Mazda 6 is already beautifully equipped, and it is going for more. Photo by Mazda USA
Jack NeradAugust 6, 2018
No, Mazda hasn't announced that each of its new models will offer a steering wheel, but the Hiroshima-based brand’s announcement that it will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the 2018 Mazda6 has a similar ring to it. In the course of the past 36 months, the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto duo have gone from a rarity to nearly universal availability here in North America. The current Mazda6 is a car we like a lot, and it has a well-regarded infotainment system, but it was diminished for its lack of the two predominant smartphone integration systems. Now all that is changing. In September the Mazda6 midsize sedan will offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as a dealer-installed upgrade for Touring trim level and above at no extra cost. It’s like the sun has broken through some very dark clouds, isn’t it?
But there’s more news. Starting in November, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will become original equipment on the 2018 Mazda6 Touring trim level and above. The highly anticipated and much sought-after update for Mazda6 owners will enable drivers and passengers alike to access their familiar phone applications through the MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system.
The integration of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in the Mazda6 enables the use of Mazda’s “Commander” knob and associated buttons. The knob and buttons ease the ability to switch between different user interfaces and manage the capabilities. The integration adheres to Mazda’s “Heads-Up Cockpit” philosophy designed to help lessen distraction. Users can perform native and smartphone-based functions like listening to terrestrial radio while simultaneously using a compatible phone-based navigation app. And driving a car.
The 2018 Mazda6 is the first Mazda vehicle in North America to offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility via dealership installation. But it might not be the last.