Easiest Cars to Park
Which cars are some of the easiest to park? Read these tips to help you find out.
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You might think you’re a rubbish parker. Perhaps supermarket car parks cause you a lot of stress as you try to edge into the smallest of gaps.
However, the car you drive can make a big difference between slipping into a tight place right in front of the shops or having to park 3km from your destination.
A formula for easy-to-park cars
When looking to purchase a car, there’s a simple guide you can follow to determine how manoeuvrable the car will be.
- Check the wheelbase. Generally speaking, a car with a short wheelbase (the distance between the front and back wheels) and a low number of turns from lock-to-lock on the wheel (found in the manufacturer’s brochure) should be easy to park.
- Consider the turning circle. Also factor in the turning circle that manufacturers publish in the brochure. The number is usually presented as the turning circle between kerbs. This is the minimum width a road must be for a vehicle to turn around in one single manoeuvre.
- Autonomous parking. Additionally, some vehicles now include autonomous parking features or advanced parking cameras that create a 360-degree representation of your surroundings.
These gadgets, combined with parking sensors make parking a breeze!
A handy parking tip
If you’re parking on a shop-lined street, use the reflections in the shop windows to assist with manoeuvring.
Three cars to consider
The Fiat 500 is a fun drive– at least in a city. Its compact form and minimal body overhangs make it perfect for busy metropolitan streets. The 500 has a nifty 9.28m turning circle and a 2.3m wheelbase.
One area the 500 excels, though, is the inclusion of a city driving mode. When you press the little steering wheel button on the dash, the steering rack speeds up and the wheel requires less effort to turn. Some reviewers state it’s one of the best features ever for parking and we wonder why other manufacturers haven’t followed suit.
If parking a car under pressure in a pocket-sized space is your kryptonite, the Smart ForTwo may be the answer. Though no longer available to purchase from new, there are loads of these minuscule two-seaters for sale on the used car market.
Why is the Smart ForTwo so easy to park? Because you can park it at 90 degrees to the kerb and stay within the lines. Effectively, you only need half a space to park. The overall length of Smart ForTwo is 2.69 metres from the front bumper to the rear. The turning circle of this four-wheel scooter is just 6.95m, at one time, the tightest of any car available.
For reference, the modern Mini has a massive 10.8m turning circle and a ute turns in 11 or 12 metres. The ForTwo should be able to do a u-ey on almost any Australia road.
No, this is not an illusion! The Mitsubishi Mirage hatch is a handy tool for city parking. With 14-inch tyres fitted, the Mirage will make a 180-degree turn in 8.8m. However, the Mirage is not available with any blind spot monitoring, parking sensors or parking cameras, so you’ll need to have a decent level of parking ability to start with.
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