Mazda has waited longer than most manufacturers to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality in their vehicles but the manufacturer just announced via a media presentation that the wait is over.
The first vehicle to be equipped with the much sought-after smartphone integration systems is the 2019 CX-9 that just went on sale. All other 2019 models except the MX-5 will come with it as they hit the market.
For owners who just purchased a 2019 CX-3 or 2018 Mazda6, a special offer to upgrade their vehicles to include CarPlay or Android Auto for $250 is offered until the end of February.
There is also good news for other late model Mazda owners: You’ll be able to upgrade your current Mazda Connect system to support CarPlay and AndroidAuto. The process for these vehicles is a little more complicated and involves changing some hardware in addition to the new software. Mazda will sell the upgrade for $445. The list of compatible models is as follows:
2016-2019 Mazda CX-3
2016-2018 Mazda CX-5
2016-2018 Mazda CX-9
2016-2019 Mazda MX-5
Mazda Connect is one of the higher rated systems on the market for its ease of use. The knob used to operate it is located on the lower center console so the driver and manipulate it without reaching or leaning and therefore able to keep focusing on the road. Mazda engineers highlighted this design feature which also ensures all critical data is positioned in the heads-up display or readout directly in front of the driver and all non-essential controls (like entertainment or HVAC) are found off to the driver’s right hand side in the center.