Automakers know people want their cars to be a seamless extension of their digital lives. In just a few years, integration of smartphone-based Apple and Android capability into dashboard media systems has become nearly universal, but getting Alexa Auto onboard has gone slower.
Not that automakers haven’t embraced Alexa home devices. Almost all now have Alexa apps — Amazon calls them “skills” — that can perform the same remote functions as their Apple and Android smartphone apps. These can include locking and unlocking, remote start and more, depending on the maker and the particular car. You can find these apps under Connected Car at Amazon’s Alexa Skills.
But that’s not what we mean here. Many folks who use Alexa voice-activated devices at home for everything from infotainment to ordering dog food to controlling smart-home lights and thermostats might like to do those same things from their connected car — as if it were just another room in that smart home. They might even like to use Alexa voice control for the car’s features, but do automakers want to give up that much control of their in-car experience? It is Amazon, after all. BMW, for example, announced in 2017 that it would put Alexa Auto capability in all BMW and Mini vehicles starting with 2018 production but also has developed its own voice-controlled digital assistant system that can control many car features.
Even for automakers that have embraced Alexa Auto, operation and capabilities vary. It’s not the relatively uniform experience from brand to brand and car to car as CarPlay and Android Auto. Some, such as BMW and GM vehicles have Alexa built in — embedded into the dashboard multimedia system and using the in-car screen, microphones and speakers. Such full integration requires an Alexa-capable system and also requires a connectivity subscription for the car, which can cost $15 a month or more. Others, such as Ford and Toyota products, have integrated Alexa into the car’s multimedia system as an app that requires a connected smartphone (and data). Also note that Alexa capability with some auto brands and individual models might require a media system or package upgrade, and Alexa may not be supported on all trim levels.
If your vehicle is not Alexa-capable, there is a workaround — if you don’t mind a separate device and wires in the car. One is Amazon’s own phone-sized Echo Auto (normally about $50 but on sale as this is written for $19.95). It uses its own microphone array for voice, an Alexa app on your smartphone and an auxiliary input or Bluetooth connection to the car’s audio system. You can see it, and some other aftermarket devices, here.
Here are the vehicles that Amazon or automakers list as offering Alexa in-car integration. (Note: Some earlier model years for some brands require a system update.) Cars.com will update this list as more vehicles are added. Automaker links for more information are included.
Audi vehicles with Alexa
BMW vehicles with Alexa
Buick vehicles cars with Alexa
Cadillac vehicles with Alexa
- 2018 on: ATS, CTS, XTS
- 2019 on: CT6 (including plug-in), XT4
- 2020 on: CT4, CT5, XT6
- 2021 Escalade, Escalade ESV
Chevrolet vehicles with Alexa
- 2019 on: Blazer, Camaro, Colorado, Equinox, Impala, Malibu, Silverado 1500, Volt
- 2020 on: Corvette, Traverse
- 2021 on: Suburban, Tahoe, Trailblazer
FCA vehicles with Alexa
Ford vehicles (requires Ford Plus Alexa app for Google’s Android or Apple iOS)
- 2016 on: C-Max Energi, Edge, Escape, Expedition, Expedition EL, Expedition Max, Explorer, F-150, F-250, F-350, Fiesta, Flex, Focus, Fusion, Mustang, Taurus
- 2018 on: EcoSport
- 2019 on: Transit Connect Wagon
- 2021 on: Bronco Sport, Mustang Mach-E
GMC vehicles with Alexa
- 2018 on: Terrain
- 2019 on: Canyon, Sierra 1500, Sierra 2500, Sierra 3500
- 2020 on: Acadia
- 2021 on: Yukon, Yukon XL
Lexus vehicles (requires Lexus Plus Alexa app for Android or iOS)
- 2018 on: LC 500, LC 500h, LS 500, NX 300, NX 300h, RC 300, RC 350, RC F
- 2019 on: ES 250, ES 350, ES 300h, UX 200, UX 250h
- 2020 on: RX 300, RX 350, RX 350L, RX 450h, RX 450hL
Lincoln vehicles (requires Lincoln Plus Alexa app for Android or iOS)
- 2016 on: MKC, MKS, MKT, MKX, MKZ, Navigator, Lincoln Navigator L
- 2017 on: Continental
- 2019 on: Aviator, Nautilus
- 2020 on: Corsair
Mini vehicles with Alexa
Toyota vehicles (requires Toyota Plus Alexa app for Android or iOS)
- 2018 on: Camry, Sienna
- 2019 on: Avalon, C-HR, Corolla Hatchback, RAV4
- 2020 on: 4Runner, Corolla, Highlander, Prius, Prius Prime, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra
- 2021 on: Mirai, Venza
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- What Is Android Auto?
- Always Wanted to Talk to Your Car? BMW Is Here for You
Editor’s note: This article was updated Dec. 28, 2020, with updated information from FCA.
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