We’ve covered subscription services for automakers a lot lately, and it all started when Publisher Tim Esterdahl got perturbed over his new 2022 Toyota Tundra’s and remote start not being free, technically. You see, Toyota, like many manufacturers have shifted business plans (i.e. profiteering) to include Toyota Connected Service.
When you look at what’s included, it sounds like an added amount of niceties for those who buy a Toyota vehicle, but take note: Toyota Connected Service costs $8/month or $80/year. It may sound like small change that you won’t miss, but the methods of sneaking this in as a “trial basis” seemed a little shady to us.
So with that in mind, we wanted to break down what was part of the pay-to-play Toyota Connected Service.
This was the thing that started it all for us. Esterdahl lost his mind over some key fob issues and even got Toyota’s engineers involved in the fiasco. It was all documented in this great video.
But yes remote start is part of Toyota’s Connected Service (i.e. subscription) and is listed under Remote Connect as $8/month or $80/year. So, even if you use your key fob to do remote start, it won’t work after the subscription expires.
Remote Connect runs through an app on your phone and includes other handy features that also are part of a subscription. They include:
Editor’s note: Since posting this article, there has been an update to the remote start subscription fee. Be sure to watch the video below for details.
Of course GM started this entire trend with OnStar, which has made them billions of dollars over the years. But 2022 Toyota vehicles will offer Safety Connect features, for an additional $8/month or $80/year subscription fee.
Some of the Safety Connect services that will cost you include:
“The Cloud” is something we all hear about and few of us really understand what it means. But Toyota’s Drive Connect service is a yet another separate subscription service that costs $16/month or $160/year. Toyota’s Drive Connect subscription debuts in the 2022 Tundra but will be integrated into other Toyota vehicles too.
Think of this service as a personal digital assistance (like Hey Siri), but instead you ask your Toyota for help with various in-car functions such as changing audio settings or the climate control in select models.
Another aspect is cloud-based navigation that includes Google Point-Of-Interest search capability and the ability to share your ETA with contacts in your phone book.
Being Wi-Fi capable allows for system and navigation updates to be installed “over-the-air” so the vehicle will always be up to date. New roads constructed? OTA updates will allow the map to include those too.
Yes, this shift to pay-per-feature is kind of annoying. But there are many conveniences that make our lives easier, so shouldn’t an automaker attach value to it?
For a full chart of what Connected Services are available for what Toyota vehicle, reference this website.
And while all this makes sense from a business perspective, it also adds up. If you want all the services, you could be paying as much as $32 per month or $320 per year.
But just like that service offer from Vinspy to run a VIN code check on that European vehicle you planned on procuring, you may suddenly find yourself praising your forethought, and for making the upfront investment.
However, if you aren’t okay with it, don’t subscribe. If the profits aren’t there, the automakers will get the message. We want to hear your feedback, what services are you okay paying for and which ones bug you? Leave us your comment below.
I’m a disappointed new owner of a 2022 Tundra. I have bought new Tundra’s for many years. I was totally unaware of this process until on my way home with the new truck. If I had known this information before I definitely would have purchased another manufacturer’s truck.
I have owned this truck for a week as of today, I hav spent approximately 12 hrs trying to update information. I even went and bought a new iPhone 13 to try to connect. Went back to dealer today with no more satisfaction than I had all week..
VERY UNHAPPY with Toyota..
If you are in the Dallas Fort Worth area it will be worth your time to go see Adam Minkley at Freeman Toyota. He knows these and will save you time and show you three options for free Navigation with wireless Carplay or Android Auto. Also he can answer any other questions you may have!
Bro, shut up. Stop trying to plug yourself
I have a 2019 Toyota Avalon Limited Edition. I am still paying the car note. I do not live in a cold area where remote start could be a plus. I have a phone that has gps updates and I can call for help if I need it. If i’m unable to for help, someone around me even a stranger, will call for help. For as much as I paid for this car, I refuse to pay extra for unnecessary features.
Exactly. Total crap – it should be included as long as you purchase the vehicle. Why would I waste my money on this after paying so much for a vehicle? Wish I had the skills to develop a free knock off app.
Its already there called Waze or Google maps, or Apple maps you won’t need dynamic navigation
Can it be displayed on the dashboard screen?
Yes. Plug your iPhone or Android phone into the USB port and the main screen can become an extension of your phone. You may need to launch the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay app from the “Apps” menu. This will let you use your preferred map app and voice commands from your phone on the main screen of the car. Much better than the built-in maps.
2019 RAV4 had tire blowout which resulted in minor accident. Used Toyota Safety Connect for help, pretty cumbersome and worthless so will not renew and switch back to cheaper AAA as response times are faster. Remote Connect is nice for alerts on vehicle security, remote start, etc.
Remote start should be included with the vehicle. You should not have to pay extra for this service. You can get remote service already and not have to pay for it. What I am told is even though you have remote service, if you don’t pay for service connect you won’t have remote service that is completely wrong.
Toyota has to pay for sponsoring Nascar race teams. Now I see how they can afford $20 million a year for each car now!
Truthfully, this is the one hang up I have with pulling the trigger on a new Toyota. I used my remote start in my old car all the time, so that is a feature I am used to and use frequently. Toyota is not making it easy for me to switch to Toyota. If I’m going to be paying that much for a new car, I should NOT have to pay extra for that feature.
the trial is Free for the first year. After that it cost $80 a year so $160 for the first three years seems Like a good deal when you can start your car from out of state or from inside the airport or from inside anywhere in your home. If you want to go to car toys and add remote start for $600 that is your option and you never pay again. Lots of people only keep a car three years so with the choice they would choose $160. Don’t let remote start, stop you from buying one of the best Quality cars you may ever own in your whole life!
