Mazda Apple CarPlay

mazda apple carplay - featured image

Mazda Apple CarPlay is the most convenient interface to sync and use your iPhone with the Connect infotainment system.

However, not all Mazda models have native support for Apple CarPlay. You need to know which models feature Apple CarPlay and how you can use it.

Mazda Apple CarPlay was first introduced as a standard feature in the 2018 Mazda 6, and many other models launched since 2019 offer native support. Older models need retrofit upgrades to use CarPlay. However, not all models support wireless Mazda Apple CarPlay.

Whether or not you can use Mazda Apple CarPlay straightaway and how, i.e., wired, wireless, or both, depends on the model year and, more specifically, the Connect hardware and software version.

Read on as I explain what you need to know about Mazda models and Apple CarPlay.

Which Mazda Models Feature Apple CarPlay?

Mazda Logo

All Mazda models with the latest Connect infotainment system feature Apple CarPlay. Old versions of Connect can support Apple CarPlay with a dealer-installed or DIY upgrade of hardware and software. Wireless Mazda Apple CarPlay is available in select models.

Here is a list of the models and their years that have native support for Mazda Apple CarPlay:

Mazda Model Years

Mazda Models

2018 onward Mazda 6
2019 onward Mazda CX-5, CX-8, CX-9, MZ-5, and Mazda 3
2020 onward Mazda CX-3 and CX30, and Mazda 2
2021 onward Mazda CX-50
2022 onward Mazda CX-60


Mazda models rolled out before 2018 don’t have turnkey support for Apple CarPlay. However, if your old Mazda model features the Connect infotainment system, upgrading its hardware and software can enable the vehicle to use Apple CarPlay.

The hardware upgrade includes more powerful 2.1 A (amps) USB ports for faster charging. The firmware or software upgrade is mostly updating the Connect infotainment system to its latest version. That means only select Mazda models rolled out in 2014 and later can be eligible.

Such dealer-installed or DIY upgrades aren’t available for older Mazda models using the Denso and TomTom navigation systems.

Wired vs Wireless CarPlay for Mazda

While Mazda Apple CarPlay is available in all models launched in recent years, most cars rolled out until 2022 have only wired support for the interface. One exception is the Mazda CX-50. The other exceptions are the 2021 Mazda CX 5 and the 2022 Mazda CX-60.

However, wired and wireless Mazda CX 5 Apple CarPlay is available only in the 2021 model in Canada. This variant wasn’t launched in the United States. Likewise, the 2022 Mazda CX-60 is available in Europe and some other regions, but not stateside.

Many have been expecting Mazda CX 5 Apple CarPlay to come with wireless connectivity in the 2023 models. However, that looks unlikely now, which is also the case for the upcoming Mazda 3 Apple CarPlay. All such models need wireless CarPlay adapters, like the first Mazda 6 Apple CarPlay.

What You Need To Use Mazda Apple CarPlay

Mazda Apple CarPlay requires at least an iPhone 5 and, ideally, the latest version of Connect. If you have an old Mazda 6, Apple CarPlay is likely to be compatible with Connect’s 74.00.230A NA N version or later. Note that NA N is the region code for firmware updates in North America.

You can check the Connect version you have by following this path:

  • Settings
  • System
  • About
  • Software Version

You will also need a hardware upgrade or a wireless adapter to use Mazda 3 Apple CarPlay on an older vehicle, just like pre-2018 Mazda 6 models. You won’t need to update CarPlay, though, as this is automatically done through your iPhone with IOS updates.

How To Set Up Your Mazda Apple CarPlay

Mazda Wireless Carplay & Android Auto

Setting up your Mazda Apple CarPlay is a simple process if your model has native support as a standard feature. Here are the steps to connect your iPhone to Mazda Apple CarPlay using the vehicle’s USB port for smartphones:


  1. Park your Mazda, ensure you have AUX power, or keep the vehicle on. You can’t set up Mazda Apple CarPlay unless you are parked and without auxiliary power.
  2. Connect the Apple CarPlay Lightning to USB cable to the USB port for the smartphone on your Mazda. This USB port with a smartphone icon might be in the center armrest or the center stack in your Mazda.
  3. Once you insert the Lightning connector into the iPhone and the Mazda USB port for the first time, the Connect head-up display will detect the smartphone and show a few prompts. You’ll find the following options on most Mazda models: Always Enable, Never Enable, Enable Once, and Cancel.
  4. Select Always Enable Mazda Apple CarPlay through Connect, and the infotainment system will sync with your iPhone. ‘Allow’ access to your phone when the notification pops up. Enable Siri to sync Connect and your iPhone and use Mazda Apple CarPlay.
  5. Mazda Apple CarPlay with wireless compatibility has an extra pop-up notification to enable this feature. Choose Enable when you receive the prompt to use Wireless Mazda Apple CarPlay. You may also choose ‘USB only’ if that suits your preference.

You’re now all set up to enjoy the power of all of the CarPlay apps while you drive!

If you want to use Mazda Apple CarPlay only via a wireless connection, you can simply pair the iPhone with Connect via Bluetooth. After that, you can use the Mazda home button, knob, and screen to interact with Apple CarPlay. Your phone will then switch to a Wifi connection between the car.

Common Mazda Apple CarPlay Problems

You may encounter Mazda CarPlay not working during setup and later. Some common issues are such as the following:

  • Mazda Connect may not sync with Apple CarPlay or your iPhone due to incompatible firmware.
  • The cable may be faulty, your iPhone may not have Apple CarPlay enabled when it is locked, etc.
  • You might insert the Lightning cable into the wrong USB port, which is only for charging, not data.
  • Retrofit upgrades for old Mazda 6 Apple CarPlay may not work if they aren’t installed correctly.
  • Older Mazda 3 Apple CarPlay may freeze due to software issues unless you update the Connect firmware version. 
  • Mazda CX 5, Apple CarPlay, and other models may gray out, which also happens with other brands. Here’s how you can fix the graying-out CarPlay problem.

Final Thoughts

If you own a model launched in 2019 or later, your car probably has Mazda Apple CarPlay as a standard feature. Older models need hardware and software upgrades. Also, most models until 2022 with native support will require an adapter for wireless Mazda Apple CarPlay.

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I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system! Founder
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