Wireless Apple CarPlay on Mazda MX-5, how to connect

Mazda MX-5 supports Apple CarPlay that lets you access your iPhone apps like iTunes, Google Maps, Waze and Spotify through the infotainment screen of your vehicle. You can also make phone calls, send messages or use navigation with voice commands using Siri.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Enable CarPlay and Siri on iPhone

You must have iPhone 5 or newer device with iOS 7.1 or newer version to use Apple CarPlay on Mazda MX-5. Before you begin, ensure CarPlay and Siri are enabled on your iPhone. Also, make sure that the “Press Home for Siri” option is enabled under “Siri & Search” in settings.

If you can’t see CarPlay or Siri & Search under your iPhone settings, then go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps, and make sure both CarPlay and Siri & Search are enabled.

Wireless CarPlay Setup in MX-5

  1. Enable WiFi and Bluetooth on your iPhone.
  2. Select Applications from the main menu in Mazda MX-5.
  3. Scroll down and select Apple CarPlay.
  4. Select Add New Device.
  5. Then on your iPhone, go to Settings and then Bluetooth.
  6. Select your vehicle name (which usually is “Mazda”) on your iPhone’s Bluetooth discovery list.
  7. A Bluetooth Pairing Request pop-up will appear on your iPhone with a pin-code. Make sure it matches the code displayed on your MX-5’s infotainment screen (for safety reasons) and then touch Yes on the prompt. Also press Pair on iPhone.
  8. Then touch Allow on Allow Contacts and Favorites Sync prompt on your iPhone if you want to access your phone contacts via Apple CarPlay in MX-5.
  9. After a few seconds a prompt will automatically appear on your iPhone: “Use CarPlay with SYNC 4?”. Touch Use CarPlay.
  10. A popup message will appear on the vehicle’s display: “Avoid distractions and use Apple CarPlay responsibly. CarPlay may collect and use some vehicle data”. Select Agree to proceed.
  11. A message “Connecting iPhone” will appear and then CarPlay will launch on the MX-5’s infotainment system.

Video Demonstration (wireless)

Watch this video to see how to connect and use wireless Apple CarPlay in Mazda MX-5.

CarPlay via USB

  1. Connect your Apple iPhone to your Mazda MX-5 USB port using an Apple-approved Lightning-to-USB cable.
  2. Accept terms and conditions, if any appear.
  3. Touch Allow on your iPhone when prompted. This allows the use of CarPlay with your MX-5 while phone is locked.
  4. After a few seconds Apple CarPlay will launch on your MX-5’s infotainment system.
USB data port location in Mazda MX-5.

To return to the display audio home screen, press the Mazda icon. To go back to CarPlay interface, press the Apple CarPlay icon on the home screen of the infotainment system.

If you’re unsure which USB port supports CarPlay on your particular MX-5 variant, then consult your vehicle’s owners manual – or you can try plugging in the cable, one by one, in all the USB ports in dashboard and center console.

CarPlay not working on Mazda MX-5

If Apple CarPlay does not start on your MX-5 when you plug in the USB cable and there is no CarPlay icon in the list of apps in the infotainment system, it can be due to a number of reasons:

  • CarPlay is disabled in your iPhone, go to ‘Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps’ and enable both CarPlay and Siri.
  • The Lightning-to-USB cable you’re using is defective. Try a different cable, preferably original Apple cable.
  • The connected USB port on your MX-5 does not support CarPlay. Try other USB ports.
  • A software glitch is responsible for the CarPlay problem. Try resetting the MX-5’s infotainment system to its factory settings.
  • You’ve an older model of MX-5 that does not support Apple CarPlay. Only 2020 and later model year Mazda MX-5 vehicles are compatible with CarPlay.

If you still can’t connect CarPlay on your Mazda MX-5, then you should get your vehicle checked by an authorized Mazda dealer.

Using Siri on Mazda MX-5

Siri is Apple’s voice recognition feature that helps you to concentrate on the road while driving your MX-5 as you can control the functions of the iPhone with voice commands.

The virtual assistant allows you to place phone calls, listen to and send text messages, play music on your iPhone, get directions and use other functions of your iPhone hands-free. You can even ask Siri for current weather conditions, stock prices or upcoming events on your calendar.

