How to Get Apple CarPlay on a 2017 Lexus RX 350

The Lexus RX 350 didn’t offer Apple CarPlay as a feature until 2020, but you can still buy aftermarket modifications to add it to your Lexus. Here’s how.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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    The 2017 Lexus RX 350 doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay. To add this feature, you’ll need to purchase an aftermarket modification.
    Apple CarPlay has become a standard feature in many cars in recent years, but that wasn’t always the case. While not having this feature in the 2017 Lexus RX 350 doesn’t mean you can’t listen to tunes on your iPhone, it does mean the experience has to be a bit more “hands-on.” This can be dangerous, and in many states, illegal.
    If you’re curious how to get 2017 Lexus RX 350 Apple CarPlay,
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    Does the 2017 Lexus RX 350 have Apple CarPlay?
    No, the 2017 Lexus RX 350 does not have Apple CarPlay. It would not become standard equipment on the RX until 2020. This doesn’t mean you can’t listen to tunes or podcasts on your iPhone in a 2017 RX 350, though—you’ll simply need to plug it in or connect it via Bluetooth.
    RX 350s with the added Navigation package will also have connectivity options through the Lexus Enform App Suite, but this suite still does not offer Apple CarPlay. Instead, it upgrades your infotainment experience with a navigation system, a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, voice controls, and a 12-speaker sound system. Buyers could also opt for an upgraded 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
    How to add Apple CarPlay to a 2017 Lexus RX 350
    Lexus offers an audio upgrade for several of its models that can add both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to your Lexus’s available apps. Unfortunately, this upgrade is not available for the RX 350. But you can still use aftermarket adapter kits, such as Crux’s ACPLX-12Z adapter, the NINETOM wireless carplay retrofit kit, or a Cartizan aftermarket kit.
    Each of these kits will require you to access wiring harnesses located behind your Lexus’s infotainment screen, which means partial disassembly of your vehicle’s dash, and disconnection of the car’s push-button start mechanism. For this reason, we cannot recommend strongly enough that you take your Lexus to a dealer or installation tech to have the modification professionally installed.
    How to enable Apple CarPlay in a 2017 Lexus RX 350
    Once your 2017 Lexus RX 350 has been retrofitted with Apple CarPlay, it’s time to turn it on. The steps for this may vary a bit depending on the retrofit kit you choose, but they will all begin with your selection of audio input modes (Bluetooth or Auxiliary).
    Once you’ve selected your input method, press the “Map” button on your center console and hold until the Apple CarPlay menu appears on your vehicle’s center display screen. You can then use the touchscreen as you normally would to navigate through your iPhone apps.
    Which Lexus models have Apple CarPlay?
    If you’re considering buying a new or used Lexus and you want to be sure you get all the features you want, including Apple CarPlay, here is a list of Lexus models available for purchase that include Apple CarPlay among their standard features.
    • 2019 models: Lexus UX, RC, LC, and LS
    • 2020 models: Lexus ES, UX, NX, RX, RC, RC F, LC, and LS
    • 2021 models: IS, ES, UX, NX, RX, RC, RC F, LC, and LS
    • All 2022 models
    Lexus LC, NX, LS, RC, and RC F models produced prior to 2018 and Lexus UX and ES models produced prior to 2019 can have an upgrade performed for $299 at most Lexus dealerships. The Lexus RX does not yet have a Lexus-branded upgrade option to add Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to your vehicle.
    How to lower your Lexus RX insurance costs
    Adding Apple CarPlay to a Lexus not already equipped with the option is fairly affordable, but it’s not free. Not only do you need to buy the retrofit kit (which can cost upwards of $300) but you’ll also need to pay for installation. All told, you’re probably looking at at least $500 to get this feature into your Lexus. Now, what if we told you we could potentially get that feature for you free of charge?
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