Buyers of the new Kia EV9 and Sorento will have to wait until December to get wireless smartphone mirroring, the company has confirmed.

    General manager for product planning at Kia Australia, Roland Rivero, confirmed with CarExpert the first units of the brand’s new flagship won’t come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto from the factory and will have to wait for an over-the-air (OTA) software update in December.

    This comes after the Korean brand confirmed the EV9 and updated Sorento will be the first cars to support wireless smartphone mirroring alongside inbuilt satellite navigation locally – a key omission in the brand’s cars of late.

    It’s understood a similar update is coming for the new Hyundai Kona and Sonata, which both feature the same next-generation Connected Car Navigation Cockpit (ccNc).

    Historically, Hyundai and Kia’s reasoning for the lack of wireless smartphone mirroring in nav-equipped models has centred around an ongoing dispute with tech suppliers around mapping, as both native navigation and app-based routing from Apple Maps and/or Google Maps are on the table.

    Kia and Hyundai already offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on base infotainment systems without native satellite navigation – usually entry-level grades or its lower-end nameplates like the Picanto.

    Mr Rivero has noted backwards compatibility with existing vehicles will not be possible, as the fifth-generation infotainment system fitted to the current range lacks the hardware for both confirmed new features.

    Following the EV9 and new Sorento, the facelifted Carnival is the next confirmed model in Kia’s line-up to feature ccNC, and will therefore offer the same tech when it launches in Australia sometime next year.

    MORE: Everything Kia Carnival | EV9 | Sorento

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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