To access Siri, press and hold the talk button on the steering wheel of your MX-5 until you hear Siri tone.

Voice command button on the steering wheel of Mazda MX-5 Miata – press and hold the button to launch Siri virtual assistant when CarPlay is active.

You can also access Siri by holding down the home button located at the bottom left corner in the CarPlay app.

Hold home button in Apple CarPlay to start Siri.

If the Listen for “Hey Siri” function is enabled in your iPhone device under Siri & Search settings, you can also just simply say: “Hey Siri”. After hearing the audible alert, you can begin asking Siri for assistance.

For best results when using Siri, speak clearly and reduce background noise by closing the windows and moonroof. Also, direct the air vents on dashboard so that they are not pointing towards the vehicle’s microphone.

Which MX-5 models support CarPlay?

2020 and later model year Mazda MX-5 vehicles are compatible with Apple CarPlay.

Using Google Maps on Mazda MX-5 with CarPlay

If your iPhone has iOS 14+ operating system, you can freely use Google Maps in Apple CarPlay on your MX-5. Apple now allows the use of Google Maps in the home screen. Apple has allowed the competitor’s map service in its car application since iOS 12, but the homescreen that was newly introduced in iOS 13 in 2019 could not yet be equipped with maps. Here, users were still limited to Apple’s own map service. With iOS 14 that changes. Now CarPlay automatically selects the last service used for the view.

Using Waze navigation on Mazda MX-5 with CarPlay

You can use Waze navigation app in CarPlay if you have iOS 12 or higher operating system installed on your iPhone. Download and install Waze app from App Store on your iPhone, then start CarPlay on your MX-5’s infotainment system display. Then press Waze icon to launch the app.

Using Spotify on MX-5

You can use Spotify to stream music on your MX-5. Just install the Spotify app from App Store and its icon will appear in the infotainment display when CarPlay is active.

You can use voice commands to play music hands-free on Spotify with Siri. Just add “on Spotify” at the end so that Siri knows which service you’re referring to (e.g. “Hey, Siri, play my ‘Your Mix of the Week’ playlist on Spotify”).

Siri can play songs, artists, albums, playlists, podcasts, and more. You can also “like” music, ask what’s playing, and control playback (e.g. volume, skip song, play / pause).

Do not disturb while driving

When driving, keep your eyes on the road. A quick look at the navigation device is of course allowed in order not to miss the next junction. The “Do not disturb while driving” function can be activated so that your iPhone does not distract you with unnecessary notifications while driving your MX-5. iOS 13 extends this option to CarPlay as well. On your iPhone go to Settings > Do Not Disturb, then scroll down and touch “Activate” under “Do not disturb while driving”.

Sort apps in CarPlay

You can sort CarPlay apps in your MX-5 quickly and easily through your iPhone. To do this, go to Settings > General > CarPlay, then select your vehicle under “MY CARS”. On the next screen you can rearrange app icons by touching and dragging them. You can also hide icons by touching the minus button on them.

Rearranging apps in Apple Carplay

Not all apps are compatible with CarPlay

If you think you can use all your iPhone apps in your Mazda MX-5 with CarPlay, then you’re wrong. The selection of compatible applications is limited, and you have to live with restrictions, especially with messenger apps. iMessage and WhatsApp can be controlled almost exclusively via Siri. That means you cannot see your message history, but only have new messages read out to you or even dictate messages yourself.

The following apps can be used with CarPlay on your MX-5, among others: Music, Phone, News, Podcasts, Audio books, Audible, Google Maps, Sygic TomTomGO, Whatsapp, calendar, Settings, Telegram, Waze, Spotify, TuneIn, Tidal, Pandora, Youtube Music and Amazon Music.

Video Demonstration (USB)

Watch this video by Mazda to see how to connect and use Apple CarPlay on Mazda vehicles.
Author: Nabeel K
Email: nabeel@wheelsjoint.com

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6 months ago

My 2016 MX5 GT has USB CarPlay and Android auto. Maybe you meant only 2020 and up allow wireless CarPlay?