Apple CarPlay on Nissan Pathfinder, how to connect

Nissan Pathfinder supports Apple CarPlay that lets you access your iPhone apps like iTunes, Google Maps, Waze 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.

Apple CarPlay on Nissan Pathfinder 5th generation – (photo by Nissan)

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 Nissan Pathfinder. 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 Pathfinder

CarPlay must be enabled in your Pathfinder’s infotainment system settings before you can use it. To enable CarPlay, select Settings, then Apps, then Apple CarPlay. Choose Always or Ask from the drop-down list next to Enable after USB Connection – choosing Never disables CarPlay and the USB port will then only be used for charging.

CarPlay enable / disable option under Settings > Apps > Apple CarPlay in NissanConnect infotainment system

Connect iPhone to Pathfinder’s USB port

  1. Connect your Apple iPhone to your Nissan Pathfinder USB port using an Apple-approved Lightning-to-USB cable.
  2. Touch Yes on next prompt. This prompt will not appear again if you select “Don’t Ask Anymore” checkbox.
  3. Touch Allow on your iPhone when prompted. This allows the use of CarPlay with your Pathfinder while phone is locked.
  4. CarPlay will launch on the infotainment system display.
  5. To return to the display audio home screen, press the MENU button.
USB data port location on Nissan Pathfinder

If CarPlay does not start automatically on your Pathfinder after you plug in the USB, then touch its icon on the launch bar on home screen of the infotainment display. You can also launch CarPlay by touching Info button on the launch bar, then Apps and then Apple CarPlay.

If you’re unsure which USB port supports CarPlay on your particular Pathfinder 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.

Apple CarPlay connected on Nissan Pathfinder

CarPlay not working on Nissan Pathfinder

If Apple CarPlay does not start on your Pathfinder 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 Pathfinder.
  • 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 Pathfinder does not support CarPlay. Try other USB ports.
  • A software glitch is responsible for the CarPlay problem. Reset the Pathfinder’s infotainment system to its factory settings.
  • You’ve an older model of Pathfinder that does not support Apple CarPlay. Only 2022 and later model year Nissan Pathfinder vehicles are compatible with CarPlay.

Using Siri on Nissan Pathfinder

Siri is Apple’s voice recognition feature that helps you to concentrate on the road while driving your Pathfinder 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 Pathfinder until you hear Siri tone.

Voice command button on the steering wheel of Nissan Pathfinder – press and hold to awaken Siri virtual assistant

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.

For best results when using Siri, speak clearly and reduce background noise by closing the windows and moonroof. Also, direct the air vents on dashboard so that they are not pointing towards the vehicle’s microphone.

Which Pathfinder models support CarPlay?

2022 and later model year Nissan Pathfinder vehicles are compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Using Google Maps on Nissan Pathfinder with CarPlay

If your iPhone has iOS 14+ operating system, you can freely use Google Maps in Apple CarPlay on your Pathfinder. 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 Nissan Pathfinder 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 Pathfinder’s infotainment system display. Then touch Waze icon to launch the app.

Using Spotify on Pathfinder

You can use Spotify to stream music on your Pathfinder. 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 Pathfinder. 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 Nissan Pathfinder 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 Pathfinder, 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 Pathfinder 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.

Author: Nabeel K

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2 years ago

Thank you for the article. I bought a 2020 Pathfinder last year, and assumed that it had Apple CarPlay. To my annoyance it doesn’t. How can a $40,000 car in this day not support this? I drive a Kia Sorrento for my student transportation job. Kia’s support it. Thankfully I am leasing and if they don’t have it by the time my lease is finished I’m looking for another car manufacturer that does support Apple CarPlay.

2 years ago
Reply to  Frances

Same here! We were told by the dealer our 2020 Pathfinder supported CarPlay. To our dismay, months later, we realized our inability to connect was not our fault. It was indeed the lack of features in our very expensive vehicle. So frustrating!

2 years ago

I own a 2020 Nissan Pathfinder SL and wondered how I can add CarPlay to the car, which I haven’t figured out yet. Your article talks a lot about using CarPlay, but then I read you wrote its not available until 2022 in Nissan Pathfinders. What am I missing? Is it not available or able to be added? Is there a software update for the pathfinder that would allow it? Thanks so much. This has been trying to figure out.

2 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

CarPlay is available from 2022 model year Pathfinder vehicles (all new 5th generation), deliveries for 5th gen vehicles haven’t started yet, production is scheduled for summer 2021. Your model is 2020, which is 4th generation, and it does not support Apple CarPlay. There is no software update that will enable CarPlay on your vehicle.