Parking test: 2011 Skoda Superb automatic parallel parking

Parking test: 2011 Skoda Superb automatic parallel parking

When the Skoda dealer rep dropped off the 2011 Superb 3.6 at our doorstep and gave me a briefing, he chose to swiftly mention one little feature, called Park Assist, which we thought was just a parking sensor system. Later we were digging through the instruction manual to figure out where the USB port was (there isn’t one), and we found the section that told us how to operate the automatic parallel parking feature!

This may be old news to a handful of VW owners trundling around in Dubai, but what we didn’t know is even the “lowly” Skoda benefits from the self-parking tech. All one has to do is press a button on the console, drive at 30 kph and wait for the system to identify a parking spot, at which point the LCD display between the gauges tells you to hit the brakes and start reversing.

It’s a bit freaky at first because the Skoda cuts very close to the car in front of the parking spot, and so we were taking it very slowly the first few times. We had to simply use the throttle and the shifter while the steering wheel turned by itself. Once in place, the system asks to shift into Drive, at which point the steering turns to straighten the car before handing control back to the driver. The driver could cancel the procedure at any time by yanking the wheel, as we did earlier on in panic.

The system doesn’t work if there is no car in front of the spot, but then again, it won’t be needed in that scenario. Also, the system asks you to go so far forward of the spot to start the procedure that we had nincompoop taxi drivers tailgating and blocking our path many times. Start the procedure too early by shifting into reverse before positioning the car properly, and the parking aid is cancelled!

Either way, it is a great feature for the sizeable Skoda Superb as long as there is enough time and space to play in.

What do you think?



  1. Looks like you almost got creamed by the speeding Patrol and the taxi in Karama. @ 1:53, seemed like the wheel rims were extremely close to the kerb. Wonder if a message pops up in the central console saying “NOT MY FAULT” if the rims do come in contact 😉
    Neat feature to impress the kids with: Skoda Park, Sit, play dead… Good Skoda!

  2. “Skoda Park, Sit, play dead… Good Skoda!”

    Nice video.. 😀

  3. wow that is neat. pretty sure even the s class does not have this feature. does it say in the manual how much of min space (in meters) it needs between 2 cars to park?
    though it does seem to come way too close to the curb, i hate curb rash on my wheels and not sure if i would be comfortable with the car going that close to the curb.

  4. How will this auto park system work in manual cars, choke thuder thuder and stop…before gear change….

  5. Author

    I believe Lexus came up with this for the LS in 2007, although it was not offered in GCC-spec cars at the time. It is too close, but then again, it seems designed for narrower parking spaces and it never touches the curb. We did rub the curb, but only after we got manual control again, so the computer won’t do it. It chooses it’s own spaces. Not sure if the manual ones have it, although in theory it can. If you want to play, bug a sales exec called Hani Hassan at the Dubai showroom and say you saw it here.

  6. Nice feature. It does clean parking. Does it take any long to find a space and activate the feature?

  7. I love video reviews. Mash, I see the parking in the video is done in a big spot. But can this auto thing really help you in a very tight spot? I’d like to see a video of that. Maybe you can use ur 3 cars to create the tight spot in an open ground or something to demonstrate it for us?? huh ??

  8. Author

    Not sure about size of spaces. I only found this out on the day I had to return the car! So took some quick videos. Took a long time just to get this much, as you can see from the retarded traffic. I am sure it can park as long as the space is reasonable. It likely won’t try to park if the space would only fit a Mini.

  9. its freaky to see the steering wheel move on its own when you are never used to seeing such a thing. amazing thing to scare ppl who have never heard of such a tech.
    another thing i want to say is that a high tech car top spec w/o navigation is a big let down ..that too in such a price range. a sat nav would have nailed it.
    mash – next review from skoda..get the octavia RS

  10. Author

    ^That’ll have to wait as I have a bunch of cars back-to-back till November 9th! And I am already temporarily skipping on 5 or 6 older pending reviews (Challenger, Genesis, etc) to be first to review the latest cars I’m suddenly getting (Edge, M56, etc).

  11. SO you did the challenger review!!?…;)

  12. mash – you mean december 9 😛
    i have been waiting for a review on the genesis for a long time now. cmon..buckle your belt and work overtime and give us what we now now

  13. Need help with the reviews…?? 0:)

  14. Author

    No? And yes, December 9.

  15. Mash Great Work ,

    I would like to see more vidoes , i know its time consuming but it connets to audience much more then reading text 🙂

    I loved the video

  16. two things first- the park assist is awesome for women and a lot of men who can not parallel park. yes thats why it does not work if there is no car in front of it, as it for parallel parking.
    Secondly, since drive arabia now has a decent fan following, please top using a stop watch for making acceleration runs! almost all times mentioned in your recent road tests on the home page are way off the mark. a 5.6 seconds for a CTS-V !! you got to be kidding me! the average run in most of test is between 3.9- 4.3 seconds, and that too for a new green engine. I know weather plays a big factor, but not enough to add a whole second + more. Unless caddy and skoda both have detuned the engines, which is not the case as you quote the correct HP and torque for both. Try a VBOX and print credible numbers as thats your social responsibility as a journo.

  17. Author

    Who said we use a stop watch? And I can tell you right now that no other English car magazine in the entire region tests acceleration.

  18. That was sarcasm !

  19. Author


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