Kia Niro Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My free subscription to Sirius that came with the car is about to expire. I've received a boatload of e-mail and snail mail from them encouraging me to sign up. The e-mail that arrived today is offering to give me another three months for just $2.00, but the fine print gives me pause: subscription auto renews and the agreement states that "you must call us to cancel". When I google for "Sirius Complaints", there are at least some number of people complaining that they spent a few hours on the phone trying to cancel. I'm contemplating putting a few dollars on a pre-paid Visa and giving them that number, but their user agreement states "For recurring payments, the gift card issuer may not permit you to use gift cards", leading me to wonder if that approach will be successful.


I have mixed feelings about the service. I'm mostly annoyed with Kia for installing a sound system that had so much logic devoted to supporting Sirius: I was especially annoyed by popup messages on the console that appeared several times a day in the last few weeks warning me that my Sirius Subscription was about to expire. They obscured the navigation map and they wouldn't go away until I clicked the "cancel" button on the console every time, several times a day. I'm pretty sure that I paid Kia a bit more for this "feature" that I never wanted. The programming on Sirius is sometimes nice, especially when traveling in areas where radio reception is spotty. On the other hand, sound quality isn't great and radio reception in my Niro is worse than it was in my previous car for the same stations, leading me to wonder if the antennae on the Niro might have been chosen in a way to accommodate Sirius, at the expense of good reception of terrestrial stations nearby. Also, some of the Sirius stations are cluttered with commercials and people trying to sound like DJs from days gone by, both of which significantly detract from the listening experience.


But, I do live in an area where the live traffic data displayed on the navigation system is occasionally helpful, and while I'd be willing to let the rest of the Sirius subscription expire, my impression is that I'll lose the traffic data feed on the navigation system if I do that. Does anyone have experience with this? Do traffic updates stop when the the subscription expires? Is it possible to configure the navigation system to get traffic data from some other provider?


I googled for "siriusxm complaints" and found a lot of complaints. So I have an abundance of reasons why I shouldn't sign up. Does anyone have a reason why I should?


Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
589 Posts
I have it since 2013, love it! and i alway's get a fair price each year.!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
You could always use your phone and android auto for navigation via google maps. You will need to connect it via a usb however. I'd also have a look into something like Spotify. A lot of great music and you can build and download custom playlists to prevent using data.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Agree with @Kleen. I use Spotify. Better price and customized playlists of my own liking. Plus, if you use an Android phone (I assume you can do this with the fruit phone as well), the complete hands-free option to play from your Spotify library via Google Assistant is excellent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
I had satellite radio in my previous car and tried it out but my commute was 15 minutes each way so it wasn’t worth it for me even though I liked it. I never even bothered to activate it in my Niro. I have been getting the emails and letters that my free trial period was ending. I had to make sure that they weren’t saying that I was going to start being charged. I sure hope not since I never activated it.

I use navigation and streaming music via Android Auto from my phone. The only downsides is that they use data and I wish there was a station or playlist that would mix the genres of music all in one to get a nice variety. For instance, there’s usually rock music for each decade, but it’d be good to have a station that played songs from all of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestions. But I'm still wondering: does the traffic feature on the built in navigation system still work after the Sirius XM trial period expires, or does it stop providing live traffic congestion information?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
I'd think giving Sirius any payment information would be a sirus (sic) challenge to then quit the service. I had to speak firmly to them to stop nagging me, having only used the trial service (and not much of it) and never subscribed.

Any streaming online music service will be far superior to Sirius in sound quality, and many of them are free if you don't mind the occasional ad. Waze is the primary source for realtime traffic and rerouting in the US (and likely Sirius' source) and is a free app.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
178 Posts
Check their web site. Like you, I did not want anything that would "auto renew" because they are likely going to renew you to the HIGHEST package/price tier. They have lower tiers, better yearly price, that include most all of the commercial free major music and news channels and NOT the fluff and/or sports stuff. It's much better pricing for music/news only.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Kia has allowed Sirius XM to be preinstalled. Sure it is initially free. When you buy a Kia the question is who does own it.
If the owner can't have Sirius XM removed immediately after purchase then the owner never really owns the car entirely.
Instead owners who at the outset will never subscribe to Sirius XM are plagued with appeals to sign up and it never seems to end.
I expect to get bombarded by Sirius XM marketing as long as I have my Kia Premium EX PHEV.
So much for ownership
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
I’ve been with SXM thru several vehicles. I just renegotiated a continuance of the service for a year @ $6 per month. Actually just shy of that. Was ready to cancel but they shuttle you to customer retention where they will try to keep you. The deal I asked for was a continuance of a 6 month deal they had offered when my new Niro free trial ran out. While I agree that streaming music services are an alternative, I find that even with CarPlay/Apple music and Siri the streamers are a bit fussy, and there is the data use issue. Maybe Spotify or others are better in the interface usage but one other thing is you might find yourself in a weak mobile signal area where the Sat signal is going to always be there...tunnels notwithstanding. This is certainly a consideration on road trips out of your home base area. Another option is to have music or podcasts or audio books downloaded to your devices including a usb stick (haven’t tried that one but it should be doable). For me SXM is easy and a good option esp at the retention price nad I like having the “live” news and sports. So if you like it do some arm wrestling, they’re willing to deal. One warning, be prepared to be on hold awhile...at least when I called it was 45 freakin minutes. Go get your deal fans ;)=
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
Data issue? Either you are living in the boondocks (not that there is anything wrong with that), or you haven't changed your plan in a very long time. Unlimited is cheap compared to just a short time ago. I mostly stream NPR or listen to my own music, but I'd trial (or scope out online) all the major music services, some undoubtably buffer more time on your device so you don't have music dropouts when the connection goes bad for a few miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for all of the tips. But I'm still hoping that someone can confirm or refute the idea that when the subscription expires, the GPS navigation system stops receiving live traffic data (or not). The owner's manuals are silent on this question. Even the SiriusXM literature says precious little about their traffic service. But for me, its the only feature that I'd contemplate spending more than a few dollars for (and even then, I'm only willing spend a few).

