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Retrofit CarPlay for little money in the VW

If you own a VW with a boring standard radio, you can have a look on the Internet: There is an original VW radio from China that you can easily use to retrofit CarPlay in the car.

Recently I got weak and bought a VW Caddy (2013 model). Used, of course, because VW takes the worst prices for the equipment I wanted. Unfortunately, the used one only had a poor VW RCD310 radio on board, plus an MDI that didn't really work with my iPod or iPhone. CarPlay was needed. Luckily there is the friendly Chinese who makes this possible for little money.

Under 200 euros for an original VW CarPlay system

VW also builds cars in China. And unlike in Germany, they have quite powerful and simple VW radios with CarPlay in them. You can do that too German vehicles with CarPlay retrofit. No stupid Car-Net, no subscriptions, no activation codes, no built-in navigation system with expensive updates: just a radio with touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Mirror-Link, Bluetooth, hands-free system, radio function and displays for the reversing camera or Park Distance Control (PDC) .

Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.

The highlight: They simply fit into the slot of the RCD310, RCD510 and other VW radios with a double DIN panel and CarPlay. And they are original VW, so unlike the other retrofit items, they fit perfectly into the look and feel of the dashboard without many adapters.

Nice, is not it? The RCD330 is a VW product, so it fits well in my Caddy.
Nice, is not it? The RCD330 is a VW product, so it fits well in my Caddy.

RCD330, the miracle thing

What is the name of this marvel, you ask? Well, the model is called the RCD330 and it simply needs to be connected to the existing radio's quadlock connector. Old radio out, new radio in. The highlight: The part is available brand new on the usual platforms such as Amazon and Ebay for mostly well under 200 euros, i.e. even cheaper than the double DIN breakers with CarPlay from Sony, Alpine and Co.

Install RCD330

Installing the RCD330 in the Caddy is child's play:

  • With an old iPod spudger, the cover that is built around the radio and air conditioning controls can be pried off in a few simple steps.
  • Below you will find four Torx screws that need to be loosened.
  • Then you can pull out your old radio.
  • To install the RCD330, you still have to loosen the quadlock connector and the antenna cable.
  • Then you plug everything into the new RCD330, push the radio back in and screw it tight.
  • Snap on the cover - done!

Retrofitting VW with RCD330 with CarPlay: What you have to consider

95 percent of the radio and system functions are then immediately available, the remaining five are unfortunately not on board due to the design:

  • The RCD330 does not support Radio Text System (RDS), so it does not show station names.
  • Only English or Chinese can be selected as the menu language.
  • The display/control via multifunction display (MFA) in the speedometer does not work either.
  • Air conditioning information is not displayed, nor is seat heating. But that was not the case with the RCD310.
  • I couldn't test control via the multifunction steering wheel because I don't have this feature.
  • For me, the device complains that the reversing camera is not available. That's correct. PDC still works, but you have to switch to the display manually. If that bothers you, the camera has to with a VCDS be encoded from the radio. What I'm going to do next.
  • For the radio function, an antenna adapter from double antenna (FAKRA) to single antenna may be required - also for the Caddy. You can get it online for a tenner.
  • Warning: there are several variants of the device in circulation. They are available without CarPlay for mostly little money, and there are also two 6″ versions and one 5″ version. The correct (and best) variant is the one with the 6RD 035 187B
  • Be careful when buying: There are also flashed devices and devices with jailbreak on the internet. Keep your hands off it if possible!
  • If your the device how I buy on ebay, pay attention to shipping from Germany. Mine was there in 36 hours and there was no fuss with customs.
This is where the retaining clips are located on the Caddy.
This is where the retaining clips are located on the Caddy.

CarPlay is always German!

Despite these little things, I like the device very much. Mainly because as soon as you activate CarPlay, it also gets a German display in the device. This is due to CarPlay, which always adopts the menu language of the iPhone. The operation is stable so far, but a MFI certified Lightning cable be used, otherwise there will be problems in operation. It's best to use the original cable that came with your iPhone.

Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.
The RCD330 has an encoded reversing camera. This must be taken out with the VCDS. PDC still works.
The RCD330 has an encoded reversing camera. This must be taken out with the VCDS. PDC still works.

Hands-free on board

Incidentally, it's really nice that the device can also be retrofitted with a hands-free system, at least with CarPlay: The RCD330 has a built-in microphone, and the sound is output via the car speakers. Telephoning works perfectly, especially since your hands remain free thanks to CarPlay and Siri: Siri asks who you want to call and which number to dial. The quality is completely sufficient for this - perfect!

