RAC Cars News


The 7 Best Automatics For Your Money

By raccars Published

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Automatics have never been as popular as manual transmission cars in the UK, generally sneered at by purists. However, some buyers are obliged to buy automatic due to physical or licence limitations. While there's no problem finding a large, luxury vehicle as an automatic, more compact and economical cars with auto transmissions have not always benefited from the best in gearbox engineering until recently. The following are probably the best automatics available on a budget.

Perodua Myvi Ezi

Who? Malaysia's second biggest auto maker doesn't have very good penetration in the UK market but the Myvi is, in effect, a Toyota dressed in a Perodua outfit. It is driven by a four speed torque converter system rather than an automated manual gearbox, so is a better drive than many small automatics and is cheap to buy, but unfortunately its fuel economy figures are poor.

Skoda Citigo S 1.0 ASG

Part of a badge engineered trio with the VW Up and Seat Mii, the Citigo is stuck with a clunky and unwilling automated manual transmission where a torque converter or DSG dual clutch effort would have been better. However, the rest of the car does the job very nicely and it's a cheaper option than its counterparts.

Smart ForTwo MHD Auto

The free road tax on the ForTwo goes some way towards making up for the rather sluggish robotic manual transmission, which performs well enough in slow moving, urban traffic, but is a let down on more open roads. Only buy one if you intend to stick to the city, where Smarts have always been at their best.

Toyota Aygo Plus Multimode

Another member of a badge engineered group, in this case the Aygo's counterparts are the Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107. All use a shared engine and automated manual transmission combination but the Aygo is cheaper than its slightly more luxurious brothers. It's a good all rounder that could have been great with a torque converter.

Hyundai i10 Active Auto

The i10's torque converter auto transmission is less efficient but far smoother than most of the other options on this list. Fortunately, the VED is still pretty low and the car as a whole is a very competent and well built little unit.

Suzuki Alto 1.0 SZ4 Auto

The Alto is a slightly higher priced option but is well equipped and, like the i10, comes with a nice little torque converter automatic transmission, that does a good job of disguising the 1.0 litre engine's propensity for laziness.

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