Wireless Android Auto and CarPlay Land in One More Car, Albeit With a $3K Price Hike

CarPlay in the 2024 Patrol (Australia) 6 photos
Photo: Nissan
2024 Patrol CarPlay support2024 Patrol CarPlay support2024 Patrol CarPlay support2024 Patrol CarPlay support2024 Patrol CarPlay support
The benefits of wireless Android Auto and CarPlay over their wired siblings are obvious, as drivers can ditch cables and connect their phones to vehicle infotainment systems automatically when they start the engines.
The lack of cables is also big news for Android Auto users, especially because cords have become common culprits for connection problems.

Eventually, a wireless connection offers not only extra convenience, because Android Auto and CarPlay start automatically even if you keep the mobile device in your pocket, but also improved stability and reliability by eliminating faulty cables.

Starting with the 2024 model year, the wireless versions of Android Auto and CarPlay are available in one more car.

Nissan Australia announced that the 2024 Patrol comes with Android Auto and CarPlay support, allowing drivers to connect their smartphones to the infotainment screen for easy access to Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, and other apps.

2024 Patrol CarPlay support
Photo: Nissan
The upgrade lands a bit late – about five years after the Patrol received Android Auto and CarPlay in other markets, but it's still good news for drivers who don't mind paying a hefty price for an infotainment upgrade. I don't want to provide any spoilers yet, so let me detail the infotainment package before I disclose the price.

The CarPlay and Android Auto support aren't the only goodies in the upgrade, as the 2024 Patrol comes with a completely new infotainment system.

It's not installed from the factory but courtesy of Nissan Australia and Directed technologies. The two companies have collaborated on a head unit replacement that provides 2024 Patrol buyers in Australia with a 10.1-inch display.

Retrofitting a larger display also unlocks several other features, including wireless charging DAB+ radio, USB-A and USB-C ports (which drivers and passengers can use for charging their mobile devices), and a front seat cool box. The feature availability depends on the trim level. The Ti-L no longer comes with a 13-speaker Bose system, as Nissan now installs only a six-speaker Infinity unit.

If you're not a big fan of Android Auto and CarPlay but still want the new infotainment system, Nissan Australia includes Hema maps by default in the upgrade. This means you won't have to stick with Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze for navigation, as you can use the pre-loaded navigation software to get directions to an address.

2024 Patrol CarPlay support
Photo: Nissan
However, the biggest drawback is that Hema maps can't be used for free. While Google Maps and most alternatives come without a subscription, you must pay to use Hema Maps. The first month is free, but you must get a subscription to continue using the app.

Now, the bad news.

The infotainment upgrade and the other changes happening across the range have increased the price of the 2024 Patrol in Australia by as much as $3,000. All trims are now more expensive, including Warrior.

The Patrol Ti now costs $87,900 in Australia, while the Ti-L version can be yours for $100,600. The Warrior version carries a $104,160 price tag.

Wireless Android Auto and CarPlay options

While Nissan won't offer an option to retrofit the infotainment upgrade on previous Patrol models, getting Android Auto and CarPlay in an older version is still possible. Best of all, it's also cheaper, as $3,000 is a high price if you're only interested in Android Auto and CarPlay and not the rest of the infotainment upgrades.

The best option is to get an aftermarket media receiver. Sony, Pioneer, Alpine, and Kenwood build premium head units with Android Auto and CarPlay support, with the cheapest alternatives available for only a few hundred dollars – you'll have to check each unit's compatibility with your Patrol model year. If you're not particularly interested in wireless connections, you can save a few bucks by getting a unit with wired Android Auto and CarPlay, so you can use these apps by plugging in your smartphone while driving.

2024 Patrol CarPlay support
Photo: Nissan
Another option is to get a cheaper wired infotainment unit and a wireless adapter that converts the connection from wired to a no-cord experience. Devices like AAWireless (soon with CarPlay support out of the box) and Carlinkit allow drivers to switch from wired to wireless for less than $100.

Nissan says the updated Patrol will land in showrooms this month, so you know what to do if you want to see the 10.1-inch screen in person. It's probably an awesome upgrade, especially considering the size of the display, but the $3,000 price hike could make many buyers walk away if they're not interested in all the bells and whistles of this upgrade.

A new Patrol is also expected in 2025, and Nissan will probably offer Android Auto and CarPlay support out of the box without the need to retrofit a head unit. The company has remained tight-lipped on this model, but I really can't imagine a 2025 model launching without Android Auto and CarPlay. Unless GM makes it.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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