BMW Malaysia has introduced a range of new subscription services that are available via the BMW ConnectedDrive Store, which allows customers to enable features on their car, provided it comes with the relevant hardware.

We’ve been through this before, as back in December 2019, the company confirmed that there will be a one-time activation fee that users will need to pay for Apple CarPlay, if the vehicle didn’t already come with the feature enabled.

This is after a four-tier subscription model was eliminated, which was announced as part of Apple CarPlay Preparation’s introduction in Malaysia back in July 2019. The defunct model had a pricing structure where users could opt for a three-month renewable trial period before committing to a yearly, three-year or unlimited access plan.

As at the time of writing, the local ConnectedDrive Store has nine services listed, some of which are marked as “trial now” that allows owners to try features before committing to a subscription or one-time fee for them. Services without the “trial now” label include Adaptive M suspension, which is offered with unlimited access for a one-time fee of RM1,880 including sales and service tax (SST).

Apple CarPlay Preparation remains on the list, and is still being offered at RM1,299 for unlimited access, as is IconicSounds Sport (RM640 one-time fee) for BMW electric vehicles (iX, iX3 and i4) that are equipped with the IconicSounds Electric system. The last of four services that aren’t marked as “trial now” is USB Map Update, which will cost RM269 yearly.

Moving on to services that are labelled as “trial now,” there’s the BMW Drive Recorder, which appears to use a vehicle’s onboard cameras to film its surroundings. This follows a four-tier subscription model, with a monthly fee of RM55, a yearly fee of RM235, a three-year plan for RM549 or unlimited access for RM1,239 – a one-month trial is available at no charge.

The same is true of Driving Assistant Plus, with a three-month trial costing nothing, while you’ll have to pay for a monthly (RM170), yearly (RM1,690), three-year (RM2,640) and unlimited (RM3,750) plan.

Other services listed include front seat heating (free one-month trial, RM80 monthly, RM780 yearly, RM1,230 for three years, RM1,750 for unlimited access), high beam assistant (free one-month trial, RM40 monthly, RM370 yearly, RM550 for three years, RM800 for unlimited access) and steering wheel heating (free one-month trial, RM50 monthly, RM410 yearly, RM690 for three years, RM950 for unlimited access).

Some of these subscription services have also been rolled out to other markets, so they are not exclusive to our country. A check with BMW Malaysia revealed that these subscription services are now live and were put in place so owners can pay for them only if they need it, and that some of these applications/features have licensing agreements.

How do you feel about these subscription services? Do you think you should pay to enable features for hardware that’s already fitted to a car? Are you a current BMW owner and have experienced this yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.