Mazda has announced that it has rolled out extended support for smartphone integration on some of its older model cars and SUVs. Mazda has a dealer added an accessory that will bring support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to some Mazda vehicles going all the way back to 2014 model year. The vehicles have to be fitted with the Mazda Connect infotainment system.
This upgrade adds not only smartphone integration to these older vehicles but also brings more power and faster charging 2.1-amp USB ports along with the latest, updated version of Mazda Connect. One catch compared to newer vehicles that come from the factory with support for CarPlay and Android Auto is that the Mazda systems in these older cars lack touchscreens.
Rather than using a finger to select what you want on the screen, users have to interact with their infotainment system using the multi-function Commander knob, shortcut buttons, and voice commands. Mazda says these integrations help keep the driver’s hands from the smartphone while driving.
An exact cost for the install is unknown, the price for the hardware for the update is $199. Mazda says that it will take about two hours of service time to be installed. The only way to get a complete price is to call and ask the service labor rate at the dealer and add that to the $199 price of the hardware. Labor is likely to at least double the cost compared to the hardware alone.
Mazda is one of the only automakers offering retrofit kits to add these smartphone features to older cars, and while expensive the retrofit likely offers cleaner installation than replacing the car audio system with an aftermarket unit. Mazda car shoppers can get factory integrated support for CarPlay and Android Auto in the 2019 CX-5 and CX-9.