Apple CarPlay on Chevy Cruze, how to connect

Chevy Cruze supports Apple CarPlay that lets you access your iPhone apps like iTunes, Google Maps and Spotify through the touch-screen of your vehicle. You can also make phone calls, send messages or use navigation with voice commands using Siri.

Chevy Cruze second generation – (photo by Chevrolet)

Enable CarPlay and Siri on iPhone

You must have iPhone 5 or newer device with iOS 7.1 or newer version to use Apple CarPlay on Chevy Cruze. Before you begin, ensure CarPlay and Siri are enabled on your iPhone. Also, make sure that the “Press Home for Siri” option is enabled under “Siri & Search” in settings.

If you can’t see CarPlay or Siri & Search under your iPhone settings, then go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, and make sure both CarPlay and Siri & Search are enabled.

Enable CarPlay in Cruze

CarPlay must be enabled in your Cruze’s infotainment system settings before you can use it. This can be done by selecting Settings, then open Apps tab and make sure that Apple CarPlay is turned on.

Apple CarPlay enable / disable option under Settings > Apps in Chevrolet Infotainment System 3

Connect iPhone to Cruze’s USB port

  1. Connect your Apple iPhone to your Chevy Cruze USB port using an Apple-approved Lightning-to-USB cable.
  2. Touch Allow on your iPhone when prompted. This allows the use of CarPlay with your Cruze while phone is locked.
  3. CarPlay will launch automatically on the infotainment system display.
USB data port location on Chevy Cruze

If CarPlay does not start automatically after you plug in the USB, then touch its icon in the list of apps in the infotainment display.

Apple CarPlay shortcut on home screen of Chevy Cruze’s touchscreen

If you’re unsure which USB port supports CarPlay on your particular Cruze variant, then consult your vehicle’s owners manual – or you can try plugging in the cable, one by one, in all the USB ports in dashboard and center console.

CarPlay not working on Chevy Cruze

If Apple CarPlay does not start on your Cruze when you plug in the USB cable and there is no CarPlay icon in the list of apps in the infotainment system, it can be due to a number of reasons:

  • CarPlay is disabled in the infotainment system settings of your Cruze.
  • CarPlay is disabled in your iPhone, go to ‘Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps’ and enable both CarPlay and Siri.
  • The Lightning-to-USB cable you’re using is defective. Try a different cable, preferably original Apple cable.
  • The connected USB port on your Cruze does not support CarPlay. Try other USB ports.
  • A software glitch is responsible for the CarPlay problem. Reset the Cruze’s infotainment system to its factory settings.
  • You’ve an older model of Cruze that does not support Apple CarPlay. Only 2016 and later model year Chevy Cruze vehicles are compatible with CarPlay.

Using Siri on Chevy Cruze

Siri is Apple’s voice recognition feature that helps you to concentrate on the road while driving your Cruze as you can control the functions of the iPhone with voice commands.

The virtual assistant allows you to place phone calls, listen to and send text messages, play music on your iPhone, get directions and use other functions of your iPhone hands-free. You can even ask Siri for current weather conditions, stock prices or upcoming events on your calendar.

To access Siri, press and hold the talk button on the steering wheel of your Cruze until you hear Siri tone.

Voice command button on the steering wheel of Chevy Cruze activates Siri

You can also access Siri by holding down the home button located at the bottom left corner in the CarPlay app.

If the Listen for “Hey Siri” function is enabled in your iPhone device under Siri & Search settings, you can also just simply say: “Hey Siri”. After hearing the audible alert, you can begin asking Siri for assistance.

Which Cruze models support CarPlay?

2016 and later model year Chevy Cruze vehicles are compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Using Google Maps on Chevy Cruze with CarPlay

If your iPhone has iOS 14+ operating system, you can freely use Google Maps in Apple CarPlay on your Cruze. Apple now allows the use of Google Maps in the home screen. Apple has allowed the competitor’s map service in its car application since iOS 12, but the homescreen that was newly introduced in iOS 13 in 2019 could not yet be equipped with maps. Here, users were still limited to Apple’s own map service. With iOS 14 that changes. Now CarPlay automatically selects the last service used for the view.

