Mazda Relents and Includes Apple CarPlay
Mazda Canada is now offering Apple CarPlay in addition to Android Auto starting with the 2019 CX-9.
If you went by the tweets and Facebook postings, the only reason a person gives for not buying a Mazda vehicle is because it lacks Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
“Does it come with CarPlay? CarPlay, CarPlay, CarPlay. I’m not going to buy this car unless it has this feature,” said Matthew Velbuena, in-vehicle technology engineer for Mazda North America.
“And this is coming from people who are likely not using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but it is something people want to have.”
Well, Mazda has taken the hint – or at least listened to that chorus of tweets, Facebook posts and consumers feedback.
It has announced Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will now be part of Mazda’s on-board infotainment system, starting with the 2019 Mazda CX-9, and to be followed by the 2018 Mazda 6 and 2019 CX-3 built from September onward.
Mazda’s remaining 2019 vehicle line-up will soon follow.
When a driver attaches his/her Android of Apple phone to the Smartphone USB port, the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay icon will appear on the central display in the vehicle.
The driver will interact with their Apple CarPlay or Android Auto experience using the Mazda HMI Commander Switch, part of Mazda Connect, making for a seamless integration of these smartphone technologies into the Mazda infotainment ecosystem.
So the question becomes: what about current Mazda owners? Are they going to be left out?
Until February 2019, owners of older Mazda vehicles will be able to get a retrofit option that will give them the same Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality that is now standards in Mazda’s new vehicles.
The retrofit includes a software upgrade and the installation of the needed Smartphone 2.1A USB port to make it work. The total time for the retrofit is some 90 minutes and will be done at the owner’s local Mazda dealership.
Local Mazda dealerships and Mazda Canada contact vehicle owners about the retrofit offer.
The vehicles covered under this retrofit option are: 2014 Mazda 3, 2016 Mazda 6, 2016 Mazda MX-5, 2016 Mazda CX-3, 2016 Mazda CX-5, 2016 Mazda CX-9 and the 2017 Mazda MX-5 RF.
This covers some 250,000 Mazda vehicles on the road in Canada right now.
After February 2019, the cost of the retrofit will increase to $445.
By Tom Venetis Metroland Media
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