Is Audi Making Climate Control A Subscription?

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 15, 2024
2024 Audi A3

While consumers and automotive journalists have vehemently voiced their opinions on subscription-based features that automakers have introduced, automakers continue to push forward with them. Case in point, Audi is now offering the refreshed A3 with subscription-based features that most drives get as standard equipment on mainstream vehicles.

The 2025 Audi A3 arrives in Europe with a refresh with an updated exterior design and a new hatchback model called the A3 Allstreet. While shoppers will surely find a lot to like with the refreshed A3, we’re sure Audi’s move to offer the A3 with some questionable features through a subscription will have some shoppers rethinking their purchase.

Shoppers in Europe will have to pay an in-car subscription fee to be able to use features like adaptive cruise control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone automatic climate control, and automatic high-beam assist. The features that are available through a subscription vary depending on region, so some countries may get more features than others.

The way shoppers have to access the subscription service is troubling, too. Shoppers have to upgrade to get Audi’s MMI navigation system, which provides owners with access to Audi’s app store. After that, owners can choose the features through subscriptions that include a single month, six months, and three years. Shoppers can also purchase the features outright.

2024 Audi A3 Dashboard

The introduction of subscription-based features, at least for the moment, is just for 2025 A3 models in Europe. Audi sent Motor1 a statement where the automaker confirmed that the U.S. version of the 2025 A3 “will have the same offer structure for Function on Demand as the previous 2024 model year.” That means that adaptive cruise control and Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system should be the only features that are available through subscriptions.

While shoppers in the U.S. can breathe a sigh of relief, this is a bad sign for the future. Audi will certainly be looking at how many shoppers pay for the subscriptions and make changes based on the data. If it finds that a lot of shoppers are spending extra for the features, there’s no reason why the automaker wouldn’t make similar changes for the U.S. market.

It seems like German automakers are hellbent on offering subscription features. BMW introduced subscription-based features in 2023 and Mercedes-Benz offers extra performance for the EQE and EQS models through a subscription. While locking extra performance behind a subscription makes sense, things like dual-zone automatic climate control, smartphone compatibility, and adaptive cruise control are standard features on vehicles that aren’t considered to be upscale luxury cars.

Pictured: 2024 Audi A3

Source: Motor1

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, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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