IRVINE, California — Kia will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as free software updates for owners of select 2014-17 models equipped with the UVO3 infotainment system or compatible navigation systems.
Affected models include the 2014-16 Kia Soul and 2015-16 Soul EV subcompact wagons, 2015-16 Optima and Optima Hybrid sedans, 2015-16 Sedona minivan, 2016 Sorento SUV, 2017 Forte sedan and coupe, and the 2017 Sportage SUV.
Kia says that by the end of July, owners will be notified by email to go to myuvo.com to determine vehicle eligibility and receive instructions for updating their systems with the latest downloadable software. Owners must register in advance at myuvo.com in order to receive the email notification.
A Kia spokesman told Edmunds that owners who opt to have a Kia dealer download the update for them would need to purchase an SD card (for approximately $60) and then pay the standard dealership labor rate for the installation.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give drivers access to many of their smartphones' functions ? including phone calls, text messaging, navigation, music and calendar ? through the vehicle's infotainment system by voice, steering-wheel controls and touchscreen.
The technology not only provides a high level of convenience but also increases safety by eliminating the need to fumble with a phone or other device while driving.
Shoppers are increasingly coming to expect these popular features in their vehicles, and most manufacturers are responding by offering them in a wide variety of models at both the high and low end of the price spectrum.
The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto sites have fairly complete lists of availability, or check with a local dealership for more information on specific models.
Edmunds says: Kia owners will appreciate the convenience and connectivity of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, features that many car shoppers are coming to expect.