Zubie Connected Car Service review:

Zubie tracks your car, lacks mpg info

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After taking more trips with the Zubie Key installed, I found that it listed each trip by day. The app also rated my driving based on acceleration, braking, idling time, and speeding. Coming in at only 29 out of a 100, I had to conclude that the designers of Zubie had never driven in San Francisco. But the app was informative. I was interested to learn that, for one 3-mile trip through San Francisco, I spent 48 percent of the 26-minute excursion idling, due to a combination of traffic and poorly timed stoplights.

Zubie Connected Car Service
Zubie show a driving score based on data points such as braking. Screenshot by Wayne Cunningham/CNET

I could have found the alerts about my hard braking and acceleration annoying or used them as a learning experience, but Zubie didn't intend them entirely for me. You can let your children borrow the family car and use the app to see where they are going and get a sense of how they are driving.

To further aid parents who use Zubie to keep track of their children's driving, the app includes a geofencing feature. You can enter a location, then indicate a circular boundary around it. If the car crosses that boundary, the app will pop up an alert.

Along with the tracking and driving coach features, the Zubie app also shows some basic vehicle health information. One screen shows the state of the battery, useful to avoid getting stuck in need of a jump. Another screen includes engine data status points, such as whether the fuel system or oxygen sensor are operating normally.

Zubie Connected Car Service
Zubie let me define a geofence for the car. Screenshot by Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The app has the ability to keep track of multiple cars equipped with Zubie Keys. However, I would also have liked to see a Web interface, which would have made it easier to set up geofencing and examine trip data.

Also missing from Zubie was any information about fuel economy. A device such as this offers a great opportunity to not only record a car's fuel economy, but to keep historical records and track fuel costs.

At $99.95 per year and no additional cost for the Key, the Zubie Key Connected Car Service is one of the cheapest connected OBD-II devices available. It sets up very easily and offers some good tracking features. However, the Audiovox Car Connection includes more features and lets you track car information on both a Web site or app. Even cheaper, but lacking any remote connected features, is the Automatic.

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