigating the system

Infiniti's InTouch software bears some distinct similarities to the NissanConnect infotainment system of the brand's parent company, which I previously looked at in the Leaf and Altima, but it's been augmented with some higher-end features and of course optimized for the dual-display setup.

InTouch audio app shares a lot of similarities with NissanConnect

The audio setup is very similar to the NissanConnect system I've used in other vehicles, with a relatively straightforward layout and a customizable bottom menu bar to set up and quickly access your preferred audio sources. SiriusXM content in particular looks good with colorful channel logos and album art visible on the screen. The interface for terrestrial radio stations is a bit simpler, but still offers a clean look with station and song information when available and support for HD radio.

Embedded navigation route guidance

The onboard navigation works well with 3D city views, lane guidance, exit signs, and a variety of available views to customize the navigation experience, although the overall look could stand to see some modernization. There's support for street and satellite views, real-time traffic, and Destinations by Google, which offers an improved POI search experience compared to the embedded system's database. Over-the-air map updates are also available. The overall look of the maps isn't as modern as what you see with Apple or Google Maps, for example, but functionally it's a pretty solid system. Of course, with ‌CarPlay‌ and Android Auto, you may not even want to use the onboard navigation, but it's there if you want or need it.

Embedded navigation route selection and overview showing the two displays working together

In addition to the dual displays in the center stack, there's also a digital display for the driver between a pair of analog gauges. The display offers a number of different views including speed, audio information, navigation, ProPILOT Assist driver assistance features, and more, so that can serve to augment the at-a-glance availability of information from the various vehicle systems. A head-up display is also available standard on the top-end Autograph trim and as part of a package option on the step-down Sensory trim.

Customizable digital driver display in center, and dedicated Siri/voice control button at bottom of left steering wheel button cluster

The QX50 includes the usual array of steering wheel controls for accessing functions like volume, cruise control, phone calls, and more, and the dedicated voice control button serves dual duty with a short press activating the InTouch voice system and a long press bringing up ‌Siri‌ for either ‌Siri‌ Eyes Free or ‌CarPlay‌.

‌CarPlay‌


‌CarPlay‌ on the 2020 QX50 does require a wired connection, which is a little unfortunate at a time when more and more luxury brands including Audi, BMW, and Porsche are supporting wireless ‌CarPlay‌ and it's on the verge of rolling out to more mainstream brands from the likes of Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler. Infiniti does tell me that wireless ‌CarPlay‌ is coming in the "near future," but it would have been nice to see it from the very start.

‌CarPlay‌ home screen

Setting the lack of wireless support aside, ‌CarPlay‌ works quite well on the dual-screen InTouch system, and it's great being able to dedicate the top display to ‌CarPlay‌ while native functions like audio and other features remain fully visible and accessible on the lower display. The 8-inch top screen provides ample room for the ‌CarPlay‌ interface, and everything looks big and bright sitting fairly high on the dashboard so it's not too far out of the driver's line of sight.

Dual-screen setup gives full access to ‌CarPlay‌ maps on top and native audio on bottom

I had no problems reaching all parts of the screen to manipulate ‌CarPlay‌ by touch, or you can use the control knob on the center console to scroll through the various interface elements and select the one you want.

‌CarPlay‌ "Now Playing" on top, main InTouch home screen on bottom

The flexibility of having dual displays and the redundancy of many of the native system functions between them really lets ‌CarPlay‌ shine, as you really don't have to worry about switching away from it to access the Infiniti system. Some adjustments will trigger a brief overlay on the ‌CarPlay‌ screen, but other than that you're free to tweak audio, climate, and vehicle settings without disrupting the ‌CarPlay‌ experience.

Ports and Connectivity


All QX50 trims come equipped with four USB ports, highlighted by one USB-C and one USB-A at the front of the center console next to the cupholders, and both ports support data connections for ‌CarPlay‌. The other two ports are charge-only USB-A ports, with one located inside the center console compartment and one on the rear of the console to provide power for backseat passengers.

Center console with USB-C/USB-A ports up front, infotainment control knob, and console compartment with charge-only USB-A

One downside is the lack of a good place for phone storage, as there is little space near the front USB ports other than a pair of cupholders and a small storage tray that isn't big enough to fit a phone without obstructing at least one of the cupholders. Storing your phone in the center console compartment is also an option, but it requires more effort to get in and out of the compartment and involves running the USB cable into the compartment, so it at least would have been nice if the USB port inside that compartment supported data transfer so everything could be tucked away inside. Wireless phone charging is not available on any QX50 trims.

One charge-only USB-A port and a 12V power port for rear passengers

Vehicles equipped with onboard navigation do include Wi-Fi hotspot functionality for up to seven devices, letting your passengers connect to the Internet with a data plan from AT&T.

