Mazda CarPlay plans took a step forward today when the company announced a retrofit option for some older models.
Mazda was named as a CarPlay partner way back in 2015, but it wasn’t until this year that it finally launched the option on new cars, starting with the Mazda6. It promised a Mazda CarPlay option for older cars at the time, and says that this is now available …
It’s available for 2014 cars or newer, and they need to have the Mazda Connect infotainment system fitted, as it is this which gets upgraded to add CarPlay support.
It’s mostly a software update to the Connect system, but you also get faster-charging 2.1-amp USB ports as part of the deal.
The good news is that the upgrade itself costs only $199 – much cheaper than most after-market options – but you do need to have the work done at a Mazda dealer and pay labor charges of around two hours.
Apple CarPlay™ integration for your iPhone® and Android Auto™ enable occupants to safely use smartphone applications through the MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system and help make staying connected and entertained effortless.With Mazda’s philosophy to minimize distracted driving, safer operations can be made with the multi-function Commander knob, shortcut buttons or voice command functions. This integration helps keep the driver’s hand and eyes away from their smartphone.
Customers with applicable Mazda vehicles can schedule an appointment (requires approximately two service hours) with their local Mazda dealerships to have the service performed. The upgrade has a suggested retail price of $199 (MSRP) + Labor.
In new cars, Mazda CarPlay is now available for the 2019 CX-9 and CX-5 models, in addition to the 2018 Mazda6.
Waze navigation got CarPlay support back in September (how-to guide), and iOS 12 improved the experience for Apple Watch owners.
If your car isn’t compatible, there are plenty of aftermarket CarPlay units available, starting from less than $200. Amazon’s choice is the best-selling Pioneer AVH-1300NEX.