Earlier this year at CES, Seth and I had the opportunity to test drive the new Chevy Volt hybrid (okay, I actually just held the camera in the back seat) which has one of the best CarPlay screen we’ve seen yet. Check out our hands-on experience with the Volt’s very nice display from our test drive below …
You can read more about the second-gen Chevy Volt at Electrek, but the takeaway for the purpose of this piece is that the quality of the display in the car can really make or break the CarPlay experience.
The Volt uses an 8-inch capacitive touch display, which is only slightly larger than an iPad mini and bigger than either of my aftermarket CarPlay displays. The bottom line is that bigger is better, and avoid resistive touch screens at all cost if possible when looking into CarPlay for yourself.
Check out our hands-on video with CarPlay in the new Chevy Volt below:
If you’re not in the market for a new Chevy Volt but want the best aftermarket CarPlay screen money can buy, I personally use and enjoy Pioneer’s AVIC-8100NEX ($1,199, reg. $1400) which features a 7-inch capacitive touch screen that also works with Android Auto if you pick up a hitchhiker.
Pioneer’s AppRadio 4 SPH-DA120 ($424, reg. $600) has a 6-inch capacitive touch screen, still features Bluetooth for non-CarPlay use, and is a better bargain if CarPlay is all you want. Alpine’s ILX-007 (new from $550) goes even further by dropping Bluetooth support to focus only on CarPlay, but personally I recommend opting for Bluetooth too as I use it when more convenient.
The CarPlay experience is mostly the same from display to display as it relies on projecting apps from the connected iPhone, but the way it looks and feels to use really does depend on the quality of in-dash display.
CarPlay itself is set to receive a welcomed upgrade when iOS 9.3 for iPhone comes out of beta. The new version brings the full Apple Music experience to the car with For You and New playlist and album recommendations as well as a more robust Maps app thanks to the added Nearby feature. See both in action in our hands-on video with that below:
You can read my initial review of CarPlay, what changed with CarPlay in iOS 9, and our running list of CarPlay apps here. And head over to Electrek to read more about the new Chevy Volt and see our test drive in action.