Adding features to a car with software upgrades is something typically associated with only the most cutting-edge vehicles. But that's not the case if you own a last-generation Honda Accord. If you bought one without wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but want the feature now, you're in luck, because Honda is now offering retrofits for a reasonable price.
As announced earlier this month, Honda will sell the upgrade for Accords from model years 2018 through 2022. The upgrade is available for cars that were shipped only with the wired versions of Apple and Google's phone projection interfaces, as wireless functionality was previously locked to certain trims. Honda didn't say precisely which year and trim combos stand to benefit from the service, but because the Accord has been one of the world's bestselling sedans for decades, that means there are a tremendous number of cars that can receive the retrofit. According to Honda (no pun intended), they total 631,000 in the U.S. alone. If yours falls within that five-model-year span and has wired CarPlay or Android Auto but not wireless, congratulations—your vehicle is eligible.
The feature is available through the Honda DreamShop website, and costs $112 plus labor. Installation is to be performed at an authorized Honda dealership, which will deliver the upgrade as a software update by plugging into the car—a Honda spokesperson told The Drive that the last-gen Accord isn't equipped to receive over-the-air updates. Honda says the addition is also coming to all applicable certified pre-owned Accords in dealer stock for no charge.
At initial announcement, a Honda spokesperson said the update involves software only, no hardware at all. That indicates the feature has been software-locked this whole time—paywalled—and that only after the model's redesign is Honda now offering owners another way to access it. The automaker may bill this program as a sustainability measure, but the benefit to its bottom line is obvious. You can argue it's better that the option is available, but let's not pretend this is benevolence. It's just business.
Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: firstname.lastname@example.org