Why there is Android Auto and CarPlay confusion for Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Elantra, Santa Fe & Tucson

Because there continues to be some confusion about what Hyundai models will have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay we have contacted Hyundai public relations for clarification. Some models remain in CarPlay and Android Auto limbo while other new 2017 models will come with the popular smartphone software pre-installed.

I spoke with Michael Deitz, senior group manager of Hyundai, connected care, today. We discussed what models Hyundai models may or may not get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Update May 26, 2016: Hyundai announced that Hyundai is releasing free updates for select compatible 2015-2017 Hyundai models with the 7″ touchscreen or Navigation including Sonata, Genesis, Elantra, Tucscon, Santa Fe and Santa Fe Sport.

Read Android Auto Tips & Tricks. Read CarPlay Tips & Tricks.

New Hyundai Models with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

He confirmed that Android Auto and CarPlay will be available on the new Hyundai Tucson but both systems currently have a delayed availability.

Android Auto and CarPlay are not currently available on the 2016 Santa Fe Sport but may be in the near future. However, the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe announced at the Chicago Auto Show will come with Android Auto pre-installed. There is no announcement, yet as to CarPlay compatibility for the 2017 Santa Fe.

Android Auto and CarPlay will be available on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra with compatible navigation systems. The software will come pre-installed on the vehicles. 2017 Hyundai Elantra models will only have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for those equipped with 7″ and 8″ navigation systems and with certain packages.

Hyundai 2015/2016 Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid owners are still waiting for Android Auto. The Hyundai website clearly states which Hyundai Sonata models come with Android Auto.

“Android Auto is currently available in the 2015 Sonata with navigation. The compatible navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen display is available on the 2015 Sonata Sport, Eco, Limited, 2.0T and Limited 2.0T models. Android Auto is standard on 2016 Sonata SE, Sport, Sport 2.0T, Eco, Limited and Limited 2.0T. Not currently available on Hybrid or Plug-in Hybrid models.”

There is no new word on when the Hybrid Hyundai Sonatas will have Android Auto, the developers are still working on it. Deitz says that he hopes that Hyundai developers will offer a solution because he owns a Sonata Hybrid and would like to use Android Auto.

Hyundai Sonata CarPlay SD Card Update

Apple CarPlay is still not available for Hyundai Sonata 2015/2016 with compatible navigation systems and touchscreens. The marketing department is working out how the update will be handled. We learned at CES from Miles Johnson that the navigation software was incompatible with CarPlay and in order to get CarPlay to work the SD Card with mapping software will have to be replaced.

Some reports stated that Hyundai would charge for the CarPlay update. Hyundai technically will not be charging for the CarPlay update but for the new telematics mapping SD Card that is compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Johnson told us that there may be small fee for the SD card, but would not say the price.

Deitz hinted that buyers of the Apple CarPlay SD card would receive some kind of perk with their purchase of the update. We suggested a free year of Blue Link or Hyundai Connected Care or free oil changes.

One of our readers received an email from Hyundai customer support stating that the 2016 Hyundai Hybrid does come with Android Auto. Deitz confirmed that Hyundai Sonata Hybrids do not come with Android Auto, yet.

Miles Johnson is supposed to email us a quote about the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid status, soon.

Update March 31, 2016: We received word that new 2016 Hyundai Sonata non-hybrid models are now shipping and are at dealers with CarPlay. The update to CarPlay for previously purchased 2016 Hyundai Sonatas and 2015 Sonatas with navigation will be free and available later.

Hyundai sated in a  news release “In early 2016, Hyundai will have additional information regarding the availability of CarPlay and Android Auto on other models. This will include information on how existing owners of compatible vehicles with Hyundai’s fourth-generation navigation system or Display Audio can update their vehicles with these features.”

Hyundai plans to no longer offer CD players in its 2016 model year vehicles and instead only offer digital music options.

