Home » Here’s One Way Car Feature Subscriptions Can Be Good: COTD

Here’s One Way Car Feature Subscriptions Can Be Good: COTD

A3subs
ADVERTISEMENT

One of the more repulsive quirks of the modern automotive industry is the rise of subscription-based car features. Now, as any subscriber to SiriusXM or OnStar can tell you, this isn’t a new concept. What is different is charging buyers monthly for features their cars already have. BMW got in hot water for this, and now Audi wants to subject its European customers to the same nonsense. But there is one way for subscription services to work.

Thomas gave us the lowdown on what Audi wants European A3 buyers to make payments on. The features that got me was subscribing to dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. The hardware is clearly already there and you bought the car, but the features are paywalled like you’re playing GTA Online. Come on, Audi!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I was surprised to see V10omous explain one way to make subscriptions work:

I’m an MBA and I don’t know what luxury means, but I would have set the program up like so:

Subscription features are only offered on leases. They are marketed as discounts from the published lease rate, not as additional subscriptions. Thus if you don’t want Car Play (as I wouldn’t), you can take $19 off the monthly rate or whatever it costs. This feels like customization and gives the customer the illusion of “getting a deal”, even if the end result is exactly the same.

At the end of the lease term, all features are turned on, permanently. This avoids pretty much all the issues noted in the column for second and third owners, and boosts the residuals as well.

If you buy the car outright, either new or at the end of the lease, the features are turned on.

Audi still gets most of their money without the bad press, because most people lease them and most will probably opt to subscribe if the features are opt-out rather than opt-in.

I would be ok with that!

20240115 163342

ADVERTISEMENT

Last month, I fell in love with a Nissan Rogue. I’m still grappling with that fact, but I continue to stand by my word. It’s not exactly a fun car, nor is it super desirable. But it is a great example of how far base model cars have come! Today, Matt described how you could get a decent deal on a Rogue. As it turns out, so many of you wouldn’t even take a Nissan Rogue for free. StillNotATony delivered an opening salvo:

I do not want a Nissan Rogue
It will never be in vogue.
I do not want one on my street
I would rather use my feet.
I do not want one on my road
I would feel like such a chode.

BoneStock didn’t pull any punches:

If you handed me a Rogue and a cheeseburger I would happily walk off the calories on the way home.

Most of the comments in that article are like those two. Tough crowd! Have a great evening, everyone.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
27 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Segador
Segador
1 month ago

The rental Rogue Sport I had a few years back while my car was being worked on was the only modern car I’ve ever driven that I’d describe as dangerously slow. It had trouble merging into 55mph traffic, and fully pressing the pedal to the floor produced a reluctant, wheezy whine but no appreciable increase in speed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Segador
JDS
JDS
29 days ago
Reply to  Segador

Two words: Chevrolet Spark

Strangek
Strangek
1 month ago

I’d take one for free. I guess. Maybe. Actually, just forget it.

BoneStock
BoneStock
1 month ago

First COTD, thanks Mercedes!! I would like to thank everyone for the briefest of moments in the sun, particularly Nissan for continuing to design and build enthusiast cannon fodder

Chairman Kaga
Chairman Kaga
1 month ago

I have a mk7 GTI and I’m already subscribed to the water pump plan.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
1 month ago

Heh, speaking of tools…Chode is my next Lemons Rally mascot!

It’s a short, wide little screwdriver. It has a name. It’s Chode.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

This I learned!

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

Did you renew your Passat W8’s timing chain subscription yet? 😀

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

That’s not a subscription, it’s a recurring ransom.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

This feels like a personal attack.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
1 month ago

Username checks out

V10omous
V10omous
1 month ago

Haha this is by far my least expected win; it was just a sneaky plan to get Audi 90% of the benefits of the subscription services without annoying a suspicious and cynical public.

Perhaps the commenters here are not suspicious or cynical enough!

Or maybe they just don’t lease luxury cars and don’t care that my proposal fleeces those people.

Last edited 1 month ago by V10omous
Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

The more *those people* get fleeced, the better.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

Lease luxury cars? I have a $200 Shitbox Corolla, an 18 year old base model pickup I bought new when pickups were reasonably priced and low enough to load things into the bed without a ladder, a ’74 Buick with no glass, bumpers, or lights with a half finished rattle can paint job, and a scooter. If I sold all of these, it wouldn’t pay for a two year lease on an A4, which … Ewww.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

It’s ok to fleece people as long as they don’t feel like they’re getting fleeced!

Crab People
Crab People
1 month ago
Reply to  V10omous

It’s a good idea, but I can’t imagine dealers would advertise anything other than the rock bottom, no subscriptions price, then increase it when you decide you want things like working door locks or to raise the speed limiter beyond 45.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

The Autopian should get Nissan to sponsor a giveaway and see how many commenters actually refuse to enter to win a free Nissan Rogue.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Sign me up!

Totally not a robot
Totally not a robot
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Alternatively, all commenters are automatically entered into the drawing and we see how many actively reach out to remove ourselves from the running.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

Well, that’s definitely better. It would be fun to see if anyone’s willing to put in effort to avoid winning one.

Strangek
Strangek
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

The contest should be not to win one. The winner does not win a Rogue and is thus better off then the rest of us who have been saddled with Rogues that we now have to deal with.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Only if they cover the taxes for it—and the taxes on that

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Yeah, then I can sell it soon thereafter!

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 month ago
Reply to  Freelivin1327

Do you really want to be known as a Nissan Rogue owner? Even if it is for only a short time? That goes on your permanent record.

Aaron
Aaron
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

Reminds me of the old joke:

A backpacker walks into a bar in Ireland to find an old man sitting alone. He and the old man get to talking. The old man says,” you see this bar? I cut the trees, milled the lumber, and built it with my own bare hands. But do they call me McGreggor the bar builder? No. That wall over there? I quarried the stone and placed each one. Am I McGreggor the wall builder? No. And that pier. It was all my doing, but am I McGreggor the pier builder?” He’s silent for a few moments before he mutter, “but ya fuck one goat…”

Not that I’m equating owning a Rogue with bestiality… that would be unfair to the “animal lovers” out there.

Freelivin1327
Freelivin1327
1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

Ha ha good one…yeah, I wouldn’t care that much…Tesla on the other hand…

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

I was at an auto show and refused to enter a drawing for some anonymous crossover

27
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x