Best Automatic Cars 2024

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Best automatic cars 2024

  • What are the best automatic cars?
  • We test and rate the contenders
  • Find an automatic car for sale

Looking to get yourself a new automatic car? Look no further, as our expert guide lists ten of the best automatic cars on sale now.

Fed up of changing gear with your left foot and a clutch pedal? Or already an automatic car convert in need of inspiration for your new car? You've come to the right place as we've listed the best automatic cars at a variety of price points. 

Automatic cars take a lot of the effort out of day-to-day driving, particularly in cities or heavy traffic. Commuters find them a lot more relaxing to drive, while at the other end of the scale many sports cars and supercars are so fast that fitting a manual gearbox simply wouldn't work. 

It used to be that all automatic cars commanded a price premium, but in recent years many cars have launched with an automatic gearbox as standard due to a fall in the popularity of manuals. Automatic cars also work much better with safety assist systems and kit such as adaptive cruise control, while basically every hybrid and electric car is automatic.

Whether you’re looking for a petrol, diesel, hybrid or electric, though, we’ve covered all the bases - including a wide range of the best automatic cars, ranging from efficient CVT transmissions to quick-shifting dual-clutch units and trusty torque converters. We've got small cars, SUVs, executive cars, 

If you're ready to buy we've got over 15,000 used automatic cars for sale, while if you want more choice, we have over 70,000 Used Cars for Sale for you to choose from. If you're looking to save money, check out our guide to the Best Car Deals.

Best automatic cars 2024

  1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  2. BMW 5 Series
  3. Mercedes-Benz A-Class
  4. Volkswagen T-Roc
  5. Hyundai Tucson
  6. Toyota Yaris Cross
  7. Skoda Octavia
  8. Porsche 718 Cayman
  9. Kia Niro EV
  10. Honda Jazz

1. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Year launched: 2021

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Review 2023: exterior front three quarter photo of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class on the road
9/10

If you're going to conquer the small posh saloon class, you'll need a great automatic gearbox – which is exactly what the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class has.

All C-Class models have a peachy nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard. It's a conventional torque converter with buttery smooth gear changes and none of the jerky manoeuvring you get with a twin-clutch auto. 

Nine gears sounds excessive but mean the C-Class is barely ticking over on the motorway, while you never drop out of the power band when you accelerate. The downside is it can take a little longer than a lesser-geared automatic to pick a ratio when you stamp on the throttle, but it's not a huge issue here. 

Comfort is the Mercedes C-Class' speciality and its luxuriously quiet cabin and plethora of driving aids mean it delivers that in spades. The C220d might be the entry-level diesel, but with loads of power and near 60mpg fuel economy, it's an accomplished all-rounder that gets our vote.  

2. BMW 5 Series

Year launched: 2017

BMW 5 Series
9/10

If you’ve got a lot of miles to cover, the BMW 5 Series is probably one of the best automatic cars money can buy. It combines a superb, spacious cabin with high levels of refinement and a sprinkling of driver enjoyment - with an automatic gearbox standard across the range. 

The eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox provides smooth, quick changes, while opting for the sport auto transmission adds paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, meaning you can take control and change gears for a sportier and more engaging feel when you're in the mood. 

There’s an engine for everyone, too. The entry-level petrol models are surprisingly characterful and efficient, while the six-cylinder diesels do a good job of ticking the ‘all the car you’d ever need’ box. You can also get a couple of plug-in hybrid models, badged 530e and 545e. 

Need more performance? There's the potent 540i and rapid M550i models available, too. And although those versions are more expensive, having been around since 2017 means prices are now creeping under the £20,000 mark. 

3. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Year launched: 2018

2023 Mercedes A-Class Review: rear dynamic
9/10

Proving you don’t need to drive a huge luxobarge to enjoy a premium car, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is one of the most desirable family hatchbacks on the market - beating even the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series in the classiness stakes.

It has a frankly stunning interior, while lots of clever technology (included augmented navigation) will keep you entertained for ages. It also represents good value for money (only marginally more expensive than a Volkswagen Golf) and it won’t cost a fortune to run, either.

