Which Small Automatic? - pete&hisgolf
I have a problem with my left knee and it looks like I need a car with an automatic transmission. It has to be reliable. I'd prefer something small (no bigger than my Mazda 323 because of a narrow garage). I'd also like something with a bit of oomph that handles well. I have a horrible feeling that I'm asking for the impossible, but any suggestions would be very welcome.


Which Small Automatic? - mark111
Honda and Toyota automatics are well known for their reliability. Perhaps look at them. Automatics these days can be very reliable, and many of the newer small autos have similar performance to a manual transmission. If you want oomph you may want to get one with a sport mode which is an on/off button. When sport mode is switched on, each gear is held for longer making it faster and sportier. You could also get a tiptronic. These have both manual and auto modes - so you can do the gear changing yourself with manual mode, or you can put in in Drive/auto mode and let the car do it for you. Its you choice.

What is your budget? Are you buying used or new? We can then give you better suggestions.
Which Small Automatic? - pete&hisgolf
Thanks Mark, that's really helpful - I didn't know about the sport button, and I kind of assumed that automatics would be less reliable and have much inferior performance. Budget is around £8K, which probably means going for something used.

Which Small Automatic? - Thommo
Honda Civic. £8k will get you a nice 03 1.6 which is no sports car but no slouch either.
Which Small Automatic? - NowWheels
I'm delighted with my Nissan Almera 1.8SE automatic. Paid under £7K from a main dealer at 16 months old, with 14K on the clock.

It's very comfortable (if you don't mind a firm ride), and has very sharp and secure handling, and has a good reputation for reliability. All the toys: leccy windows, climate control, steering wheel control of CD etc.

The Honda and Toyota are both nice cars, but your money will buy you a much newer Almera.
Which Small Automatic? - local yokel
Mrs LY loves her Focus 1.6 LX Auto - as do I - it rides on rails and is sharp. Her 51 cost £5,000 a year ago with 38k.

HJ's most recent auction report had: "Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec auto no a/c, 03 reg, 38k miles £4,400p"
Which Small Automatic? - Thommo
SCOUSE alert. The word 'leccy' has been used. Hide the silverware.
Which Small Automatic? - NowWheels
Who you calling a scally, thommo?

Which Small Automatic? - pete&hisgolf
These responses have been really helpful - I hadn't considered focus, civic, almera. I have two questions:
(1) how reliable are they in automatic guise?
(2) how do I find out how wide they are (so they fit in my garage)?. A quick google hasn't thrown up the answer

Thanks for the suggestions

Which Small Automatic? - machika
Another addition to your list - Suzuki Swift. We got a 10 month old auto for £7.5K.

It would definitely fit in your garage (mirrors fold in anyway) and it will be a lot cheaper than a Jazz auto. It is one of the few small cars I have sat in that have decent seats.
Which Small Automatic? - Spospe
My wife bought a Yaris 1.3 in May with the MMT (Multi-Mode-Transmission) gearbox. this is a manual box with an automated gear change, but you can swop cogs manually if you like by moving the 'gear' lever (no clutch)

It has a 'Sport' button which delays upshifts and thus gives a 'sportier' drive. This feature can be turned on or off at will but to be honest, apart from trying it out of curiosity when the car was new, we leave it off. The gear changes in 'sport' mode are jerkier than in the normal 'easy' mode and she finds the performance is OK as it is.

Which Small Automatic? - Pugugly {P}
Is that an automatic or manual in Driving Licence terms. or does that clause still apply....?
Which Small Automatic? - Avant
I think that depends on whether it has a clutch pedal - if you take your test in a car without a clutch pedal, you aren't qualified to drive one that has.
Which Small Automatic? - blue_haddock
Yaris MMT is officially classed as an auto.
Which Small Automatic? - mark111
Yes any car without a clutch pedal is classed as an automatic. I guess you could call it semi-auto though.
Which Small Automatic? - Honestjohn
About now Perodua will be launching its MYVI which is a small 5 door hatch powered by the Yaris 1.3 chain cam engine and with the option of the old Yaris 4-speed torque converter auto, not longer available on European Yaris. Should be about £8,000 - £8,500.

Which Small Automatic? - Bill Payer
It doesn't really fit the "bit of oomph" spec, but it should fit in your garage - Honda Jazz.

Check it's comfortable though - the more upright driving position may be useful or it may be detrimental to your knee. The ride on the latest ones is a vast improvement and the handling's OK.
Which Small Automatic? - Avant
As I've just said in another thread, you'll be hard pushed to get much 'oomph' out of any automatic under 2 litres.

A Golf, Octavia or Leon 2.0 DSG could suit you if any if them would fit your garage and your budget..
Which Small Automatic? - Avant
Sorry - missed seeing that your budget is £8k.

Maybe Thommo's suggestion of the Civic is the best bet - but it's quite a wide car (I know because slotting my B-class in beside SWMBO's Civic in our double garage can be a struggle sometimes).
Which Small Automatic? - pete&hisgolf
These suggestions have all been really helpful - thanks! I like the look, and size, of a Swift but I do want something that is tried and tested technology. I agree that the Civic might be a bit wide (would a focus be smaller?).]

Thanks again

Which Small Automatic? - mark111
> "As I've just said in another thread, you'll be hard pushed to get much 'oomph' out of any automatic under 2 litres."

Well that depends on what type of auto you get. The torque converter ones will not be as fast, but I wouldn't say they are slow. Myself, I have a 1.6 torque converter auto which is faster enougth for me, plenty of oomph.

CVT and automated manual (manual gearbox with auto clutch) auto boxes will generally have similar performance to a manual. DSG autos are actually faster the manuals. However I doubt you could get DSG on your budget cause they are quite new. Lots of NEWER small cars (fiesta, corsa, yaris, clio, punto, Jazz etc) usually have either CVT or automated manuals on thier small engined cars. Like I said they will have simliar performance to a manual. Although whether its manual or auto, the higher the engine size the more oomph you will get.

Ask Honest John

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