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‘s Premium Connectivity. The service unlocks some great features that allow users to get the most out of their car and driving experience. At $10 USD/month though, is Tesla 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 your 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 a terrible user experience. I avoid it as it is frustratingly laggy.
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.
How much is Tesla Premium Connectivity?
What will you pay for this 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, Tesla Premium Connectivity is $10 a month or $100 a year. In Canada, it’s $13.99 a month with no option for an annual subscription.
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? Do you think Premium Connectivity is 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.