If you’re an Apple aficionado and hoping to get the company’s CarPlay system on your next vehicle, 2017 will offer a huge amount of choices, as it’s now available on over 200 models. Seriously, if you can’t imagine life without your iPhone, there’s never been a better time to be shopping for a new car.
Now, over the last few years, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of high-tech wizardry making its way into vehicles. Even the most basic models now feature systems — think anti-lock brakes, traction control, lane departure warnings — which were cutting edge not too long ago. But of all the areas where we’ve seen improvements, perhaps no area has changed as dramatically as in-car entertainment.
Manufacturers have come such a long way, that swapping out the stock sound system — which used to be the first thing on the agenda for audiophiles — is now virtually unheard of. And in many cases? It’s not even possible, as the touch screens and displays which have steadily appeared on dashboards are so integrated into the vehicle that removing them would render the entire car inoperable.
While Toyota and Lexus are among the few holdouts — as its designers were loathe to surrender their entertainment experience to Apple — Audi, Cadillac, Honda, Kia, Maserati, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Volkswagen have all jumped on the CarPlay chain, which should tell you something about how well the system has been received in the industry.
Since it was launched in 2014, we’ve gotten the opportunity to experiment with CarPlay extensively, and found it to be wonderfully intuitive. Given how familiar many smart phone users are with Apple’s iOS, we think it’s a great option, as the simplicity makes it dead-easy to make calls, play music, and navigate with maps. That means it should also pay benefits in combating the continual threat of distracted driving, because the less time owners have to spend doing anything but paying attention to the road, the better.
For a breakdown of all the killer features of Apple CarPlay, check out the video Cadillac recently released showing how it works on with General Motors’ CUE system. And next time you head in to your local AutoNation dealer, make sure to have the sales folks run through it for you — we think you’ll be impressed.