Hyundai Sonata CarPlay Update Arrives In Q1 2016, One Year Behind Schedule And No Longer Free

After initially promising that Apple CarPlay support would be made available in 2015 model year Sonata (which started arriving on dealer lots in late 2014), Hyundai failed to deliver. We’re now coming up on the closing days of 2015 and the CarPlay update is still nowhere to be found. So what the heck is going?

Well, apparently the update has turned out to be a bigger endeavor for Hyundai, and the South Korean car company is now promising that it will make the updates available during Q1 2016, one year after it was originally planned. "Hyundai and Apple are committed to delivering drivers the best possible experience while using CarPlay in their vehicles," said Hyundai in a statement. "We are currently working together to complete CarPlay integration."

sonata plug in hybrid
2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

But that isn’t the only disappointment to Sonata owners that were hoping to add CarPlay support to their vehicles. Hyundai had originally promised that the CarPlay update would be made available for free for Sonata owners — that now turns out to have been a falsehood. Instead, Hyundai will require Sonata owners to purchase an SD card which includes the software update to enable CarPlay functionality.

Hyundai currently offers Android Auto in the 2015 and 2016 model year Sonatas, but CarPlay support has been elusive.

CarPlay allows a driver with an iPhone 5 or newer Apple smartphone to run apps directly from their vehicle’s touch screen. That means the instead of using the built-in navigation software (which is often woefully updated straight from the factory), you can use the built-in Maps software on your iPhone. In addition, you quick and easy access to built-in Apple apps like Photo and Messages along with third-party apps like Spotify, iHeartRadio and MLB at Bat.