“That’s insane!” said Sam, resting his hands on the header rail as the VW Golf Cabrio parked itself by the kerb between two cars. “Very bizarre – and pretty cool.”
Auto parking debuted on the Toyota Prius in Japan in 2004, and has since been picked up by other makers. Sensors in the front bumper scan for a suitable spot – here, at least 1.1 metres longer than the Golf. Then, a display between the dials invites you to reverse. The driver controls the pedals; the computer does the rest.
Peter was dubious, but applauded its accuracy. “It gets impressively close to the kerb,” he said, and pointed out potential savings on kerbed alloys – especially as Park Assist costs as little as £90 as a Golf option. Pete conceded it worked well, but told us he’d “rather spend the money on leather – or a bigger turbo”.
Phil assumed the whole process was automatic, including braking, and nearly hit the car behind. And Aaron said: “As a driver, you should be able to park.”
Verdict: take it
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe ask a panel of readers to test the latest driving aids and in-car gadgets, then tell us which they’d pay extra for
- 3Automatic brakingOf all the technology our readers tested, none impressed more than Ford’s automatic braking.
- 4Lane departure warning, blind spot warningEver felt yourself nodding off at the wheel?
- 5Dual-view screenWe’ll leave it to the Evoque to show off the flashiest bit of technology here.
- 6Rear camera
- 7Speed limit sign recognitionThe clever windscreen camera in the Focus (another feature of the £1,050 Driver Assistance Pack) can also scan signs and display the speed limit on the dash
- 8iPhone connector
- 10Automatic parking - currently reading