MY pick for COTY king this year is the Mercedes-Benz GLC.
But it’s not the COTY car or contest you might be thinking, since this is all about Bluetooth.
We have 11 of the best cars of 2015 assembled for this year’s COTY shootout and that makes it an ideal time and place to take a closer look at Bluetooth.
The phone link has become a very big deal this year, with more and more driver distractions contributing to crashes and, in NSW, prompting the extension of double-demerit penalties.
Even the car companies are split, internally and externally, as some engineers push for more and more connectivity and others say the connected car is disconnecting people from driving and safety.
Car testing has always been about comfort and safety and performance and economy — with value at the very top — but now it also covers app-friendly infotainment and the vital Bluetooth connectivity.
Hyundai makes some excellent cars but its Bluetooth is patchy, at best, even on the latest Tucson. If you were choosing a phone-friendly car then a Hyundai would slip well down the list.
So at COTY, with help from techno king Craig Duff, I go searching for my Bluetooth champion.
The Mazda CX-3 is all right but booms in the cabin, the BMW X1 and the Commodore are workmanlike, the Jaguar XE is not great.
I’m expecting a lot from the Sync system in the Ford Ranger and it’s good, but difficult to connect. And so it goes. Until I jump into the Benz.
The phone pairs instantly, delivers excellent clarity at both ends — I’ve been calling the same person to check — and the call display is good and clear. For me, it wins.