Better Late Than Never: 2018 Mazda 6 Gets Free Tech Upgrade

better late than never 2018 mazda 6 gets free tech upgrade

Mazda is upgrading the infotainment system of the 2018 Mazda 6 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Starting in September, the company will even allow owners who purchased one earlier in the year bring their vehicle into the dealership and have it upgraded, free of charge.

While that’s incredibly kind of them, there’s a catch. You have to own the Touring trim or above. If you bought a lesser Mazda 6, you’ll be out left out in the cold. But the automaker previously said it wouldn’t include the popular phone integration setup until 2019, making this a nice gesture. The 2019 CX-9 is supposed to be the first vehicle to see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment, though we’ve also heard Mazda talking about future dealer upgrades for all models equipped with Mazda Connect for a small fee in other parts of the world.

For the Mazda 6, taking it in for the new equipment also nets you a faster-charging 2.1-amp USB port, in addition to the latest software version of Mazda Connect. This kind of tech isn’t make-or-break for us — it’s just a nice addition, considering Mazda lacks a bit in the tech department. This helps level the playing field and should pair nicely with the sedan’s upgraded looks and features for the current model year.

The Mazda6 can now be had with most of the digital bits you’d want to see in your sedan, an optional 2.5-liter turbo engine making 227 horsepower (more with higher-octane gas) and 310 foot-pounds of torque, and no obnoxious stop-start technology.

In November, Mazda will bake in the infotainment upgrade as original equipment on the Mazda 6 before it’s adapted into other models. But you’ll still have to buy the Touring trim level or higher. That sets you back around $26,600 in its most vanilla format with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter. A base sedan outfitted with a manual can be had for $22,845 — or a grand more with the automatic transmission.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Signature trim starts at $35,645. However, if you want the infotainment tech and turbocharged power but don’t care about fancy seats, we’d recommend splitting the difference and going with the $30,000 Grand Touring model.

[Images: Mazda]

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  • The Ryan The Ryan on Aug 03, 2018

    Hoping to get this on my 2016.5 CX-5. Eventually.

  • Cpthaddock Cpthaddock on Aug 05, 2018

    Apple Car Play navigation: Verdict after a couple of weeks using it for the first time in Europe is double, triple, quadruple check your route before setting off, and be prepared to disconnect your phone and reboot the car on occasion. Naturally it depends on Apple Maps which, while massively improved in recent years, are still nowhere near as good as the other popular smartphone map suppliers.

  • MaintenanceCosts The sweet spot of this generation isn't made anymore: the SRT 392. The Scat Pack is more or less filling the same space but it lacks a lot of the goodies, including SRT suspension, brakes, and seats. The Hellcat is too much and isn't available with a manual anymore.
  • Arthur Dailey I am normally a fan of Exner's designs but by this time the front end on the Stutz like most of the rest of the vehicle is a laughable monstrosity of gauche. The interior finishes suit the rest of the vehicle. Corey please put this series out of its misery. This is one vehicle manufacturer best left on the scrap heap of history.
  • Art Vandelay I always thought what my Challenger really needed was a convertible top to make it heavier and make visability worse.
  • Dlc65688410 Please stop, we can't take anymore of this. Think about doing something on the Spanish Pegaso.
  • MaintenanceCosts A few bits of context largely missing from this article:(1) For complicated historical reasons, the feds already end up paying much of the cost of buying new transit buses of all types. It is easier legally and politically to put capital funds than operating funds into the federal budget, so the model that has developed in most US agencies is that operational costs are raised from a combination of local taxes and fares while the feds pick up much of the agencies' capital needs. So this is not really new spending but a new direction for spending that's been going on for a long time.(2) Current electric buses are range-challenged. Depending on type of service they can realistically do 100-150 miles on a charge. That's just fine for commuter service where the buses typically do one or two trips in the morning, park through the midday, and do one or two trips in the evening. It doesn't work well for all-day service. Instead of having one bus that can stay out from early in the morning until late at night (with a driver change or two) you need to bring the bus back to the garage once or twice during the day. That means you need quite a few more buses and also increases operating costs. Many agencies are saying for political reasons that they are going to go electric in this replacement cycle but the more realistic outcome is that half the buses can go electric while the other half need one more replacement cycle for battery density to improve. Once the buses can go 300 miles in all weather they will be fine for the vast majority of service.(3) With all that said, the transition to electric will be very good. Moving from straight diesel to hybrid already cut down substantially on emissions, but even reduced diesel emissions cause real public health damage in city settings. Transitioning both these buses and much of the urban truck fleet to electric will have measurable and meaningful impacts on public health.
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