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The Best Small Automatics – The Cars To Consider

In Britain, we often value cars that are practical, and for those of us who spend much of time commuting into the city this can mean smaller cars, a car that is easy to park and manoeuvre.

Automatics can also be a great option, they might not always be the best option for those who regularly travel the length of the country, but for those who often sit in traffic they are a great choice.

Looking at this crossover, what are some of the best small automatics you can buy today?

At North West Transmissions, we are experts in gearbox repair and providing refurbished models and so we see a huge number of automatic gearboxes. Some are more reliable than others.

We might be doing ourselves out of some work, but there are small automatic cars we would consider buying given our knowledge of their inner workings.

Peugeot 208

The Peugeot 208 has a superb automatic gearbox, it is not one we expect to see coming in for repairs on a regular basis.

The gearbox is an eight-speed called the EAT8 and it comes in both a 100hp and 130hp option, both models are smooth and fun to drive. The gear ratios are such that by the time you get to motorway causing the engine will be ticking over beautifully.

While not really part of our remit, we also think this car looks great, Peugeot always seem to make stylish cars and the interior fitting is of the highest standard.

Don’t all go out and buy one though!

Mini Hatch

The iconic Mini – a car beloved by all.

Great as they are, Minis have never really been renowned for their transmissions and so they are a vehicle where switching to automatic makes great sense, especially when they make such a good automatic transmission.

Here we have a seven-speed dual clutch transmission that, combined with the Mini’s shape and road handing, creates a car that is perfect for getting in and out of traffic. 

If they have this version of the Mini in the Italian Job, there’s no way they’d have been in danger of being caught in the iconic car chase.

The Mini was once a cheap, small option; now it is a car that is actually larger than a fair few in its class and puts many to shame in terms of performance.

Audi A1

If you want a premium brand then the Audi A1 may well be the car to choose. There is of course the cliched view that German engineering is of a high quality, but it also tends to be true – Audis are reliable and great to drive.

The A1 has the same gearbox as automatic versions of the VW Polo and Seat Ibiza but the car costs more of course. You are paying for a higher quality finish, extra refinement and, if we’re honest, the badge. 

You certainly get value for money with the Audi A1, but many will opt for one of the other makes where you get largely the same car just devoid of a few nice styling touches but at a cheaper price.

Seat Ibiza

As mentioned, the Ibiza has the same seven-speed DSG transmission as the A1.

Does it look as good as the A1? Probably not, it would also come second to the Polo in some people’s eyes. However, it is still well styled and has a good quality interior.

In terms of value for money, the Seat is very hard to beat, this reflected in it being named Parkers’ Car of the Year in 2019. When you opt for the A1 you are spending the extra money on intangibles, you are not seeing that extra expense deliver a notably better engine or transmission.

Ford Fiesta Powershift

Switching to the Powershift on the Fiesta comes at a price 0 about £1,400 to be precise – but many will deem this worth it.

The Fiesta has Ford’s famed handling and general drivability and the dual-shift enables gear shifts that are the equal of those you can achieve in a manual.

 A couple of negatives are that emissions take a hit by switching to this model and the fuel economy also drops off more than is seen with other automatics (though from a higher starting point in many cases).

As with all the options, there is a lot to love with this Ford.

About North West Transmissions

The above cars have superb automatic transmissions but as with all cars things can go wrong andthey do still require repair occasionally and units sometimes need replacing.

At North West Transmissions we repair gearboxes or source replacement with guaranteed refurbished units.

A family-run business, we have a truly superb reputation, this shown by our 4.9 out of 5 average rating from dozens of reviews on Google.

All reconditioned gearbxes come with guarantees for 12 months or 12,000 miles while reconditioned automatic units come with a re-manufactured torque converter that has a lifetime guarantee.

Our technicians are all highly skilled with vast experience in reconditioning and repairing all units – importantly their efficiency helps cut down the price of repairs and so too the cost.

Gearbox problems are all-too common. If you find yourself in need of a repair or reconditioned unit, that often being the more economical option in the long term, please contact us.

Call us on 0151 933 0257 or use our Contact Form.