Some modern day cars are an odd middle point; past replaceable head units but before Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. Not everyone has jumped on the Android Auto bandwagon, and that makes buying a brand new car a bit hard right now. Should you wait, is it worth waiting for? Should you buy a car you like less just for a superior infotainment system?
Thankfully Mazda of North America is making a massively pro-consumer move by offering a retrofit to bring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to 2014 and newer models with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. The retrofit will cost $199 in parts, including a more powerful 2.1A USB port, plus labor. The labor is reportedly around $200, though it will vary.
The price seems high, but it’s not so bad for manufacturer-direct optioning. BMW charges $300 for the factory CarPlay upgrade, which doesn’t require labor. $400 is a small price to pay for a feature you may be using for a decade.
Bringing new features to older cars is awesome and we’re really glad Mazda figured out a way to do this, even if it’s not cheap and the lack of touchscreen may not be ideal. We hope consumers jump on this so brands see that Android Auto matters to us!