Cadillac: You Can Have Free Super Cruise Capability, But Only For The First 3 Years

Cadillac's headlining driver assistance tech will require a subscription after the free trial expires

Cadillac’s Super Cruise feature is free (provided you select the option in the first place) on 2021 models, but only for the first three years. [Photos: Cadillac]

Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving feature is one of the brand’s smallest selling points, but there’s a catch if you’re considering a new model to use it. Motor Trend recently reported the feature’s functionality actually has a ticking clock, in that new owners will have free access for the first three years after their purchase.

Once that three-year period expires, the hands-free portion of Super Cruise will deactivate unless the owner continues to pay a subscription fee for the service. As it stands, 2018 Cadillac CT6 owners will be the first to experience that transition. Their “free access plan”, as a GM spokesperson put it, expires in September. Once that happens, they will have to pay a fee, though it’s not clear at this time how much that will be.

Carscoops also reported more details, as shared by the GM representative. “Yes, Super Cruise requires a vehicle connectivity plan in order to operate, and that plan is offered free for three years on current products,” said product and brand communication specialist Katie Minter. “Messaging is going out to these [CT6] customers shortly with information on their renewal options, and after that messaging goes out, we will be able to share additional information on plan costs.”

Cadillacs won’t lose all driver assist features without a Super Cruise subscription

In an age where everything from video streaming to smartphones and even cars are available through subscription plans, the news that Super Cruise features will only operate on a fee basis is hardly surprising. Even when Cadillac models do lose the hands-free functionality, though, GM did provide assurances that other driver assist features would still work. Adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist functionality will remain, even if you do not subscribe to the full Super Cruise suite.

It is worth noting that Super Cruise is an extra-cost option on the 2021 CT4, CT5 and Escalade. It appears, then, that beyond the added cost of adding the suite in the first place, you will have to pay for its functionality after the first three years.

For its part, Cadillac did add features to Super Cruise earlier this year. They claim the system is usable on 200,000 miles of highways in the U.S. and Canada. Beyond that, it also has better software for steering and lane control, as well as automated lane change functionality.