Park assist is a term that commonly refers to a specific type of driver assistance system. These systems are developed for people that lack sufficient confidence and/or experience when it comes to parking, parallel parking especially.
Throughout many years these systems were only reserved for luxury cars, but in the last decade these systems have trickled down onto more affordable compact cars including hatchbacks, small sedans, and small SUVs.
Some hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, VW Polo, Audi A3, VW Golf, Nissan Leaf all come equipped with these features, and if you are having trouble parking such a small vehicle then you definitely should check the appropriate boxes when choosing optional equipment.
If you are more of a compact sedan type of guy, you’d be pleasantly surprised that almost all competitive compact sedans do offer park assist. The most popular compact sedans that do feature park assist are the Tesla Model 3, Audi A4, BMW 3-series, Mercedes Benz C-Class, Toyota Prius, Jaguar XE, and many others.
If you want a smaller SUV which offers park assist, the VW T-Cross, Jeep Compass, Peugeot 2008, Ford Puma, or the Toyota RAV are the cheaper options, and the Audi Q5/Q3, BMW X1/X3, Mercedes GLA/GLC, Volvo XC40 or the Range Rover Velar are the most popular luxury options.
Best small hatchbacks with park assist
Small hatchbacks are not what they used to. Nowadays you can option out a hatchback with almost the same set of options that were only available for flagship models a few years ago. If you primarily drive around town and you don’t need much extra space for cargo or rear passengers, a hatchback is likely the best option.
And there aren’t many options out there that present such a good value as the Ford Fiesta. The Fiesta can be equipped with park assist features and combined with parking sensors and great visibility, parking the Fiesta is a breeze. The same story goes for the Focus even though the Focus is a bit larger and a bit more expensive.
But if you value European brands and you don’t want to pay a fortune, VW has got you covered with the brand new VW Polo or the VW Golf. These two are the value champs when it comes to European cars and thanks to a recent complete overhaul, both of these can be had with advanced park assist features.
If you want to spend the least amount of money and still enjoy sophisticated park assist technologies, you should opt for the Nissan Leaf as the Leaf offers Nissan’s state-of-the-art ProPilot Park which virtually parks the car completely. The Luxury option in this segment is the brand-new Audi A3 as the A3 offers all the necessary technologies you need.
Small sedans with park assist
As time progresses, cars are becoming a bit larger from the outside with each newer generation, and a lot bigger from the inside thanks to advanced space management. This means that with the new BMW 3-series you are getting comparable space to a BMW 5-series from 10 years ago, so it makes sense to consider a smaller sedan as your next purchase.
Probably the most space-age of the lot, the Tesla Model 3 is an amazing automobile. Thanks to its Smart Summon feature the Model 3 can not only park itself, but it can also approach and depart the parking space autonomously and is the best EV self-parking car in the entire compact sedan market.
Probably the best internal combustion engine small sedan is the brand-new Mercedes Benz C-Class as the new C-Class virtually seems like a shrunken version of the mighty Mercedes S-Class. The C-Class comes equipped with the Active Parking Assist technology which offers advanced self-parking capabilities at just a push of a button.
If you want the affordable option, go for the Toyota Prius as this immensely capable and sophisticated machine is also equipped with active park assistance programs. There is no correlation between bad driving and owning a Prius, so there might be no reason to opt for such assistance as only racing drivers drive Priuses.
Best small SUVs with park assist
We live in an era in which SUVs dominate the new car sale spreadsheets, and the vast majority of car brands out there are pumping huge sums of money on developing and manufacturing the next-gen SUV. But there are loads of amazing options right now as there are plenty of sophisticated and very well-equipped small SUVs on sale today.
And the best bang for your buck award goes to the VW T-Cross as this subcompact SUV/Crossover offers contemporary technology, a raised driving position, and a somewhat premium badge for a relatively affordable price. Furthermore, the T-Cross comes with loads of safety kits as standard and has gotten a refresh only recently.
One of the most value-oriented brands on the planet – Toyota, offers the RAV4 as a perfect compact SUV, and the sales of the RAV4 certainly do reiterate the fact that the RAV4 is somewhat of a king in this particular segment, and it also offers front and rear park assistance systems.
As far as the luxury option is considered, the BMW X1 seems like great value considering what you are getting. The X1 looks bigger, feels bigger, and drives bigger than most of its competitors and it can also be had with advanced parking assistance.
Is Park Assist worth it?
It depends on your levels of expertise and confidence. If you truly suck at parking, then yeah, it is worth it. If you have decent parking skills and you don’t mind parallel parking from time to time, then yes, it’s worth it as it can save you a lot of time and effort.
How reliable are park assistance systems?
Park assistance systems are fairly reliable as they can lower the chances of wheel curbing by up to 81% (AAA UK), and they also decrease the time it takes to park a car correctly. Furthermore, these systems are capable of making the entire process a lot more efficient.
But they are not perfect and don’t expect this system to completely take over as it can sometimes misinterpret an obstacle and defeat its purpose.
Do cars come with park assist as standard?
Most cars nowadays do not come with park assist as standard, especially the lower grade models from bottom tier manufacturers. Be sure to check out the standard equipment list before buying the car in question as most of these, especially the more advanced systems are not included as standard.
Some higher-end brands and models do come with advanced parking assistance as standard, but they are a definite minority. If you want to add park assist, you are looking at a $500-$4k bill depending on different packages that come with park assist.