Using Waze navigation on Chevy Cruze with CarPlay

You can use Waze navigation app in CarPlay if you have iOS 12 or higher operating system installed on your iPhone. Download and install Waze app from App Store on your iPhone, then start CarPlay on your Cruze’s infotainment system display. Then touch Waze icon to launch the app.

Using Spotify on Cruze

You can use Spotify to stream music on your Cruze. Just install the Spotify app from App Store and its icon will appear in the infotainment display when CarPlay is active.

You can use voice commands to play music hands-free on Spotify with Siri. Just add “on Spotify” at the end so that Siri knows which service you’re referring to (e.g. “Hey, Siri, play my ‘Your Mix of the Week’ playlist on Spotify”).

Siri can play songs, artists, albums, playlists, podcasts, and more. You can also “like” music, ask what’s playing, and control playback (e.g. volume, skip song, play / pause).

Do not disturb while driving

When driving, keep your eyes on the road. A quick look at the navigation device is of course allowed in order not to miss the next junction. The “Do not disturb while driving” function can be activated so that your iPhone does not distract you with unnecessary notifications while driving your Cruze. iOS 13 extends this option to CarPlay as well. On your iPhone go to Settings > Do Not Disturb, then scroll down and touch “Activate” under “Do not disturb while driving”.

Not all apps are compatible with CarPlay

If you think you can use all your iPhone apps in your Chevy Cruze with CarPlay, then you’re wrong. The selection of compatible applications is limited, and you have to live with restrictions, especially with messenger apps. iMessage and WhatsApp can be controlled almost exclusively via Siri. That means you cannot see your message history, but only have new messages read out to you or even dictate messages yourself.

The following apps can be used with CarPlay on your Cruze, among others: Music, Phone, News, Podcasts, Audio books, Audible, Google Maps, Sygic TomTomGO, Whatsapp, calendar, Settings, Telegram, Waze, Spotify, TuneIn, Tidal, Pandora, Youtube Music and Amazon Music.

Sort apps in CarPlay

You can sort CarPlay apps in your Cruze quickly and easily through your iPhone. To do this, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, then select your vehicle under “MY CARS”. On the next screen you can rearrange app icons by touching and dragging them. You can also hide icons by touching the minus button on them.

Video Demonstration

Author: Nabeel K

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Rachel Fenton
Rachel Fenton
3 months ago

Does it have to be a iPhone charger if you’re using a iPhone ?

2 months ago

I have recently purchased a 2018 Cruze and would like to add Navigation to it. I found and read your article about Apple CarPlay and have a question:

I have an iPhone 12 Pro Max, and it does not have the “Press Home For Option” that you specify in the “Siri & Search”. It has “Press Side Button for Siri” ….. is this a replacement for Press Home?
I am not very tech savvy, so I want to make sure that I don’t buy something that doesn’t work as described…. I have been through that before, and it is not pleasant. Are there other changes that have occurred as the iPhone has become more sophisticated that I should be aware of, or is your article still a good guide to go by?
Thank you. Ontario, Canada.

2 months ago
Reply to  Nabeel

Thank you for that very valuable information!

I have another question……what do I need to have on my iPhone? I presently only have Canada wide calling, but I get the impression that there must be something else I should be including to do all the things you are talking about. 
If you would be so kind….could you explain what else I have to ask Rogers to add to my package. My daughter keeps telling me she has sent me Text Messages, but I don’t get them until I get home. I can phone her while I am shopping, but don’t get the Text Messages. So there is something I am missing.

Please excuse me for being such a bore and taking up your valuable time, but it is so nice to receive answers to my questions that I understand, and can act on. 

BTW (my daughter said that means “By The Way” )Your article was so refreshing and a delight to read. I could understand what you were saying, and follow your direction step by step, because you included all of the steps!! 
So often the writer assumes everybody is as knowledgeable as they are, and jumps the boring stuff to get to more interesting material, leaving me in a quandary where to go next….Hullo!!!….Hullo!!!!
 Keep thinking at the lowest denominator and you can’t lose!! 

I will be talking to the Salesman at the GM dealership tomorrow about Apple CarPlay, and am hoping that I get some favorable news.