Last year, GM announced the $1,500 OnStar Premium subscription would be mandatory.
“How can an option be mandatory?”, Andre astutely pointed out upon hearing that news in August. Now, though, General Motors appears to have relented, confirming the top-end OnStar service would indeed be an option on most of its models.
To be clear, all 2024 Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC models will get three years of basic OnStar connectivity without paying a fee. The Connected Vehicle plan allows owners to lock and lock their vehicles, as well as remotely start them using the smartphone app or through Amazon Alexa. Higher-end models like Buick’s “Avenir” trim, the Cadillac Escalade, the GMC Hummer EV and the brand’s Denali models (including the Sierra 1500 and HD) will get three years of OnStar’s Premium Plan bundled into the purchase, rather than having to pay a separate fee. For the Escalade, the service comes standard for Model Year 2023 as well, per a CarScoops report.
The OnStar Premium Plan, for what it’s worth, offers automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance and recovery, unlimited Wi-Fi streaming capability (no data cap) and three years’ worth of Super Cruise, if the vehicle has it equipped. Cadillac models also get 3-6 months of SiriusXM satellite radio with the plan; all Buick, Cadillac and GMC models eligible for the premium option naturally get the remote access features as well.
On the fleet side of OnStar’s service suite, 2024-model vehicles will get the OnStar connected package, starting with the Chevrolet Silverado EV. That enables fleet managers a granular look at each of their company’s vehicles, including odometer readings, fuel levels (or state of charge for EVs), diagnostic trouble codes and more.
This appears to be a good move, at least on its face. However, it’s unclear whether GM will increase its MSRPs to offset baking the OnStar Premium Plan into their luxury models. If the suggested prices do increase, then we’re effectively back at square one. If they don’t, however, customers will hopefully be a bit more satisfied they don’t have to shell out an extra $1,500 to get connectivity features they may not want or use.
Outside the three-year trial period, the OnStar Premium Plan costs $49.99/month (or around $600/year). Other, less expensive plans are available as well, ranging between $24.99 and $39.99/month, at time of writing.