Automatic superminis can help take the stress out of tiring stop-start traffic while their compact size makes them easy to thread through tight city streets.
Here are the best small automatic cars on sale now:
- Hyundai i10
- Skoda Fabia
- Mini hatchback
- VW Polo
- SEAT Ibiza
- Renault Twingo
- Audi A1
- Kia Rio
- Ford Fiesta
- Hyundai i20
1. Hyundai i10
The Hyundai i10 might feature an old-school torque-converter automatic gearbox, but it changes gear smoothly and suits the car’s relaxed driving nature and comfortable ride well. Inside, you’ll find a roomy 252-litre boot and a simple, minimalist interior that comes with – in SE trim – Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB digital radio and cruise control as standard.
2. Skoda Fabia
The Skoda Fabia isn’t just well-made and spacious, but it boasts a simply massive – for a supermini – 300-litre boot. It might feel a little drab behind the wheel but all models come well-equipped and the optional DSG automatic gearbox complements its nearly pothole-proof ride. Unfortunately, only top-spec 1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel models are offered with this slick-shifting unit.
3. Mini Hatchback
The Mini Hatchback’s not only one of the most stylish superminis on sale, but it’s fantastic fun to drive, too. Inside, it looks smart, feels well-built and comes with an easy-to-use infotainment system that’s related to BMW’s excellent iDrive. The automatic gearbox changes gear smoothly and reacts quickly, too – it even helps boost fuel economy slightly in the case of sporty Cooper S model.
4. VW Polo
The brand-new VW Polo is even better than the old car, with crisper styling, a comfortable ride, a great range of engines and an upmarket interior. You can have virtual dials like on an expensive Audi, and it feels more premium and energetic than previous cars (and some other current VW cars). Its twin-clutch automatic – also used in the Skoda Fabia – is comfortable zipping around town or on the open road, but the VW is more expensive than the Skoda.
5. SEAT Ibiza
The SEAT Ibiza offers a more eye-catching alternative to the likes of its Polo and Fabia siblings. It’s not only more spacious than the VW, it features customisable colour packs and a more modern infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Unfortunately, a DSG automatic gearbox is only offered on the most powerful 1.0-litre petrol and 89hp 1.4-litre diesel models. The new SEAT Ibiza has recently been revealed.
6. Renault Twingo
Unlike most superminis and city cars, the Renault Twingo’s engine is fitted behind the passengers rather than under the bonnet. As a result, it boasts one of the tightest turning circles of any car on sale. Couple that with good visibility, a stylish cabin and a slick automatic gearbox, and you’ve a great little commuter car. Unfortunately, tucking the engine under the boot floor means the Twingo can only swallow 188 litres of luggage – far from class leading.
7. Audi A1
The Audi A1 is a premium supermini that’s offered in both three door and five-door Sportback body styles. Both come with an upmarket interior, a selection of efficient engines and the option of a smooth DSG automatic gearbox. It might come well-equipped as standard, but the A1’s slightly harsh ride, cramped rear seats and lofty purchase price mean it loses a few places on our list.
8. Kia Rio
The Kia Rio makes an excellent supermini bargain. It’s not only fairly good looking but comes with a range of frugal engines, a well-built and roomy interior and an impressive seven-year warranty. Its suspension feels a little firm at slow speeds but its light steering and automatic gearbox option will make it an ideal city car for many buyers.
9. Ford Fiesta
The standard manual Ford Fiesta is one of the most fun superminis you can buy. Even with the optional automatic unit, its well-sorted chassis will happily put a big smile on your face. Sure, it might feel a bit ‘last year’ inside and it’s not quite as spacious as some rivals, but it’s still a cheap-to-run and fairly affordable option in the highly competitive supermini market.
10. Hyundai i20
If a spacious supermini with good standard equipment and attractive styling is what you’re after, the Hyundai i20 could be perfect. Not only can its boot swallow an impressive 326 litres of luggage but mid-range models come with Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors and a DAB digital radio as standard. Unfortunately, its lazy four-speed automatic gearbox and slightly sluggish performance mean it falls to tenth place on our list.
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