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. Will my Lexus CT REG YG 20 WCE BE Compatible via Siri to obtain Apple Car play
    many thanks in advance


    1. Can I use With my iPhone without a cable?. My phone is broken and it only charges with an Apple Mag Chsrger. I have NX300 2021.

    1. Hello Abe,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Only UX, ES and some NX models can have the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto retrofit.
      We don’t have any information to share on a retrofit for the RC.

    1. Hi Bryant,

      Apple CarPlay and Android Auto retrofit retrofit is only available for the following vehicles:

      Lexus UX models produced from January 2019 to September 2019
      Lexus NX models produced from September 2018 to September 2019
      Lexus ES models produced from October 2018 to September 2019


  2. Hi, I have a brand new UX., bought last week, I cannot get the voice control button to bring up Siri when I have my phone connected. The settings are correct on the phone. Are there settings I need to adjust in the car? Thanks

  3. I have a 68 plate NX300. Is there a way to do it myself, the service garage.. keep suggesting issues doing it themselves, from disk installation, maps, to connecting software.

    Why is it so hard for them to install?

    1. Hello,
      Please provide your vehicle registration so we can confirm that your NX is compatible for the upgrade.

  4. My Lexus NX 300h registered dec 2019 is it comparable
    with Apple car play
    I’m retired after director with Lexus Stoke

      1. Hello Peter,
        Thank you for contacting Lexus.
        Please provide the vehicle registration so we can check this for you.

  5. I have a NX300 2021 PLATE with carplay. Even though the car has bluetooth which connectes to my phone book, why do l have to use USB cable to use carplay ? Is there a way to connect to carplay via blutooth ?

    1. Hi Mukesh,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, your car’s multimedia system is not compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay therefore a USB cable must be used. The all-new NX, which recently went on sale, does have wireless Apple CarPlay, so it might be worth considering in the future:


  6. Hi
    I have a September 2019 UK registered RX 450 L.
    When I attach the USB cable, there is no question asked about Apple car play.
    What am I doing wrong?

    1. I think Lexus are behind the curve when it comes to nav technology, I’ve got an 2018 Audi & have no problems yet my 2019 Lexus RX450H SEEM DATED

    1. Hello Michael,
      Please could you provide us with your vehicle registration so that we can look into this for you.

      1. Hi,

        Can Apple Car Play be fitted to my NX reg WU20 RKO. Is it a free upgrade as I am in my warranty phase?

        1. Hello, thanks for your question.

          This vehicle is compatible with the Apple CarPlay upgrade. Please contact your Toyota Centre to get this fitted and for information on pricing.


  7. Is it possible to retrofit CarPlay to my Lexus? The reg K50 OMK.. Secondly what’s the appropriate cost for this?

    1. Hello Owen,
      This car is compatible with the Apple Carplay upgrade.
      Please contact your Lexus Centre for the price of this service and to get this fitted.

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