Conclusion: Retrofit CarPlay for little money

After a few days with the VW RCD330 I have to say that I have seldom had such a good car radio for so little money. Installation is easy to do even with two left hands, whether in a Caddy, Golf, Passat, Beetle, Jetta or other vehicles. Because VW's modular system finally plays to the user instead of annoying him. My authorized VW dealer will probably complain to me if I take the Caddy to the service department, but if in doubt, I'll quickly swap out the radios. In my opinion, VW should offer the part as a retrofit solution in Germany - it's worlds better than anything I've had in my hands before in terms of retrofit radios. Absolute purchase recommendation!

Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.

By the way: If you are looking for more information, you can find it in this sprawling thread in the Motor Talk forum.

Update: What to do if radio reception is poor on the RCD330?

After a few days of use, I wanted to return the RCD330. The reason: the RDS-free radio reception on the head unit was lousy. Not just “bad”, but a noisy tragedy. Which is particularly annoying since when no iPhone is connected the radio has a radio fallback that racked my ears with noise.

But then I found the cause, more precisely: the two causes! On the one hand, the USB cigarette lighter adapter interfered with radio reception. It's cheap, poorly shielded, and just below the antenna cables - a phenomenon that was evident even with the RCD310, which I had reinstalled by then. Removing the charger brought a significant improvement in reception.

Product prices and availability are correct as of the date/time shown and are subject to change. All pricing and availability information on at the time of purchase applies to the purchase of this product.

The second cause was the FAKRA adapter: It picked up the signal from the double antenna (diversity) and passed it on to the RCD330 in a combined manner. This interfered with the signals, which massively worsened the reception. Detaching one of the two antenna channels and fixing the loose cable to the radio housing with adhesive tape brought a significant improvement. But the radio reception is still not really good. But there is a workaround for that too: Radio apps with Carplay support! So the RCD330 can stay in the Caddy - and I'm happy!

Christian Rentrop

Graduate journalist, born in 1979. First attempts at walking in 1986 at the Schneider CPC. In 1997 it went online. Ever since then as a scribbler in deadwood forests and on digital highways. Often also on the Vespa or with the caravan on the way. Daughter father since 2020, so always very happy about one small coffee donation.


  1. I would also like to install a radio like this in my VW Caddy BJ 2008, as so far I have only installed a radio without any additional functions from the factory.
    It would be interesting with carplay and Android.

    How do I know when searching on eBay, for example, that it's not a cheap copy?
    In my research so far I have found a variety of devices...


  2. Hello, I have the radio in my caddy but the aux connection doesn't work. What can I do? Is it normal that it doesn't work?
    With kind regards,

  3. Hi, I just wanted to know if my Golf 6 2011 Carlink Adapater(CarPlay) will work? Instead of buying a new car radio!

    Best Regards

  4. Hello, my radio drew power from the battery even when it was switched off. That couldn't be fixed and I removed the device again. Is there a solution to the problem?

    1. Yes, wrong control unit installed. The radio is built for the Golf 6 CAN bus. The last Golf 5 (BJ. End of 2008) with the new Golf 6 engine already has the new CAN gateway with sleep mode installed (control unit). The gateway control unit organizes the CAN bus data traffic. .

      If an old one is installed here, the CAN will not switch to sleep mode and the radio will drain your battery overnight. Your gateway sits down near the steering wheel. It is the control unit with the "red" connector and should have at least part number 1K0907530L. Anything ending in less than K has no sleep mode...

  5. Hello Christian,
    Great article!

    I have a question about the radio covers. Unfortunately, only the frequencies are displayed and no covers for the radio stations (e.g. 1Live logo).
    Is it possible to add them later somehow?


  6. I installed a car audio radio MIB RCD360 and installed a rear view camera.
    Camera is recognized, image stays black.
    Does anyone have a solution?

  7. Is there a reversing camera that can be connected to this device
    Have installed the radio for about 1 year
    Everything works great
    But would like to retrofit a camera
    Cheers Lucas

  8. Hello Christian,
    Thank you for the post I stumbled upon by accident. CarPlay in our 2011 Caddy, 1.2 TSI! That's it! So I went looking on eBay and found what I was looking for. A seller from Hong Kong carries(did?) the radio with the correct serial number for 249€. Contrary to retrofitting by any car hi-fi workshop or in the VW car dealership, this is a cheap alternative, I thought to myself. So I bought it. After the wrong model – not CarPlay-capable – arrived at first, the quickly exchanged model works perfectly. Ok, it's only been two days, but it's going. The installation was super easy thanks to your video. However, radio reception is actually limited, not in terms of sound, but in terms of the number of stations that can be received. Well, let's see if we are longer and further away on the road. However, this can be compensated for by radio reception via Apple Music (at the expense of the data volume). A clear thumbs up from me?