Meanwhile, Android Auto owners should be forewarned that there is minimal tech support from Google for Android Auto via Twitter. Most Android Auto car owners have gone to third party forums or back to their dealers for Android Auto technical support. There was a problem with LG smartphones including the LG 3 and LG 4 with Android Auto in Volkswagen’s with MIB II which appeared to have been fixed with the update to Android 6 Marshmallow.

The new research from Juniper, forecasts that consumer adoption of connected car entertainment will grow rapidly as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto gather traction.

Pioneer announced five new CarPlay-enabled Networked Entertainment eXperience (NEX) receivers will be launched in March. Another new CarPlay Android Auto receiver is the JBL Legend CP100 priced at $399.95.

A new competing device announced today is a dash mountable tablet OverDryve from Rand McNally.

At CES, FCA announced that its UConnect infotainment systems will be improved and will be compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Ford also announced it will offer Android Auto and CarPlay.

Do you have issues with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay after you bought a Hyundai or other vehicle? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.




56 thoughts on “Why there is Android Auto and CarPlay confusion for Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Elantra, Santa Fe & Tucson”

  1. I just had my 2017 Hyundai Limited Hybird towed to the dealer – (O’Brien Hyundai – Cape Coral, Fl) because I was experiencing a serious problem with all the Warning Lights lit on the dashboard. The Service Department told me that there had just been a RECALL on the problem I was having and I would have to leave car there, which I did.
    They did give me a loaner car and asked me to come back to the dealership on Monday, July 3rd. I did, and was able to leave the next day with my repaired car. Now, however, after reading all the messages above, they are all talking about the problem we are all asking about – NO MAPS/NAV Ability. Do you know if it is possible that while my car was being worked on for the engine problem, they would have received the necessary parts to install the MAPS/NAV system or is that still not ready to be installed? I am not happy at all using my phone to get my NAV/MAPS information and
    this will definitely make a difference in my choosing another car!!!!!

  2. 2 months ago I bought my 6th Hyundai since 1999, a 2017 hybrid limited with an SRP of $35,610. Has ALL options possible, the Flagship of Sonatas, yet NO ANDROID AUTO! Was promised update was on its way & Soon. Now Hyundai main corp offices say not sure IF even possible to retrofit vehicle.
    They also secretly and mysteriously eliminated rear heated seats and heated steering wheel as well from 2017 models.
    Even my salesman and his general manager weren’t aware of it until I pointed it out!
    If update doesn’t appear this will end my nearly 20 year run with the brand. Even Genesis is leaving them behind.
    Not a coincidence in my book.
    Too bad, a real shame to blow a successful situation, especially in today’s market.

    • Are you in the United States or Canada? From what you are stating the 2016 model received an update to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

      Several of our readers with Hybrid models had to wait much longer for the updates because it has software for electric/hybrid vehicle features. I just talked to someone who had a plug-in hybrid and was going to have his dealer perform the update for CarPlay. Please give me more details and I will contact the Hyundai PR department to find out what happened. Some of the PR team members own Hybrid Sonatas and they were waiting for the update too.

      According to the original news release the 2017 model Sonata Hybri was supposed to come with Android Auto as Standard. Did you look into the head unit interface to see if it is there? I would try to connect an Android device with a correct cable to see what happens. Finding Android Auto on a Hyundai to set it up is tricky. I rented a Sonata recently and the Android Auto worked fine. Some dealers don’t know how to operate Android Auto. Please let us know what dealer you went to.

  3. I purchased 2016 Sonata Hybrid SE and was disappointed to know that it does not support Android Auto. Does anyone know if Hyundai is working to release Android Auto for this model?

  4. Hyundai is really letting the Sonata Hybrid and others DOWN with their inability to roll out carplay and android auto. EXTREMELY disappointed with their focus and perhaps knowledge in this area.

    • WOW. another month gone by and no roll out for the sonata hybrid… If they can’t do it, they should just let us know so we don’t keep our hopes up!…

      • The no longer care about the customer base. They have been dropping the ball more and more. I have owned 6 Hyundai vehicles I will no longer be a customer. The last 2 cars have had problems and Hyundai doesn’t stand by their warranty after 36000mi they will make every excuse in the book for why they will not make a repair.

