Many people these days have trouble not always using their phones. That even includes while driving, which is certainly a time when it’s safest not to have a phone in hand. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make it possible to use many phone functions without handling the phone itself. In good news for new Mazda MX-5 Miata buyers, the 2021 model now comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all trim levels.
What is Apple CarPlay?
The Apple CarPlay software connects an iPhone to the infotainment system in a vehicle. It helps make using the iPhone’s functions safer, according to Cars.com, since the apps can be used hands-free. Drivers can make phone calls and dictate text messages. They can also listen to podcasts, play music, access the calendar, and use apps like Audible, Pandora, SiriusXM Radio, and many others listed on the Apple CarPlay website.
Navigation apps for the iPhone, like Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Waze, display maps on the vehicle’s touchscreen. The user can control the apps through the touchscreen or by voice using Siri. The Android Auto software makes similar functions available for Android phone users.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata, at last, comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all trim levels. Along with this change comes a slight increase to the starting price of $250, bring it to $27,775, according to MotorTrend. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto had previously been available only on the Club and Grand Touring trim levels. The Grand Touring trim has Wireless Apple CarPlay, which is new for 2021.
The MX-5 Miata has a 7-inch touchscreen for its infotainment system. The screen also includes knobs and buttons, making it easy to use. Bluetooth connectivity is standard as is a CD player.
The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The 2021 Miata has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 181 hp. It’s paired with a six-speed manual transmission, but a six-speed automatic transmission is available. The automatic transmission adds $1,350 to the starting price of the Sport trim, $600 to the Club, and $525 to the Grand Touring.
Manual transmission Miata models in the Club and Grand Touring trims also come standard with performance features, including Bilstein dampers, a limited-slip differential, a front shock tower brace, and a performance-tuned suspension. Car and Driver is mainly positive about the car, saying, “the Miata is nearly perfect despite its many well-known compromises.”
There are differences among the three trims for their roof options. The base Sport has only a soft top, while the Club and Grand Touring have a choice between the standard soft top and a retractable-hardtop RF version. The hardtop RF does add $2,755 to the price.
The Sport has 16-inch wheels, while the Club has 17-inch wheels. The Club also adds LED daytime running lights, a Bose premium sound system, heated seats, and black-painted exterior accents. Built-in navigation can be installed by the dealer. The Brembo/BBS/Recaro option package on the Club trim provides Brembo-sourced front brakes, 17-inch BBS wheels, and Recaro seats. It also has red brake calipers and additional black-painted exterior accents. The RF Club gets a black-painted roof with the package.
The top Grand Touring trim has automatic high-beam headlights, leather seats, automatic climate control, built-in navigation, plus wireless Apple CarPlay. Grand Touring also can be painted in the new color of Deep Crystal Blue, which replaces last year’s Eternal Blue. Inside, White Nappa leather is available, although red and tan leather aren’t anymore. While it’s tight on space for both passengers and cargo, the Miata is fun to drive and a relatively affordable way to get a convertible.
The 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata is expected to be available at dealerships before the end of 2020. This entertaining sports car is made even better by the addition of standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.