    1. Unfortunately, my Caddy also has poor reception with the factory radio. I believe this is due to the mirror antennas. Some transmitters are really problematic, others are now wonderful with the cable linked above.

  9. Hi, I ordered a newer model, it all works very well, the radio also turns off with the ignition. But, at some point the radio turns on and starts playing music, even though the ignition etc. is off!! It is an RCD360 (VW China model)

    Does anyone know? Thank you and LG Robert

  10. Does the RCD330 Plus fit in a 6 Series Golf TSI 1.2 bj 2012 with the rcd310?
    On all sides it is said that it does not fit, but in the video above you can see the same radio as mine.

  11. I have a Golf 5 BJ 2005, can I install the part there? and can i mirror the google maps on the radio and reversing camera?

      1. Yes, that's a good fit. You only wrote in your post that you can get this device for under €200, the device you linked costs €239 with pure Carplay, with android and carplay even €269, is there somewhere cheaper? because you have one linked with AUX that has no aux,
        I'm a car enthusiast. I don't know much about cars other than driving and gas. because I don't want to cause a cable fire with the wrong device
        I would be happy to receive an answer from Mr. Rentrop
        Thank you very much

  12. Hello, I have the Aumume 2. It works so far, but the navigation system does not work. I always get the message GPS is missing, but enough satellites are detected. Can you help me troubleshoot? I'm also wondering how I can import the 2020 update. Greetings Katrin

  13. Hello, I had the radio installed in my Golf 6 in a specialist workshop. Unfortunately, the radio draws 1 ampher even when switched off. When the car stood for a week, the battery was completely discharged. Is the issue known?

    1. The cable is probably wrong OR your car is too old, as far as I know. I'm not that into the subject, but I think I've read that the problem occurs when there is an old CAN bus in the car. This probably applies to models before 2005. There are probably also adapters or Roman has to change something on the Quadlock plug so that the radio no longer gets a permanent plus.

  14. Hi ??
    I have a question about CarPlay.

    My wife recently drove a vw up! 2017 facelift. Can you somehow use Apple CarPlay on your cell phone instead of vw Maps + more?

    F. Paul

  15. Hello, since this article was very helpful for me, I want to share my experience with you guys:

    *Control via multifunction steering wheel works (when the ignition key is inserted)

    *Radio reception very good.

    I have a Seat Altea XL
    RCD310 out – RCD 330 in – time required 8 minutes.

    Very good guide!

  16. Does the radio then not display the information that is displayed under “Car” on German radio? (Consumption, vehicle status, tire pressure, Blue Motion...) or is it just no longer possible to set the MFA?

  17. I have a Passat b6 09/2009 Highline after installing the rcd 330, everything worked without any problems, except for the sound. Nothing comes out of the speakers. Anyone an idea on this. No sound system installed.

  18. Hello Christian, I also have the 6RD035187B (hardware: 541, software: 5314) in the caddy and can confirm the somewhat poorer radio reception; That's why I mostly use the radio player app now. Do you also have the problem that sporadically no CarPlay connection can be established with the iPhone? Most of the time it works, but sometimes it just won't connect. I can plug the phone in and out as often as I want - restart the car, etc. and it just doesn't work. And a day later it works again straight away.

    1. Yes, unfortunately I have the same problem. It is important to use an Mfi cable, i.e. one that is certified by Apple (such as the original iPhone cable!). This reduces the problem significantly, but it doesn't go away :(

      But since I probably have to sell the Caddy soon thanks to German environmental aid and the idiots in the EU and federal government, I have now installed the standard radio again. However, this has problems with the iPod that I used before in the Skoda on the MDI. Well, I'm not really satisfied with either solution at the moment. I think I'll dedicate myself to the topic of CarPlay again in the next car.

      VW is slowly getting through with me anyway. First the diesel scandal, then blockades with Euro 6 retrofits and the procedure with the factory radios is a disaster anyway: It can't be that difficult to certify a device like the RDS 330 for Europe, to pimp the firmware for radio stations a bit here and, if necessary, to install DAB. For such a thing - officially in the retrofit offer - many people would put money down, and more than with the China variant.

