Car shoppers considering a new Hyundai will soon have another reason to add the brand to their list. Hyundai is launching a new telematics information system, similar to GM's OnStar service, which will provide its customers with a host of connectivity, convenience and safety features. Dubbed Blue Link, the new system will soon be available in many new Hyundai vehicles with annual subscriptions starting at just $79.
Hyundai announced the system at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, but released official pricing information. Blue Link is available in three package levels, dubbed Assurance, Essentials and Guidance. The most expensive option costs $279 for a full year ? but for many consumers, the system's benefits will easily justify the cost.
Assurance is Blue Link's least-expensive package at just $79 a year or $198 for a three-year subscription. The subscription price includes immediate assistance in case of an accident, and an SOS button that calls emergency operators or roadside assistance. Vehicle owners can also access a monthly report of vehicle systems through Blue Link's website.
Next up is the Essentials package, available annually for $179, or $448 for a three-year subscription. Essentials includes everything in Assurance, plus remote door locking and unlocking through a toll-free phone number or mobile phone app, voice text messaging, a maintenance alert system letting drivers know when services are due and "Location Sharing" which gives drivers the ability to share the vehicle's location to friends and family through selected social networking sites. The package also includes "Valet Alert," which warns customers if a valet drives beyond a prescribed area ? a feature that surely would've helped Ferris Bueller.
Blue Link's most expensive package, Guidance, is named for its navigation service. Starting at $279 annually or $699 for three years, Guidance includes everything in the other two packages plus turn-by-turn navigation including point-of-interest searches ? and even a function that locates nearby gas stations with the lowest fuel prices.
Much like GM's OnStar system, Blue Link services will be provided free of charge for several months on any Hyundai equipped with the system. For now, that's just the 2012 Sonata ? but we wouldn't be surprised to see Blue Link included on nearly every Hyundai within the next few years.