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Acura rolls out MDX Sport Hybrid SUV with Apple CarPlay

Honda's luxury Acura brand is on Thursday launching the 2018 MDX Sport Hybrid, a sport utility with support for Apple CarPlay, which lets iPhone owners control Siri and compatible iOS apps from their dashboard.

Both CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims, Acura said. Control is handled through an enhanced 7-inch touchscreen, now capacitive instead of resistive, and equipped with a redesigned UI when not bridging a smartphone.

The SUV starts at $52,100, and includes other standard high-tech features such as adaptive cruise control, lane assist, and warnings for forward collisions and lane/road departure.

Though it got off to a slow start in 2014, CarPlay is now increasingly ubiquitous on new vehicles. A major adoption hurdle has been the tendency of carmakers to prefer mid- to high-end models, but the situation is gradually improving, for instance with options on the 2018 Honda Fit.

Earlier this month a long-time holdout — Toyota — gave into demand and revealed plans to launch multiple CarPlay-ready products, such as the 2019 Avalon and several Lexus models.