Would you pay a monthly fee to use the heated seats in your new 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, or Crosstrek? A report from Kelly Blue Book says it’s a business plan some automakers have explored. Analysts from Cox Automotive surveyed consumers who intend to purchase a vehicle in the next two years and found that most car buyers are unwilling to pay a monthly fee to unlock luxury features.
Surprisingly, 25 percent of those surveyed were willing to pay a monthly fee to access some features. More than 80 percent would consider paying more for added safety features, like automatic emergency braking. They’d pay up to $35 a month to activate them.
Those willing to pay for added performance would pay $20 to $25 per month. Shoppers willing to pay for creature comforts like heated-and-cooled seats or remote start would pay $15 to $31 per month.
When we looked into Subaru of America’s models, we found the Camden, N.J. automaker has not just explored the idea. New models require a connected services subscription to unlock the remote start feature.
According to the Kelly Blue Book study, every 2022 Subaru model, including the 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek, has remote start available on many trim levels. KKB says only the 2022 Subaru BRZ requires a Subaru Starlink connected services subscription to activate it.
We found that all new Subaru models come with a three-year Starlink trial subscription to Safety Plus services. The service includes remote start and a six-month trial subscription to Safety and Security Plus services for personal assistance with navigation, restaurant reservations, and scheduling service appointments.
After the three-year trial subscription, new Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other new model owners have to pay for features like remote start, advanced automatic collision notification, and SOS emergency assistance features.
Subaru doesn’t charge customers extra for the brand’s EyeSight safety technology with automatic emergency braking and creature comforts like heated-and-cooled seats or a heated steering wheel.
If you buy a 2022 Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other new Subaru models, you don’t pay for remote start and other unique safety features, but they are only accessible for three years.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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