By on August 1, 2018

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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12 Comments on “Better Late Than Never: 2018 Mazda 6 Gets Free Tech Upgrade...”

  • avatar

    Can I still get something which plays CDs?

  • avatar

    …The 2019 CX-9 is supposed to be the first vehicle to see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment…

    …The 2019 CX-9 is supposed to be the first Mazda vehicle to see Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment…


  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Took ’em long enough. Even stubborn old Toyota is finally starting to roll out CarPlay/Android Auto integration for their garbage Entune system for 2019.

    Shoot, even Mitsubishi offers CarPlay already.

  • avatar

    I’m waiting to find out if and when they’ll be offering it as an upgrade for 2017 models. I currently have a Mazda6 Touring and use the app on my phone which allows for voice commands (that usually work as long as you get the cadence down) and voice dictation of hangouts messages.

    It works pretty well, but I’d prefer the important bits to be at eye level. As it is I prop the phone up in that little cubby under the centre console. Those suction arm thingies look tacky and would get in the way of the main screen.

  • avatar

    Kia offered a free upgrade to Android Auto (and CarPlay) for my ’15 Optima SX. It’s honestly made me enjoy the car so much more. Before buying it I was using Google Maps on my phone as my Nav and never took to using my in-dash nav system. Without real time traffic details it’s useless when most of your driving is in your own city. Not to mention easier address input by voice, and instant Spotify access without booting up the app on my phone.

    Best part is I was starting to get the new car itch and that’s now completely gone away.

  • avatar
    The Ryan

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

  • avatar

    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.

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