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 E Olaoye,
          Thank you for your reply.
          According to our information, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto came as standard on your vehicle.
          Instructions on how to use Apple CarPlay can be found either in the blog post above or in the navigation manual for your vehicle.

    1. Hi,

      Yes your vehicle can have Apple CarPlay added. Please contact your nearest Lexus centre to get it booked in.


  1. Lexus, please, make Apple CarPlay available for pre-2020 Lexus! its new technology era so please dont let down your customers!!! I personally have RX450H and only reason I am thinking to replace car to there brand is technology, but if you could support all of us and try to find the way how we can have CarPlay in our vehicles I am sure you would have much more loyal Lexus customers

    Thanks !


    1. Hi George,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately Apple CarPlay is not available to retrofit. It is only available on new RX models. Sorry to disappoint you.


  2. How do I get a retrofit Apple CarPlay for my NX registration LB20LSV? Do I contact my dealer now to book it in? Many thanks

    1. Hello Cesar, thank you for your comment.

      Yes, please get in touch directly with your local Lexus Centre. They will be able to confirm if your NX is compatible with the Apple CarPlay retrofit and will be able to get you booked in.


  3. I understand my Lexus with registration LL69WGA is compatible with Apple Car Player may I have a demonstration of the system please.

    1. Hi,

      Yes, it certainly is. Please contact your nearest Lexus centre to get your vehicle booked in. Once installed, simply plug your phone into the car using a USB cable and the phone’s display will be mirrored on your vehicles media screen. You are then ‘using’ your phone, rather than the vehicle’s systems.


  4. Hi , could you please let me know whether apple CarPlay can be retro fitted on 19 reg rc300h , the car ref is X1AXN.

  5. Hi, please could you advise as to how to make the Siri voice louder through car play? The radio etc is all controlled via usual buttons and can easily be turned up and down however when Siri speaks the volume is considerably lower and cannot be turned up or down via the buttons or dial. Any help appreciated thank you

    1. Hi Siân,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Lexus cannot advise on the operation of Apple features. However, we have checked Apple forums for you. The recommendation from Apple is that you ask Siri to sing to you, and whilst she is doing this, use the car’s volume button to change the Siri volume. However, some people report that this does not work for them, so there could be an issue with Apple’s Siri integration into Apple CarPlay.


    1. Hello Bobby,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately the Apple CarPlay retrofit is not compatible with your NX.

    1. Hello Xin Xia,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Only UX, ES and some NX models can have the Apple CarPlay retrofit.
      Your RC cannot have the retrofit.

    1. Hello John,
      Thank you for contacting us.
      Only UX, ES and some NX models can have the Apple CarPlay retrofit.
      Unfortunately, there is no retrofit available for the RX.

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