Tips, Tricks & Trends

Does the Mazda3 Have Apple CarPlay?

Sleek, stylish, and fun to drive, the 2020 Mazda3 feels nicer than what you’d expect from a compact car. Whether you choose a sedan or a hatchback, it’s a sure thing that you’ll enjoy its refined handling and its high-quality interior.

But does it provide the tech you need? Specifically, if you’re an iPhone user, does the Mazda3 offer Apple CarPlay? Read on to find out more about the infotainment and connectivity features that the Mazda3 offers and whether it includes smartphone compatibility software such as Apple CarPlay.

The Mazda3’s interior tech

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All Mazda3 models, whether sedan or hatchback, are powered by a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 186 hp. It’s matched with a six-speed automatic, but a six-speed manual can be had on the Premium version of the hatchback. And compared to its rivals in the compact car segment, the base model Mazda3 offers something a little different in infotainment and connectivity tech.

Like many cars in its class, it has an AM/FM radio and Bluetooth capability. Its sound system has eight speakers, which offers better value than the six- or seven-speaker systems of its rivals.

The Mazda3’s infotainment system also has a standard 8.8-inch infotainment display. It’s larger than the standard 7.0-inch displays in competitors the Nissan Sentra, the Honda Fit and Toyota Corolla. It is controlled by a rotary knob on the console, which may be more user-friendly if buyers don’t want a touchscreen configuration.

HD Radio, Pandora internet radio, and Radio Broadcast Data System programming all are standard. Other infotainment features are multifunction command control, voice command, SMS text message audio delivery and reply, and mobile 911 automatic emergency notification. The base trim Mazda3 is also equipped with two USB audio inputs and a 12-volt power outlet.

What is Apple CarPlay and what can it do?

Before we find out whether the Mazda3 has Apple CarPlay, we’ll talk about what it does and why it’s so versatile.

It’s software that lets you use many of your iPhone’s features on your car’s built-in display. You can make and receive calls, check your voicemail, and get turn-by-turn directions. CarPlay also lets you listen to music, books, or podcasts, manage your day through your iOS calendar, and send and receive text messages.

You can access these functions through Apple apps on CarPlay’s new dashboard. These apps will seem very familiar to most owners of Apple products. To interact with this software, you can activate Siri’s voice control, use the touchscreen or, as in the Mazda3, turn a knob or other controls such as the dial or buttons.

Using smartphone compatibility software like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto instead of your car’s built-in infotainment system is a safer way to utilize its infotainment offerings. Research from the American Automobile Association Foundation for Safety has shown that using this software is less distracting to drivers because it performs functions such as making a call or sending a text message much faster than a car’s built-in system.

Can you get Apple CarPlay in the Mazda3?

Madza 3 during the Geneva International Motor Show
The 2020 Mazda3 | Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images

If you stick with the base model Mazda3, which starts at $22,420, you won’t be able to get Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto) either as standard or as an option. The only infotainment option available at this trim level is a wireless charging pad for $275.

However, if you’re willing to upgrade to the Select, Preferred, or Premium trims, both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration come standard on these trim levels.

Building on the optional tech from the base model, buyers of the Select model can choose an auto-dimming mirror with HomeLink wireless garage opening system for $375. The Select trim level starts at $23,620.

Besides the tech options offered on the base and Select models, a navigation system that integrates with the Mazda3’s built infotainment system is available on the Preferred model for $450. Pricing on the Preferred model begins at $25,120. Both the Preferred and Premium models also are equipped with SiriusXM satellite radio with a three-month trial subscription.

Another excellent tech feature that comes standard on both higher trim levels is a Bose audio system with 12 speakers. This premium sound system uses Bose’s Centerpoint 2 and Audiopoint 2 settings to use stereo signal analysis to ensure that everyone in the car enjoys the same high-quality sound, regardless of whether it comes from digital music files, AM/FM or satellite radio, or CDs.

The top-of-the-line Premium model starts at $27,420. So if you’d like to bring CarPlay on the road with you in your new Mazda3, consider buying the Select trim level or higher. In that way, you can take full advantage of all those fun and useful Apple apps.