Does The Kia Sportage Have Apple CarPlay?

Kia's Sportage has been a major player in the compact SUV market since the 90s. The newest version of the Sportage, the 2022 model, is packed with features that make it even more competitive. The issue is that it's hard to tell if the Sportage has specific technological features like Apple Carplay. Since it's not easy to find a direct answer, we researched all the functions of the Kia Sportage to provide you with an answer here. 

The newer versions of the Kia Sportage all come equipped with Apple Carplay as a standard feature. This has been the case for every edition of the Sportage, starting in 2017 all the way to the newest 2022 model. 

Those are the specific Kia Sportage model years that you can use Apply Carplay with. In the rest of this post, we will discuss the relationship between Kia and Apple Carplay. Specifically, which Kia models are compatible with the Carplay and how to activate or install it on your Kia, Sportage, or otherwise. 

Woman pressing button on Apple Carplay gps maps. Does The Kia Sportage Have Apple CarPlay

Apple Carplay on the Kia Sportage

The 2022 Kia Sportage comes standard with Apple Carplay and Andriod auto capabilities. Additionally, all four trims of the 2022 Sportage have Apple Carplay as a standard feature. There are no additional costs to have Apple Carplay on the Kia Sportage regardless of trim choice. 

Details of App and icons on the the Apple CarPlay main screen in modern car dashboard during driving Maps, music and Podcasts

The only quality increase between trims related to Carplay is an improvement in speaker and audio quality. The upgrade of audio accessories like speakers related to Carplay does come at an upgrade cost. 

Apple Carplay allows you to merge your iPhone with the digital display screen of your Kia Sportage. The addition of this feature truly brought the Sportage up to the modern standard for tech in vehicles. 

What Year did Kia Sportage get Apple Carplay?

Although some vehicles in the Kia lineup were equipped with Apple Carplay as early as 2014, the Sportage cannot say the same. Apple Carplay started being available on the Kia Sportage in 2017. Before then, cellphone connectivity was basic and only available through Bluetooth or direct USB or auxiliary connections without the functionality and user-friendly interface of Carplay. 

Since 2017, every model year of the Kia Sportage can connect directly to an iPhone through Apple Carplay. The same is true for many other vehicles that Kia produces, but we'll cover more on that later. 

What are the Benefits of Apple Carplay for the Kia Sportage?

So why is Apple Carplay such a big deal, and what does it add to your Kia experience? Apple Carplay adds accessibility and safety to any vehicle. According to the Carplay page of Apple's website, the technology creates a seamless experience between your iPhone and your vehicle. 

Apple Carplay changes the display screen on the center of the Kia Sportage's dashboard into an extension of the iPhone. While your iPhone is connected to your Sportage through Carplay, you can access your contacts, music, navigation, podcasts, and audiobooks from your dashboard. Every application matches the tile-like buttons found on your iPhone's home screen, and the order is even customizable. 

The best part about Apple Carplay is that you don't have to pick up your phone or even look down to control your device. You get the benefits of having your cellphone without the danger of using it while driving. All you need to do is get started with Carplay. 

How do I Install Apply Carplay on my Kia Sportage?

For all Kia Sportage models built after 2017, the software you need to run Apple Carplay comes preinstalled onto the vehicle. So, there's no need to install Carplay, but you will have to enable the program and connect your phone to it. 

Enabling Apple Carplay on your Kia Sorento is easy and can be completed in just a few steps. Before you get started, make sure that you have your car on and in Park.

In order to set up Apple Carplay, you will need your iPhone and an iPhone lightning cable. Here are the steps to follow to enable Apple Carplay in your Sportage: 

  1. On your center dashboard, press the Setup button to open the setup menu.
  2. From there, select the option that says "Connectivity."
  3. Then select "Enable Apply Carplay" at the top of the following menu. 
  4. Plug your iPhone into the vehicle using your lightning cable. 
  5. Accept the popup agreement asking if you'd like to enable Apple Carplay. 
  6. Finally, accept any prompts from your phone asking for permission to upload information like contacts. 