      But no matter: the next car is definitely NOT from Wolfsburg or from one of the offshoots, as beautiful as I think they are...

      1. Thanks for the tip about the charging cable. I have an original 50cm cable from Apple from 2014 and am reading the underground reviews in the Apple store (poor workmanship, loose contacts, corrosion, ...) - maybe that's the cause of the problems. Maybe I'll try an MFi cable from another manufacturer with better ratings. Since I have a petrol engine, I am a little more sympathetic to the Caddy.

        Good luck to you in your continued search for a better CarPlay solution. I'm also keeping my eyes open for alternatives to the RDS 330 from other manufacturers. Maybe there will be something with double Fakra, RDS and stable CarPlay.

        PS Your blog doesn't send a notification when you reply to comments - I saved the link again and checked it myself.

  19. Thanks again for the article, it convinced me to buy the radio and I'm really happy with it so far.

    The sound quality doesn't feel as good as with my old RCD 310. Is that my imagination, or has anyone had a similar experience? No matter which input source I use, everything sounds a bit flat and I remember the bass in particular as being richer.

    By the way, I tried shielding and gluing the cables apart to improve the radio, that didn't help much. I use it 90% for Google Maps, Waze and Spotify.

    1. So the sound quality is better for me. It might be the speaker controls. Put the fader forward. The 330 can only do four boxes, but my caddy has six, which may result in poorer sound quality because several boxes share a signal (speculation!). Pulling the fader up eliminates the problem, at least in the 6-box caddy.

  20. The radio is said to be sold in China as a VW radio. However, I then ask myself why the control of the air conditioning is not displayed in my Golf PLUS when it is more or less an original radio?

  21. Many thanks for your contribution. It took a few days, but now my Caddy Maxi is also powered by an RCD330+. Like Baidu Carlife, I programmed the reversing camera via VCDS and am now absolutely satisfied with the device. If you look at the price for a map update for my old RNS 315, you will see that a completely new, more modern radio is even 10 EUR cheaper. Actually unbelievable.

    1. Yes, that's right. It would be great if VW offered the thing with DAB+ or at least RDS for the German market. But that's unlikely to happen. Too bad. The radio reception is more than bad, unfortunately, but otherwise the thing is really great.

      1. Apparently I've had massive luck with my device. The radio reception is 100% identical to my old radio. I receive the local stations of all surrounding cities in the Ruhr area (incl. RDS station display) and have neither noise nor signal interruptions.

        I got my factory adapter from Amazon and didn't have to cut any cables. Connected and running.

      2. Which Fakra adapter do you have? I was able to improve the reception now by gluing the antenna cable to the radio with duct tape; Cigarette lighters and power windows (sic!) interfered with the mirror antennas on the Caddy, sticking the antenna cable removed the necessary few centimeters from the source of the interference. Nevertheless, that's still a long way from "good" ;) With the RDS 310, however, the reception isn't particularly good either, so I assume it's due to the antenna construction on the car side. Nevertheless: Which adapter? #I want to have :)

  22. Hello Christian,

    thanks for the article.

    I'm toying with the idea of ​​buying a 2005 Passat B6. Would like to install the radio there. Does it even fit in the vehicle and what do I have to consider regarding CANBUS?


      1. It's on the left below the light switch behind a flap on the Caddy. Where it is on other VWs... no idea, but probably in a similar place :)

        If you can read, you have a clear advantage... You don't actually need an adapter for CAN. That's where the fat Quadlock plug comes out of the radio compartment, which is in the back of the old radio. Detach, take out the old radio, put in the new radio, put in the new radio. Not rocket science I would say :)

      1. Hi,

        Does that mean that MFA no longer works at all, or the MFA data is not displayed on the radio? And what is shown instead in the display on the steering wheel?

        Thank you once again for the information!

      2. No, MFA and radio then run more or less separately. I still don't understand the logic behind it: Today I got a call that would also be displayed in the MFA. Conversely, the radio shows the temperature, for example.

  23. Thanks for the very informative post! I ordered one straight away to replace my RNS310.
    I still have an iPhone 6s with water damage (display no longer works properly, but the device itself is still functional) and am considering giving the device a second life and storing it permanently in the glove compartment. Of course, it would still have to be possible to somehow put the USB cable there inconspicuously around the back.

    Do you know if such a permanent use is even possible? Carplay also wants you to unlock the device before you can use it. Can this be avoided by removing the device PIN completely, for example?


