Become CarPlay Wire-Free with Drive Link

When CarPlay first arrived, I was super excited. I loved being able to use my phone 100% hands-free, but I started getting frustrated with pulling my iPhone out of my pocket in order to hardwire/plug my phone into my car. It’s a first-world problem, I know, but I have impatiently been waiting for wireless CarPlay to become a commonplace feature with the iPhone. Sadly, that hasn’t yet become mainstream, but third-party devices like the DriveLink Wireless Apple CarPlay Adapter have.

DETAILS

The DriveLink Wireless Apple CarPlay Adapter is a small device that plugs directly into your car and connects to your phone via WiFi/Bluetooth. The DriveLink connects to your phone using Bluetooth and then sends WiFi credentials to the phone. After the WiFi credentials are accepted, the phone is disconnected from Bluetooth. The device does require “original built-in factory wired Apple CarPlay” in the vehicle you are connecting to and the iPhone must be running iOS 10 or higher. The DriveLink is will work with CarPlay 2017 and higher and the specs of the device suggest that it may work with CarPlay prior 2017, but DriveLink does not guarantee 100% compliance with older versions of the software. The DriveLink does not require battery power as it operates off of bus power. The device is packaged with a short Type-C able and a user manual. The list below shows all the vehicles the DriveLink is compatible with.

DriveLink Wireless CarPlay Adapter
For AcuraRDX/ILX/TLX/MDX
For AudiA3-A6/Q2-Q7/S3-S5
For BuickEnvision/Enclave/Encore/Excelle gt/GL8/Lacrosse/Regal
CadillacAtsl/CT5/CT6/Escalade/XT4/XT5/XTS
For ChevroletBolt EV/Colorado/Cruze/Corvette/Camaro/Equinox/
For ChevroletSilverado/Spark/Suburban/Trax/Tahoe/Volt
For DodgeChallenger/Durango/Hellcat Redeye/RAM
For FordSync 3/3.4/F-150/F-250/F-350/Bronco/C-MAX/Edge/Escape/Everest
For FordFiesta/Fusion/Galaxy/Kuga/Mondeo/Mustang/Lincoln/Quga/Ranger
For GMCCamyon/Sierra/Terrain/Yukon
For HondaAccord/Avancier/Civic/CRV/FitEX/Ridgeline
For HyundaiCreta/Elantra/I30/Ioniq/Kona/Palisade/Sonata/Santa/Tucson/Veloster
For JeepWrangler JL/JK/Gladiator/Cherokee/Grand Cherokee
For JeepCompass/Commander/Grand Commander/Moab
For KiaCadenza/Forte/Hybrid/K5/Niro/Optima/Proceed
For KiaSeltos/Sorento/Sportage/Stonic/Stinger/Soul/Telluride
For LandRoverDiscovery/Defender /Freelander/RangeRover
For Lexus450h/nx300/ls500/es350/rx459h/rx350/GX460
For LandRoverDiscovery/Defender /Freelander/RangeRover
For MazdaCX-4/CX-5/CX-9/CX-30/MX-5/Atenza/Mazda 3
For Mercedes-BenzA/AMG/B/CLA/CLS/E/EQC/G/GLA/GLB/GlC/GLE/GLS/S/SLC
For NissanRogue/Sylphy/Teana/Titan/Versa/X-Trail
For NissanDiscovery/Defender /Freelander/RangeRover
For Peugeot208/308/408/508/3008/4008/5008
For PioneerMVH/SPH/SCH/AVH/NEX/AVIC
For Porsche718/911/Boxster/Cayenne/Macan/Panamera/Turbo 5
For SkodaFabia/Kodiaq/Octavia/Rapid/Superb/Yeti
For SubaruAscent/Crosstrek/Forester/Impreza/Legacy/Outback/Sti/WRX/XV
For ToyotaLevin/Prius/RAV4/Sienna/Tacoma/Tundra/Venza/Yaris
For Toyota4Runner/Avalon/Altis10-12/Camry/Corolla/Highlander
For VolkswagonLavida/Tiguan L/Teramont/GTI 2017-2021; Beetle/Multivan/Caravelle/Sharan
For VolvoAtlas/Amarok/Arteon/Sagitar/T-ROC/Phideon/Magotan/Polo/Golf
For OthersMaserati/Bentayga/Genesis/Chrysler/Alfa/Fiat/Jaguar/Mitsubishi/Renault
DriveLink Wireless CarPlay Adapter

USER EXPERIENCE

The DriveLink is easy to set up. When you take it out of the box, you just plug it into your car’s USB port using the USB-C cable provided. Once you have it connected start your car. There will be a prompt on your screen that gives you the option of selecting CarPlay. Make sure you select CarPlay. Then you wait until the interface moves to the next option. Make sure your phone’s Bluetooth is turned on and make sure it’s not connected to other networks. Go to your Bluetooth device menu and select the CarPlay option. Once it’s successfully paired, you won’t need to connect it a second time. Your phone should remember the connection. After a few seconds, the CarPlay interface will appear on your car’s screen and you can use it normally – without connecting your phone using a cable.

DriveLink Wireless CarPlay Adapter

I really haven’t had any issues with the DriveLink adapter. I am fortunate that I have a USB port inside my car’s armrest storage compartment. I have the DriveLink plugged in there and I don’t have to think about it anymore. After the initial linking and setup, I was happy to find out that the DriveLink stayed connected and I didn’t have to go through a pairing process again. When I start the car it does take a few seconds (up to 30-45 seconds) to connect to my phone again, but after the car is started and CarPlay is initiated, I haven’t lost any connections. There was one time when the DriveLink failed to boot up, but after restarting the car, it worked just fine.

DriveLink Wireless CarPlay Adapter

CONCLUSION

I’ve used a couple of different brands of wireless CarPlay adapters and DriveLink has provided the best experience by far. The connection is solid, the sound quality is superb, and it has a brilliantly simple setup process. DriveLink is definitely the way to go when you are trying to use CarPlay wirelessly.