When referring to "Starlink" - what do you mean? Starlink is Subaru's suite of apps and such. It links many features of the head unit and can offer some roadside assistance, but Starlink is a not a roadside service. It gives you access to some features via your smartphone and some specific Subaru based apps.
There is the emergency call button - but that's not really roadside service but it can connect you with emergency roadside services.. While pushing the emergency call button can get you roadside services, it's not the same as AAA... While the free towing and all were included with my extended warranty package (from Cross Country I think?), I never used it.
NOTE - I have a 2014 Forester and Starlink was not available for the 2014 - 2015 model years.
AAA has always been there for me and my needs. I've had AAA for ... well for a lot more years than I've had my Foz. I've never had any issues with AAA... And I think it's cheaper than Starlink's subscriptions. AAA is also all about YOU as the member and not specific to the car you drive. So if you're with a friend or a relative and have an issue, you can call AAA and get services. I do believe that the Starlink emergency road services are limited to just your Subaru.
Depends what you want out of each. AAA offers far more beyond Starlink.
I have used tows from AAA, assistance that extends to other people's vehicles (you get so many in a year), battery services/changes, DMV services, etc. I will always be a AAA member. We subscribed to Starlink for the remote services tied to my wife's 2020 Forester and (if needed), as a way to contact emergency services in the event something really bad happens.
STARLINK Safety and Security offers services designed to help you in your time of need by keeping you and your Subaru safe whether you are in your vehicle, at your computer, or on your mobile device. These services enhance your Subaru experience with access to emergency services and convenience features. These include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Remote Services, Vehicle Diagnostic Alerts and more.
.....and again, AAA is going to offer you services that Starlink doesn't and vice versa. For me, it isn't one being better service than the other but simply different. .....beyond something simple like roadside assistance but even then, AAA provides extended coverage, etc.
Personally, we purchased Starlink for 3 years (and will likely continue the service after that) but being a member of AAA never factored into that decision. ....been one for decades and that won't change. We use it for things Starlink doesn't provide and then there are things Starlink does that AAA doesn't.
Ok just read a post from @Jane D. The enhanced roadside assistance from STARLINK just means they will call someone but you pay out of pocket. Talk about false advertising. I guess AAA will be getting my business
I've had AAA for several years and they've been good.
AAA membership has 2 or 3 levels of free towing distances included with annual membership (apparently depends on state). Std membership free towing distance is 7 miles, Plus is 100 miles, Premier is 200 miles.
I upgraded to Premier/200 miles when it became available in my state, and knock-on-wood, I haven't needed it.
I had a reason to use the Subaru "roadside assistance" a few years ago after the passenger's side rear tire was taken out by a manhole cover. Took 20 minutes to arrive. Took one look at the traffic conditions, said it was to dangerous and left 5 minutes after arriving. So much for assistance. Then called AAA but they claimed they could not find my location (?) after 30 minutes. Thanks to a passing sheriff's deputy and a good samaritan who stopped to help, I was able to get moving again. It depends on what you expect from each service but you always need to remember that "your mileage may vary".
This is my personal experience with AAA recently. I just purchased a "new to me" 2017 XT Touring. We were on our way to breakfast when we heard a loud "pop" and then the car stalled. It would not idle at all. Thank goodness we have had AAA for years and although the dealer would have paid for the tow, it was just "piece of mind" to us having a AAA membership.
This is my experience with AAA which I had for many years:
I had actually never used them for anything beyond getting maps and discounts at hotels & one time to book an Alaska cruise as they had a deal with one of the lines. Two summers ago, I needed a tow for my Tacoma which had a brake problem and could not be driven. I was in a "remote" area, but only about 30 min from a larger town and was on a paved road. I called AAA and ended up waiting almost 24 hours for the tow truck to show up. I kept getting excuses about why the truck could not come, but obviously, that did not help me. I had to pay $ 80 to tow to the Toyota dealer as the tow was beyond the 3 mile radius. I complained to AAA and they rebated the $ 80 because of the delay, but the whole business really left me disappointed as the one time I needed them they failed.
I checked with USAA, my insurer, and for $ 3 a month I get similar tow/jump start, etc. service which is considerably cheaper than AAA. They only thing I can't get from USAA vs AAA is maps, but I can live with that.
The thing about AAA is that they contract towing companies. .....heck, I'm sure they all do for that matter. Sure, this network of tow companies have guidelines they have to follow to become a AAA service provider but the fact is, it can be a YMMV kind of thing as to what level of service you get isn't going to be as consistent. .....that's from my own experience as well over the last 30+ years being a AAA member.
I'm lucky that locally I have a really good, professional tow company with good people that do the AAA service in my area. .....but even with some of the bad or "meh" experiences I've had with others, my overall experience has been good.
That's a good point about the discounts and one I forgot to bring up before. I use them all the time for booking hotels for example and have saved a lot over the years.
The thing is, services like Starlink also provide value that AAA or similar can't. .....but again, folks need to weigh all that out and decide from themselves what they want / need. I just don't see this as a black & white issue as some aspects of these services each provides are apples to oranges comparisons.