Best VWs with Park Assist

Let Volkswagen take the stress out of parking with Park Assist. We've rounded up eight popular models available with self-parking tech

James Wilson
Apr 30, 2021

Volkswagen’s clever Park Assist technology goes a long way in reducing the stress that can be caused when trying to park. There are different versions of Park Assist, but they all centre around using cameras and sensors to enable the car’s computers to safely turn the steering wheel without you touching it.

If you think this sounds unnerving, just wait until you experience it in person for the first time. After a couple of uses, though, it becomes second nature and before long you'll be wondering why you ever bothered to park yourself.

Park Assist first arrived in 2007 but here we focus on more recent Volkswagens - most of which are available used but still available to order new. Being that Park Assist is still seen as something of a luxury rather than a necessity, it is largely available as an optional extra, although some of VW’s bigger, more expensive cars are offered with the kit as standard in certain specifications.

Before delving into our roundup of the best VWs with Park Assist below, keep reading for a quick recap on how exactly the technology works.

Best VWs with Park Assist

How does VW Park Assist work?

The first step in using Park Assist is activating the system, which is done by pressing a dedicated button normally located near the gearstick. The driver must then advance at a low, steady speed close to the row of cars they want to park in, while the car scans for suitable spaces. To help guide drivers through this, there are prompts displayed on the dashboard. Once a space is found, the car will alert the driver to stop the vehicle, put it into reverse and let go of the steering wheel.

Once reversing, the car will automatically turn the steering wheel but the driver must control the brake and accelerator pedals. Once the manouevre is finished, the driver can get out of the the car looking like a parking genius. Circling back to braking, some VWs (such as the Passat) can come with ‘manoeuvre braking’, which will engage the brakes if the software decides a collision is imminent, though this only works at speeds up to 6mph (in forwards or reverse).

Additionally, there are other features which are only available on specific models in the German carmaker’s range. For example, the Touareg - the biggest SUV in VW’s range - is available with an optional ‘Professional Park Assist Pack’, which allows the driver to use their smartphone to park their car from outside or summon it from a space. Clever stuff.

Similarly, there is ‘Trailer Assist including Park Assist’. This piece of software helps drivers to park even when towing a trailer or caravan. Again, very impressive, as this is something that not many manufacturers offer. That said, VW isn’t the only car maker to realise motorists appreciate a helping hand when it comes to parking. Brands such as Volvo, BMW and Ford all have self-parking technology, too.

1. VW Polo

Used deals from £9,290
Monthly finance from £176*

The Volkswagen Polo supermini competes with other small hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa. It has, for a long time, been the more grown up option, thanks to its more refined driving experience and classy styling. It’s equipment list also helps with this, not least due to the option of Park Assist on all but United trim.

Moving away from electronics, the Polo is very practical which is partly due to its size. Compared to a Ford Fiesta it is both longer and wider, which helps to free up more interior space. Build quality is also a strong point, especially in the high quality cabin - an area where it is all too common for cars of this type to come with lots of cheap feeling plastics. Not in the Polo.

VOLKSWAGEN POLO BUYERS' GUIDE

2. VW T-Cross

Used deals from £16,999
Monthly finance from £257*

At a passing glance you could be forgiven for thinking the T-Cross has a smaller footprint than the Polo, but it is in fact longer and wider. It is also taller, which can make it harder to park for some drivers, as it can be more difficult to gauge how far away the edges of the bodywork are. All the more reason to opt for Park Assist, which is available as an option on SE, SEL and R-Line trims.

Driving a T-Cross is very straightforward. Volkswagen intentionally makes all the controls of its cars - such as steering, braking and the gear lever - relatively lightweight, so they aren’t hard to use when driving. All T-Cross models come with an eight-inch touchscreen media system in the centre of the dashboard. The media system is one of the more intuitive available with the graphics and buttons clearly laid out.

VOLKSWAGEN T-CROSS BUYERS' GUIDE

3. VW T-Roc

Used deals from £17,490
Monthly finance from £239*

VW designed the T-Roc to be roughly the same size as the Golf hatchback but taller. As a result, the T-Roc is slightly more practical than the Golf as it has a roomier cabin and a bigger boot. It can swallow another 65 litres of luggage, which is just under what a medium-size suitcase can take. Much like the Golf, travelling around in a T-Roc is a comfortable affair and the roadholding is good enough to make it a reasonably enjoyable car to drive.

Park Assist is available as an option on a number of trims; SE, Black Edition, Design, SEL and R-Line. Should a new T-Roc be out of budget, there are plenty of second-hand models, with the oldest of these dating back to 2017. There is even a convertible version of the T-Roc, which is the only convertible SUV currently available new.