    1. Well, if you want to connect it permanently, that should work. Of course, you need a SIM card to set it up. Although I have to say that this is kind of nonsense if you use an iPhone anyway: just plug it in when you get in the car, then you don't have to do everything twice :)

      1. Hi, thanks for the answer. I have a Multisim anyway and the thing is in sync with my new iPhone.
        There are 2 reasons for my idea:
        1. The old iPhone with its defect is just an expensive paperweight anyway, which won't bring anything in sales either, but with its 64gb it can still store plenty of Spotify music offline, so I don't have to rely on a constant data connection, but if I do, I have it but thanks to the Multisim anyway.
        2. I don't like having a cable hanging out at the front and having to keep plugging in the iPhone. Will probably unpack the soldering iron and put the USB connection to the back like here in the example:

        Thanks to qi charging, I charge my current iPhone wirelessly. It's very comfortable and I wouldn't want to be without it in the car anymore.


  24. I have a question with mine, I always have the problem when I accept a call via CarPlay and I hear nothing from it, only when I unplug it and plug it back in does it work with CarPlay.

  25. Hello Christian,

    awesome guide!

    I can't find any information as to whether I could also swap the thing in my VW Fox. Looks the same to me:

    I also have the RCD200.

    Should actually go, right?


    1. I would say that the form factor is wrong. You are probably better off with a third-party double DIN. The VW part usually has a slightly trapezoidal shape, but in the picture I see a normal double DIN form factor, so the Sony (see other comments) would be the more sensible option. Should then go without much effort as in the instructions you linked.

  26. Last year, the wife treated herself to a Golf Bj. 2007 (±1, I don't know exactly), ridiculously overpowered, ergonomics terrible, digital equipment such that she put a Billo Android phone with a second SIM and forwarding in the car to get there to be able to make calls. Say: tech. Level is VW/just before the invention of the iPhone.
    Could one help the >2 k€ announced below by the screwdriver workshop?

    1. So as far as I know, Golfs can handle the RCD2006 from 330, and that has hands-free calling, multimedia, navigation system, etc. There are also models with Android Auto, Google Carplay, so to speak, you have to look on Ebay. However, VW changed the CAN bus interface at the time, I would check that, otherwise it might be necessary to convert the interface system. If the car has the modern bus, you simply have to replace the built-in factory radio with the RCD330, which is relatively easy. However, if the old CAN bus is in, I recommend a third-party device like that Sony XAV-AX100. But that also works wonderfully with adapters – it certainly doesn’t cost 2000 euros.

  27. good morning! Does the radio have to somehow talk to a VAG vehicle or would it also be possible to install it in a third-party product?

    1. The radio should only fit in VAG vehicles because it has the appropriate connection. There are adapters for third-party radios in VWs, so it should work the other way around if you can find the right adapters. But I don't think that makes sense. Then rather a “real” third-party provider, something like this Sony XAV-AX100

  28. If the car already has built-in microphones, does the radio continue to use them or does it always use the built-in radio?

  29. Hey, thank you for your report.
    Maybe you can give me a few more tips or answer questions:

    Which version makes the most sense? Noname or Diversity 512 MBit or better 1GB?

    Does the multifunction display in the speedometer no longer work at all? This is how my parking heater is set.

    Have you heard anything about the multifunction steering wheel?

    Thank you very much

    1. Hi. I took out the stupid reversing camera with a VCDS. I don't have a heating indicator in the Caddy. So for me there are no problems with the device apart from the bad radio reception. But you can compensate for that wonderfully with the CarPlay app Radioplayer. Have the Desay variant with 1GB. But the NoNames are better because you can update the firmware. Mine cost €170 new on Ebay, the NoNames are usually more expensive.

      1. Hello Christian,
        Thanks for the article!

        Which model would you recommend now? NoName with the possibility to update or the other? And what model name does it have then?

        I would be happy if I got an answer!

      2. I just got one from ebay. There the Desays are usually sold cheaply, the NoNames are more expensive. As far as updating is concerned, I don't know if you even need it. What I've seen on the forums is more like hacking, and I'm not a big fan of that. I want it to work and this is the case with my device (MIBII TP 6.5″ / 6RD 035 187B by Desay). Except for the lousy radio reception due to the lack of diversity and the mirror antennas installed in my car, the part is also a wonderful opportunity to retrofit Carplay quickly and inexpensively. I now listen to the radio via the radio player app

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