Tesla is as much of a tech company as it is a car company. As such, some of the most advanced infotainment features in the industry come standard in Teslas. Better yet, updates and upgrades are available over the air. One of which is Tesla Premium Connectivity.
Telsa Premium Connectivity unlocks some great features that allow users to get the most out of their car and driving experience. At $10 USD/month though, is Premium Connectivity worth it? Let’s find out.
What is Tesla Premium Connectivity?
Before diving into if Tesla Premium Connectivity is worth it, let’s talk about what it offers.
Tesla Premium Connectivity essentially improves three driving experiences and services through the cellular network in your car. They can be broken down as follows:
1) Navigation Improvements
Tesla Premium Connectivity allows for real-time traffic visualization. This can help you find better routes and shed time off your travel. That said, without this feature, Tesla navigation still factors in traffic so Premium only adds the ability to see traffic on your screen.
Less important and more of a nice to have is, with Premium Connectivity, you have the ability to use satellite maps. I know some prefer to use this but I find it distracting. Where I find it useful is turning it on to line up landmarks and visuals to find destinations easier.
2) Entertainment Improvements
The biggest addition Tesla’s Premium Connectivity adds is the ability to stream music and video over the car’s cellular connectivity. While driving, this means using your Spotify account and playing Caraoke.
While parked this means easy access to built-in apps like Netflix, Disney+, and YouTube.
I will say that the browser and YouTube capabilities, at least on pre-AMD Ryzen models, are not a great user experience. I haven’t used them much but noticed lag and delays at times.
3) Security Improvements
Lastly, Tesla Premium Connectivity helps keep your car a little safer. With the introduction of Live View, subscribers can access the live cameras on their car through the Tesla app on their mobile devices.
This is an obvious advantage and, paired with remote honking, can be used to scare off would-be intruders.
Tesla Premium Connectivity Cost
What will you pay for these navigation, entertainment, and security improvements? The price varies by location and in some places, you can save on an annual subscription.
In the USA, for example, the Tesla Premium Connectivity cost is $10 a month or $100 a year. In Canada, it’s $13.99 a month with no option for an annual subscription.
Note, like everything Tesla, Tesla Premium Connectivity cost may fluctuate. For the latest rates, please consult Tesla’s official site or app.
Free Tesla Premium Connectivity
That said, Tesla often runs promotions and incentives that give new owners free Tesla Premium Connectivity. This has ranged from year-long to 30-day free trials. There was even a lifetime offering at one point however that may have been a glitch.
If saving $100 is a deal breaker or decisive factor for you, consider waiting to quarter or year-end before ordering your Tesla. Promotions for Premium Connectivity and Supercharger miles are common around this time.
Tesla Premium Connectivity Workaround
If paying for Tesla Premium connectivity isn’t worth it for you there is a limited workaround. After a software update in 2021, Tesla gave the ability to keep mobile hotspot connections active while driving. So, if your data plan can handle it, you can access the entertainment advantages on the go. While stopped you can access the video streaming services. You will miss out on the security improvement of Live View and won’t be able to get real-time traffic updates.
So, is Tesla Premium Connectivity Worth it?
In short, for me, absolutely. For you, this really depends on your needs.
For myself, once my one-year included subscription ran out, I tried using my cell phone hotspot for connectivity and the results were mixed. The car would often drop the connection and after a recent update, has issues even detecting my phone as a hotspot. This is annoying so the ability to always be connected is a plus.
Still, the traffic and entertainment features weren’t enough for me to sign back up however with the introduction of Live View, I decided to upgrade. It’s also a great benefit for my Turo renters as they can get the most out of the car.
What say you? Is Premium Connectivity worth it for you? Let me know in the comments below!
If you are thinking about placing a Tesla order, be sure to use my referral code and get 1,500 Supercharger kilometres!*
*As of Sept 2021, Tesla has put a pause on referrals 😞 I will update if/when they reinstate it.
Tesla Premium Connectivity FAQs
What is the difference between standard and premium connectivity on a Tesla?
The main difference between Standard and Premium Connectivity is the level of access to online services and features. Standard Connectivity is free for the life of the vehicle and provides basic online services, while Premium Connectivity comes at a cost
This fee provides additional features, such as live traffic visualization, satellite maps, and in-car streaming services, making it more convenient and providing a better overall user experience.
Do you really need Tesla premium connectivity?
No, you don’t need Tesla premium connectivity. You can pair your phone to obtain some of the same features however the user experience is not as seamless.
Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to purchase premium connectivity for your Tesla comes down to your individual needs and preferences.
Do I need Tesla premium connectivity for Spotify?
Yes, you need Tesla premium connectivity to use Spotify in your Tesla. Spotify is one of the streaming services that is included in the premium connectivity package for Tesla vehicles.
Without premium connectivity, you can still listen to music in your Tesla using Bluetooth or USB connection with your mobile device, but you won’t have access to built-in streaming services like Spotify.
So, if you want to stream music directly from your Tesla’s infotainment system and use services like Spotify, you’ll need to subscribe to premium connectivity.
Can you watch Netflix while driving Tesla?
No, you cannot watch Netflix while driving a Tesla. Tesla vehicles have a built-in feature called “Driver Attention Monitoring,” which uses cameras and sensors to detect whether the driver is paying attention to the road.
If the system detects that the driver is not paying attention, it will issue visual and audio warnings, and eventually, the Autopilot system will disengage.
Can I hotspot my Tesla?
Yes, you can use your Tesla as a hotspot by enabling the car’s built-in Wi-Fi feature and connecting your other devices to it.
To use your Tesla as a hotspot, you’ll need to have the premium connectivity package, which includes the Wi-Fi hotspot feature.
Once you have the package, you can activate the hotspot by going to the “Settings” menu on your Tesla’s infotainment system and selecting “Wi-Fi” and then “Hotspot.”