Wrap-up


Infiniti may have been late to the ‌CarPlay‌ game, but it's come through in a solid way in the 2020 QX50, and also the Q50, Q60, and QX80, which all have nearly identical layouts with dual displays and a host of hardware controls. Infiniti has done a good job of building on the bones of the NissanConnect infotainment to take it to the next level, and iPhone users will be pleased at the prominence ‌CarPlay‌ receives on the dashboard.

The flexibility of the new InTouch system that lets you interact with the system in the way you prefer is fantastic, giving you the choice of touchscreen, hardware buttons, voice, and even a control knob. I also like that there's a bit of future-proofing for the primary USB ports up front, with one USB-C and one USB-A.

There are always a few nits to pick, however, and phone storage in the QX50 is one for me. There's no great place to put your phone while it's plugged in, and the USB port inside the center console compartment can't be used for ‌CarPlay‌. And with wireless ‌CarPlay‌ quickly becoming more common, particularly on luxury brands, it would have been nice to see that included here, but hopefully Infiniti will follow through and make that upgrade soon.

The QX50 is of course a luxury brand, so it has a bit of price tag starting in the mid to high $30K range, roughly on par with the Acura RDX that I took a look at a little over a year ago, but a decent amount less than other small luxury crossovers it aims to compete against like the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. With five available trims, there's a range of price points that can push things to nearly $50,000, but the good news for ‌iPhone‌ users is that ‌CarPlay‌ is standard on all trims, so you won't need to jump up a level or two or add an option package to get it.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

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2021 Chrysler Pacifica Features Largest-in-Class 10.1-Inch Touchscreen With Wireless CarPlay

As a factory-installed option, wireless CarPlay has been primarily limited to premium brands like BMW and Porsche, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles this week introduced its redesigned 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan with a standard 10.1-inch touchscreen that supports both wireless CarPlay and wireless Android Auto.


Wireless CarPlay is a feature of Fiat Chrysler's new Uconnect 5 infotainment system, standard across the new Pacifica lineup. Fiat Chrysler says Uconnect 5 is up to five times faster than Uconnect 4 and features built-in Amazon Alexa voice control, a revamped user interface, support for up to five user profiles, and more.

CarPlay‌ is Apple's in-car platform that enables drivers to access a range of iPhone apps from the dashboard, such as Messages, Apple Maps, Apple Music, Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Pandora, WhatsApp, and Downcast. Since iOS 12, third-party navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze are also supported.

Wireless CarPlay works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for the iPhone to be connected to the infotainment system with a Lightning cable.

Fiat Chrysler says the 2021 Pacifica will be available to order in the third quarter of 2020, with the vehicle slated to arrive to dealerships across the United States and Canada in the fourth quarter. Pricing has not been disclosed.

Ford is also introducing wireless CarPlay in select 2020 vehicles through its SYNC 4 infotainment system, while aftermarket wireless CarPlay systems are available from brands such as Alpine for do-it-yourself installation.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

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Review: Pioneer’s AVIC-W8500NEX System Upgrades Your Car With Wireless CarPlay and More

Pioneer has long been one of the biggest names in aftermarket car audio, and the company's lineup of NEX receivers offers a terrific option for adding CarPlay and other enhanced functionality to older cars or entry-level models that lack some of the latest technology.

Pioneer's 2019 NEX lineup includes models at a range of price points offering varying feature sets. Several months ago, Pioneer offered me the opportunity to try out the top of the line AVIC-W8500NEX, which offers a nearly 7-inch capacitive touchscreen display with onboard HERE navigation, wired and wireless ‌CarPlay‌ support, a DVD/CD player, and more.


As the top-end model in the lineup, the AVIC-W8500NEX carries a list price of $1200, so it's not necessarily for the budget-conscious customer. You can generally save hundreds of dollars by buying through Amazon sellers and other sources, but many of these are not authorized Pioneer dealers so you do want to be careful about where your unit is coming from.

And the unit itself is not the only item you'll need in order to add this receiver to your car. Anytime you're swapping out the radio system on your vehicle, you'll need a few other accessories like an appropriate wiring harness and dashboard trim plate for your specific vehicle. And depending on any other integration like steering wheel controls and backup camera connections, you may need a few more things.
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2020 Mazda Miata Gets Factory-Installed CarPlay

Mazda this week announced that its new 2020 MX-5 Miata comes with factory-installed CarPlay and Android Auto.


The new Miata features a seven-inch touchscreen display with dual USB ports. CarPlay can be accessed through Mazda Connect once an iPhone is connected to the infotainment system with a Lightning cable.

Now available in over 500 vehicle models, CarPlay‌ provides convenient access to frequently used iPhone apps such as Phone, Messages, Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze, Apple Music, and Spotify directly from the dashboard.


