But the biggest party trick in the new Passat is its Park Assist system. Employing ultrasonic waves, it takes over the steering system completely, leaving only the operation of the throttle and brakes to the driver. It’s the first time we’re seeing this technology in India, so it’s worth dwelling on it. Say for example you need to parallel park between two cars. If the distance between the two cars is about 80 cm plus the width (or length, depending on how you intend to park) of the Passat, the system can be engaged. Select the parallel park assist mode by pressing the button on the central console twice and then decide whether it’s on the right or the left side of the car by turning on the respective blinkers. Move forward till the display unit in the instrument console tells you that there’s enough space. Stop, engage reverse and all you need to do now is monitor the accelerator and the brake pedals. It’s quite freaky to see the steering wheel rotate this way and that without any intervention whatsoever from you as the car negotiates itself into the slot. Your hands are itching to take control, but it executes the manoeuvre somehow! However, it’s advisable to keep an eye on the mirrors while it is doing its magic act.
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