Mazda has lagged behind other car manufacturers when it’s come to introducing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its range, only bringing them in as standard from the 2018 Mazda 6 and 2019 CX-9 and CX-5. Now, though, the technology can be retrofitted to all vehicles equipped with Mazda Connect from the 2014 model year. But the upgrade doesn’t come cheap.
For $199 plus labor costs, Mazda owners can get the dealer-installed upgrade with smartphone integration capabilities, plus hardware tweaks that will add more powerful, faster-charging 2.1-amp USB ports. Some owners are reporting a total cost of around $400, which seems like a lot, especially considering Mazda’s infotainment screens aren’t touchscreens, so functionality will run through knobs, buttons and voice commands.
Nonetheless, the price point isn’t a million miles away from that of other manufacturers’. CarPlay is a $300 option on 2017 BMW models, and that requires the vehicle to already have the $2,000 navigation package in place. Plus, the cheapest aftermarket CarPlay and Android Auto head units retail for around $300, and that’s not including installation costs. And Mazda deserves some credit for making the retrofit an option in the first place — a lot of other automakers would have simply suggested you buy a new model.