Automatic parking

“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 

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