My suspicion is that when the trial subscription expires, the traffic data probably stops working too.

Several years ago, I was shopping for a portable GPS and I noticed that Garmin and Tom-Tom were the two top players in that market, and that both were bragging about new features with their newest models that offered free life-time map updates and free life-time traffic data. A little research revealed that a few years prior to my interest in purchasing one of those devices, people typically paid over $100 for map updates and paid about $100/year for traffic data. Apparently, competition in that market segment caused the two major vendors to drop their onerous prices for updates to zero. But when we purchase a car, it's a different a market, we are focused on bigger things than just the navigation systems, and so we're still being held hostage because the vendors (e.g. SiriusXM, which I suspect might be partnered with Tom-Tom) have figured out that they don't have a lot of competition from consumers: they just have to get lock-in from the car manufacturer.

I wound up buying a Garmin GPS at that time. The traffic data is slightly helpful (I like that it warns me when I'm on the freeway that traffic is likely to be stopped 2 miles ahead of where I am), but it's not especially reliable (sometimes it tells me five minutes after I've come to a stop on the freeway that traffic is congested in my area: thanks for nothing!). But it's better than nothing, and map updates are free, as is the traffic data.


My few months of experience with the Niro's traffic system leads me to think that it might be a bit faster at reporting current traffic conditions than my portable Garmin unit was. It's definitely not using Garmin technology (at least, not any Garmin technology that I recognize) but I have the impression that it might be using Tom-Tom technology (saw a Tom-Tom reference somewhere in some documentation, but I no longer recall where I saw it). So I slightly prefer it over my portable Garmin unit for that reason, not to mention other reasons (it's built in to the dash so harder to steal, it has a bigger display, it's voice output is integrated with the car's audio system so it can mute the music when it needs to talk to me, etc).


But! It looks like map updates for the Kia Niro navigation system are published twice a year and they cost a minimum of $145 for each update (vs free with my portable Garmin unit), and it looks like the best deal I could get for SiriusXM Traffic updates might be $72/year, vs free with my portable Garmin unit.


For now, I've decided to go with the $2/90-day extension that Sirius offered to me. That meant that I had to agree to their onerous terms (it will auto-renew if I don't intervene beforehand, I can't cancel via their website (except apparently if I live in "some states" maybe I can) and I have to call them when I want to cancel). To give myself a small bit of protection, I purchased a pre-paid Visa card for $20 and used that to pay my $2.00 fee. So hopefully there's a firewall limiting how far this can go if I decide to cancel by phone but am not able to reach them if I decided to cancel (everyone says it takes close to an hour on hold before you get a person when you call to cancel).


I might eventually switch to the suggestion of using Google Maps or Waze, but currently my cell phone plan only costs me $75/year and while it includes a data plan, the amount of data is limited, and I'd prefer not to squander it in that way. Still, it might turn out to be more cost-effective to purchase extra data than to purchase a Sirius full year subscription. I also have the option of putting my old portable Garmin back on the dashboard. That would be kind of obnoxious to have to do that, because I consider the built in GPS to be preferable, but at least the Garmin isn't going to charge me $145 for map updates and an additional $72/year for traffic data.



I think we need to figure out a way to let the auto manufacturers know that the sweet-heart deals they sign up for with SiriusXM are not cool and we want to be free to choose our own service providers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
88 Posts
What’s your cellphone? Almost doesn’t matter since Google maps, Waze (it’s sibling) or Apple Maps/CarPlay will use your phone GPS on either IOS or Android.. In my case I use Apple CarPlay and it comes right up on the center Niro display when the phone is connected. I’ve switched to using the CarPlay option since it works well. I was an early adopter of Waze but I’m going with CarPlay for now. You DO NOT NEED SXM to get GPS...just your phone, unless you like their kind of blah traffic reports. Any of the cellphone app options are better for real time traffic navigation IMO, and the Niro display is great. Now if you don’t have a modern cellphone that’s another issue entirely. BTW if your data plan is really slim the navigation apps don’t seem to use much. I’ve never had a big hit, and I use it all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
758 Posts
My suspicion is that when the trial subscription expires, the traffic data probably stops working too.
Actually, it still works without Sirius, at least on my EX Premium PHEV, I assume it's the same for other trim levels.

