Cars with an automatic gearbox are becoming increasingly popular

At least on the new car market, as more buyers decide to prioritise ease of use with these models.

But there’s quite a difference between a good automatic gearbox and a bad one. So what are the top automatic transmission options if you’re looking at your next car? Here are our top choices.


Audi A4

The bulk of modern Audis are now equipped with automatic transmissions, and its gearboxes are typically some of the best around.

One of the best can be found in Audi’s mid-size A4, available as both a saloon or a more practical Avant estate. With a seven-speed S tronic auto found across the line-up of diesel and petrol engines, it’s a great choice. The A4 also has plenty to offer, with its superb build quality

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SEAT Ateca

If you’re in the market for an affordable and practical family SUV, the SEAT Ateca is quite hard to beat, while its impressive standard equipment levels and involving driving experience make it a top choice in this crowded class.

Its automatic gearbox options are also a great fit, particularly if you’re looking to make driving that bit easier and more involved. The Volkswagen Group’s seven-speed DSG automatic transmission also suits the Ateca well, with customers being able to choose this on both the 1.5-litre TSI petrol and 2.0-litre TDI.

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Silver Range Rover Sport side driving down dirt road

Range Rover

It shouldn’t come as any surprise to learn that all new Range Rovers are supplied with an automatic gearbox – it wouldn’t really add to the luxury experience of this SUV if you had to change gear yourself, after all.

The latest Range Rover’s eight-speed auto is also one of the best around, being silky smooth to match the ultra-refined driving experience. Moreover, petrol, diesel and a choice of hybrid powertrains are available here.

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You might think that automatic gearboxes are reserved for larger cars, but plenty of smaller models are now supplied with or available with one of these transmissions.

By small car standards, the PEUGEOT 208 is a real highlight, with its eight-speed auto being very smooth, while also getting paddles to let you change gear yourself should you so wish. Combined with the 208’s smart design and upmarket interior, this Peugeot is a very appealing choice.

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Cupra Formentor Hybrid in grey driving along a road

CUPRA Formentor

CUPRA is a brand that’s continuing to grow at quite a rate, with its smartly-styled Formentor SUV proving to be a popular choice. Its automatic gearbox options (again, using the VW Group’s DSG ‘box) are a great option too, being smooth and enabling plenty of performance should you put your foot down.

You can have the DSG across the line-up, from the more affordable 1.5-litre TSI petrol through to plug-in hybrids and even a flagship 316bhp 2.0-litre TSI performance version.

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Honda Civic

Honda’s Civic doesn’t use an automatic gearbox as such, but to save arguments as you don’t have to change gear yourself, we’re classing it as an ‘auto’. This latest generation is now sold purely as a hybrid, and it’s one of the smoothest and best powertrains of this type around. A great mix of performance and efficiency also makes it an easy win.

The Civic’s generous equipment levels, sporty driving experience and practical interior are further reasons to put this hatchback on your shortlist too.

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White Honda civic front view driving along a road
White Jaguar F-Pace exterior front parked

Jaguar F-Pace

Jaguar seems to have perfected its automatic gearboxes, and it’s quite a good job as none of its models these days are now supplied with a manual. In short, any Jaguar auto is great, but our particular highlight is the eight-speed ‘box found in the F-Pace SUV.

It’s one of the best SUVs around to drive, bringing a level of sportiness rarely found on vehicles of this type. Combine it with an upmarket interior and plenty of technology, and the F-Pace is able to hold its own in the premium SUV class.

Explore the Jaguar F-Pace



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