Mazda Announces CarPlay Support for 2018 Mazda6
At a press event at the New York International Auto Show this afternoon, Mazda announced plans to bring CarPlay to its vehicle lineup for the first time.
The new 2018 Mazda6 will be the first Mazda vehicle to offer support for both CarPlay and Android Auto in the United States, with Mazda planning to introduce the feature this summer.
CarPlay will be available as an upgrade option on all 2018 Mazda6 models with Touring trim level and above, and customers who have already purchased a Mazda6 when CarPlay compatibility rolls out will be able to get the feature added to their vehicles.
Mazda's press event did not mention CarPlay support for other vehicles, including the newly announced CX-3, which has left some Mazda owners upset that Mazda did not make it clear whether or not CarPlay would be available in older Mazda vehicles, a feature Mazda has promised in the past.
A press release on the Canadian Mazda site offers up additional CarPlay information, but it is not yet clear whether it also pertains to the U.S., and we've asked Mazda for clarification. Mazda's Canadian site says CarPlay will be added to the 2019 CX-9 and then made available as a retrofit for Mazda Connect systems this fall.
During the press conference, Mazda also announced the addition of Apple CarPlayTM and AndroidTM Auto support to its vehicle line-up. In Canada, these mobile device connectivity technologies will first be offered in the 2019 CX‑9 launching this summer, and then rolled out across the entire model line-up thereafter. In addition, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be available as a Genuine Mazda Accessory retrofit for MAZDA CONNECT systems starting this fall.
Mazda has been promising to add CarPlay support to its vehicles for quite some time and has been listed as a CarPlay partner since CarPlay's 2014 debut. Mazda said as recently as January that it's still committed to CarPlay despite the fact that the feature has yet to become available in Mazda cars.
In March of 2017, Mazda said that CarPlay, when introduced, would be "retroactively upgradeable onto all Mazda Connect systems with a potentially minimal hardware addition needed." Mazda Connect was first introduced in Mazda vehicles in 2014, which means quite a few Mazda vehicles will be eligible for the upgrade should Mazda make good on its promise.
CarPlay was slow to roll out, but since 2016, auto manufacturers have been adopting it at a rapid pace. CarPlay is now available in over 300 car models from a wide range of manufacturers.
Top Rated Comments
I'm told the hardware change will be the module that contains the SD card slot (for navigation), the 2 USB ports, and the AUX input port. That little module is identical in shape and design between all Mazda models with Mazda Connect infotainment. Dealerships will probably charge a fee to remove the old USB module and replace it with the upgraded module and install the new firmware/software.
Clearly, Mazda Canada did a better job with their press release. I'm hoping Mazda North America (USA) issues a press release to clarify the situation.
For CP, it also required a ~$50 MFi compliant USB hub/ports that was about a 5 minute swap for the original part (i.e., "minimal hardware needed").