We let the Sirius service expire after the trial period and we still get traffic info. Turns out it uses the HD radio to receive traffic information. I found this in the manual for the infotainment system:

The Manual said:
The HD Radio™ Data Service provides
users with information such as Weather,
Doppler Radar and Traffic by using HD
Radio™ Technology.
So there ya go, you should still get traffic info if you don't subscribe to Sirius. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
What’s your cellphone? .
I have a reasonably-decent BLU Android phone with a tracfone plan. It's perfectly capable of running Google maps and I've used it occasionally for that. But I'm pretty miserly with how I use it. I purchase a two year plan for about $150 and that comes with a few GB of data, but I try to conserve the data usage so that it won't run out before the end of the renewal period.


Actually, it still works without Sirius, at least on my EX Premium PHEV, I assume it's the same for other trim levels.

We let the Sirius service expire after the trial period and we still get traffic info. Turns out it uses the HD radio to receive traffic information.

So there ya go, you should still get traffic info if you don't subscribe to Sirius. :D
Thank you! That's what I was hoping to hear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
It would be interesting to know exactly how the traffic data is provided. I can picture that some states or agencies may sell or otherwise provide realtime traffic from highway monitors. I'd think those would be limited to the largest highways or city streets. Or it may be gotten from apps that are sending data, perhaps without the users knowledge.

While some sort of critical mass is needed for good data almost everywhere, it would seem that Waze would beat any other system for realtime traffic and best rerouting.

I've yet to use Waze as it does require agreeing to full time location information being phoned home to Waze, even when the app is not active. Great for Waze and other Waze users, but I don't trust Google (who owns Waze) not to sell my location and places frequently visited to others. It just seems intrusive to me. I will try it when I update my OS to Apple's latest that can run Waze in Carplay. I have other reasons not to update, including a favorite game that will break permanently, so it may be a while.

I do use Google Maps, which also has some privacy issues, but I do minimize them slightly by using it as a non-signed in user.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
The traffic data that I receive on my old Garmin unit pretty clearly comes from municipal cameras. I say that because there are some areas where the traffic data seems to be completely unreliable. The traffic data on the Niro's navigation system seems to be a bit better in terms of timeliness, perhaps also in terms of coverage, but I'm not 100% certain about that. I imagine that Waze is likely to be the best on both counts, and I don't think the feeds I get from Garmin or the Niro navigation system are using that, not certain though.


If you have a Google account, they actually seem to have a reasonably good interface for allowing you to see and control how much data they have on you. They even send me an occasional e-mail reminding me to review it and change my settings if I don't like what they are doing. Contrast this with the extremely obnoxious SiriusXM privacy policy. Just one small aspect of the brain-dead approach that SiriusXM has to privacy can be seen on this page: https://www.siriusxm.com/youradchoices (yeah right - like I"m going to go and read the privacy policies of 60 different companies listed on their web page and figure out how to tell each of those companies that I don't want them to track or contact me). And that's only the tip of the iceberg: the SiriusXM privacy policy has several other affronts to the idea of privacy that they just blow on by: apparently their attitude is that if you don't like it, tough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,886 Posts
While Google may have some laudable transparency about the data they have on you, it is in no way transparent about who they sell it to or share it with (sometimes to other Alphabet divisions or companies), or how those third parties use it. The correlation of data that Google collects from you, even when not logged in, is amazing. You can see direct effects from targeted ads to you based on activity you were not even aware Google had access to. Buyers of the data can quickly determine where you live and work, all the roads you drive on, and the shops you frequent. Also if you have a lover. Things like this last one show how such correlations can impact you hugely if someone moves against you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
494 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Yes, I didn't mean to suggest that Google is great, just better. Did you open the "youradchoices" link that I posted for the SiriusXM site? The guidance on that page is insane! To paraphrase, "here's a list of 50 or so companies that might snoop on you if you visit our web site, and we're not going to offer you any protection options to limit that, but you can click on these 50+ links and wade through all of the obtuse privacy policies of each company and then contact those companies to limit what they do with your information." SiriusXM should be boycotted for that alone, even if you like their service, agree with the fees, and don't have any concerns about how they've co-opted the car manufacturers to install hardware features that we pay for which only work with SiriusXM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Kia has allowed Sirius XM to be preinstalled. Sure it is initially free. When you buy a Kia the question is who does own it.
If the owner can't have Sirius XM removed immediately after purchase then the owner never really owns the car entirely.
Instead owners who at the outset will never subscribe to Sirius XM are plagued with appeals to sign up and it never seems to end.
I expect to get bombarded by Sirius XM marketing as long as I have my Kia Premium EX PHEV.
So much for ownership
There is VERY little true ownership of anything in the U.S. anymore. Pay cash for your car and you own it, right? Don’t pay for registration while still driving it and it will eventually be impounded. Own your property and house with no leins on it so it’s yours right? No kids in school, you are self sufficient and never leave the property. But if you don’t pay the yearly tax man then eventually it will catch up to you and you will have a new place to live.

It’s all give and take. If you want to play, you have to obey the rules.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top