Blue­tooth blues

Herald Sun - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE CONFIDENTIAL - Twit­ter @PaulWardGover

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.

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