Mazda says the Miata is the Guinness World Record holder for the best-selling two-seater sports car. With a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, the 2020 model produces up to 181 horsepower at 7,000 rpm.

The 2020 MX-5 Miata will arrive to Mazda dealerships in February 2020, with pricing starting at $26,580 in the United States.

If you own an older Miata, CarPlay remains available as a dealer-installed upgrade in select 2014 model year and newer Mazda vehicles equipped with the Mazda Connect infotainment system in the United States.

Also See: Review: Mazda's CarPlay Support a Welcome Addition for iPhone Users

Related Roundup: CarPlay
Tag: Mazda

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Fiat Chrysler’s Android-Based Uconnect 5 Infotainment System Gains Wireless CarPlay and More

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today announced the upcoming launch of its next-generation infotainment system, Uconnect 5. The new version of Uconnect has been rebuilt from the ground up on an Android platform with a number of new features including wireless CarPlay and Android Auto, a familiar-yet-revamped user interface, support for up to five user profiles for customization, Alexa support, improved voice control, and more.

Uconnect 5 home screen

We've been fans of the current Uconnect 4 infotainment system and the way it nearly seamlessly blends ‌CarPlay‌ into the native system, and making ‌CarPlay‌ wireless will no doubt make that experience even better. Many of the other improvements in Uconnect 5 such as enhanced customizability, faster hardware performance, and new features and services should also make for a better user experience.

Uconnect 5 user profiles
The award-winning Uconnect system offers new conveniences, keeping customers engaged and informed all while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Apple ‌CarPlay‌ and Android Auto are currently available on more than 80 percent of FCA's North American applications. Uconnect 5 will bring Apple ‌CarPlay‌ and Android Auto to 100 percent of FCA's North American offerings. The feature also adds wireless connectivity, allowing customers to wirelessly project phone apps quick and easy, while leaving phones securely stowed.
Uconnect 5 TomTom navigation

Wireless ‌CarPlay‌ has so far been largely limited to a handful of luxury brands like BMW, Audi, and Porsche, with some aftermarket systems also supporting it, but more mainstream manufacturers are on the verge of adding wireless Carplay as they launch major updates to their infotainment technology. Ford announced last October that its SYNC 4 system will support wireless ‌CarPlay‌ in select vehicles, and now FCA is following suit with its family of brands including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and more.

FCA has yet to announce exactly when and on which models Uconnect 5 will first launch, but it should start rolling out later this year.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

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CES 2020: Alpine and Pioneer Debut Largest-Ever CarPlay Receivers With Up to 11-Inch Hovering Displays

In what has become an annual tradition, car audio brands like Alpine, Pioneer, Jensen, and JVC/Kenwood are showcasing new aftermarket CarPlay and Android Auto receivers at CES in Las Vegas this week.

Alpine is debuting a new CarPlay and Android Auto receiver with an 11-inch capacitive touchscreen, which it claims is the largest on the market, offering 49 percent more surface area than its 9-inch receivers. The display hovers over the dashboard, allowing it to be placed in most vehicles without the need for custom installation.


The display is attached to an adjustable mount that is connected to a traditional single-DIN chassis. It can be tilted at four pre-set angle points to better match the tilt and height of the dashboard.

Other features of the iLX-F411 include a mech-less design with no CD/DVD slot, Bluetooth music playback, SiriusXM readiness, a USB-A port, an AUX input, one HDMI input and one HDMI output, and one rear-view camera input. When not in CarPlay mode, the receiver has a customizable user interface with 22 available widgets.

Alpine says the iLX-F411 will be available in June 2020 for a suggested price of $1,200 in the United States. Alpine also has two new 9-inch receivers — model numbers iLX-F309 and iLX-F259 — available now for $800 to $1,200.

Pioneer is showing off five new CarPlay and Android Auto receivers at CES, including the DMH-WT8600NEX, a 10.1-inch model with a 720p capacitive touchscreen. Like the Alpine receiver above, the display hovers over the dashboard, allowing for it to have a traditional single-DIN chassis with no custom installation needed.

Image via CEoutlook

The DMH-WT8600NEX supports both wired and wireless CarPlay, according to Pioneer. This means an iPhone can be connected to the receiver with a Lightning to USB cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Pioneer says the DMH-WT8600NEX will have a suggested price of $1,200 in the United States, but it is unclear when it will be available. Pioneer is also releasing two 6.8-inch and two 9-inch receivers as part of its 2020 lineup.

Jensen and JVC/Kenwood are also launching new CarPlay receivers at CES this week.

Related Roundup: CarPlay

This article, "CES 2020: Alpine and Pioneer Debut Largest-Ever CarPlay Receivers With Up to 11-Inch Hovering Displays" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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