Is Mazda's CarPlay and Auto Update a Bonus for Toyota and Fiat Owners?

19 Nov 2018 | News Car
Is Mazda's CarPlay and Auto Update a Bonus for Toyota and Fiat Owners?

Mazda has just added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to nearly all of their 2019 models. But not only have they added to the new cars, they've built a kit that lets you add connectivity to select cars going back as far as 2014. That's good news for anyone who has a Mazda infotainment system going back quite a long way, right? Well, not exactly.

That's because not every car that uses Mazda's Mazda Connect system wears a Mazda badge. There are currently two cars sold in Canada that use the system but are sold from a different manufacturer. And they're cars that couldn't be much more different if they tried.

The first is the Toyota Yaris Sedan. The sedan isn't related to the Yaris hatch in any way other than the badge they share. The Sedan is actually a Mazda2, a car that hasn't been sold in Canada for years. But it is sold in other markets, as the Mazda2 or as the Demio. Or, like here, as the Toyota Yaris Sedan. It uses Mazda's system, complete with rotary knob.

Will it get the CarPlay/Auto update? The Mazda2 does, but Toyota "has no plans relating to Apple CarPlay retrofit for Yaris," a spokesperson told us. 

The other is the Fiat 124. The tiny roadster is a Mazda MX-5 at heart, though in this case, it gets a turbocharged engine in place of Mazda's naturally aspirated choice. It gets the same Mazda Connect system, badged as Fiat Connect 7.0. So does it get the MX-5's updates? FCA Canada tells us "we have nothing currently set up," meaning no plans to bring the extra connectivity to the sports car.

So does that mean that Yaris Sedan and Fiat 124 buyers are left out of the smartphone connected loop? Probably. But it's also entirely possible that some enterprising and engineering type will be willing to buy the kit and see what happens in their own car. autotrader