Kia Niro Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recall reading some fine print when I purchased my Niro about UVO being "free" for a few years and then subject to an annual subscription cost, but no one was able to tell me what that cost was or what features I'd be giving up if I declined to pay.


Now I see that information is available on the Kia Owner's portal. When my free subscription expires in 2021, I have a choice of four packages.


The free package has these features:

  • Remote Charge & Stop Charge
  • Trip Info
  • 911 Connect
  • Charging Status Notification
  • Maintenance Reminder

The Care package costs $100/year and adds these features:

  • Vehicle Alarm Notification
  • Curfew Alert
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Diagnostic Alerts
  • Valet Alert
  • Geofence Alert
  • Speed Alert

The Plus package costs $225/year and adds these features:

  • Remote Lock & Unlock
  • Remote Climate
  • Find My Car
  • Remote Horn & Lights
  • Charge Scheduling
  • Remote Start & Stop

The Ultimate package (which is apparently what I currently have) costs $297/year and adds these features:

  • Send Destination to Car
  • UVO Skill (Amazon Alexa)
  • UVO Agent (Google Assistant)

Hmm - I'm not sure that I know how to Send Destination to Car, so I probably won't be paying for that. Remote Climate is a nice feature, but I don't use it often enough to justify the expense. I do use Charge Scheduling, but I assume maybe I can still do that via the dashboard controls after UVO expires. Where I come out: $100/year for roadside assistance might be worth paying for.


What do others think about this? Which package, if any, will you sign up for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
The brochure said free for 3 years. After that, I'll probably do the $225/yr for the remote climate because I do that a lot and I have a carport so my car is exposed to the elements. If I had a garage, I could probably do without the remote climate.

Note that if they are anything like OnStar, then you can threaten to cancel the service and probably get a huge discount. I did that for several years with my Volt. OnStar was like $120 a year for their monitoring and remote commands but every year I would call and threaten to cancel and they would offer me a year for $60 instead :-D
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
639 Posts
Since my lease is for three years, I won't be paying for anything on this car. Perhaps whatever I get as a replacement, as I'll have that car much longer. If I had to replace it today, it would likely be the e-Niro. But in three years there will be far more options.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
Yeesh, that's nuts. I'll pass on any of the non-free options. The only thing I really use is the battery monitoring when I'm charging which I assume is included in the remote charge / stop charge functionality. If not, that's what the ChargePoint app is for.

$225/year for remote climate? Yeah, no.

Has anyone tried the UVO skill or agents? Do they provide any additional functionality compared to the smartphone app?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
Has anyone tried the UVO skill or agents? Do they provide any additional functionality compared to the smartphone app?
I have. I can tell my Alexa smart speaker to, "start my kia." and she will send a command via UVO to my Niro. It's cool because you can incorporate it into your morning routine and that way you can say, "good morning Alexa, start my morning routine," and she'll tell you the weather, traffic, news, and also start your car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
I have. I can tell my Alexa smart speaker to, "start my kia." and she will send a command via UVO to my Niro. It's cool because you can incorporate it into your morning routine and that way you can say, "good morning Alexa, start my morning routine," and she'll tell you the weather, traffic, news, and also start your car.
Ok, that's kind of cool. In my case I've never needed or really wanted to start the car remotely, but it is nice that you can create routines like that and integrate the UVO functionality.