  5. I think its neat that they say other models with their fourth gen nav. I just bought a 2016 Azera that has the identical head unit as the sonata limited – does this mean when they release the update I can get it too? That would be sweet even if it costs me $$$

  6. Just came back from a dealership, in Canada the 2017 Santa Fe and Sport models DO not come with even Android Auto as it does in the States. No word on any update. Sheesh!!!

    • I just went though this today too in Canada. We bought a 2017 Santa Fe Sport Ltd. 2.0T. It is advertised as having Android Auto. I tried to connect & could not. Dealer said to bring it in & they would connect. They could not so they ordered a new radio-nav system. It was installed today and the same thing. Android Auto is greyed out. We tried my phone in an Elantra & it connected. No one in the service dept. or sales dept. knew about this. I am SO angry right now. This is not the bottom of the line vehicle. A friend has a bottom of the line Chev and she has Android Auto installed with no nav system. C’mon Hyundai. Not a good way to please a new customer.

  7. I bought my 2016 Sonata Hybrid Limited (Canada) in October 2015 with the statement that Android Auto was “coming very soon”.

    Extremely disappointed that 7 months later, it’s still not here. And that there really isn’t any information that can be found as to exactly what’s happening!

    1. Head Unit will need to be replaced – is this the entire Hardware or just software updated
    2. Original post had fee for the update with possible perks, then update states CarPlay for previously purchased 2016 Sonatas will be free – what about Android Auto?

    • We don’t have an official word from Hyundai. I do beleive they are working on Android Auto fo the Hybrid model. It is probably taking longer because of the other information needed for Hybrids. One of our readers noted that the Android Auto page is now showing Android Auto for the Sonata Hybrid is coming soon. Since, Hyundai has not charged for any other update we suspect they will not charge for the Hybrid update.

      • I received the following email from Hyundai Canada when asking about when I would receive the update on my 2016 Sonata Hybrid Ultimate (as promised when I purchased it):

        Thank you for taking the time to contact our office and provide us with your feedback.

        We are sorry to inform you that Android Auto will not be available for the 2016 Sonata through Hyundai Auto Canada. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We understand how upsetting this is. Android Auto is a feature that, at this time, is only available for the 2017 Elantra (sedan only), the 2017 Sonata (excluding hybrid and plug-in hybrid) and the 2017 Santa Fe (Sport and XL). Unfortunately, there will be no retrofitting of the model year 2016 (or prior) Hyundai vehicles in Canada.

        Regrettably, Apple CarPlay has not yet been launched through Hyundai Auto Canada, however is currently in development. There is no timeline for launch and there will also not be any retrofitting of model year 2016 (or prior) Hyundai vehicles in Canada.

        At this time, Hyundai Canada’s third party software provider, MnSOFT, has made Android Auto and AppleCarplay available for customers who purchase their map update for certain 2016-2017 Elantra GT and Tucson vehicles in Canada. Perhaps in the future they will decide to make the feature available for the 2016 Sonata. The development and deployment of navigation software used by Hyundai vehicles is solely the responsibility of MnSOFT.

        We sincerely apologize for the frustration that this will no doubt cause and we truly appreciate your understanding in the matter.

        Do not hesitate to contact us with any other questions you may have.

        All the best,


  8. Why are there all these videos mashed in the comments now? Spyware?

    Hope the Santa Fe 2017 will be a free upgrade, I have an iPhone not Android so it’s holding me back from buying one.

  9. I just bought a Hyundai Sonata Sports. The car came with Android Auto play but I have a IPhone and was asking about the CarPlay from Apple Firmware update. They say it suppose to be out during the first quarter and nothing yet. The Navigation Maps is located under the Android Auto play and can’t use this feature. To me if they put this option in the car it should have both software updated for both. You pay all this money for the car and you don’t get to use the full option.

