These Are Car Features You'd Actually Subscribe To

2024 Kia EV9 GT-LIne Interior
2024 Kia EV9 GT-LIne Interior

What you see above is the all new 2024 Kia EV9. It’ll be the first of Kia’s models to have upgradable and subscription-based features that you can purchase through an online marketplace/app called Kia Connect. Many of you might hate this, but unfortunately this looks to be the future of vehicle ownership, a future we can’t escape.

Because of that, last week we asked readers what subscription-based car features would they be willing to pay for. Seeing as it doesn’t look like automakers are going to change their mind about these things anytime soon, you might as well start thinking about ones you might be enticed to open your wallet for. There were their answers.

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Tesla makes us pay extra for “premium” connectivity to the internet (via the AT&T network, I believe). Otherwise we would have to wait to be within reach of a wifi signal for some functions like large downloads. That’s okay with me. Not paying still allows my phone to work through the screen - it’s just that much of the Tesla software is quicker and more responsive. It’s a choice of degree. Unlike a heated steering wheel or heated seats which are either work or don’t work depending on if you paid the ransom.

Submitted by: Dieter Zerressen

Heated Steering Wheel... Nevermind

2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness
2024 Subaru Crosstrek Wilderness

Heated steering wheel in the Subaru Crosstrek!

Motherf#@$ers offer it in Canada (and have for years) but it is unobtanium in the US even for 2024. I don’t like wearing gloves when I drive! C’mon, Subaru! Do better!

Actually, no, I still wouldn’t pay for it. Vehicle subscription services (other than audio stuff) suck and should be legally forbidden.

Submitted by: NotLewisHamilton

None, Unless They Make The Car Cheaper

Image: OnStar
Image: OnStar

Zero, unless it brings down the price of the car. Because chances are, the item is going to be paid for when the car is purchased and then paid for again in the subscription. Going to have to pay for a car with heated seats and if you want to use them, you have to pay for them.... that is crazy.

I don’t even pay for Onstar on the 2 GM products I own, I don’t see their value and I find it annoying that now so many people are unwilling to pay for it, GM(last I checked, been a while since I read about it on Jalopnik) was trying to make a mandatory time period of Onstar built into the cost of the MSRP. I don’t want it and never will.

Submitted by: coagula13

Only Features That Continuously Cost The Automaker Money

Cadillac's Super Cruise
Cadillac's Super Cruise

Cadillac’s Super Cruise

I’m only willing to pay on a subscription basis for features where the OEM is also incurring cost on an ongoing basis.

EX: Heated seats, they’re already in the car and costs the OEM $0 for me to continue using them so I’m not subscribing. But if it’s something like self-driving tech or navigation or OnStar where they’re continuously updating and improving the software/maps/data etc, sure I’ll consider a subscription.

Submitted by: Kaiserserser

Anything That’s Not Actually Tied To The Vehicle

Image: SirusXM
Image: SirusXM

Satellite Radio, WiFi hotspots, weather apps, reservation apps - pretty much anything that isn’t tied to the actual operation of the car.

I can’t think of anything more asinine than loading a car with all of the hardware for stuff like heated seats and then lock the physical controls behind a paywall.

Submitted by: Aldairion

Reluctantly Paying For A Safety Feature

Toyota Safety Connect
Toyota Safety Connect

I’d like to say NONE like everybody else, but the fact is I do pay for a feature sub. Toyota’s Safety Connect. It cheeses me off that I have to pay for what should be a standard feature, but I’ll pay whatever they want to have the car call emergency services and send a notification to my phone if my kid is upside down in a ditch and bleeding in the middle of nowhere at midnight.

The subscription for Toyota Safety Connect actually comes with a trial period that’ll probably outlast the original buyers ownership of the vehicle. Toyota sent us a statement regarding this, telling us just how long the trial period is.

With vehicles equipped with Toyota Audio Multimedia or Lexus Interface infotainment systems, Safety Connect and Service Connect telematics services are offered with 10-year trial subscriptions. We realize the value that comes with having connected services there for you when you need them the most, and we’re excited to see the 10-year trial subscription proliferate throughout Toyota and Lexus’s lineups as their vehicles adopt our latest hardware.

Submitted by: Harmon20

Vehicle Charging

2024 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV
2024 Dodge Hornet R/T PHEV

Unlimited supercharging if it were priced low enough.

Submitted by: anotheran

Before Any Discussion, A Clear Definition Needs To Be Established

2023 BMW i4 eDrive 35 interior
2023 BMW i4 eDrive 35 interior

2023 BMW i4 eDrive 35

We need to establish a clear line between features and services. Subscriptions for features? Absolutely not. Subscriptions for services? Okay.

Of course, there are no features that I want that would require services, so the answer for me is no on both counts. I’m not opposed to subscriptions for services, but any services I want in a car would be redundant, because I already pay a monthly fee to have a phone. I don’t need or want my car to be “connected” in any way.

This is a good argument, but it needs to be established by automakers. And right now they seem to be content with the lines between services and features blurred as they often group them together.

Submitted by: smalleyxb122

There Needs To Be Value

2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4Matic
2023 Mercedes-Benz EQS 580 4Matic

The long and skinny is that if they expect recurring payments, then they need to provide recurring value. To turn on a feature isn’t recurring value. They need to be offering something that justifies a recurring fee. A service. Sat radio/nav/weather or some kind of concierge service or something like a cloud service. Unless there is a recurring cost, it doesn’t require a recurring fee.

Submitted by: HammerHeadFistpunch

Not A Single One

2022 BMW iX
2022 BMW iX


I bought the car with whatever features it has, and I do not want to have to continue paying for something because it’s subscription. It’s a freaking cash grab and I will go back to the most barebones car possible to avoid it. Absolutely none of it is worth it... unless they actually have the gaul to mess with the drivability/function of the car by making it subscription, at which point we will all be screwed.

Submitted by: SlickS30r and nearly everyone else

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