Hyundai Blue Link Review

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The Good: Free for the first 3-12 months that you own your Hyundai.  Works anywhere you have an internet connection, so it’s not limited to a range like a key fob.  Three separate packages including Connected Care, Remote and Guidance (see image below).  Pay for one two or all three to suit your needs.  Android, iOS, smartwatch and Alexa compatibility.

The Bad: Extremely slow to relay actions to your vehicle.  The service can be very expensive.  The only way to remote start your car is by paying for Blue Link.  Did I mention how absurdly slow it is to send a command to your car?

Overall: Really cool to have when it’s free, but the subscription fees are a bit much.  Blue Link does offer a lot for your money, but people that just want remote start will probably pass on the $75/year price tag.  Vehicle owners that opt for all three packages will have more features than they know what to do with in cars that are already packed with technology.

 


The Features

Blue Link is Hyundai’s everything service.  The Connected Care package does basically everything that OnStar does.  It can alert authorities if you crash, run diagnostics, send alerts and health reports or you can use it to call for assistance.  The Remote package notifies you if your alarm has been triggered, finds your car anywhere that you left it, allows alerting if the car has crossed a speed or distance threshold, remotely locks and unlocks the doors, can trigger the alarm or turn on the lights, offers remote start with climate control, and stolen vehicle recovery and slowdown.  And finally the Guidance package adds Google destination searches and the ability to send a destination from your device to your car.  You can buy one, two or three packages for one, two or three years based on your needs.

The Connected Care package is a nice security blanket, but for the price, I’ll pass.  The key features are automatic collision notification, service link, emergency assistance and a monthly vehicle health report.  Tackling them in order: no, no, no and no.  I can only hope that I’ll never have to use collision notification, and it’s a nice feature if you expect to be knocked unconscious during a crippling accident in a remote part of the world, but it’s just not going to convince me to pay for the package.  Service link is useless to me.  If you can’t figure out how to schedule an appointment for an oil change, you shouldn’t own a car.  Emergency assistance is another security blanket feature, but I also have the ability to call for help when I need it.  Finally, the monthly vehicle health report seems like a sales tactic to get people to push the service link button more often.

Most people will probably be interested in the Remote package.  The biggest feature in the package is remote start.  Paying for this service is also the only way you can remote start your car.  Seriously, despite the remote start capability being built into the car, the only way to use it is by paying a subscription service.  Potentially, you could pay for a key fob based remote starter several times over during the time you pay for the subscription service.  One advantage this has over a key fob system is that there’s virtually no distance limit as its not based on radio frequency.  Of course I realized this one day when I started the car only to discover my wife had taken the car to work that day, so she had a toasty warm car doing nothing in her work parking lot.  Other features of the Remote package include remote lock and unlock, stolen vehicle recovery and slowdown, and vehicle safeguard alerts which are the bane of teenagers everywhere.  I’ve used the remote lock a couple of times when I realized I forgot to lock the car and was too far to lock it with the fob.  I hope to never have to use the recovery and slowdown features, but they’re nice to have.  The safeguard alerts allow you to set up geofencing to alert you if the car has passed outside of a specific range, or you can set up speed alerts to let you know if someone has crossed a speed threshold.  This also allows you to set up a curfew that will annoy a driver into coming home on time.  I tried using all of these on my wife while she was out one day and came home to a very angry wife.

The last, and certainly least, package is the Guidance package.  Presumably, if you’re paying for Blue Link you already have a smartphone with access to Google, so paying a fee to have it in your car just seems silly.  Making this more useless is the presence of Android Auto and Apple Carplay in almost all Hyundai’s, giving you the ability to have these features AND MORE for free, right on your car’s navigation screen.

The Functionality

Whether you’re using a phone, a watch or an Alexa device, Blue Link is inexcusably slow.  I’ll often send the car the start command from my bedroom, walk downstairs, pet the dog, put on my shoes and coat, open the garage door and walk outside long before the car starts.  The same can be said for most of the other features.  Using the app to locate my car in a large parking lot often makes me think that the app crashed and in the time it takes to return a location, I’m usually sitting in the car.  I understand that my request is being routed from my device, through the cloud and wirelessly to my car, but we’re talking about minutes, not seconds.  Comparing this to using a key fob just wont work.  The only real advantage is that Blue Link isn’t subject to range like a radio frequency key fob.

The app has a number of other features, like point of interest searching, parking meter timer, dealer locator and guides.  They’re nice to have, but Google does most of that.  The most useful of the listed features would be the guides, which is supposed to include searchable versions of the owners manual and maintenance guide, but to date every time I click them they say the content is unavailable.

Conclusion

If you haven’t picked up on it already, I’m not a huge fan of Blue Link.  One service is something you’ll only use in an emergency, one is completely redundant and the service with the features that everyone wants costs more than having a remote starter while offering minimal added benefit.  Adding all three packages for three years costs about $715, which is roughly two car payments for many Hyundai owners.  If the Remote system were lightning quick I may be able to endorse paying for it, but it’s very much not and has been the butt of many jokes in my house these past few weeks.  I recommend starting the Blue Link trial period as soon as it gets cold where you live and enjoying one winter of free, albeit incredibly slow, remote start functionality.