Subscriptions are all the rage in the automotive world these days, with BMW leading the charge. But while $18-per-month heated seats get a lot of the headlines, a lot of safety, maintenance, and remote features are also already subscription-based. New car buyers typically get them for free as part of a trial period, but once the trial runs out, you either have to pay up or do without. Today, Hyundai announced that it’s bundling all of its subscription services into a single complimentary package on new vehicles called Bluelink+.
In total, Hyundai says the complimentary services that owners get with Bluelink+ will save them about $350 per year and will first be included on the 2023 Ioniq 6. It will then be rolled out on all 2024 models. That said, if you buy used, you won’t get Bluelink+ indefinitely. Certified pre-owned buyers only get it for a year, and regular used cars only get it for three months. Hyundai does say, though, that Auto Collision Assistance, SOS Assistance, Remote Diagnostics, Maintenance Reminders, and over-the-air ECU Updates will be included for subsequent owners.
“Bluelink+ is part of our commitment to being a technology leader,” said Manish Mehrotra, Hyundai’s North American vice president of digital business planning and connected operations. “Other automakers follow a traditional subscription model and have monthly fees for most of these safety and convenience features. Hyundai is once again leading the industry by standardizing technologies that enhance the customer experience.”
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As you can see in the chart above, the one exception to Hyundai’s “everything is included for free forever or until LTE stops working” message is over-the-air map updates. After three years, even new car buyers won’t get those for free anymore. So there are definitely a couple of asterisks that need to be added to Hyundai’s claims. But even so, we appreciate Hyundai going out of its way to push back against the subscription trend. Hopefully, more automakers will do the same thing soon.