For better or worse, smartphones dominate our daily life. Think about how much of your day-to-day doings, both professional and social, rely on that little glass-faced rectangle in your pocket. In fact, the odds are pretty high that you’re reading this article on your phone right now.
For obvious reasons, there are some areas where phone usage is frowned upon – or straight-up illegal. However, while whipping your phone out during a funeral will forever be in poor taste, smartphone use in cars can be somewhat kosher – provided they’re integrated properly.
Right now, Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay are the best means of bringing your smartphone’s internet-enabled functionality to your car (head here to learn more).
To help those looking for the ability to bring some internet-enhanced infotainment to their next new car without having to splurge on something from the prestige end of the market, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most popular cars in Australia right now that feature either Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or both, ranked in order of year-to-date sales at the end of February 2020.
This list has changed significantly since we first compiled this list in October 2018 with Toyota and Mazda and since adopting the technology due to overwhelming public demand.
1. Ford Ranger
Ford’s top-selling vehicle brings smartphone mirroring functionality. For a while, it was only available in the higher-grade XLT and Wildtrak models, but it's now available along with the SYNC3 infotainment system in the more affordable XL and XLS versions.
2. Toyota RAV4
Android Auto/Apple CarPlay was added to the RAV4's standard equipment list in November 2019 and it's no coincidence that its sales figures have risen sharply since. Current model RAV4s sold prior to that date can have smartphone pairing retrofitted to the infotainment system by Toyota for about $200.
3. Toyota Corolla
The Corolla was the first Toyota to gain Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, though like the RAV4 it had to wait, with the tech added in October 2019, more than a year after the hatchback first went on sale here. Like the RAV4, current-model Corollas sold prior to then can have the system retrofitted for about $200.
4. Hyundai i30
Hyundai was an early adopter of Android Auto/Apple CarPlay and it has been standard equipment in an i30 since the time when you had to pay extra for it in more expensive cars. All versions have an easy-to-view 8.0-inch touchscreen, and while the entry-level Go misses out on inbuilt sat-nav you'll be able to use your favourite navigation app to help you get around.
5. Mazda CX-5
Mazda started rolling out Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with its model upgrades in 2018 and the CX-5 was one of the first to benefit. Both systems work really well with the brand's MZD Connect infotainment system which has a rotary controller that makes it easy to scroll through apps and operate functions while driving. All Mazda's with the MZD Connect system without smartphone pairing installed can have it retrofitted for about $500.
6. Kia Cerato
Kia’s mainstay model, the Cerato, is another smartphone-friendly vehicle, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now standard equipment across the range. All sedan and hatchback variants now come with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Digital radio is also standard.
7. Mitsubishi Triton
Like Ford, Mitsubishi also takes care of its tradie customers by equipping its Triton utility with smartphone mirroring, with all variants across the Club Cab and Dual Cab body styles getting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you’re looking at a single-cab variant, however, you’re out of luck – as a bare-bones workhorse, that body style misses out on a more fully-featured infotainment package, and makes do with basic Bluetooth.
8. Mazda 3
The fourth-generation Mazda 3 was the first Mazda model to arrive with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is standard equipment across the generously equipped range. All variants have an 8.8-inch screen controlled by a dial on the centre console, which makes it easier to select functions while driving. If you have a previous-generation Mazda 3 with the MZD Connect infotainment system you can have smartphone pairing retrofitted for about $500.
9. Toyota Camry
Australia's biggest-selling sedan has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay fitted across the range that's operated and viewed through an 8.0-inch touchscreen in all but the entry-level Ascent variant, which has a 7.0-inch monitor. The Camry range gained smartphone pairing at the same time as the Corolla. Like the Corolla, current model Camry's sold prior to then can have the system retrofitted.
10. Mitsubishi ASX
Neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto existed back when the current-generation ASX first went on sale. In fact, Mitsubishi’s now 10-year-old small SUV is about twice as old those modern smartphone mirroring systems, however, successive technology upgrades have kept the ASX up-to-date in terms of connectivity. An 8.0-inch touchscreen display is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay from the base ES grade and up.
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