Connected car services like SiriusXM Guardian promise extra safety, security, and convenience through advanced technology integrations. But are these add-on packages really worth the additional monthly fees and hardware costs?
The short answer is that SiriusXM Guardian can be worth it for some drivers, but the value depends on your specific needs, budget, and existing tech features.
In this detailed guide, we’ll cover what SiriusXM Guardian offers, how much it costs, what users and experts say about it, who it benefits most, and alternatives to consider. After reading real user reviews and comparing the pros and cons, you’ll have a better sense of whether SiriusXM Guardian is a smart choice for you.
Table of Contents
Overview of SiriusXM Guardian Features
SiriusXM Guardian is a subscription-based connected vehicle service offered through SiriusXM, the satellite radio provider. It works by installing a small wireless modem device in your vehicle that links to an app on your smartphone.
With this connectivity, SiriusXM Guardian gives you access to various safety, security, and convenience features, including:
- Crash Assistance – If an airbag deploys or a severe collision is detected, Guardian can contact emergency services and provide them with your location.
- Roadside Assistance – Request help through the app if you break down, have a flat tire, run out of gas, or need a tow truck.
- Stolen Vehicle Assistance – If your vehicle is stolen, you can contact SiriusXM to help locate and recover it.
- Advanced Automatic Collision Notification – Get emergency responders to the scene faster with automatic crash data like the severity, type of crash and potential injuries.
- Emergency Services Dispatch – Directly connect with 911 operators after a collision with just the push of a button.
- Remote Vehicle Services – Use the app to remotely start your car, lock/unlock doors, honk the horn, and see where it’s parked.
- Vehicle Health Reports – Get monthly diagnostic emails that highlight potential issues like battery life or open recalls.
- Family Alerts and Location Sharing – Let family members track your location and get notified if you leave a designated area.
These features cater towards drivers looking for that extra peace of mind on the road, especially parents of teen drivers. The service aims to provide help and assistance in the moments when you need it most.
But most importantly, how much does SiriusXM Guardian cost? And are all those features really useful enough in everyday driving to warrant the price? Let’s break down the costs.
SiriusXM Guardian Pricing and Plans
One of the biggest considerations with SiriusXM Guardian is the additional monthly and one-time fees you’ll pay on top of your regular car expenses:
- Hardware Cost – To enable SiriusXM Guardian in your vehicle, you first need to purchase the modem device and have it professionally installed. This usually costs between $150-$300 depending on the make and model. Some brands include it standard.
- Monthly Service Fee – Once the device is installed, you have to pay an add-on monthly service fee along with your normal SiriusXM subscription. This usually ranges from $8-$12 per month.
- Activation and Installation – When you first sign up, there is usually an activation fee around $15 and installation fee around $75 if not purchased pre-installed.
Some other costs to note:
- It’s cheaper if you already have an existing paid SiriusXM satellite radio subscription. Adding Guardian is around $8/month versus $12/month for non-subscribers.
- There are normally special offers and bundle packages available, especially if activating on a new vehicle. Look for deals that waive activation/installation fees.
- Cancelling requires paying an early termination fee that decreases over time. It starts at $50 and reduces by $10 every 6 months.
So in total, you’re looking at roughly $150-$500 in first year costs, then $100-$150 annually after that. That’s a significant ongoing expense for connected services on top of your cell phone bill and existing vehicle costs.
Ultimately whether or not Guardian is “worth it” depends on how much value you personally get from the features based on your driving habits, risk factors, and budget.
Next let’s look at what users and experts think after testing SiriusXM Guardian to see if the price matches the performance.
SiriusXM Guardian Reviews and Ratings
The most important measure of any product’s value is real customer experiences. Here is a summary of SiriusXM Guardian reviews based on user ratings and expert tests:
- Simple setup – Many note the modem is easy to activate and doesn’t require advanced technical know-how.
- Reliable emergency response – The automatic crash assistance successfully contacts first responders in the event of a collision.
- Useful vehicle health alerts – Monthly emails provide helpful maintenance reminders proactively.
