Mazda Announces CarPlay Support for 2018 Mazda6

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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.

The CarPlay announcement is at 5:59 in the video

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.

Article Link: Mazda Announces CarPlay Support for 2018 Mazda6
 

12vElectronics

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Jul 19, 2013
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I highly doubt anyone with a Mazda older than 2018 will be able to get it retroactively loaded. Mazda is in the business of selling cars, with probably very little concern of older vehicles.
 

D.T.

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Sep 15, 2011
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I highly doubt anyone with a Mazda older than 2018 will be able to get it retroactively loaded. Mazda is in the business of selling cars, with probably very little concern of older vehicles.
1-2 year old vehicles probably aren't on deck to be sold/traded-in, so releasing it to a couple of previous MYs would build outstanding customer loyalty. Especially if the hardware is essentially the same - this is exactly what happened with Ford, they announced CP for a number of 2017 vehicles, and said it would be released for the same 2016 models (that had the exact same headunit spec, just no Carplay/Android-Auto). Sure enough, while it was a long time coming, and months late, they did finally release an official CP/AA update for 2016s (though many of us updated months in advance with a leaked firmware ...).

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").
 

SeattleMoose

macrumors 68000
Jul 17, 2009
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The car industry (with a few high end exceptions) is always years behind what consumers want NOW to interface devices with vehicles. I remember after the iPod came out I couldn't find a car with a simple Aux input to connect my iPod. All sorts of shaggy solutions in lieu of a direct line in on the face plate of the radio/CD player (circa 2005).
 

ghostface147

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May 28, 2008
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I picked up a new Accord Sport a couple of weeks ago and it has CarPlay (traded in 2016 Mazda 6 Sport). It’s a nice feature to have, but it sucks that it’s not wireless. I don’t want to charge my iPhone sometimes and it requires a usb connection. Maybe it’s a licensing fee or something for wireless. I am guessing that Mazda will have to retrofit their older Mazda Connect vehicles with a better USB connection. They currently barely charge anything and I believe Apple mandates a 1.5 amp or above port. I could be wrong on that. Plus I hope they’ve sped up their Mazda Connect menu. The new Honda infotainment system is much much faster and connects to Bluetooth in seconds compared to Mazda’s 15-25 seconds.
 

tobefirst

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Jan 24, 2005
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The CX-5 was on the short list to replace my Mazda3 when it was hit and totaled, but I wanted CarPlay, so I ruled it out. I ended up going with a Honda CR-V. Knowing what I know now about both CarPlay and the CR-V, I wish I would have gone with the CX-5. It was a hell of a lot more fun to drive than the milquetoast CR-V and CarPlay isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
 
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Analog Kid

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Mar 4, 2003
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I've rented a few cars with CarPlay, and I have to say I find it frustrating. I understand that it's meant to be a simplified and less distracting interface, but it's laggy enough and the touch screen interfaces have been flakey enough, that I find it more distracting.

I keep thinking I need to just build a landscape iPad dock into my dash that would route power and audio through.
 

dogslobber

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Oct 19, 2014
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I've rented a few cars with CarPlay, and I have to say I find it frustrating. I understand that it's meant to be a simplified and less distracting interface, but it's laggy enough and the touch screen interfaces have been flakey enough, that I find it more distracting.
Is this the iOS effect applied to cars? Osolete the car after a year.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
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Good grief, it's about time. I bought another car last time (Honda Civic) because it supported CarPlay and no Mazdas did. Since I liked the two cars roughly equally, that was the determining factor. Mazda literally lost a ~$30K car sale because of dragging their feet on this.
 

Mark Booth

macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2008
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It is my belief that Mazda USA president Masahiro Moro misspoke during the press event today. The 2018 Mazda6 models are ALREADY hitting dealers or they are about to hit dealers (they started arriving in port last week). These existing 2018 Mazda6 models do NOT yet have CarPlay. Further, I was told that Mazda won't be adding the necessary hardware for CarPlay (I think they mean the Apple MiFi chip) to production 2018 Mazda6 models until this Summer. Then next, existing 2018 Mazda6 models will be upgraded (yes, partly a hardware upgrade plus software) to feature CarPlay. After that, the same hardware/software upgrade will be available to all Mazda models and years that have Mazda Connect infotainment systems (the "retrofit" that the Mazda Canada press release mentions).

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.

Mark
 
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Nicksd84

macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2010
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Atlanta, GA
I highly doubt anyone with a Mazda older than 2018 will be able to get it retroactively loaded. Mazda is in the business of selling cars, with probably very little concern of older vehicles.
On the contrary, last year they said support was coming so I purchased a Mazda3 in good faith. My mistake it seems.
 

mcpix

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2005
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I hope it's available for my 2016 CX-5. While I agree CarPlay could be better, I really like it in my wife's 2017 CR-V.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
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Kudos to Mazda. They're one of the few companies that still make cars that are actually fun to drive, and retroactive support for older models is never a bad thing.
I drove a Mazda 3 Sport last fall for a rental car and it was a lot of fun. I will say I feel like I see fewer Mazda’s on the roadway and I live in a fairly large city, but nonetheless a good car for what it’s worth.
 

Sakurambo-kun

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2015
499
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UK
I've just bought a new Mazda (MX5 RF) and I did so pretty sure that it would never have Carplay. I know Mazda people around the world have said vague things about upgrades in the past, but I'm wise enough now to know not to trust them. Big companies either lie or are simply clueless much of the time.

If I do end up getting an upgrade, then that would be great. I love the car anyway, and the Mazda Connect system isn't quite as catastrophically bad as I imagined it would be. It's bad for sure, but I can at least browse Apple Podcasts and Apple Music (but not Spotify or Pockrtcasts annoyingly) through the car's Bluetooth folder navigation. The navigation is pretty painful though. Once you're used to simply saying a place or business name into Google Maps it's very difficult to go back to entering post codes and addresses manually.

Ultimately the car is about driving though, and it's a really fun car, which is much more important than Carplay or Android Auto. But I still want that upgrade!
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You need a cable to plug into car play by now Mazda should be wifi apply car play connection.
As far as I know only a single BMW model currently supports wireless Carplay. The motor industry moves at a glacial pace, which is rather ironic.
 
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DempaX

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2014
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I've rented a few cars with CarPlay, and I have to say I find it frustrating. I understand that it's meant to be a simplified and less distracting interface, but it's laggy enough and the touch screen interfaces have been flakey enough, that I find it more distracting.

I keep thinking I need to just build a landscape iPad dock into my dash that would route power and audio through.
I know the feeling and have experienced CarPlay in a few different models in rental cars. The interface feels so limited and low res. And I really prefer google maps as it feel 10x more reliable.

In my previous car I mounted an iPad pro with a magnet case to be very easy to remove. Not a bullet proof solution but it also meant I could use it in other cars with vent-based magnets. Anyway, I loved this solution with iOS11.
 

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BeamWalker

macrumors 6502a
Dec 18, 2009
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I bought an aftermarket Pioneer Unit last year that is equipped with Carplay and I found the experience underwhelming to say it mildly. I used it in the beginning because it was fresh tech but nowadays I'm using Google Maps for Navigation again and the integrated iPhone compatible Music Player. Carplay doesn't really integrate well with the rest of the system so it feels like an App in pre-Multitasking times. Siri is as limited as on every other device. And if you don't use Apple Maps (that is way better than in the beginning, but at least were I live still far behind Google Maps) it is basically the rather limited iPhone Music Player with a different Skin on it. I mean is so difficult to give us a bloody sort by-button Apple ?!
So given my experience if it was a 300€ option on a new car, it would be a box I wouldn't tick.
 
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