You actually get the choice of two dual-clutch automatic gearboxes in the A-Class: a seven-speed unit, and an eight-speed ’box. We rate the seven-speed gearbox highly - this is available with A 180, A 200, A 250 and A 180 d models.

4. Volkswagen T-Roc

Year launched: 2018

Volkswagen T-Roc Review 2024: Static
8/10

If you’re after a fashionable crossover SUV with an automatic gearbox, the Volkswagen T-Roc should be up there on your shortlist alongside rivals like the Ford Puma and MINI Countryman.

There’s a T-Roc for everyone, including petrol and diesel models, as well as the hot range-topping T-Roc R (for those who like their hot hatch a little less, well, hatched). All of them get a decently finished, spacious interior, good kit levels and a comfortable and refined driving experience. 

Both the 1.5-litre TSI petrol and 2.0-litre TDI diesel are available with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. This suits both engines very well indeed, taking the hassle out of driving and making your life a little easier, while the shifts are very quick. There’s also a 2.0-litre TSI available with the DSG transmission, including the incredibly rapid 300PS T-Roc R.

5. Hyundai Tucson

Year launched: 2021

Hyundai Tucson Review 2024: exterior dynamic front
8/10

The Hyundai Tucson combines masses of street cred with the kind of family-friendly practicality and the result is a cool and sophisticated SUV. Hybrid power means it'll be cheap to run - and there are a wide range of engines to pick from, all of which are automatic.

We’d recommend going for the full hybrid or plug-in hybrid model as the small batteries means pulling away in electric-only mode is smoother than the self-charging hybrid engines.

A swish looking interior makes the Tucson a nice place to be for extended periods and noise is kept to a relative minimum. There’s plenty of room everywhere too, for both people and luggage. The second hand market has a good selection of nearly-new Tucsons at an eye-catching price if you’re looking to save money.

6. Toyota Yaris Cross

Year launched: 2021

Toyota Yaris Cross Review 2023: silver car front moving
8/10

The Toyota Yaris Cross is a little bit of an unsung hero. It’s fab to drive, has a solid interior and comes with plenty of features as standard. A pumped-up version of the standard Yaris, the Cross is - as the name suggests - a crossover SUV, so you get slightly more rugged looks and a raised ride height.

It’s also only available as an automatic, with a 1.5-litre petrol engine attached to an electric motor resulting in brisk performance around town. Efficiency is good too, thanks to the hybrid powertrain.

The Yaris Cross has a stylish yet functional interior, with enough space to transport a pair of adults and their luggage. The infotainment system works well, plus there’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support.

7. Skoda Octavia

Year launched: 2020

Skoda Octavia Review 2023: exterior front photo of the Skoda Octavia on the road
8/10

With a hard-wearing and spacious interior, heaps of advanced technology and sharp looks, alongside keen pricing, the Skoda Octavia is so good it’ll make you think twice about buying a new Volkswagen Golf.

It comes with the usual range of Volkswagen Group petrol and diesel engines, including a mild-hybrid 1.0-litre TSI e-TEC that’s sold exclusively with a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. While this is the engine of choice for city drivers, if you cover a lot of miles you’d be better with the 2.0 TDI diesel or 1.5 TSI petrol, both of which are available with a DSG transmission. 

There's also the Skoda Octavia vRS, offering a sportier drive without sacrificing practicality. Prices for the new Octavia with an automatic gearbox start in the region of £25,000, but you'll save some wedge by going for an example that's a couple of years old. 

8. Porsche 718 Cayman

Year launched: 2016

Porsche 718 Cayman Review 2023: exterior front three quarter photo of the Porsche 718 Cayman on the road
9/10

Purists will tell you you must have a manual gearbox with your Porsche sports car, but that doesn't mean that the brand's PDK gearbox is a dud. In fact, it's one of the finest automatic gearboxes at any price point - and it’s available in the relatively affordable Porsche 718 Cayman.

The 718 Cayman was a bit controversial when it arrived in 2016, dropping the six-cylinder engines in entry-level models in favour of four-cylinder turbocharged units (2.0-litres in the standard Cayman and 2.5 in the Cayman S). These still provide impressive performance, though, and will prove relatively cheap to run - the standard Cayman returns around 36mpg in the real world with the PDK gearbox.

