Cars with Waze

Waze has more than 100 million users. Find out how to join them thanks to these cars with Waze

Sep 27, 2021

If Marvel made a traffic-based film, congestion would be the antagonist and Waze would be the protagonist.

This app has grown to become one of the most popular navigation methods, thanks largely because of its ability to help drivers avoid traffic by suggesting less congested routes.

Its 100 million-plus users all co-operate to send real-time traffic reports to help other motorists. Thanks to its popularity tech giants and car manufacturers alike are making it easier than ever for the public to benefit from Waze on the road - all you need is your phone and a cable to enjoy it in your car.

Waze doesn’t just offer alternative routes to avoid congestion, though. It’ll tell you about roadworks, accidents and even potholes on your journey. And if you tell Waze about something like that, it’ll give you points that can add up to prizes. Somewhat controversially, Waze will also notify you when you’re near a speed trap or police patrol.

Of course, you’ll need a fair amount of mobile data if you’re going to be using Waze to get around regularly. As its information is crowdsourced, it also works better in built-up areas where there are more people using it - and clearly, you’re more likely to hit traffic in busier areas anyway.

Waze is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, so you can use the app on any car that has Android/Apple smartphone connectivity. But if you really love the app, why not go one further and buy a car bearing the Waze name. Fiat has even gone so far as to make a special edition Panda Waze.

So whether you are after a special edition Italian city car, or simply something that can run the software through its entertainment system, read on to find out more.

How to get Waze

The simplest way to get Waze is to download it from your app store. It’s free for iPhone and Android users, and you can simply use it in your car via your phone and a phone mount.

Alternatively, there are a handful of ways to integrate Waze into your car’s entertainment using your phone – irrespective of whether it’s an Android or an iPhone.

Waze with iPhone

In 2018 Apple opened up third-party navigation apps on its CarPlay platform - including Waze. This means that any car that boasts Apple CarPlay now offers the chance to use Waze as its navigation tool.

It’s a little different to the full-blown phone app, thanks to the terms and conditions Apple subjects developers to, but the premise of saving you time is still there.

Waze with Android

If you’re an Android user and your car has Android Auto, Waze works via that. The Waze you get on your car’s screen is a simplified version of what you’ll find on your phone, but it’s still something Waze users will recognise.

Waze also works for Android users who don’t have an Android Auto-enabled car, because it works with the Android Auto phone app – but you do need a phone mount to use Waze this way. You need to have both apps installed, and while the functionality isn’t that different to the Waze app by itself, the app does bring things like Google Assistant to you, even if your car doesn’t have a luxuriously large touchscreen.

Pros and Cons of Waze

Waze: the good

✔  Saves you time: Waze’s real-time traffic software can measure how long you’ll be stuck in traffic for, and can recommend an alternative route that's faster.

✔  Alerts you to potential hazards: Because other users can report hazards, this information can be relayed back to you. For instance, Waze can let you know if there is a broken down car or pothole up ahead.

✔  Easy to use: It's easy to use no matter which way you use it. It simply offers you an alternative route if it’s found a quicker option, and you choose whether you want to use it or not.

Waze: the bad

Crowds residential streets: Waze will suggest quieter, less congested routes in order to save you time. Sometimes these routes are through tight residential streets. A large stream of Waze users driving down a road can be irksome for residents.

Police don’t like it: Users can report police cars to other road users. Waze says this system makes drivers act more responsibly. Police officers say it makes them vulnerable because people know where they are.

Can be distracting: Of course, using Waze is just as distracting as any other sat-nav system. But it’s still a distraction that can draw your attention away from the road.

Cars with Waze integrated


New Ford models equipped with Ford’s SYNC 3 entertainment system, like the Fiesta and Focus, will now work with Waze. Don’t be surprised if other manufacturers follow suit with their mainstream models. 

Fiat Panda Waze

The Fiat Panda Waze is a special edition Panda based on the Panda City Cross. The app is integrated into the car’s 'Uconnect' entertainment system, which is controlled via your phone and a phone holder. Waze can be used in conjunction with Uconnect, meaning it can display navigation instructions as well as car information like fuel levels.
Read our Fiat Panda review


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