Honda Might Let You Update Your Older Car With New Tech

Honda excels in just about every way that counts, but the carmaker could do better in the tech department. Fortunately, the Japanese carmaker is making more remarkable strides in this area, especially regarding infotainment. You may even be able to update your older Honda with new wireless connectivity features with an offical company update.

What’s the latest with Honda’s car technology?

The 2021 Honda Accord is the brand's midsize sedan.
2021 Honda Accord | Honda

Honda recently announced that it’s finally adopting wireless Apple CarPlay on select models. The carmaker already offers Apple CarPlay and Android connectivity. But the caveat is that you have to connect your iPhone via a USB port to use the smartphone integration apps. With Honda’s wireless connectivity introduction, you can go cordless and free up your USB port for charging another device.

So far, the 2021 Accord is the first Honda to have wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. This update makes Honda more in line with luxury brands, including BMW and Cadillac, which already offer wireless smartphone connection. Other mainstream brands getting in on the trend are Chevrolet, GMC, and Volkswagen. 

Honda might expand its wireless to tech older models too

The front row of of the 2020 Honda Civic with leather-trimmed seats.
2020 Honda Civic Sedan Touring | Honda

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Some of us with slightly out-of-date Hondas might benefit from the carmaker’s new tech. As Jalopnik highlighted, Honda is starting to gauge owners’ interest in an optional upgrade that would add a wireless phone extension to older models, as the new ones will have. One 2018 Accord owner shared on Reddit that Honda reached out to them via survey. 

Honda’s survey asks current owners if they are interested in the new upgrade, and it also covers different ways the updated software can be set up. Honda is considering shipping owners a flash drive with the update or allowing owners to download it themselves from its website. But if you rather your local service department handle it, that will be an option too. 

Pricing for the updated software isn’t official yet, but Honda is tossing some ideas around. Opting for just the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless upgrade could cost about $50. Adding both smartphone apps plus the Qi wireless charger could range from $150 to $200. 

We think it’s laudable that Honda is taking the extra step to give its drivers more modern tech, especially since many other carmakers aren’t. Mazda similarly offered its owners the option to update their older vehicles with smartphone apps. Porsche has done so too. But General Motors is among those that say they won’t follow suit with Honda. GM says either its vehicles come with wireless projection, or they don’t.

Can I upgrade my current infotainment system?

touchscreen and controls for the 2017 Honda Civic sedan
Controls in the 2017 Honda Civic sedan | Honda

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If you can’t wait for Honda’s new rollout, or your Honda is much older than the more recent models, you still have options. You can retrofit your older car with an aftermarket system such as a Pioneer or Boss. These particular systems stand out because they’re user-friendly and relatively affordable. You might want to make this a DIY project, but you can also look for a local service dealer specializing in this field.