Just how much our smartphones rule our lives has been revealed for the first time. Car buyers admit they can like everything about a new model – the styling, price, fuel economy and how it drives – yet will still walk out of the showroom because it won’t connect properly with their beloved mobile phone.

A study, used by Nissan to understand the importance of developing state-of-the-art infotainment systems in crossovers such as the Qashqai, Juke and X-Trail, revealed:

  • 28 per cent of new car buyers prioritise car connectivity over other features, such as fuel efficiency
  • 13 per cent would not buy a car that’s not connected to the internet
  • 20 per cent would switch to another car brand for better connectivity
  • That rises to 41 per cent for drivers who spend more than 20 hours a week in their car

The research has led to significant investment by Nissan to make sure phones integrate seamlessly – vital as demand for data and downloads expands. Leading the European team is Patrick Keenan, who is known within Nissan as ‘the man with 40 phones’.

Patrick Keenan, who is leading Nissan’s European team to make sure phones integrate with vehicles, said: “Today’s new cars have a lifecycle of five or six years before a new version is launched, but a mobile phone will only be on the market for less than two years before it’s replaced. Keeping cars and phones talking to each other is the crux of my job.”