- Top-notch customer service – Users report positive experiences handling issues with helpful representatives.
- Expensive – The monthly service fee seems high for what drivers get out of the basic features.
- Limitations tracking teens – Parents note the location tracking and alerts don’t work perfectly for monitoring new drivers.
- Unnecessary for some – Features like crash response are redundant if you already have OnStar or a mobile phone.
- Spotty remote access – Some users report unreliability using the remote app features like unlocking doors.
The consensus is that SiriusXM Guardian works well for its core purpose of crash assistance and alerts, but the monthly price is hard to justify for many drivers. The extra features don’t provide enough utility.
Is SiriusXM Guardian Worth the Cost? Key Factors to Consider
When deciding if SiriusXM Guardian is worth the investment for you, here are some key factors to consider:
Your Driving Habits and Risk Factors
Frequent drivers who spend a lot of time on the road or in risky conditions are more likely to benefit from emergency features and crash assistance. Teens and elderly drivers are also more at risk.
Your Existing Vehicle Technology
Many newer vehicles already come equipped with telematics and connected services like OnStar. No need to pay extra for redundancy. But if your car lacks features, Guardian fills in gaps.
Your Budget and Cost Sensitivity
Guardian involves a significant ongoing cost. For budget-focused drivers, the value may not be there for the monthly price and hassle.
Your Desire for Safety and Family Alerts
Parents of new drivers tend to find the most benefit from Guardian’s location monitoring and alerts. For single drivers or couples, the security provides less value.
Your Access to Smartphones
With all vehicles having Bluetooth connectivity, most functions like emergency calls and location sharing are available on your phone already.
By objectively considering these factors against your driving profile and needs, you can determine if the benefits outweigh the subscription cost.
Next let’s compare SiriusXM Guardian to other alternatives on the market.
How Does SiriusXM Guardian Compare to Other Options?
Here is how SiriusXM Guardian stacks up against other connected car packages and options:
- OnStar – Offers very similar safety and security features. But Guardian is cheaper if you’re already a SiriusXM customer. OnStar doesn’t require a paid subscription.
- Car Insurance Apps – Insurance company apps like Progressive or Allstate offer some of the same vehicle services and crash response benefits for free if you’re a customer.
- Smartphone Apps – General purpose apps like Life360 have comparable family location tracking and alerts for much lower monthly fees.
- Vehicle Brand Packages – Some car makes include their own branded telematics like Hyundai Blue Link or Volvo On Call. Compare if already getting a new car.
- Aftermarket Devices – Third-party add-on products similar to Guardian are available from providers like Hum by Verizon. Requires extra installation.
For most drivers, Guardian doesn’t definitively beat out competitors on price or features. Carefully compare included services across different options relevant to your vehicle.
Pro Tips to Save Money on SiriusXM Guardian
If you do decide SiriusXM Guardian is worth trying, here are some tips to save money on costs:
- Buy from a reseller or used device instead of new from the dealer
- Negotiate activation and installation fees if buying a car
- Ask about short term introductory trial packages
- Sign up for promotional bundles with longer term commitments
- Avoid cancelling during the first 6 months due to termination fees
- Lock in fixed price longer term plans if offered
And remember to go in with clear expectations on which features you actually need so you can select the right service level and term length.
The Bottom Line – Who is SiriusXM Guardian Worth it For?
At the end of the day, SiriusXM Guardian provides an extra layer of safety and assurance on the road for drivers willing to pay a monthly premium. It can certainly give peace of mind knowing emergency services can be contacted at the push of a button.
But weigh the costs carefully against your personal driving needs and existing technology. For teens, elderly drivers, and worried parents, the investment may be warranted for the added security.
For many drivers, however, the convenience may not justify $100+ in annual fees given most features are already available through a smartphone. Do a 30-day free trial first before committing.
Hopefully this detailed breakdown of SiriusXM Guardian’s pricing, features, reviews and alternatives helps you determine if it’s the right fit your vehicle. Drive safely!