    • Just sent an email off to Jim Trainor and Miles Johnson at Huyndai PR to see if they have an update. Today is the end of the quarter, and hopefully they won’t disappoint. Lynn, have you heard any more?

      Based on Apple’s CarPlay Available Models page, the only vehicles listed as having CarPlay or getting CarPlay are the 2017 Elantra and 2016 Sonata.

      Much like you, a major factor weighing on our decision to purchase the 2016 Sonata (Sport) was the soon to be released CarPlay functionality.

      • PR people get into trouble when they announce a date, even if it is first quarter. Because car owners will track the date. I know for a fact they are working on it. It would be even worse if they released it before it was ready and it didn’t work properly. Back in 2014, I saw working prototypes at the the LA Auto Show, which is a good sign.

      • Update March 31, 2016: We received word that new 2016 Hyundai Sonata non-hybrid models are now shipping and are at dealers with CarPlay. The update to CarPlay for previously purchased 2016 Hyundai Sonatas and 2015 Sonatas with navigation will be free and available later.

        • How is the sonata hybrid different from the non-hybrid version such that android auto would not work with it too? thanks, Bill

          • Sorry, meant CarPlay. Also, is this also saying that Android Auto is farther out than CarPlay for the hybrid

          • Apparently, there is a different headunit as well as hybrid functions programmed into the software.

          • I would like to know as well. It’s one of the reasons I bought my 2016 Tucson Limited as it was promised it would be available “SOON”.

  10. I just received a 2017 Tucson with Car Play. I was disappointed to find out that only Samsung and LG phones are supported. I love my Sony Xperia. Has anyone heard of plans to include Sony in the privileged list?

  11. I just bought a 2016 Sonata Sport and was told I would have access to navigation thru blue link. I learned a few days after that was not the case. Then they said I could link thru my phone, again, not the case! Hyundai needs to find a way that I can link my phone. Very disappointed that I can’t get this to work, and I was told differently. Hyundai has me confused.

  12. Any update on Apple CarPlay for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata? I am very disappointed in Hyundai for all the promises they made regarding the roll-out and launch of Apple Car Play. They are now the last ones to the table on this. Hopefully they responded to you.

    • There are 10 days left to the end of the quarter and still no announcement about Apple CarPlay for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. There has been plenty of press about Hyundai and Apple CarPlay coming out in the 1st quarter of 2015. Well it seems like someone is lying about the truth. Very disappointed in Hyundai for promising something and not delivering. Someone should be held to answer for this.

        • Still appears no update to us promised existing 2015 Sonata owners. I emailed Miles Johnson myself and Hyundai Customer Care. Customer Care said they have no plans to reales for existing 2015 Sonata owners. Hope that is not the case.

      • Please let us know which hybrid, is it the one with Navigation? The problem with hybrids, there is usually other information in the systems such as charging.

  13. As a 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Ultimate driver, I’m eagerly awaiting some better news about CarPlay/Android Auto. Any idea where we can send feedback to Hyundai’s “Connected Car” folks – even for the current capabilities that seem lacking? – i.e.: Why can’t the head unit ‘remember’ the last digital inputs properly?

  14. I purchased a 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Limited Sport in August 2015. It came with Android Auto but does not have Apple Carplay. I own an iPhone. I contacted my dealer to find out when the Apple Carplay SD card would be available for my Sonata and I was told that it would not be offered for the 2015 Sonata.

    • That does not sound correct from what the media department is telling me. Have you tried contacting Hyundai?
      (ConsumerAffairs@HMAUSA.com) or by calling our toll-free customer service number (800) 633-5151.
      Hyundai Customer Connect Center Hours of Operation
      Monday – Friday: 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific Time
      Saturday – Sunday: 6:30 AM to 3:00 PM Pacific Time

      When Hyundai makes an announcement we will have it here.

    • You would have to ask a programmer about that. If you mess with your head unit, it would probably void the warranty. Compatibily has to do with if the computer has enough power and memory to handle the H.264 –MPEG 4 AVC standard. This standard may not be compatible with your current AV unit.

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