CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Apple CarPlay

CarPlay to a 2018 Subaru Forester?

1 Like

You could probably trade in your 2018 for a 2020 for less cost than modifying the 2018.

I meant to write, does anyone know if you can add Apple CarPlay to a 2018 Subaru Forester.
I want to add Apple CarPlay because WAZE would then appear on the car “map” on the dashboard. This map is a lot bigger than the map on my iPhone.

Really?
My friend just had a “class” on the features of his new 2020 Subaru.
I was green with envy with WAZE transferring to his car map and the fella who was reviewing the car features said a good radio shop could add CarPlay to my car. I was skeptical so thought I would ask here.

Is there not a monthly fee for Apple carplay ? Also it should say in the owners manual how to activate.
Helen , do you have navigation ? I don’t know what you mean by ’ car map '.

I have a navigation system on my Subaru but I use WAZE for GPS.
By map, I just mean that 4x5 (or so) screen on the dash board.
My friend tells WAZE where he wants to go, hooks his iPhone to his car via a lightening cable, and the map on his iPhone from WAZE then appears on the 4x5 screen. It is great.

I’d be skeptical too, mostly because I don’t have any good aftermarket radio shops here in Southern NJ. I wouldn’t want some goober from Best Buy experimenting on my car.

Most (but not all) modern infotainment systems have Apple Carplay and/or Android Auto support built in. My Mustang is a 2016 and it supports both, as does my F-150. Unfortunately for the OP. The Forester got Carplay in 2019, so her 2018 won’t support it. There’s the option of replacing the factory infotainment system, however with as many functions that are routed through the infotainment system this might not be a viable option, and if it can be done, I’m pretty sure it’ll end up costing thousands once all is said and done. A cursory check at Crutchfield suggests that a new head unit will cost around $500-$600 (professional install will run around $150ish, but… the wiring harnesses that they have available don’t support things like the backup camera, bluetooth, or the factory amp. So you do give up quite a bit in exchange for Carplay.

Thanks much. I guess I will give up on the idea.

You should give up. The answers given are spot on.

Separately, why does apple carplay require lightening cord instead of Bluetooth.

The fella who reviewed the 2020 Forester features with my friend said there was some advantage using the lightening cable when connecting to WAZE via the iPhone. I cannot remember why. There was much technical talk that I just don’t know about. Does anyone else know?

This fella also said I could get Apple CarPlay installed in my 2018 Forester car for (likely) under $1000. Erroneous info per the feedback I have received here. So maybe he is not correct about using the lightening cable. But it does keep the iPhone battery from running down, which is a good idea for when you get to your destination and want your iPhone charged. WAZE uses a lot of your battery.

There are add-on Carplay/Android Auto modules for some cars. You don’t have to replace the whole infotainment unit - it just plugs in to it. Wouldn’t hurt to do some checking on Subaru-specific forums.

Thanks.
Caton Radio in Catonsville, MD has been in operation since 1929, and in a pretty high rent commercial area for a number of years.
They must be doing something right.
I may give them a call.

You might also give Crutchfied a call, they are my go-to for car audio.

Many thanks.
I “chatted” with Max at Crutchfield.com about a module that I could add on top of the infotainment system.
Here is his response.
“I hear ya and wish I had something. I promise you’re not the first to request this kind of thing, but just not something we have or they’ve come up with yet.”

They do exist, at least one owner as tried one in a 2018 Forester but you need to be able to install the software into the radio which isn’t possible with the Subaru head unit. From subaruforester.org

have a 2016 stock unit with the 7" display without nav.

The dongle arrived today with a 128 mg flash drive. The drive contained the android application and directions for using it. Unfortunately it appears it can not be loaded on the stock Subaru units because it requires you to install the application in the radio. If anyone knows of a way to do this please let me know otherwise this appears to be a no go for a Subaru radio.

No. Apple Carplay is not a service. It just allows your apple devices apps to interface with the Radio.

Almost any vehicle can be upgraded to apple carplay for less then $1000. Check Crutchfield.com.

There are basically 2 ways you can do it.

Option 1. Add a device that attaches to your existing radio if it has RCA inputs.

Option 2. Replace the radio with a one that has apple carplay built in. Either do it yourself or have it professionally done. Depending on how expensive you want to get with the system you can easily get this done for under $1000.

I spoke to a guy at crutchfield.com and he said they do not have such a device.
Someone in this thread wrote that other features of the car are connected to the infotainment system and if you replace the radio with one that has CarPlay, you lose the features, e.g. the back up camera. I would never give that up. What a great invention.
Thanks for your comments.

They’re wrong. You can keep all the features (steering wheel controls and backup camera). There are added accessories (from Crutchfield) and others.

Not from what I’ve seen

1 Like