What is Subaru Starlink? – A Detailed Review

What is Subaru Starlink? You may have heard of an amazing feature by Subaru known as Starlink but are not sure what it is. 

Well, the in-vehicle technology brings connectivity and safety to most Subaru drivers at an affordable price. Moreover, drivers always desire a safe and enjoyable drive to work, home, or school. 

However, most car manufacturers roll out in-vehicle technology in select higher-priced models.

Other times, the driver assist and safety features may come with exorbitant subscription fees that may discourage most of us. 

Well, Subaru Starlink is more affordable and reliable than most comparable alternatives. But what is it? How does it work? We’ve got all you need.

Table of Contents

Subaru Close-up logo

(Subaru Close-up logo)

Subaru Starlink is a package of in-vehicle systems running on 4G LTE to provide connectivity, safety, and entertainment features to drivers.

The system lets you access navigation, music, and weather. Surprisingly, you can connect to the system wirelessly.

Furthermore, you’ll get premium safety features, including vehicle diagnostic alerts and enhanced roadside assistance.

Check them out below:

Young man changing car wheel

(Young man changing car wheel)

Subaru Starlink is designed with reliable safety features that support remote services. This means you can start your engine or locate your vehicle remotely.

Additionally, an automatic collision notification calls customer support immediately after an airbag deploys. 

Subaru Starlink will run periodic diagnostics and alert you if your car has problems.

Furthermore, the security features can help you recover a stolen car.

Finally, it comes with an SOS feature for emergency purposes. 

Wi-Fi Connectivity Feature

Subaru Starlink has Wi-Fi connectivity in select Subaru vehicles. The high-speed internet allows passengers and drivers to access online content through a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Additionally, the Wi-Fi is capable, and eight devices can connect to it without buffering. 

Multimedia Feature

Subaru Starlink is designed with a reliable Multimedia feature that you can access via the high-quality touchscreen.

Generally, it allows you to use a mobile app to access SiriusXM satellite radio and Magellan NAVI. 

Furthermore, it grants access to the latest music, news, podcasts, and navigation for the driver and the passengers.

The service also has a hands-free voice command capability granting you control over certain features such as calls and climate control.

The Subaru Starlink Navigation, powered by TomTom, helps drivers master the roads.

Generally, it provides real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn directions for easier navigation.

Additionally, it has the following driver-assist features:

  • Voice-Activated Control.
  • TomTom quick search that gives you location suggestions based on your current location.
  • Free map updates for three years.
  • Full 3D images of the landscape.
  • The points of Interest feature gives you hundreds of hotels, gas stations, etc., on your route.
  • Advanced Lane Assistance at complicated interchanges to lessen lane confusion.
  • TomTom IQ routes to give you the fastest route to your destination.
Navigation map on car panel

(Navigation map on car panel)

Nothing is perfect, and even the best systems might sometimes fail. The Subaru Starlink system can sometimes malfunction or cease working for unknown reasons.

Generally, Subaru owners have complained that the system freezes while driving, leaving them wondering what may have gone wrong.

Also, some claim that updates by the company alleging to fix the systems don’t work. Therefore, there’s a need for prudent updates. 

Although Subaru Starlink is a reliable service, some challenges arise during use. If you check online, you’ll find owners raising the following complaints:

  • Total system shutdown and error notifications disappear only after you turn the car off for several hours.
  • Unresponsive touchscreen.
  • A malfunctioning radio that turns itself on and off.
  • The Subaru backup camera shuts down or freezes.
  • The system doesn’t remember any favorites in connected devices like smartphones.
  • The radio turns on with a loud volume when you turn on the car, even if it was initially off.
  • A malfunctioning display that turns off even when the infotainment system works.
  • A frequently failing and malfunctioning head unit.
An upset lady driving

(An upset lady driving)

If you’ve found yourself in a situation whereby the Subaru Starlink is malfunctioning, here’s what you can do.

Replace the Entire Head Unit

Some Starlink owners claim they had greater success changing the complete head unit.

However, such might not be viable as the head units are on backorder and can take up to 6 months to arrive.

Six months is a long time to wait for a replacement. But if you’re patient enough, you’ll get your head unit and system back up again.

Check Your Internet Connection

The problem might result from your internet connection. If you want Subaru Starlink to work well, you must have a reliable internet connection.

The whole system might fail if your connection becomes sluggish. Therefore, ensure your connection is strong all the time. 

Install Software Updates

Ensure you install the most recent software updates on your Subaru Starlink system. Furthermore, look in the system settings for updates or ask your local Subaru dealer for support.

Contact Customer Support

If all the above steps don’t restore the system to its working state, you should contact Subaru. They’ll troubleshoot the system and advice you on what to do next. 

Happy couple talking to car dealer

(Happy couple talking to car dealer)

Generally, subscribing to Subaru Starlink starts at $99 annually. Surprisingly, if you buy a pre-owned or brand-new Subaru, you’ll get Starlink Safety Plus free for one year. The package has some premium safety features like remote location and stolen vehicle recovery

However, if your Subaru has no Starlink subscription, you’ll pay $49 to get one year of the Safety Plus package. Afterward, you’ll pay $149 annually to renew the subscription. 


Yes! The system helps drivers to navigate new routes with accuracy. Additionally, it guarantees the safety of the car.

Furthermore, it has a multimedia feature that entertains you while you drive. Finally, you can access a WiFi connection for personal research and entertainment.

Therefore, having Subaru Starlink will serve you well. 

You’ll have to pay $149 annually to renew your Subaru Starlink subscription. The fee is quite lower when you contrast it with alternative packages from other manufacturers.

Moreover, you’ll get excellent features, including SOS emergency assistance and automatic collision notification.

It depends on the feature you’re using. Features like Remote Engine Start capability require a cellular communication service.

Therefore, it can only work with cellular service. Conversely, the Automatic Collision Notification relies on GPS signals.

Consequently, you can drive your car in areas with no cellular service since the system doesn’t need a cellular network.


In conclusion, Subaru Starlink has proven to be one of the best systems when it comes to car safety and multimedia services.

However, its installation might require extra hardware or cost you more money. Surprisingly, the costs will always vary from one dealer to another. 

Therefore, it would be best to contact the nearby Subaru dealership for more information. They can shed some light on the available packages and costs. 

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