While at first glance it looked like the iOS update was the one to blame, the carmaker itself has now shipped a fix, with dealerships told to install it as part of a head unit update.
A technical service bulletin released in January 2021 indicates the targeted models are the 2021 Kia K5, Kia Sorento, and Kia Sorento Hybrid.
“This bulletin provides the procedure to update the head unit software on some 2021 MY K5 (DL3a), Sorento (MQ4a), and Sorento Hybrid (MQ4 HEV) vehicles, equipped with a Display Audio 2.0 head unit, which may exhibit a wireless CarPlay connectivity issue with Apple phones running iOS 14 software version,” the official Kia technical service bulletin reads.
“To correct this concern, perform the head unit software update procedure outlined in this bulletin to vehicles in dealer stock only. Before conducting the procedure, verify that the vehicle is included in the list of affected VINs.”
While the technical service bulletin emphasizes the update should only be installed on dealer stock vehicles, it looks like customers whose Kia cars struggle with the CarPlay connectivity problem are getting the fix, too, so your best option right now is to just reach out to the dealership for more information.
At this point, it looks like the update indeed resolves the whole thing, bringing CarPlay back to fully working condition even on an iPhone running the latest iOS version (it should work correctly even if you’re still on the original iOS 14 release).