Once Carplay is properly enabled, and your phone is connected to the system, you'll be able to use your iPhone's functions directly from your Sportage's display screen. You can even use Siri by pressing the voice command button on your Sportage steering wheel. 

Here is a quick video that explains how to enable and use Apple Carplay on the Kia Sportage:

The video above also discusses some common problems that people may run into when setting up Carplay. Additionally, there is a small usage tutorial in the video that will take you through how to use some key features of Apple Carplay with the Kia Sportage. 

Which Kia Models have Apple Carplay?

You may be considering Kia models other than the Sportage. Which of those models have Apple Carplay? It takes a long time to research every model vehicle Kia has made to see if they have Carplay capabilities. Even worse, the answer sometimes varies depending on the model year. Luckily, Apple makes it easy to know exactly which vehicles come with Carplay. 

On Apple's website, they have an exhaustive list of every make and model with Apple Carplay. There are 22 total Kia models on that list, though not all are sold in the US market. Regardless, here is the complete list of Kia vehicles and corresponding model years that are Apple Carplay compatible:

  • Soul (2014-2021)
  • Optima (2015-2020)
  • Optima Hybrid (2015-2020)
  • Sedona (2015-2021)
  • Soul EV (2015-2021)
  • Cadenza (2017-2020)
  • Sorento (2017-2021)
  • Sportage (2017-2022)
  • Forte (2017-2021)
  • Niro (2017-2021)
  • Optima Plug-In Hybrid (2017-2020)
  • Niro Plug-In Hybrid (2018-2020)
  • Rio (2018-2021)
  • Stinger (2018-2021)
  • K900 (2019-2020)
  • Telluride (2020-2021)
  • Seltos (2021)
  • K5 (2021)
  • K8 (2021)
  • Carnival (2022)
  • EV6 (2022)
  • Carniva (2022)

The list above is not entirely up to date when it comes to model years. For example, the list states that Apple Carplay is only available on the 2020 and the 2021 Kia Telluride, but the Kia website lists Carplay as a feature for the brand new 2022 Telluride.

Most 2021 models that have Apple Carplay will also have it for their 2022 versions. In some cases, the vehicles on the list above are actually discontinued after 2021. The Sedona is the best example of this. Consequently, if you have a question about a specific model and whether or not it comes with Carplay, the best thing you can do is check out the manufacturer's website or call your local Kia dealer to find out. 

Can I Upgrade my Kia to Apple Carplay?

Some Kia models do not come with Apple Carplay as a standard feature, but that doesn't mean you're out of options. If you have a pre-2017 and therefore pre-Apple Carplay Kia Sportage, you can upgrade the vehicle to have Apple Carplay. The easiest way to do this is by installing an aftermarket radio head unit that comes with Apple Carplay pre-installed. 

There are many radio units with Apple Carplay capabilities on the market. Here is one example found on Amazon:

Click here to see the Sony Apple Carplay Media Reciever at Amazon. 

What if I have an Android Phone I want to Pair with my Kia Sportage?

Although Apple has a strong market presence with its iPhone in North America, many prefer android. Fortunately for those people, Kia and the Sportage also accommodate connectivity with Android phones. Android Auto is the Android equivalent to Apple Carplay, and it is capable of many of the same functions. 

Most Kia vehicles that have Apple Carplay also have Android Auto. Like Apple, Android has a nice webpage that lists out every vehicle compatible with the Android Auto technology. 

In Closing

The Kia Sportage Crossover SUV is more tech-friendly than ever. The Sportage has been capable of connecting with iPhones through Apple Carplay since 2017 and will continue to do so with the most recent 2022 model.

Connecting your iPhone to the Apple Carplay system is simple and can be accomplished by following the steps above. If you decide that Kia Sportage is not the car for you, there are plenty of other Kia models that come with Apple Carplay.

If you enjoyed the content in this post, please check out a few of our others:

What SUVs Have Apple Carplay? [2021 Edition]

How To Turn On The Fog Lights On A Kia

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