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. Hello Alastair,
      Thank you for your comment.
      As we are Lexus UK, we are only able to comment on the availability of the retrofit in the UK. We would recommend contacting Lexus in your region for further assistance.

  1. Hi, the text above says that some models support wireless CarPlay. Is this something that will be available as a retrofit and which models support wireless CarPlay?
    It seems a shame to have wireless charging to then need to connect a cable for CarPlay.


    1. Hello Steve,
      Thank you for your comment, and apologies for our delay in getting back to you.
      None of our models currently support wireless CarPlay – this was an error in the blog post.
      This has now been removed, and we apologise for any confusion caused.

    2. What I have seen here is typical of Lexus uk,
      my car is a 2019 model, you show pictures of left hand drive models, someone asked a question and has to ask again , this does not apply to my car, what I am finding is Lexus does not know how to treat its customers, do not send me messages that are no good to anyone, send me something worthwhile.

      1. Hi Stephen,

        We are disappointed to hear that you feel this way and have passed your feedback on to the relevant team.


  2. I have been told that the airplay upgrade is now aaailablre in the UK. Will it be a free software upgrade for new ux owners given the initial cost of a new ux.

  3. Will the AppleCar Play retrofit be available for 2019 Lexus LC models in the UK – as it is in other markets?

    1. Hello Matt,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us.
      There is no retrofit available for the LC.

  4. It all sounds really good until you read comments and reply.
    Lexus needs to get their facts right before building up our hopes.
    Sounds like the fuel pump fiasco.
    Sir use up your full tank of petrol it will be replaced. I empty the tank just because it was being reolaced just to find out only 25£ would be replaced and 4 hours wasted travelling to and from the garage.

  5. Having purchased an LC without CarPlay I think it is so cruel to consistently and persistently bombard me with how good and useful (and safe) Apple Car Play is. The LC is absolutely brilliant but we are let down badly by Lexus who have simply not bothered to make the retro fit available for their flagship coupe.

    1. Hello Nigel,
      Thank you for your comment.
      We are so sorry about your disappointment, but unfortunately a retrofit is not available for the LC.
      We hope this won’t detract too much from the excitement and pleasure of driving such an amazing car.

  6. How much would it cost to get a retrofit of the Apple Car Play for a Lexus ES Saloon
    300h E-CVT auto 4d August 2019. Just a ballpark figure….(Please don’t ask me to contact the dealer….I just want a rough guide…..I don’t want to be embarrassed if it’s a £1000 or something crazy like that} Plus how long does this work take to complete? My car is based in Northern Ireland. (which is still part of the UK)

    1. Hi Harry,

      The price can vary based on the centre, but we’d expect it to be well under £100.


  7. So it seems its not able to be retro fitted so may not say so at the outset rather than waste owners time !

    1. Hello Ian,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us.
      Retrofit of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is available on some NX models, ES and UX.

  8. Hi can I install apple car play in my ct200h 2014 ?
    If so how does it work as in fitting and cost etc

    1. Hello Hussain,
      Thank you for contacting us.
      Due to system incompatibility, there is no retrofit available for the CT.

  9. Thanks for reminding me that I would like to experience more with every journey. When will there be an upgrade available for the 2018/2019 Lexus IS300 with the Premium Nav? Thank you. By the way, I am in the UK.

    1. Hello Jez,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us.
      Unfortunately there is no retrofit available for the IS.

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