First, let me say that I'm not a current Niro owner, but a potential owner (the Niro Ex Premium Plug-In looks very enticing). Also, I wasn't quite sure if "Electronics, Audio, and Lighting" was the best location for this post, so let me know if you think I'd get a better response in a different area.
The one thing I can't seem to figure out from online research is what the UVO subscription gets me. From what I can tell, it's separate from the Sirius XM subscription, which can provide traffic info in addition to satellite radio. But, I can't seem to figure out why I would need the UVO subscription - what would stop working if I didn't renew it? I'm hoping a current owner (or owners) can help me out.
I've looked at the "Kia Uvo" entry on Wikipedia <questionable policy>that would have been a link if forum website allowed it</questionable policy>, but it seems limited to the UVO eServices. It does, however, start with this statement (emphasis mine): "UVO eServices is a subscription-free OEM infotainment and telematics service offered by Kia Motors America on select vehicles for the United States market." That seems to indicate that the UVO eServices don't require a subscription - but perhaps the Wiki article is out-of-date.
The name "UVO" seems to cover a lot of ground for Kia. For instance, here's a line from the Terms of Service: "The term “UVO SERVICES” refers to our suite of UVO products (including, without limitation, UVO eServices, UVO link, UVO luxe and UVO eco, but excluding UVO play)." They also make reference to a "UVO Services App", "MyUVO", and "UVO Services Hardware installed in your Vehicle".
From what I can tell, "UVO link", "UVO luxe", and "UVO eco" are just apps for use on mobile devices. OK, I got that. But, what's "UVO play"?
How does the subscription impact those apps? Do they stop working once the subscription expires? Is that what the subscription does - allows the vehicle to connect to the cellular network, and therefore allow the apps to connect to the vehicle thru the cell network? The online Niro brochure states (about UVO eco) that "Cellular and GPS coverage is required to use most features.", which seems to reinforce this interpretation. But also begs the question... what features work without cellular coverage?
I seem to remember that at least one app ("UVO Services App" maybe?) required a USB connection to the car. Does that app stop working when the UVO subscription expired? It certainly doesn't seem like it needs to stop working (no cellular data required), but it would be possible for Kia to make it stop working if they wanted to. The same could be said for apps like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto - no need for the vehicle to connect to anything, so they don't need a "subscription". But, again, it would be possible for Kia to stop them from working without a "subscription". That would be troubling to me.
Finally, the Wiki article mentions many services as part of UVO eServices, some of which definitely require cellular connection (e.g. 911 connect). Would those stop working without a subscription? Would the navigation services stop working too?
Thanks for any help.
I sympathize because I had similar questions before I purchased my 2018 USA PHEV. I never got a straight answer, and while I now have a clearer impression of what I probably lose when the free UVO subscription expires, it's only an impression, because it hasn't expired yet.
"UVO" appears to be an overused brand name that applies to a lot of things. Some of those things are apparently permanent, while others depend on a subscription, which is free for the first few years.
When I'm sitting in my Niro with my cellphone in my pocket, there are actually two cell phones in the car. I can use the blue tooth (or android auto) integration to access the phone in my pocket (except if I'm using Android Auto, it probably needs to be out of my pocket and plugged in to the USB) in order to send and receive calls. The second cell phone is a cellular modem that's built into the head unit on the dashboard and I can't make calls on that in general, but I can use it to make a call that requests roadside assistance, or asks for recordings on how to use the car. It also has a potentially dubious feature for scheduling a maintenance appointment - I'll probably never even explore that. It also has a feature that no one seems to know anything about and which is off by default, but if you turn it on, documentation indicates that it will call 911 and relay your GPS coordinates if an airbag ever deploys. The manuals contradict themselves on the 911 feature: in one place they claim that it only works if you have a subscription and in another place they indicate that this feature always works, if you turn it on (because it's off by default). It also allows requests from the internet to contact your car and request data or give commands, and that's where UVO subscription comes in.
My impression is that UVO is completely unrelated to Sirius XM. My impression is than when the subscription expires, I keep navigation capability, but I lose the ability to use the UVO Eco App, and I lose the ability to request roadside assistance via a button on my mirror. But I think/hope I will retain other features, such as the ability to give voice commands to navigation and other features that accept voice commands (this is an EX Premium feature, not sure about other trims).
I previously described the features that the UVO Eco app provides in this post:https://www.kianiroforum.com/forum/2...-question.html
I think you lose those features when the subscription expires. And of all those features, most folks here seem to be attracted to the remote climate feature, except it takes an ungodly amount of time to engage with over a smart phone, so when mine expires, I'm not likely to be tempted to pay $$ to renew.
Back when I was shopping, if anyone would have provided me with the number for Kia Customer Assistance, I probably would have called them to ask this same question. Back then, I didn't have a manual that provided me with this number, but now I do. The number is "1-800-333-4KIA(4542)". If you call them and they provide an interesting answer to this question, I hope you'll take the time to post that information back here.
Good luck in your quest. I hope you buy a Niro PHEV - I think it's a great car.