Small car, auto gearbox – a combination that works well with these top six
A big V8 with an automatic transmission stuffed with cogs can be a seriously rewarding and relaxing experience, but a small engine with an auto box can be just the opposite. Although there are many such downsized combinations on the market, quite often the engine just doesn’t have the power to fully handle the transmission. However, get it right and you have a sweet and economical combination. Just like you’ll find in our top six. So, without further ado, we count down our chart.
6. Renault Zoe Dynamique Nav Rapid Charge
Renault’s small electric car gets round the whole problem of wrestling with gears anyway. It’s also very economical, can go about 90 miles on a charge and comes well equipped. All this and it costs roughly the same on finance as competitors like Renault’s Clio.
5. Audi A1 1.0 TSI 95 Sport S Tronic 3dr
Audi’s smallest A-car is a premium product, whichever version of it you get. But this model comes with the high-spec dual-clutch S Tronic transmission, similar to what you’d find in the biggest of Audis. Unsurprisingly, this A1 has strong residuals when it comes time to sell it on, and that top-notch cabin. Don’t go for bigger wheels or S line trim as all that just makes the ride too hard.
4. Ford Fiesta 1.0 100 Ecoboost Zetec Powershift 5dr
The Powershift moniker obviously refers to the automatic gearbox, a unit which works very well with the fairly pokey Ecoboost 1.0-litre engine. We’d recommend this in Zetec trim, which pushes the list price over £15,000 – but your renowned negotiating skills should get the final price back under that level.
3. Mini 5dr Cooper Chili Media XL Auto
The XL doesn’t refer to the size of this Mini, although having five doors does allow it have more rear space and with a bigger boot than the 3dr model. With the six-speed auto box you have a crisply-changing unit that still allows you to have fun in this fine-handling Mini.
2. Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI 90 Match DSG 5dr
The twin-clutch DSG automatic in the Polo seems to really suit it. Compared to most of the others here, it feels a more grown-up car, more like a Golf. It’s quiet, comfy and well finished, so an auto is in keeping with its character.
1. Skoda Fabia 1.2 TSI 110 SE DSG 5dr
You’ll find the same transmission in this Fabia as in the Polo above, along with virtually the same engine choices. However, in the Fabia you’re saving some money while not forgoing any of the enjoyment or sophistication. It has the same strengths as the Polo, but at a lower premium – in price terms only.