If you simply must have a six-cylinder engine then you'll need to move up the range, looking at the fantastic Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 or the track-focused Cayman GT4 or GT4 RS models. All of which can be had with that PDK gearbox.

All versions of the Porsche 718 Cayman be a lot of fun to drive, with the kind of agile and exciting handling and everyday usability that the Cayman has attracted a strong following for. As standard, the rapid-shifting gearbox comes with paddles behind the steering wheel, so you can take control when you’re in the mood.

9. Kia Niro EV

Year launched: 2022

Kia Niro EV Review 2023: side static
8/10

Most electric cars don't actually come with gearboxes as such, but they drive in the same way as a conventional automatic car. Even more smoothly, in fact, with no gearshifts to notice and instant, silent acceleration.

All mass-market EVs fit this criteria, but one of our favourites is the latest Kia Niro EV. With funkier looks than the drab older model it ticks the desirability box, but also offers a high-tech yet functional and spacious interior, a good all-round driving experience and strong value for money. 

With a range of up to 285 miles, the Kia Niro EV might be all the car you ever need, so long as charging at home isn't problematic. Sadly it only launched late last year. meaning used examples have yet to trickle onto the market and offer a discvount on the £36,795 entry-level list price.

10. Honda Jazz

Year launched: 2020

Honda Jazz Review 2023 front left exterior
8/10

The Honda Jazz has a bit of a fuddy-duddy image but that’s not entirely justified. The latest model, launched in 2020, is loaded with technology and comes with hybrid power as standard, while its certainly more sharp-suited to look at than older versions. 

The hybrid-only Jazz includes a slick CVT automatic gearbox and an electric motor which enables the petrol engine to kick in and out around town, making for a very relaxed drive in heavy traffic. It’s also surprisingly quiet and refined on the move - the Honda Jazz is well up to the job of darting in and out of motorway traffic.

Of course, most people buy a Honda Jazz for its strong reliability record, low running costs and huge amount of practicality. It’s technically an alternative to the likes of the Ford Fiesta, only its clever Magic Seat arrangement means it’s more versatile than bigger cars like the Volkswagen Golf.

Best Automatic Car FAQs

Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

There's automatic gearbox available in pretty much every type of car, from small cars to large SUVs and sports cars. The best automatic car for you depends on your needs: we rate the Honda Jazz hybrid at the lower price point, while the Skoda Octavia, BMW 5 Series and Toyota RAV4 also tick many boxes. 

Automatic cars are traditionally seen as more expensive to buy and run compared to those with manual transmissions. You’ll usually pay a small premium to buy an automatic car, but the running costs aren’t necessarily much higher. Fuel economy is generally a few MPG less than a manual but other factors, like the way the car’s driven, are likely to have a bigger influence. Automatic gearboxes are generally pretty reliable, and you won’t have to change the clutch a few years down the line.

There are a number of different automatic gearboxes and they all have their own plus and minus points. Traditional automatic gearboxes are known as ‘torque-converters’, while clever dual-clutch transmissions (with lightning quick gear changes) are increasingly popular. CVT transmissions can be less refined but are generally very efficient and reliable. Automated manual gearboxes are popular in small cars as they’re generally more affordable.

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class

C220d AMG Line 5dr 9G-Tronic

201785,000 milesdieselsemi-auto
£15,999
Deposit con. £500
£306mo PCP
CT20AD

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £306.01, Customer Deposit: £2,399.00, Total Deposit: £2,899.85, Manufacturer Deposit Contribution: £500.00, Optional Final Payment: £5,335.00, Total Charge For Credit: £3,252.21, Total Amount Payable: £19,251.21, Representative APR: 12%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 11.33%, Excess Mileage Charge: 10.8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

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Mercedes-Benz C-Class

C220d AMG Line Premium 4dr 9G-Tronic

201916,592 milesdieselsemi-auto
£22,499
Deposit con. £500
£318mo PCP
ME159YN

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £317.72, Customer Deposit: £3,374.00, Total Deposit: £3,874.85, Manufacturer Deposit Contribution: £500.00, Optional Final Payment: £12,585.00, Total Charge For Credit: £5,398.77, Total Amount Payable: £27,897.77, Representative APR: 12%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 11.33%, Excess Mileage Charge: 10.8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

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