Auto Manufacturers & CarPlay CarPlay News

2021 Honda Accord refresh includes Wireless Apple CarPlay

The Honda Accord was the ninth-most popular vehicle by sales in the United States in 2019, according to data compiled by Edmunds. Part of its popularity comes from the perception that Accords are American-made vehicle. Honda Accords were the first foreign vehicle to be manufactured on American soil. The Marysville (Ohio) Auto plant has been producing Accords since 1982 and will continue for the foreseeable future based on the company’s sustained investment in the plant. Accords, like many other Japanese vehicles, are also known for their longevity and reliability.

It’s virtually impossible to buy a late-model vehicle these days without some sort of infotainment system. Apple CarPlay is continually eating into the marketshare for automotive voice assistants. Embedded voice assistants by automakers still lead the pack, followed by Bluetooth smartphone assistants. But Apple CarPlay is fast-becoming the standard. It’s presence in vehicles grew to 26.7% in 2019, according to a report by Voicebot. Granted there are still many 2021 vehicles that will not support CarPlay. The 2021 Honda Accord has several new features, including new options for the mobile experience in your automobile.

The 2021 Honda Accord. Photo via

Wireless CarPlay Support

One of the enhancement in the latest-model Accord is the 8-inch touchscreen that is now standard. These were previously available only on EX trim and above. The new standardized feature everyone is raving about is Apple Carplay. Integration is in all trims. But touring and EX-L trims also come with the new wireless Apple Carplay. Hybrid models also have wireless integration, according to the October 12 press release. Wireless charging integration is also available on 2021 Honda Accords.

Honda Accord wireless CarPlay
Honda Accord wireless CarPlay

CarPlay is dubbed “the ultimate copilot’ by Apple. It predicts your destination by utilizing address data from text messages, emails and calendars. Siri allows you to make calls, listen to voicemails and send text messages hands-free, making your drives safer and more efficient. You also have access to all your iPhone content. Just ask Siri to play your favorite song or tune into your favorite radio station.

More upgrades for 2021 Honda Accord

A wider touchscreen and integration of Apple CarPlay aren’t the only mid-cycle refresh changes to the tenth-generation Accord. There aren’t many physical differences at first glance from the 2020 to 2021 models. The front grille is a bit wider than its predecessor. LED beans are now part of the headlights, along with redesigned fog lights.

The new rear seat reminders can avoid tragedy by warning drivers of occupants in the backseat. They also notify the driver when/if someone unbuckles their seat belt. Another new safety feature is Low-Speed Braking Control. Touring-trim Accords apply the brakes automatically when the Honda Sensing system detects imminent collision when traveling 25 mph or slower. The Sport SE trim has a few new interior features, most notably leather upholstery.

One drawback with 2021 Hybrid touring trims appears to be lower gas mileage. Non-Touring Hybrids have a 48 mpg rating. touring Hybrids are rated 44 mpg. Honda representatives confirmed that the discrepancy is due to the 19-inch wheels and additional weight thereof on the Hybrid Touring trims.

Honda standardizing CarPlay across the board?

Accord isn’t the Honda vehicle that includes Apple CarPlay as a standard feature in 2021. The Honda Passport also comes with the new standard 8-inch touchscreen and CarPlay. The Honda Civic, like the Accord, has been equipped with CarPlay since 2016. The Ridgeline, CR-V and Pilot have also had CarPlay for several years. Will wireless Apple CarPlay become standard in all Honda models? Time will tell.

Aftermarket CarPlay Headunits CarPlay News

Wired vs. Wireless CarPlay

We all knew it was coming, and after several months of hearing about its upcoming release in 2017, the first wireless CarPlay receiver arrived. The Alpine iLX-107 digital media receiver started shipping during the summer of 2017. While this new Alpine product comes without a CD player, it does bring users a built-in WiFi network that can be used with Bluetooth to work with an iPhone and CarPlay. Once you’ve got the initial setup and pairing process with your phone completed, you’ll be able to use CarPlay on the Alpine’s stereo system without having to touch your phone for any reason each time you enter your car. Since the Alpine’s release, several other stereo systems began offering these options. You can check out the full list of aftermarket stereos with Apple CarPlay as well as testing to see if your car will work with wireless CarPlay by going here.

Before wireless CarPlay hit the market, and still for most users, CarPlay requires a USB-to-Lightning cable connection between the CarPlay receiver and a person’s iPhone. With wired CarPlay, users do not need any other type of wireless method of data transfer.

When Alpine first introduced its wireless CarPlay receiver, one of the biggest concerns about the product was its lack of Bluetooth. However, since Alpine’s introduction of their wireless receiver on the market, they’ve since revised the product to include Bluetooth. Rumors about wireless CarPlay have been flooding the market since the software’s ability to create a wireless connection was included with the first introduction of iOS 9. But since then, no official hardware had been introduced as a standard feature of wireless CarPlay.

What Vehicles Offer Wireless CarPlay?

There aren’t a lot of vehicles currently offering wireless Apple CarPlay, but we anticipate that this list will grow in the future. For now, however, here is today’s list:

  • BMW 2017 5 Series
  • BMW 2018 3 Series
  • Audi 2019 A6 (unconfirmed)
  • Audi 2019 A7
  • Audi 2019 A8
  • Audi 2019 Q8 (unconfirmed)
  • Audi 2020 e-tron SUV
  • Lamborghini Urus
  • Mercedes 2018 A-Class (Q3 2018)
  • Mercedes 2019 GLE (MBUX system)
  • Mini 2018 LCI Hatch & Convertible range
  • Toyota 2020 Supra

So while you can see that this is a short list, we do have some good news. Harman, a company that works on connected devices for several different car manufacturers, has come up with a wireless CarPlay solution that many car makers are interested in. So, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before this list grows.

How Wireless CarPlay Works

Wireless CarPlay means you don’t need to plug in your iPhone when you get in your car. Keep your phone in your pocket, purse or backpack… and go!

Wireless CarPlay works without a USB wired connection. So, with wireless CarPlay, the data transfer between the iPhone and receiver would usually take place with the use of Bluetooth, WiFi, or a combination of both of these options. We recommend finding a solution that works with just WiFi, or a combination of WiFi and Bluetooth, since Bluetooth alone is probably not strong enough to keep the data transfer speed at a fast, useable rate while drivers are on the go.