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Should you opt for a WiFi hotspot in your new car?

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These days it seems we’re always connected to the internet. From in-plane WiFi to hotspots at Starbucks, there are few times when an internet connection is not easily available. The exception until lately has been the car. Short of turning your phone into a WiFi hotspot and burning through your data plan, there hasn’t been a reliable way to get all your devices connected on the road.

A number of car manufacturers have decided the answer is to provide in-car hotspots that allow passengers to utilize more data intensive features such as streaming video.

 

What are the advantages to in-car WiFi?

There are a number of advantages to having the WiFi connection built in:

  • Bigger, better antenna built into cars gives you a stronger and more consistent signal than using your smartphone as a hotspot
  • Allows you to connect multiple devices without sacrificing speed
  • No need to worry about draining your phone's battery or the person with the phone leaving the car

 

As smartphones become more reliable as hotspots and unlimited data becomes more common, in car WiFi may seem as outdated as 6-CD changers. In the meantime, if you use your car for business or do frequent multi-passenger road trips, it can make the road ahead significantly more enjoyable.

 

Which vehicles offer in-car WiFi as an option?

Audi

Audi offers a 4G LTE through its Audi connect and comes with a six-month trial.  Service for the A3 is provided by At&T and costs $99 for six months for 5GB of data or $499 for 30 months and 30GB. Other connected models come with T-Mobile service which costs $30/month or $450 for 30 months. 2015 models available with Audi connect include:

  • 2015 Audi A3
  • 2015 Audi A4
  • 2015 Audi A5
  • 2015 Audi A6
  • 2015 Audi A7
  • 2015 Audi A8
  • 2015 Audi Q5
  • 2015 Audi Q7
  • 2015 Audi allroad

 

BMW

In Europe, BMW offers a Car Hotspot LTE that snaps into any BMW equipped with a phone cradle dock. This feature is not yet offered in the US.

 

Fiat Chrysler Automotive

Fiat Chrysler brands offer a 3G WiFi Hotspot subscription (provided by Sprint) as an add-on to their Uconnect package for an additional $34.99/month ($9.99/ day or $19.99/week). The UConnect system without WiFi access is free for the first year and $14.99/month afterwards. It is available on 16 different models in the brand’s 2015 lineup including:

  • 2015 Chrysler 200/300
  • 2015 Chrysler Town & Country
  • 2015 Dodge Avenger
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger
  • 2015 Dodge Charger
  • 2015 Dodge Dart
  • 2015 Dodge Durango
  • 2015 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • 2015 Dodge Journey
  • 2015 FIAT 500L
  • 2015 Jeep Cherokee
  • 2015 Jeep Compass
  • 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • 2015 Jeep Patriot
  • 2015 RAM 1500/2500/3500
  • 2015 RAM C/V
  • 2015 RAM Promaster

 

Ford

Ford SYNC with MyFord Touch turns your smartphone into an Internet access point for your passengers. Since the data comes from your personal plan, there is not an additional data fee from Ford. MyFord Touch is available on the following 2015 models:

  • 2015 Ford C-MAX
  • 2015 Ford Expedition
  • 2015 Ford Explorer
  • 2015 Ford F-150
  • 2015 Ford Fiesta
  • 2015 Ford Fusion
  • 2015 Ford Mustang
  • 2015 Ford Super Duty
  • 2015 Ford Taurus
  • 2015 Ford Transit
  • 2015 Ford Transit Connect

 

General Motors

GM offers built-in OnStar 4G LTE WiFi hotspots (provided by AT&T) that can connect up to seven devices. The first three months are free with a new vehicle and the service costs range from $5.00/month for 200MB to $50/month for 5GB. It is available on the following 2015 models:

  • 2015 Buick Regal
  • 2015 Buick Lacrosse
  • 2015 Buick Verano
  • 2015 Buick Encore
  • 2015 Chevrolet Spark and Spark EV
  • 2015 Chevrolet Sonic
  • 2015 Chevrolet Cruze and Cruze Diesel
  • 2015 Chevrolet Volt
  • 2015 Chevrolet Colorado
  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette
  • 2015 Chevrolet Equinox
  • 2015 Chevrolet Impala
  • 2015 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2015 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2015 Chevrolet SS
  • 2015 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax
  • 2015 GMC Yukon
  • 2015 GMC Terrain
  • 2015 GMC Sierra
  • 2015 GMC Canyon
  • 2015 Cadillac ATS
  • 2015 Cadillac CTS
  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2015 Cadillac XTS

 

Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz has an optional In-Vehicle Hotspot that allows you to connect up to four devices. The service is available as part of Mercedes-Benz Apps for $14/month or in conjunction with it mbrace PLUS VIP assistance for $28/month after a three month trial period. It is available as an upgrade on the following models for 2015:

  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

 

Whether or not you want a WiFi hotspot in your new vehicle, Cartelligent can help you get a great deal on exactly what you want. Call our team of car-buying experts at 888-427-4270 or get started today.