I don’t like having to agree with a master consent to get services I should be able to choose which services I want or don’t however they make it easy to opt out but read the fine print very clearly if you do they will automatically turn on the DMC for full function only way is pull the fuse on it either way you loose remote start you can do everything the offer with cell phone just by paying your cell bill Toyota just cramming more down people my first Toyota very unhappy but all car makers are going that way even the built in cameras record inside the vechicle and outside insurance companies don’t give discounts for having one so why bother because the information on them could possibly go in your favor or not if a accident happens
I am extremely disappointed that the key fob remote start will not work without the subscription. This seems absolutely ridiculous since it is a simple feature when the vehicle is in range of the fob. I have little use for starting the vehicle when I’m further away than that. I am likely not going to subscribe to any of the services as they just aren’t worth paying for in my opinion.
The majority of auto makers include auto start on key fobs since 2012, using your phone to auto start is more time consuming than using a phone.
Maps and finding where my car is if stolen and be remedied by a hidden tracker fob
You pay XXX amount for a quality vehicle and they want more, in the year I have owned the 2021 Highlander Platinum I have not used any of the services. I asked if I could delete the App since it is useless
I’m very disappointed that Toyota requires a Connected Service subscription for me to read the tire pressure on my 2020 Rav4. My 2016 Camry had individual tire pressure on the information display, but they removed it on the 2020 Rav4. When I had the initial Connected Service, I could read the tire pressure on my phone. That was still worse than the Camry, but when I didn’t renew the subscription, I could not read it at all. That will be a consideration when I buy my next vehicle. I’m angry and I refuse to pay $16/mo. for that convenience.
Thank you for the great article. I had narrowed my choice down between 2023 Toyota RAV4 and 2023 Subaru Forester the article helped in my choice and I went with the Subaru Forester.
You are a champ! Just tried the key fob trick from your video for my 2022 Tacoma and it worked! Who knew? I feel like I just learned the secret code to Mario Bros but in this case, it’ll save me $80/yr on the subscription I really didn’t want to buy. I hate nickel & dime type subscriptions. Thanks again!!
I just bought a 2023 corolla cross and took an out of town trip only to find out i still have to use my phone for gps instead of screen they showed me at dealership. Found out had to pay to use navigation. This is not right specially since i have to plug my phone into the system and transfer my phone gps to the screen. I could understand if it used its own navigation; but it uses navigation from my phone. Absolutely not acceptable to charge for this.
23 Tacoma OFFROAD model.
Nondisclosure of subscription costs for what was put forth as “included” was irrating. Especially after dealer setting them up and no mention of costs.. Doubt I will pay for any after trials end
The remote start has a very short distance for it to work anyway. But what really ticks me off is that no one told me until they just shut it off! This is my third Toyota and LAST!
I had a deposit on a new Lexus TX and willing to wait a year for it come out.
I will now be going back to the store and getting my deposit back.
Functions that were once common is now becoming a scam.
I will gladly pay for each function as an upgrade but not a subscription.
For a $50K vehicle – these services should be provided for at least 4 or 5 years, especially the safety connect! I do not need remote start…but will be considering the others – but those of us living on a fixed income this additional cost is worrisome.
We were wanting to buy a new 2023 Sequoia for around $80k. After seeing this about remote start we were immediately turned off. We are now looking at the Yukon. Its unfortunate because we loved the look of the Sequoia but we aren’t going to pay for something that comes with the purchase of the vehicles from other OEMs.
Unfortunately, you will run into similar costs if you go with a GM product. To get many ‘features’ you will need to buy the OnStar services which can cost $30 or more per month. I have a 2018 Chevy Silverado 3500HD diesel and pay about $30 per month for OnStar Guardian service and an additional $20 per month for unlimited internet.
As we are only using the truck occasionally for towing a large horse trailer, I may be dropping both of these services and using Android Auto via USB cable for similar services (other than those specific to truck operations and emergency service).
Ford offers the same for free. Remote start, doors lock and unlock, find your car ect. All free. How can Ford do it, but Toyota can’t?
Muchas gracias por el video ya me a horre $160.00 al año
NOT HAPPY ABOUT THE PAY SERVICES AND THE COST ASSOCIATED WITH THEM ,YOU SPEND 70 THOUSAND DOLLARS ON A VEHICLE AND THEY TURN AROUND AND HIT YOU WITH THIS.ITS BAIT AND SWITCH AS YOU GET USED TO HAVING THE SERVICE AND THEN IT EXPIRES AND YOU HAVE TO PAY MONTHLY,
CHARGE A FLAT RATE OF 100 -125 DOLLARS A YEAR FOR ALL SERVICE A FAIR AND EQUITABLE CHARGE .
I REFUSE TO SIGN UP AT $320 A YEAR FOR ALL SERVICES.
MIGHT BE DONE WITH TOYOTA LOOKING AT CHEVY IR GMC IN THE FUTURE
DO NOT LIKE NICKEL AND DIME
The only things I really need are remote door locking on the road, and theft protection. Nothing else. This is costing me $15 a month, with a bunch of stuff included that I don’t understand and don’t want (Google music?). What I REALLY want is a CD player in the Tundra.