Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI Avantgarde SE
IT was a manoeuvre even Reginald Molehusband could have managed.
Remember the name? Reg was Britain's fictional worst parker, the man who couldn't squeeze his Austin 1100 into a space the size of a soccer pitch.
Well here was a potential parking spot just a couple of feet longer than the car, the sort of spec you leave to someone with a spare hour or two.
And it presents little problem to the latest generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class, or at least to those prepared to splash out an extra £550 for a feature they call Active Park Assist.
Even as you potter along a street, the car's side-mounted ultrasonic sensors are searching for suitable spaces on either side of the road.
When a spot big enough for the car has been identified an arrow appears on the instrument cluster and the driver has the chance to accept the suggestion via the multi-function steering wheel.
Deep in a city centre the A-Class has found a gap that seems to defy logic, yet the system is telling me to park there. So I engage reverse and fold my arms.
All I operate is the accelerator and brakes. Three moves later the A-Class has taken over the steering and automatically manoeuvred its way into the parking space.
Baby Benz fans are sure to warm to the latest models with their more youthful appeal thanks to sweeping headlamps, redesigned front and rear bumpers, larger exterior mirrors and a fresh three louvred grille.
A move up from entry level Classic SE trim to Elegance SE and Avantgarde SE brings in larger 16-inch alloy wheels, extra seat comfort and an enhanced light and sight package.
And all benefit from no extra cost innovations like hill start assist - which prevents the car from rolling backwards after the brake pedal is released at start-up - and adaptive brake lights that flash rapidly to warn following traffic should the driver brake suddenly.
There's also crash-responsive emergency lighting that illuminates the interior after an accident.
The engine range now comprises A150 (1.5-litre) and A170 (1.7-litre) petrol units plus A160 CDI (2.0-litre) and the tested A180 CDI (also 2.0-litre but 109 as opposed to 82bhp) common rail turbodiesels.
And a Blue Efficiency package, which lowers both fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, is now available along with an ECO start-stop function which reduces urban fuel consumption by up to nine per cent.
As you would expect from a Mercedes, the A-Class is a pleasant, enjoyable car to drive with reasonable interior space - on the downside the diesel engine is noisy.
Mercedes-Benz A180 CDI Avantgarde SE 5dr auto
Price : £19,814
Mechanical : 109ps, 1,992cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox
Max speed : 112mph
0-62mph : 11.1 secs
Combined mpg : 52.3
Insurance group : 8
CO2 emissions : 154g/km
BiK rating : 20%
Warranty : 3yrs/ unlimited mileage, 3yrs paint, 30yrs anti-rust