Now you don't have to have a 2003 or newer GM vehicle in order to reap the benefits of OnStar. The folks at OnStar came out with OnStar FMV, where it's a rear view mirror with the same capabilities as a car that automatically comes with Onstar.

Purchased at Best Buy stores nationwide, OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle) sells for $299.99, plus $75 for installation. Service plans for OnStar FMV start at $18.95 a month, or $199 a year.

OnStar FMV provides the same core features as the OnStar service built into new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles from General Motors:

* Automatic Crash Response, triggered by an accelerometer in the unit, connects the vehicle to a trained OnStar emergency advisor in the event of a crash. The advisor can provide the exact location of the crash to emergency responders using the mirror's GPS location, even if the vehicle's occupants are unable to respond.
* Turn-by-Turn Navigation, OnStar's most-popular service with 1.9 million requests a month is accessible with a press of the blue button. The driver asks the advisor for directions for a specific address or location, such as a gas station or restaurant. Directions are downloaded to OnStar FMV, which provides spoken turn-by-turn instructions to the destination.
* Hands-Free Calling is available through the OnStar service itself or through a Bluetooth connection to a mobile phone. An external microphone, which is tucked neatly into the roofline or above the overhead console, gives the best-possible voice quality while drivers keeps their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.
* Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance uses OnStar FMV's global positioning satellite system to provide a stolen vehicle's location to law enforcement officials.
* Emergency Services, summoned by pushing the red button, bring specially trained emergency advisors on the line immediately to help in a crisis, such as witnessing a collision or a crime in progress.
* Roadside Assistance for non-emergency situations, such as a mechanical breakdown or a flat tire, is a blue-button push away.

Other retailers now offering or soon to offer OnStar FMV include Car Toys, Crutchfield, Fry's Electronics, Al & Ed's Autosound and P.C. Richard & Son (I haven't heard about them in years).

Customers can find out if OnStar FMV is compatible with their vehicle through an online Vehicle Selector through OnStar.com.

Sadly, I still haven't activated OnStar in the Envoy that I've had for four and a half years...