Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A person is shown unlocking a 2024 Subaru Solterra with the MySubaru App.

The MySubaru App: The Best Part About My Subaru

I recently traded in my 2006 Honda Civic for a 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, and I love it. From the push-button start to its 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, the Crosstrek suits my lifestyle and enhances my drive every day. One of my favorite features, however, has to be the MySubaru app, which is a convenient, user-friendly companion on all my travels.

Setting up your app is easy—so easy, in fact, that I drove off the dealership with it already set up. You just download the free application from your smartphone’s app store, and after your purchase, you will receive an email that your new Subaru has been added to your account. Currently, I only have one Subaru vehicle, but it’s easy to add more. If you choose, you can also manually add a new vehicle when the rest of the family jumps on the Subaru bandwagon.

The MySubaru app can be used by any Subaru owner without a subscription to STARLINK; this is a suite of in-vehicle connectivity tech that serves the driver many convenient options. It comes for an extra cost, but I found the available feature to be reasonably priced for all it offers. Capabilities for non-STARLINK subscribers still include helpful features such as accessing vehicle service history, how-to videos, and owner manuals; you can also find the closest Subaru Certified Service Centers and schedule services for your vehicle. However, if you want to get the most out of your MySubaru app, the STARLINK subscription is worth the extra cost.

Although it would make more sense to include STARLINK with the purchase of new vehicles, it does grant subscribers a fantastic suite of features, such as remote start, lock, and unlock capabilities, as well as a vehicle locator and vehicle health alerts in real-time. You can take advantage of all these features—plus 24-hour roadside assistance—with a Subaru STARLINK subscription. The MySubaru app with STARLINK is easily the best feature of owning my Subaru.

A close up shows a person pressing the STARLINK button in a 2016 Subaru Legacy.

Convenient Daily Use

The features I use on a regular basis consist of the remote start with climate presets and the lock and unlock function. These are particularly great because they don’t require a line of sight to work.

Remote Start

When I’m getting ready for work in the morning, remote start comes in handy. I don’t even need a window to try to connect to my car; all I have to do is pull up my app and tap the Quick Start button on the home page. In the winter months, this is especially helpful for heating the cabin ahead of my commute. I can also use the climate presets to cool down the cabin on hot summer days. I can view my current presets and change them before I start my Subaru with easy-to-find buttons on the left and right of the Quick Start button.

An important note is that if you don’t properly start your car with the push-button start within ten minutes, the car will turn off automatically—so if you’re taking a little longer to get ready than you planned, the vehicle will shut off; this is a useful feature for saving gas and battery life. Remote start will also not work if your vehicle is low on fuel, so keep that in mind. Whether this feature is designed to save gas or encourage drivers to keep their vehicles fueled up, it could be inconvenient if you’ve neglected refueling until the last minute.

Remote Lock and Unlock

The lock and unlock function provides security and peace of mind. It comes in handy the most when I can’t remember if I have locked my Subaru; I just pull up my app from wherever I am and press the lock button under the Quick Start. The app prompts me to enter my PIN, and once I do, a message pops up saying that “DOOR LOCK” is being sent to my vehicle. A message will then notify me that the “DOORS LOCKED” and the time is displayed—and then I can go about my day. This feature is also convenient when I leave my keys behind and need to get into my car for something; I unlock it from my phone and relock it as I walk away.

Locate Vehicle

I also use the Locate Vehicle function on a semi-regular basis. This feature is great for crowded parking lots and events when I happen to forget where I parked my Subaru. When I couldn’t find my Crosstrek on a recent trip to the beach, I tapped “Locate Vehicle” on the home page of my app to find it. MySubaru found it in seconds and led me to it via Google Maps; it was quick and straightforward. When the area started to look familiar, I tapped “Horn & lights,” entered my PIN, and found it right away; this saved me time and energy from walking around crowded streets, searching in vain.

User-Friendly Functionality

One of the best things about the MySubaru app—beyond its day-to-day uses—is that its practicality stretches to cover issues that could become big problems. I feel like Subaru put the effort into making an app that is actually super helpful! I was surprised to find that not only was the information for my retailer on my app, but I could also schedule service with them through it.

I recently had to schedule my first service for my vehicle: an oil change and a tire rotation. Through the app, I was able to select my retailer’s service department and schedule the maintenance. I just selected the services I needed from their decently comprehensive list and mentioned that I wanted to drop off the vehicle rather than wait for it at the dealership. I was then prompted to find a date and time that worked for me within the next couple of weeks.

It had the option to look for more appointments, but I found one in the presented options, selected my time, and confirmed my appointment. The only thing I noticed about the list of available services was that it didn’t include a state inspection, even though my retailer is a location that provides them. Once I confirmed the appointment, I was able to easily access my retailer’s contact information and give them a call.

Smiling people are shown in a 2023 Subaru Solterra.

Data in the Palm of My Hand

The MySubaru app also doubles as a convenient place for all of my vehicle’s important details, such as the model, model year, engine and transmission, current mileage, and VIN. The only info it doesn’t initially have is your license plate number and state, which you can add easily through the “Manage Vehicles” button at the bottom of your Vehicle Information page or through the My Vehicles page, where you can also add new vehicles when needed. You can even assign a vehicle nickname for each of your Subarus!

Opportunities for More

Although the MySubaru app offers some awesome features that make my life easier, there are a few things I’d like to see that aren’t there. When I was scheduling service, for instance, I found that even though I marked the “Drop Off Vehicle” selection, there was no place to indicate that I would need a rental car so I could drop off my Subaru and then get to work. My retailer provides rental vehicles for service, so a spot to indicate that I’d need a rental would be a great option; instead, I ended up just reaching out via phone call.

The feature I would most like to see is a function for finding my keys. Since new key fobs are costly to replace and easy to lose, the ability to find my keys when I misplace them would be extremely beneficial. The capability to track the vehicle is already there, so it makes sense to offer a way to add key fobs to the app, nickname them, and track them if lost. The app also needs a cellular signal to function; if you don’t have a signal, remote functionality doesn’t operate well, which could be a real oversight in an emergency situation.

A person is shown looking at the MySubaru app near a 2024 Subaru Outback.

MySubaru Is One Path to Less Stress

Overall, the MySubaru app makes owning a Subaru a truly convenient and uncomplicated experience. It sports a user-friendly interface where its functions are straightforward to find and simple to operate. I also love that its functions are all protected by a PIN so that I don’t accidentally turn my horns or lights on or unlock the car when I’m not near it. Plus, the remote capabilities, vehicle history access, and service scheduling functions keep my life running smoothly with little to no interruption, so I have more time to enjoy the important things. I always appreciate technology that makes me less stressed, and that’s just what this app does.