Subaru and Android Auto: When Did the Perfect Partnership Begin?

Subaru has always been a brand that prioritizes technology and convenience. From advanced safety features to entertainment systems, their cars are designed to make driving experiences more enjoyable. One of the latest additions to their list of features is Android Auto, which has become a valuable asset for car enthusiasts and those who value connectivity. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Subaru and Android Auto, its compatibility with different models, how to set it up, and why it’s an essential feature to have in a car.

What is Android Auto?

Android Auto is a mobile app developed by Google, designed to make it easier to access Android apps while driving. Essentially, Android Auto allows drivers to connect their Android smartphone to their car and access all the functionalities of their phone, such as navigation, messaging, and phone calls. The app creates an interactive display on the car’s dashboard that can be controlled through voice commands, on-screen taps, or the car’s buttons and dials.

Subaru’s History with Android Auto

Subaru announced its partnership with Android Auto in 2015, with the aim of bringing the app to their cars. In 2016, Subaru released its first car model with Android Auto integration, the 2017 Impreza. Since then, Subaru has introduced Android Auto to other models such as Ascent, Legacy, Outback, and Crosstrek.

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List of Subaru Car Models Compatible with Android Auto

If you are a Subaru owner or looking to buy one, it’s essential to know which models are compatible with Android Auto. As of 2021, the following Subaru models are compatible with Android Auto:

  • BRZ
  • Forester
  • Impreza
  • Legacy
  • Outback
  • WRX
  • Crosstrek
  • Ascent

It’s worth noting that the Android Auto is not compatible with earlier models of Subaru cars.

Setting up Android Auto in a Subaru Car

If your Subaru car is compatible with Android Auto, setting it up is relatively simple. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Download the Android Auto app from Google Play Store on your smartphone
  2. Connect your smartphone to your Subaru car using a USB cable
  3. Turn on your car’s display and ensure that it’s in "Park" mode
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup process
  5. Once setup is complete, you can access Android Auto by saying "OK Google" or tapping the dedicated button on the car’s display.

Benefits of Android Auto in a Car

Android Auto’s integration in Subaru cars comes with numerous benefits.

Safe Driving

One of the primary benefits of Android Auto is the ability to use voice commands to access your phone’s features, reducing the need for distractions while driving. Drivers can keep their eyes on the road while still having access to essential functionalities of their phone, making driving safer.

Navigation and Traffic Updates

With Android Auto, drivers can access Google Maps directly from their car’s dashboard, offering real-time traffic updates, alternative routes, and directions. This feature helps drivers avoid traffic congestion and get to their destination quicker.

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Hands-free Phone Calls and Messaging

Android Auto’s voice commands offer a hands-free way of making and receiving phone calls, reading and sending messages, and checking voicemails. This feature allows drivers to stay connected with their loved ones, colleagues, and clients while driving, without taking their hands off the wheel.

Issues and Limitations of Using Android Auto in Subaru Cars

Despite Android Auto’s numerous benefits, there are a few issues and limitations to keep in mind when using it in your Subaru car:

  • Android Auto is only available on newer models of Subaru cars. If you own an older model, you may not be able to use Android Auto.
  • Android Auto may not work correctly with all apps on your phone, meaning some apps may not be accessible through the car’s dashboard.
  • Android Auto isn’t designed to work without an internet connection, meaning you need to have a reliable data connection for it to work correctly.


Q. Can I use Android Auto wirelessly?

A. Unfortunately, Subaru cars do not support wireless Android Auto at this time. You need to connect your phone to the car’s USB port using a cable to use Android Auto.

Q. Can I use Android Auto with an iPhone?

A. No. Android Auto is only compatible with Android phones. However, Apple has a similar app called Apple CarPlay, which is available on newer models of Subaru cars.

Q. Can I customize Android Auto’s appearance in my car’s display?

A. Yes, you can customize Android Auto’s appearance in some ways by changing the background image, color scheme, and other settings.

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Subaru has come a long way in terms of technology and innovation in their cars. By integrating Android Auto, they have made driving more comfortable and convenient for their customers. With its numerous benefits, Android Auto has proven to be an essential feature to have in a car, keeping you connected while driving and making trips safer and more enjoyable. If you own a compatible Subaru car, it’s worth setting up Android Auto and exploring its features.

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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