Best Apple CarPlay to Replace Factory Radio in 2006 Mazda 3?

Looking for advice on a head unit with CarPlay to replace the factory radio on a 2006 Mazda 3, that came with the base 6 speaker system, not the better Bose one.

I checked some YouTube tutorials on how to take out the factory radio, looks pretty easy. More importantly what's the best OzBargain bang for buck?


  • +1

    Not sure of what year your car is, but the Mazda genuine upgrade to get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is $520. That might be an option rather than a third party unit - I'm not even sure there are any out there that fit where the existing unit sits.

    • +3

      2006 (its in the title). Not sure they would be selling upgrades going back that far?

      • Sorry should have said what version. If you turn your car on and the entertainment screen displays something like 'Tom Tom' then it can't be upgraded.

        But yeah, 2006 might be too far back

  • +1

    no the upgrades is only for 2014 and above i believe. It's basically only for the Mazda's with the screen on the dashboard. The ones prior will need to take the factory radio out.

  • I used to have a 2006 SP23, and from memory the stereo was built in to the dash. A quick google suggests the lower models are the same?

    This would make it quite difficult to remove the stereo, and more importantly it is going to be really hard to get a good looking result when installing an after market stereo in there.

    • +4

      Not really

      Plus the added functionality of having a double-din in there

      Looks pretty tidy to me

      • looks nice! does the tweeters matter as most units are 4 channels?

        • Nope, the tweeters should have a crossover somewhere in the door etc

      • Looks pretty tidy to me

        Did you do that, SB? If so, looks good!

        • Nope! Internet picture lol

    • i believe the lowest end is 4 speakers, then 6 speakers, and Bose premiumm with 10 speakers? the ose has the sub under the passanger seat and the amp under the driver seat

  • Around $148, plus your time, to install

    Honestly it all depends. I fitted the $150 Jaycar unit into the Mrs' old car and it works a treat (a few niggles on the install tho, stupid Subaru).

    I've always said not to bother with no-name stuff if it's around $300, as branded stuff is $400-500. But it all depends how long you plan to own the car for, and desired budget?

    • i was consdering this jaycar one, but i am not confident in the wiring, plus it would be nice to retain the steering wheel control buttons

      • +1

        No need to worry about wiring with those aerpro adapters. Plug and play šŸ˜

        • so the Steering wheel control - CHMZ12C and Primary Harnesses - ISO - APP072 from aeropro will work for the Jaycar unit? the plug and play is the only reason i'm confident in doing it myself! lol

          • @Superbad: Well to start with, the Jaycar unit is sold out ;)

            • @spackbace: oops sorry completely missed this link you sent. - this looks like everything i need right?

              Just called and got the last one at my local Jaycar lol it's the display one and they won't discount it :( still got it!

              • @Superbad:

                this looks like everything i need right?

                It should be. You'll know when you go through the process. The ISO connector will just plug straight into the stereo, I just can't guarantee on steering wheel controls (have a read of the forum post, someone had some trouble with that).

                I picked up a separate mic for the mrs to use for the bluetooth and ran it the driver's side roof part. Up to you, I don't know how the built-in mic is

                • @spackbace: Thanks heaps! The guy at the shop suggested a lapel mic, for around $25, but as an ozbargainer i'm pretty sure i can get cheaper lol

                  • @Superbad: Lol yeah that's what I got just for convenience, didn't wanna wait for something online

                    • @spackbace: is the lapel mic any good? i think a lapel mic would be better than the cheapy mic they give you? I had a kenwood unit before and the mic that came with it was rubbish!

                      • @Superbad: Seems to be ok. I had to get the $30 stereo one as it's all they had in stock

                        • @spackbace: alright! i'm excited! even tempted to install a reverse camera ahahha

  • I did this exact thing in my 06 mazda, the only thing I had trouble with was the harness for the steering wheel because the head unit didn't have the universal plug in that the harness turned into. Pretty frustrating :( but i just got used to not using the steering wheel controls. The swap over is pretty simple, although you will lose the clock/climate control display unless you put work into mounting it after the new face plate goes on.

    • i think we like the idea of have controls on a steering wheel, but does anyone actually use them? I can't speak for people driving big ass cars where you have to reach over to the other side of the moon to get to the buttons. The biggest car i've had as a daily is a Honda Accord and the buttons on the dash board is closer to my gear shifting hand which i use to toggle the buttons than my right hand that's on the steering wheel….

      Anyways what i mean to say is, i would give up steering wheel buttons for bargain CarPlay unit.

      • I use them all the time. Steering wheel audio controls in my Accord Euro recently went a bit haywire and I miss them dearly.

  • +1

    I have recently purchased the Eonon Q51PRO for my Mazda 3 (2008). This unit covers Eonon 04-09 Mazda 3. And frankly speaking, it has not disappointed me.

    • hows the touch screen and sound/

      • It has been three weeks and they are working perfectly. I have Android 10, and it automatically connects the Car Play/Android Auto. The sound has been amazing though. It has got multiple options for the sounds and to set it up was straight forward.

        • Amazing sound? No unamped HU is going to be "amazing".

          Sounds fishy to me…

          • +2

            @spackbace: probably just better than the factory radio. I installed the digitech from jaycar today. There was a bit of a headache making it fit the fascia, i had to take off the black plastic frame off the head unit, and it still wasn't fitting into the brackets, twiddled around with it for about an hour or 2 nearly breaking the fascia before i realised I could take off the metal housing on the headunit and then it fit perfect! Wasn't sure how to connect the remote so skipped it. But now i've seen this i might go back and give it another shot.

            So far everything works like a dream, it sounds better than factory and it loads up fast straight into carplay. Can't complain for $300 bucks. Thanks for your help and advice @spackbace!!

    • @ni5 How did you go on installing it? I just got a Eonon R51 and it has no instructions whatsoever even searching online.

      • I just watched youtube videos and it helped install with ease. CAN-BUS was confusing but Eonon support helped me. You've to reach out to them and wait for 24hrs. Let me know how did you go with the installation.

  • Buy a tablet with GPS, then you will have Google Maps and Waze, games, music, and videos. You can take it when you leave your car. I think it is much better than a head unit. And it is cheaper than a head unit too.

    • Constant power will destroy the tablet's battery

      A dedicated HU can be bought for under $250 inc wiring and dash fascia to make it look stock. A $250 tablet will just be slow and cumbersome.

      • +1

        not to mention you have to take it out of the car with you every time you leave just incase some a-hole breaks your windscreen to steal your tablet.

        • +1

          And if you get android auto/carplay you can use those apps on the head unit anyway.

          Tablet will need an extra SIM card or to use a phone hotspot

  • Iā€™m not sure if your vehicle looks like this but there are many YouTube reviews out there over this

    It supports wireless apple carplay

    And this is their brochure

  • Just an update about the steering remote control, I've tried multiple combinations of the wires remote 1 and 2 to line 1 and 2 with no luck. My mate bought the same cheap jaycar head unit for his Mazda CX7 2008 and hasn't been able to get it to work on his either. He gave up and went to buy the steering wheel harness, but the car audio place said the head unit itself isn't compatible with Mazda steering wheel control.

Login or Join to leave a comment