Wireless Apple CarPlay Guide For Your Toyota RAV4


Wireless Apple CarPlay is one of the most desired features to be included with today’s vehicles. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, you’ll want to know which RAV4s have wireless Apple CarPlay and how to get it.

In this article, I show you how to get this hot technology feature with your Toyota RAV4. I also discuss how to convert to wireless Apple CarPlay if your RAV4 doesn’t include it.

wireless apple carplay

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CarPlay Overview

Apple integrated CarPlay into many vehicles starting in 2015. This system allows you to pair a compatible iPhone device to the in-dash multimedia system.

Once a phone is connected to Apple CarPlay, it can be used hands-free for:

  • Maps
  • Phone calls
  • Messages
  • Apple Music
  • Audiobooks
  • Podcasts

Additionally, third-party developers create apps to be used in conjunction with Apple CarPlay. For example, you could use Spotify for music streaming and a separate program for navigation.

apple carplay home screen
ninjajp, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Traditionally, you must plug in your phone to your car using a lightning-to-USB cable to use Apple CarPlay. However, new technology allows you to do this wirelessly with no need for a cable. This is beneficial to the driver because it eliminates distractions and prevents the cable from interfering with the driver.

Wireless CarPlay also adds convenience to the driver, since they don’t need to take their phone out of their pocket or bag to connect to Maps, make phone calls, or use other CarPlay features. It’s all ready to go when the car turns on.

If you’re tired of fumbling with cables in your car, wireless Apple CarPlay is something you should be looking for.

(apple.com)

When it Was Introduced

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is the first model available with wireless Apple CarPlay from the factory. In a minute, I will show you what trim levels include this new technology.

Prior to the 2023 model, RAV4s came standard with Apple CarPlay integration, but without wireless capabilities. It’s included as standard equipment with the 2019 through 2022 Toyota RAV4.

If you have a RAV4 older than 2019, Apple CarPlay isn’t available from the factory. With Bluetooth compatibility, these SUVs can still be connected. Otherwise, learn how to convert to Wireless Apple CarPlay by upgrading to an aftermarket stereo system.

Model Availability

Only RAV4s 2023 or newer come with wireless Apple CarPlay.

Because it comes with every trim, you don’t need to spend more to gain this capability. Even with the base trim, you have the CarPlay functionality included.

If you have a RAV4 that is 2022 or older, you won’t have wireless Apple CarPlay. Still, there are ways to convert to wireless Apple CarPlay for an upgraded experience.

How to Convert

If you don’t have a 2023 or newer Toyota RAV4, there are several other connectivity options available. With the 2019 to 2022 RAV4s, Apple CarPlay is already included, but it must be connected with a wire. To upgrade to wireless Apple CarPlay, you can use an adapter.

With the 2013 to 2018 RAV4s, you don’t have CarPlay functionality built-in. Therefore, the only solution is to upgrade the stereo system.

Let’s dive into both options a little deeper.

2019-2022 Toyota RAV4

If you have a 2019-2022 Toyota RAV4, your SUV already includes CarPlay. To make it wireless, all that’s needed is an adapter.

The advantages of using an adapter include:

  • Your iPhone no longer needs to be connected with a cable
  • The iPhone can remain in your pocket or bag, wherever you want
  • There’s no need to fiddle with your phone when getting in or out of the car

While using an adapter can provide a lot of benefits, there are a few downsides to consider too. Here are a few:

  • Takes a few seconds for iPhone to connect
  • Additional cost required to purchase an adapter

Toyota RAV4 Wireless Apple CarPlay Adapter

This adapter makes it easy to use CarPlay wirelessly. As a plug-and-play model, it’s designed to work directly from the box. You don’t need to worry about confusing instructions.

It also provides a superior connection without distortion or interference. Not only that, but the price is lower than other adapters, however, it is still a high-quality product.

2013-2018 Toyota RAV4

Things get more complicated with the 2018 Toyota RAV4 and earlier. Unlike the 2019 Toyota RAV4, these SUVs don’t include Apple CarPlay compatibility. Therefore, bigger upgrades are required.

The only way to get wireless Apple CarPlay in these SUVs is to install an aftermarket media receiver. With this upgrade, further technological upgrades are possible at the same time. Still, this upgrade doesn’t come cheap.

It’s important to find a model that’s compatible with your RAV4. To help out, I’ve done the research for you.

The ViaBecs 10.2†Car Stereo provides wireless Apple CarPlay functionality to the 2013-2018 RAV4. It includes a plug-and-play harness for a fast installation. With this technology, it’s simple to play music, check messages and make calls, all without using your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay. This technology is installed with every trim level, so there’s no need to upgrade to a pricier model just for this feature.

If you have a 2023 Toyota RAV4, wireless Apple CarPlay is standard. Your compatible iPhone should connect automatically after selecting Auto-Join in the settings. With older model RAV4s, an aftermarket adapter or upgraded stereo system is required.

If you drive a 2023 Toyota RAV4, wireless Apple CarPlay is automatically installed. With the 2019-2022 Toyota RAV4, all models include Apple CarPlay without wireless capability. Prior to 2019, CarPlay is not installed on the RAV4.

Enhance RAV4 Connectivity

Even if you don’t have a 2023 Toyota RAV4, it’s simple to connect to wireless Apple CarPlay. After some easy upgrades, this high-tech connectivity is within reach.

During your next commute, make calls to your loved ones, navigate with updated maps, or stream a new podcast without messing with annoying wires. Apple CarPlay ensures you have the best technology in the cabin.

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