VOLKSWAGEN T-ROC BUYERS' GUIDE

4. VW Golf

Used deals from £9,624
Monthly finance from £182*

In a bid to appeal to as many different types of motorists as possible, VW offers the Golf in a number of different guises - including three-door, five-door and estate forms, those with petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid power and a broad selection of equipment levels. Those wanting a car that is as well suited to doing the school run as it is the occasional long motorway journey will be well served by the 130hp 1.5-litre petrol Life model. Meanwhile, a company car driver doing tens of thousands of miles a year will likely find the high fuel economy of the 150hp 2.0-litre diesel Life model very appealing.

Although the VW Golf is well equipped in all trim levels, Park Assist is not standard. It is optional on all models, though. Overall, the Golf is a cracking hatchback but there are an increasing number of appealing alternatives. For example, the latest Ford Focus is great to drive, looks classy and its touchscreen media system is Ford’s best effort yet.

On the other hand, those shopping on a tighter budget may prefer the previous generation Golf - made from 2012 to 2020 and pictured above - which is a great car and was also available with Park Assist, although this was optional on some trims such as Match, GT and R-Line. As always, if you know you want Park Assist, it's worth double checking whether any specific car you're considering has it fitted.

2012-2020 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF BUYERS' GUIDE

5. VW Passat

Used deals from £11,499
Monthly finance from £219*

Some people stereotype the VW Passat as a car for sales reps - sensible, but boring. If driving a comfortable, well-made, well-equipped, practical and strong value car sounds right up your street, then you may be happy to live up to the pin-striped, three-piece suit and suitcase full of samples stereotype. Volkswagen offers two types of Passat - a saloon and a more practical estate version. Aside from the estate coming with a bigger boot with easier access, the two models are the same.

Volkswagen previously manufactured an ‘Alltrack’ version of the Passat. Alltrack models came with a higher ride height, meaning there is a greater distance between the ground and the bottom of their bodywork and the option of four-wheel-drive. For people who regularly have to travel down rutted lanes this combination can be very handy.

Park Assist and Trailer Assist including Park Assist is optional on all trims - SE Nav, SEL, R-Line, GTE and GTE Advance. Additionally, Area View which uses front, side and rear cameras to build a 360-degree video feed of the area around the car is available. Systems such as this are very helpful for navigating tight multi-storey car parks.

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT BUYERS' GUIDE

6. VW Tiguan

Used deals from £16,985
Monthly finance from £264*

The VW Tiguan ticks a lot of boxes for those with kids, dogs or both. A large part of this is because the cabin is spacious, well-made and features plenty of practical touches. In addition to the standard Tiguan, there is the Tiguan Allspace which has an extra two folding seats in the boot, but these are best suited to children thanks to limited headroom and legroom.

The Tiguan is available with all the same features as the Passat above, so Park Assist, Trailer Assist including Park Assist and Area View can be found. Unlike most VWs mentioned in this article, however, some models do come as standard with Park Assist - specifically some Match and R-Line models. R-Line comes with Area View as standard, too. VW updated the Tiguan in 2020, so those looking to scoop up a bargain may be better off looking at pre-2020 second-hand models.

VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN BUYERS' GUIDE

7. VW Touareg

Used deals from £35,785
Monthly finance from £519*

Right at the top of the VW SUV range is the Touareg. It is large, luxurious and lavishly equipped and it's a good car to get with Park Assist, due to its sheer size. Adaptive cruise control, a central 9.2-inch touchscreen media system and a host of safety features are all included as standard, with kit such as an ‘active bonnet’ on offer. This cleverly raises part of the car’s bonnet in the event of a frontal collision with a cyclist or pedestrian, creating a cushioning effect where their head is less likely to be hit.

All Touaregs come with four-wheel-drive - called ‘4Motion’ in VW-speak - and an automatic gearbox. There is a choice of several powerful engines, though. The range includes 3.0-litre diesel engines, which produce 231hp and 286hp, plus a 340hp petrol engine. All suit the Touareg’s big, upmarket character well, but the 286hp diesel offers the best mix of performance and fuel economy for UK motorists.

VOLKSWAGEN TOUAREG BUYERS' GUIDE

8. VW Sharan

Used deals from £13,900
Monthly finance from £308*

If there is one area in which the Sharan people carrier shines above all else, it is practicality. For starters, the rear doors slide open rather than swinging out - which makes access into the back very easy and helps prevent kids enthusiastically opening doors into cars parked alongside.

In addition, there are three rows of seats with the middle ones able to slide forward and back independently from one another. The rearmost seats have plenty of legroom, but taller passengers over six-foot tall might struggle for headroom. Even so, this is one of the most spacious seven-seater cars you can get.

With all seats in place the boot is able to handle 300 litres of cargo, which is a substantial amount for a people carrier with seven seats. All this practicality is partly thanks to the Sharan being quite long. It is just under 4.9 metres in length, which is almost as long as a Range Rover. Happily, to make parking such a large machine easier Park Assist is optional on the only trim level VW currently offers - SE Nav.

VOLKSWAGEN SHARAN BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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