Not $297/yr cool for me, but cool nonetheless. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
What a ripoff! I haven’t checked my expiration date, but I am generally not happy with the smartphone app anyway. It takes a while to sync and then tells me my doors are unlocked when they are locked. Next thing, Kia will be charging an annual fee for CarPlay like BMW.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
639 Posts
What a ripoff! I haven’t checked my expiration date, but I am generally not happy with the smartphone app anyway. It takes a while to sync and then tells me my doors are unlocked when they are locked. Next thing, Kia will be charging an annual fee for CarPlay like BMW.
I too was discouraged with how slow the phone app was. However, I just had to replace my personal phone (the other is my work phone iPhone 6S). I now have an iPhone Xr, and it is worlds faster than my work phone. It also now appears to be refreshing the information when you first start the app, so maybe they were listening to us. My work phone is being upgraded to an Xr when I return from vacation in two weeks, so I'll see if it now also works faster. But they run some background stuff to monitor and manage the phone, so that might be slowing things down as well. I can compare them once I get the new phone, and see if it was just the older phone or if it's the management software that is causing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
I must be missing some features not having the PHEV but the HEV, but for me it's about a useless bloatware like Samsung apps on a smartphone or laptop. The diagnostics never works, it supposedly does the checks, then asks if you want to send data- then tells you it can't because you need to be off AA, and once when I stopped and went into UVO app, it still wouldn't send. The car locator doesn't work for same reason, locator apps on phone work better. The home graphics for the functions look like a Fisher-Price game, and none have worked or are not worth the trouble. I never use it, too frustrating and minimal usefullness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
394 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Just received an e-mail from "[email protected]" pointing out the fact that the subscription information is now available on the Kia Owner's Portal (we already knew that). But the e-mail also mentioned "or contact the UVO Call Center at (844) 886-9411, 7 days a week: 5:00 AM to 6:00 PM PT with any questions". If anyone decides to spend the time calling them, I'd be interested to hear if you thought the effort was worth your time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
According to the literature I received with my vehicle, Kia Roadside Assistance is part of the Warranty and lasts for 60 months or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. I suspect the Care Package "feature" refers to the Roadside assist button on the rear view mirror. If the button stops working, I think we can still dial Kia Roadside Assistance on our cell phones, rather than paying $100 a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Opinion only..... another of those insidious easy to start hard to cancel ways to tap into your finances. So buggy right now as to be frustrating. I use it some but it's largely a wast of time to do so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Charging a subscription fee for the communications features (remote climate etc.) of UVO is crazy. Nobody else except BMW tries this and it is a seriously stupid thing to do. It will drive buyers away. All the marketing when I purchased my PHEV stated that these features were free and made no mention of a time limit or subscription.


Kia tried a similar fee for making ACH bank payments for leases. I switched to paper checks to avoid the fee, which of course costs them more to process. After a few months the fee magically went away.


Love the car, why can't the decision makers at Kia stop messing up the experience with crazy schemes to suck up a few more bucks.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
639 Posts
Well, the communication path (cellular) itself has to be paid for somehow. Verizon or AT&T doesn't provide the connection free of charge. I'm sure it's not much per car, but it's still an overhead expense. So I can understand the desire to have to owner pay something. Does it reach the level they are asking for? I doubt it. And I believe you'll find that more than BMW charges for it. I don't think General Motors offers OnStar for free, which is just another form of the same product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
What you are saying about it costing some fee for communication makes sense.

I have a question for you, I know about cars but not so much about wireless communication.

Do these cars have a modem type of device in them? Can they be used as hotspots for jumping on the internet? I apologize ahead of time if these are foolish questions. I don't understand how they communicate wirelessly with smartphones etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Yes, a cellular connection is not free, but it is cheap now days for bulk contracts for IOT style devices.

In order to get remote climate you have to get the UVO Plus package for $22.50 per month, which is more than I spend for fuel and electricity as I drive less than 500 miles per month and electricity is free at work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
What you are saying about it costing some fee for communication makes sense.

I have a question for you, I know about cars but not so much about wireless communication.

Do these cars have a modem type of device in them? Can they be used as hotspots for jumping on the internet? I apologize ahead of time if these are foolish questions. I don't understand how they communicate wirelessly with smartphones etc.
Hotspot? Some cars support this feature but not the Niro. My assumption is that the cellular modem in the Niro is very simple and doesn't have a lot of extra capacity. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the system used SMS (text messages) for communications rather than actual cellular data. Basically how I think it works is like this:

On your phone you log into Kia UVO services. This connects your phone to the UVO server at Kia. When you want to send a message to your car, say to turn on the A/C, what happens is your phone sends the request to the UVO server which then forwards that command to your vehicle. The car completes the request and sends a response to the server which finally sends that info back to your phone. Seems a bit roundabout but it's actually simpler to implement. Your phone and car don't need to have any information about each other. All they needs to know is how to talk to the UVO server. The server handles everything else.

However just because it's simple doesn't mean it's free. Kia has to maintain the servers, pay for the cellular access and continue to support the apps for Apple and Android. And yeah, in the end they expect to make a buck or two off of it.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top