How Apple CarPlay can make life in your Lexus easier – and safer

Apple CarPlay has been part of the smartphone revolution which has seen technology change all our lives over the last decade dramatically – and in almost every aspect, including travelling in our cars.

The infotainment systems in most modern cars have an option to sync your phone with the car, allowing owners to take advantage of the latest technologies to stay in touch, stay entertained or stay on the right road towards their destination.

2020 Lexus RX Apple CarPlay

This is true for Lexus owners, too, making their lives easier and safer, thanks to a range of easy-to-access apps. Apple CarPlay has been fitted as standard to many of our models since 2020. For some older vehicles, a retrofit of this technology is available. Contact your nearest Lexus Centre to find out more.

Setting up CarPlay in your Lexus is a straightforward process. First, on your phone, go to Settings>Siri & Search, then toggle Allow Siri When Locked on your iPhone to on. This means that you can control CarPlay using the voice control button on your steering wheel.

New Lexus RX

Next, plug your phone into a Lightning charging cable, then plug that into the USB data port in the centre console.

You’ll now see a message telling you that Apple CarPlay is available for use and offers three options: Do Not Enable won’t connect you to CarPlay, but will allow you to charge your phone; Enable Once is useful for connecting a friend’s phone temporarily; and Always Enable, so your phone will always automatically connect to the car.

2020 Lexus NX Apple CarPlay

To use CarPlay, press Menu, and select Apple CarPlay. You’ll now see a screen that looks like your phone, so you can select the app you want to use. How apps appear on your screen is up to you, as you can customise their order (in iPhone, go to Settings>General>CarPlay>Your Car’s Name>Customise, then drag them up or down the list).

Now you’re connected, it’s time to take full advantage of the phone’s functions that can be used with CarPlay (some apps – social media, for example – don’t work in-car, because of the distraction).

2020 Lexus ES Apple CarPlay

Staying connected while on journeys is one of the easiest things to do. Press the voice control button and say: “Hey Siri, call…” whoever you wish to phone (provided they’re in your contacts list, of course) and you’re making a call without having to take your hands from the steering wheel or look away from the road. This is clearly safer than glancing from the display to the road as you scroll through your contacts.

The same is true for Messages. If you receive a text while you’re driving, Siri will ask if you want it to be read out. If you do, once it is finished, it will ask you if you wish to reply. To do so, just dictate your message (which Siri will read back to you) and ask for it to be sent. Again, very little distraction is involved.

2020 Lexus UX Apple CarPlay

You also won’t forget an appointment, as your phone’s calendar function is also available – and this also combines with Maps to navigate you to where you’re supposed to be.

There’s a world of music to enjoy, at your fingertips, either from your Music library or from streaming services as Spotify, which will give you access to tens of millions of tracks from almost any artist in the history of recorded music. Alternatively, if you want something more thought-provoking, you can listen to a podcast or audiobook (apps such as Audible are available on CarPlay).

Apple CarPlay has been designed to make your life easier while in your Lexus, giving you easy access to apps on your phone – and allowing you to do so safely and conveniently while driving. As such it’s a great example of smartphone and automotive technologies working in perfect harmony for the benefit of the owner.

For more information on Apple CarPlay, please contact your nearest Lexus Centre.


  1. Hi
    I have a Lexus ux ay69 it has been serviced at Lexus for the last three years. I have just purchased the car off a relative I can’t get apple play to work. I’m sure would it not have had its updates as standard through servicing.

    1. Hello Paul, thanks for your question.

      Please provide a Vehicle Registration so that we can look into this.


  2. hi,

    I have a Lexus NX 2019 and I’m interested in updating my software with Alple Carplay . What should I do?


  3. I’m thinking of buying a RX450Lh SL19 XAZ. Can this have a CarPlay upgrade? If not what is the first of the 450LH that is eligible please.

    1. Hello Jamie, thanks for your comment.

      This vehicle should be not eligible for Apple CarPlay/Android Auto retrofit due to system incompatibility.

      Unfortunately, no models of the Lexus RX are eligible for this retrofit.


    1. Hi Daly, thanks for your comment.

      Your Lexus UK should already be equipped with Apple CarPlay as standard. You will need to connect your phone via USB to activate the system.


      Lexus UK

  4. When I purchased my new 350 Lexus NXin 2022 the WhatsApp was a bit flaky , and I was told it was because I had an iPhone 8.
    So I upgraded to an Iphone 15 and now WhatsApp doesn’t work at all. Siri won’t read my messages, and then thinks I’m talking when it’s really listening to itself talking.
    If it does send a message its sends a “what did you say” or other such nonsense.
    It is driving me mad. Can you help please?

  5. I have a 2023 UX300e. When using CarPlay, the cursor does not follow the road, but is in the middle of the screen. This is for both Apple and Google maps. It is quite ridiculous that spending £50k + on a car and the sat nav doesn’t work correctly

    1. Hi Tim
      Have you visited your local Lexus Centre?
      If not we would suggest doing so in order that this can be investigated for you.
      Kind regards

    1. Hi Matthew
      I can confirm that your vehicle is eligible for Car play and your local Lexus Centre can look in to this further for you.
      Kind regards

  6. I have just purchased a Lexus RZ 450e Takumi . My computer screen offers “Electric Gates”. How does this work and what does it do please?

    1. Hi Alan, thanks for getting in touch.

      We’re not sure without seeing it for ourselves. Your local Leuxs Centre is best placed to take a look for you, or you can drop a photo over to us via social media.


      Lexus UK

    1. Hi Sandeep, thanks for getting in touch.

      Apple CarPlay is not compatible with the multimedia system on your CT200h so retrofit is not available.


      Lexus UK

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