If you want the cheapest car available with Android Auto straight from the factory, be sure to read this article. Android Auto is a really useful system for those who love using their phone apps for all their in-car entertainment, communication, and navigation duties.
This means that you can use apps like Google Maps, Waze, Audible, Spotify, Messenger, and many more directly onto your car’s central infotainment screen. Once you start using Android Auto on a daily basis it’s fairly difficult to go back to using your car’s built-in system because it usually lacks behind Android Auto.
The Chevrolet Spark is the cheapest car you can buy that comes with Android Auto as standard. The Mitsubishi Mirage is the second cheapest while the Kia Rio is the third cheapest car you can buy that also comes with Android Auto as standard.
You should also consider buying the Nissan Versa or the Hyundai Accent because these two also offer Android Auto as standard. All five of these will enable you to use Android Auto in a brand-new car for less than $20k.
Chevrolet Spark – $14k for Android Auto
Because Android Auto has now become so popular with buyers from every price category, automakers are trying their best to include Android Auto even for the cheapest cars out there and the Chevrolet Spark is the prime example of such philosophy.
The Spark is designed for urban use because it is small, easy to drive, and intuitive. The system is offered with an included 7-inch infotainment screen with both Apple Car Play and Android Auto support. Besides these functionalities, the Spark is a great car for the money, especially if you are looking for an urban daily driver.
Mitsubishi Mirage – $15k for Android Auto
The Mitsubishi Mirage is also an incredibly cheap car that comes included with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. Even though the Mirage does not offer anything besides these two systems it’s still worth your time if you are after a cheap car with Android Auto.
It more or less positions itself in the same bracket as the Chevrolet Spark even though the Spark outsells the Mirage by quite a hefty margin. The Mirage comes with the Mitsubishi Smartphone Link Display Audio System packing a 7-inch screen with lots of infotainment gadgetries and smartphone integration options.
Kia Rio – $17k for Android Auto
The Kia Rio is a prime example that even the cheapest cars on the market can come with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Wireless smartphone CarPlay or Android Auto capabilities are mostly reserved for cars costing 3 or even 4 times the price, so considering the Kia Rio is a must if you want to enjoy these systems with the added wireless convenience.
The base trim Rio comes with an 8-inch infotainment screen and a few additional useful convenience features as standard. It also bests both the Spark and the Mirage in being an all-around more useful car that can be used for longer journeys as well.
Nissan Versa SV – $18K for Android Auto
The base trim Nissan Versa does not come with either Android Auto or Apple Car Play from the factory which means that you will have to upgrade to the mid-level SV trim. The Versa was introduced for the 2021 production year but it does not offer wireless Android Auto nor wireless Apple CarPlay which only reiterates that the Kia Rio is the most advanced car on this list.
The SV Versa comes with a 7-inch infotainment screen and is a better option than the Rio if you want to use your car to transport passengers around because it offers a classic mid-size sedan silhouette.
Hyundai Accent SEL – $19k for Android Auto
The Hyundai Accent looks and feels better than all the other cars on this list, but that does not mean that it comes with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay from the factory. You will have to upgrade to the mid-level SEL spec which gives you wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
This means that its corporate sibling, the Kia Rio does offer wireless smartphone integration while the “superior” Accent does not. Either way, the Accent is a better car than all of the aforementioned cars in this article, so be sure to check one out.
Do I need Android Auto?
If you are used to the system or you own multiple cars, buying a car with Android Auto enables you to continue using the system with your new car. If you own multiple cars you can use the very same system between all cars which is one of the most important benefits systems such as Android Auto or Apple CarPlay offers.
However, you can have the same experience if your has Bluetooth and you invest in a cheap phone stand. This way you will be able to establish cars using your car’s speakers while using Google Maps or Waze directly onto the screen of your phone.
Are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay better than standard in-car infotainment systems?
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are indeed better than most in-car infotainment systems primarily because they rely on the best apps in the business. Automakers do spend large sums of money on developing expensive and sophisticated infotainment systems but they are always lagging behind current smartphone trends at least for a few years.
This means that some manufacturers such as Tesla, Audi, BMW, and Mercedes do offer systems that are equally as useful. Audi has been offering Google Earth for their navigation system purposes for a few years already.
Is Android Auto better than Apple CarPlay?
If you are an Android user you are going to prefer using Android Auto. On the other hand, if you use an iOS device as your daily smartphone you are likely going to prefer using Apple CarPlay. Both of these are equally as sophisticated and useful because they offer more or less the same level of functionality.
Choosing which one of these is better is mostly down to your operating system favorite.