While Apple CarPlay’s been available in South Africa for a while, Android Auto only officially made its way to South Africa earlier this year. Japanese car maker Mazda this week announced that certain models in its lineup will now support both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There’s one catch though, if you’re a Mazda owner and keen on connecting your mobile phone to your car via Apple or Android’s solutions you’ll have to have it retrofitted at a cost.
The kit can be retrofitted to any Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda CX-5 model that has a factory fitted MZD Connect System (that’s Mazda’s in-vehicle infotainment system). The user-paid-for upgrade includes a software upgrade, which means the latest version of Mazda Connect will be installed. Mazda dealerships will also install a fast-charging 2.1A USB port.
Once your cabby has been updated you’ll need download either Android Auto on your Android device, or CarPlay on your iOS device.
The installed system can also be controlled with the rotary controller knob in the centre console as well as the central touchscreen (for when the vehicle is not moving, by the way). It also features voice control (for when the vehicle is moving) on both Android and CarPlay.
Of course, the million dollar question is how much the retrofitting costs? The good news is, it’s not a million dollars. Instead, it’s R2,785, and you can have it done at any Mazda dealership in South Africa.