Buying Guides

Best 2018 Vehicles With Apple CarPlay

This highly sought after feature isn't available in every car

Wade Thiel, Senior Staff Writer

Infotainment systems have become more complicated and feature-packed in recent years. Part of an automakers duties is to keep up with new technology and find ways to implement it into their cars in ways that makes the technology easy to use. Apple CarPlay is one of the more highly sought after features in modern infotainment systems. It's a system that's pretty widely available. While many cars have it, not all of them do. Of the cars that do, we wouldn't recommend all of them. Instead, browse the below list of the best 2018 vehicles that have the feature.

2018 Honda Accord

  • PROS: Apple CarPlay on four trim levels, large touchscreen with usable knobs and buttons, excellent to drive, and very comfortable.
  • CONS: Trunk opening could be wider, infotainment screen picks up a lot of fingerprints, no coupe or V6 for 2018 model year.

Honda’s new 10th generation Accord is the bee’s knees. We drove it when Honda first released the car and found it delightful. We weren’t the only ones who liked it. The car won Car of the Year in Detroit for the 2018 model year. The Accord features either a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, your choice of a CVT, six-speed manual, or ten-speed auto transmission, and tons of tech and features. The model has Apple CarPlay available standard on Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring models. Additionally, Honda put in a new infotainment system complete with buttons and volume and tuning knobs. Pair all that with Honda Sensing safety technology and you have an excellent sedan.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • PROS: Standard Apple CarPlay across trim levels, great on-road performance, top-notch off-road in Trailhawk trim, the most luxurious Jeep you can buy.
  • CONS: Not as much cargo space as some competitors, feels heavy at times, not very fuel efficient.

There are 11 trim levels for the Jeep Grand Cherokee. All of them come with standard Apple CarPlay. This is a pretty big boon for the model. If you know you want the feature but aren’t sure what else you want, the Cherokee offers some variety. Aside from that feature, you have your choice of a 3.6-liter V6 engine, a 5.7-liter HEMI V8, a beastly 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (Trackhawk trim level), or a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 (SRT trim level). If it’s off-road prowess you want, the Trailhawk trim level is the way to go, otherwise, it’s all about choosing the model with the right level comfy materials and features for you. There’s plenty to choose from, so make sure to take a close look at each trim level, ranging from the base Laredo all the way up to the well-appointed Summit model.

2018 Honda CR-V

  • PROS: Apple CarPlay available on three trim levels, comfortable and quiet interior, spacious cabin, powerful and fuel-efficient engine options, and large cargo area.
  • CONS: The base model is pretty stripped down, the infotainment system takes a bit too much focus to use while driving.

It’s only the base LX model CR-V that doesn’t come with Apple CarPlay. In EX, EX-L, and Touring, the feature is there along with plenty other driver aids and amenities. The model features a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system in the top three trim levels – the base model gets a dinky 5-inch screen. The top-notch features go well beyond just Apple CarPlay in the higher trim levels. The CR-V gets the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assistance technology, including lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring. Under the hood, there’s either a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The only transmission option is a CVT.

2018 Kia Stinger

  • PROS: Standard Apple CarPlay on all trim levels, fast and fun, striking exterior, roomy interior, long list of features.
  • CONS: Some cheaper interior materials, a fair amount of road noise inside the cabin, ride quality could be better.

Just about every car in Kia’s lineup has Apple CarPlay, and most offer it as standard equipment on every single trim level. Many of the company’s cars could have been featured on this list, but we felt we had to go with Kia’s performance car, the Stinger. The Stinger is Kia’s first true performance car and comes with either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. Pair that with sport-tuned suspension and brakes and you have a car built to put a smile on your face. Aside from all the high-performance parts and components, the car has a long list of available features, including blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and driver attention warning.

2018 Ford Expedition

  • PROS: Apple CarPlay is available in all trim levels, SYNC 3 infotainment system is one of the better out there, spacious interior, touch truck-like construction, powerful engines, and comfy interior.
  • CONS: Feels big on the road, lower quality interior materials than the price suggests.

Ford’s biggest SUV keeps with tradition and is built on a truck frame. That said, not much else is traditional about this large SUV. The model is pretty tech-laden, especially in the Limited and Platinum trim levels. The base XLT trim level can add a package and get the features that come with top trim levels, too. Tech includes SYNC Connect with Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, blind spot monitoring, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and intelligent access. Under the hood, the Expedition has a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. This combination, along with the vehicle’s truck frame, make it good for towing up to 9,300 lbs.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

  • PROS: Standard Apple CarPlay, cavernous cabin and cargo space, comfortable ride, smooth powertrains, feature packed.
  • CONS: Not a quick SUV, V6 is thirstier than you may expect, some cheap interior materials.

Volkswagen may have flubbed up with the whole diesel thing, but the company has done it right with the three-row Atlas. The model is family friendly, modern, and packed with features. While there are plenty of trim levels (S, Launch, SE, and SEL) and numerous variations of those trim levels, one thing is sure, you’re going to have Apple CarPlay. The feature is standard. Aside from it, the Atlas offers available Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, navigation, adaptive cruise control, three-zone climate control, blind spot monitoring, rear traffic alert, and a remote power liftgate. Powering the Atlas is either a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 3.6-liter V6.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse

  • PROS: Standard Apple CarPlay, lots of room for passengers and cargo, infotainment system is easy to use and feature-packed, strong V6 engine.
  • CONS: Cheap plastics in the interior don’t go with the sticker price, some safety features reserved for top trim only.

If Ford and VW’s three-row SUVs don’t tickle your fancy, maybe Chevrolet’s Traverse is for you. The new Chevrolet Traverse offers a seriously practical package. Apple CarPlay and numerous other features come standard on a 7-inch Chevy MyLink infotainment system (an 8-inch system is the upgrade). Standard and available features include navigation, tri-zone climate control, OnStar services, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, GM’s Teen Driver tech, automatic braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Powering the Traverse is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that’s mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox.

Why Apple CarPlay?

  • Easy smartphone integration.
  • Allows you to access maps and apps.
  • Provides your infotainment system features not otherwise available.

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