Hatchbacks are the most popular vehicle choice for drivers in the UK. Not too big in size, economical to run, they make the perfect car for most people, including first time drivers and small families. But hatchbacks can often be seen as the most basic model, lacking the smart technology of larger, more expensive models. That is not the case.
Technology is no longer just for the top-of-the-range premium level cars. Just because a hatchback lacks the size and presence of an estate or coupe, you can still take advantage of top-of-the-range technology. In fact, the popularity of the hatchback level model means that these technologies have to be more refined, as they are more likely to be used by more people.
Here’s our pick for the hatchback technology that can make your life easier.
Parking is one of the areas that has been truly revolutionised by modern smart technology. Whereas it used to be purely a case of skill, precision and patience, the stress and hassle of parking is now being alleviated by a variety of intelligent features.
The reversing camera is one of the most obvious yet ingenious pieces of parking tech. Going backwards can be awkward, having to twist your body to look behind you, while trying to keep an eye on your wing mirrors at the same time. The reversing camera gives you a simple visual so you can see where you are going, with a smart overlay that tells you just how far away you are from objects behind. While not yet a standard feature, once you’ve used it, you will not want to go back to just using your mirrors and your neck!
Working in parallel with the reversing camera, these sensors are placed around your car at each corner. As you begin parking, the sensors start to beep. The closer you are to another object, the higher the frequency of alerts – i.e. more beeps in a shorter amount of time.
These sensors are perfect for parallel and reverse parking. If you park in a garage or are in a tight multi-storey, they can help give you the confidence you need to squeeze into the tighter spaces. Not only do they mark parking much easier, but they can save you time as you can attempt to fit into spaces you might not be confident to tackle without the tech.
Another key feature of the sensors is that you can turn them off. So if you are coming back to your home or regular parking space and don’t need their assistance, you can turn it off and park in peace!
On the next level to reversing cameras and parking sensors is an incredible technology that is starting to appear in more and more cars – automatic parallel parking. For many drivers, no matter how experienced you might be, the thought of parallel parking in a tight space, potentially stopping traffic and creating an audience of angry, impatient viewers – is enough to make you reconsider attempting to park at all.
Well there’s no longer a need to be afraid. Turn on your automatic parking system and let the car’s onboard computer and sensors do all the work for you.
When you switch on the device, the car will start monitoring the spaces beside you. When it comes across one it knows you can park, it will alert you to hand over control. What you do then is let go of the wheel and follow the car’s instructions. First, the car will slowly start to reverse inside. When you see the steering wheel moving by itself for the first time, it’s definitely a strange experience. Once the car has reversed backwards, you are prompted to take your foot off the accelerator as the wheel turns back to align your car for the final part of the manoeuvre.
It really has to be seen to be believed and, once you get used to it, makes parallel parking absolutely simple. So you save on time and don’t get the stress of the parking pile-up when other drivers wait for you to do your magic.
As well as parking, safety is the other area where technology has made life much easier for people, as well as reducing accidents as a whole.
The monotony of driving means it’s easy to zone out and lose your focus on the road. On the motorway or dual carriageway, it’s easy to start drifting from one side to the other. When this happens, you can cause other drivers to brake suddenly or swerve. And when you realise what you are doing, you can have a little fright and move your wheel quickly to adjust, losing control.
Lane control systems will help keep you safely between the white lines on the road. Some will give you a little alert to let you know you are drifting. Others will automatically correct the car for you, keeping you comfortably and safely between the lines.
A car stopping suddenly in front of you is one of the most common causes of road accidents. Relying on your own reflexes isn’t always enough, especially if the car in front does it suddenly without any apparent reason.
Automatic braking means your car will stop for you. Sensors built into the front bumper of your car will monitor the distance between you. If the distance starts to close dramatically, the car will automatically brake, saving you from a potentially dangerous collision.
The last bit of smart technology on this list covers the two key areas – parking and safety. When you pull out, most of us remember to check our blindspot. But if you are on a busy road or motorway, being able to check accurately is different.
Blindspot protection means that if your car detects another in your blindspot, it will prevent you from making the manoeuvre. That means you won’t be able to put you or another driver in danger, and will give you time to check again, this time properly, before you pull out/change lane.
If you’ve seen something you like on this list that’s not in your car, Creditplus can help you get behind the wheel of a smarter hatchback. Find out more by completing our quick online application form today.Apply Online Today!