Automatic gear shot

The top 9 best used automatic cars

Looking for a used automatic car? Here’s our pick of the best used cars with automatic gearboxes.

Automatic gearboxes make driving a lot easier. Removing the need to press the clutch and change gears means using your car, especially in stop-start traffic, is less tiring to use, both physically and mentally. And because of this, automatic cars are increasingly common.

That means that there are lots of used automatic cars out there. Around half of the cars we sell have an automatic gearbox, so there’s plenty to choose from. Whether you want a little urban runabout for nipping to the shops or a huge seven-seater for family trips abroad, these are nine of our favourite automatic cars.

1. Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta has been Britain’s most popular car for the best part of forty years, on-and-off, so it’s no surprise that the latest model is just as brilliant. All versions are good, but the ones with the automatic gearbox are some of the best on the market, and combined with powerful and efficient EcoBoost engines, it’s probably the best small car you can buy. 

It’s a small car, yes, but it doesn’t always feel like one. Passengers in the back seats get reasonable head and leg room and on shorter journeys the Fiesta can accommodate four adults in comfort. 

Read our Ford Fiesta review

The exterior of a white Ford Fiesta

2. Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf needs no introduction. It’s one of the world’s most popular cars and that’s partly because of how easy it is to drive. Its automatic gearboxes are known to be some of the best you can get and make driving a Golf in town or in the countryside relaxing and easy. With a larger engine, the Golf is a truly versatile used car and never feels out of place. 

It’s available in lots of different shapes and sizes, including estates and convertibles. The regular hatchback is our pick of the bunch, but the estate is an often overlooked family car. The 2.0-litre GTD is an efficient long-distance cruiser, while the 2.0-litre R model combines supercar performance with traditional Golf practicality. 

Read our Volkswagen Golf review

The exterior of a blue Volkswagen Golf

3. Renault Clio

Renault’s fashionable little hatchback is a doddle to drive in town thanks to light steering and compact dimensions. Add an automatic gearbox to the mix and you have the perfect urban runabout - built for the Champs Elysee, yet perfectly suited to the North Circular as well.

The Renault Clio is one of the most attractive cars of its size, too. As well as making the world’s best city cars, French car makers tend to be the most stylish. The Clio is particularly popular with young people who find the traditional image of small cars to be a bit boring. 

The rear exterior of an orange Renault Clio

4. Skoda Yeti

The Skoda Yeti is a practical all-rounder and one of the most critically-acclaimed cars of the past ten years. It was discontinued by its manufacturer in 2017 but still makes a great used car for families, especially in automatic form. 

The small petrol versions are great around town thanks to their boxy, compact dimensions. The diesel engines are fairly economical over long distances, but it’s the four-wheel drive models that offer the most versatility. It’s a great car if you tow large trailers, live in the countryside or simply want extra grip in slippery winter weather. 

Read our Skoda Yeti review

The front exterior of a red Skoda Yeti

5. Volvo XC90

The XC90 is Volvo’s largest car. It’s one of the best SUVs you can buy, thanks to its comfy, quiet interior and fantastic reputation for safety and reliability. There are few better cars for a long journey than the Volvo XC90, which cocoons you and your family in a relaxing, protective environment. Its quiet and efficient automatic gearbox makes all types of journey relaxing and economical - the XC90 is one of the best all-round family cars.

It is an expensive choice, especially when compared to excellent, good-value alternatives from car makers like Kia, Peugeot and Hyundai. But it’s also a great used buy, with prices that make sense to families who want something a bit premium, without paying over the odds. 

Read our Volvo XC90 review

The exterior of a white Volvo XC90

6. Citroen C3 Aircross

The funky styling of the Citroen C3 Aircross makes it one of the coolest cars on the road, but beneath that eye-catching exterior is some advanced technology. That includes a six-speed automatic gearbox, which allows for easy city driving and relaxing journeys when you get out of town as well. 

As with all Citroens, the C3 Aircross is designed for efficiency and comfort. This is a great car for long-distance driving and it comes into its own on the motorway and fast A-roads where its economical engines run quietly and smoothly. The seats are some of the comfiest and most supportive on the market.

The front exterior of an orange Citroen C3 Aircross

7. Mazda2

Mazda isn’t the biggest brand in the UK but it has a following of fans thanks to its advanced tech, great designs and dependable cars. Mazda’s excellent automatic gearbox is available on the more powerful versions of the Mazda2 hatchback, which we think is one of the best compact cars you can buy at the moment. 

The Japanese company has a fantastic reputation for reliability, which is a huge priority for a lot of busy families. If you choose a Mazda2 as your next car you’ll be investing in peace of mind, as well as clever design. 

Read our Mazda2 review

The front exterior of a blue Mazda 2

8. Seat Ateca

The Seat Ateca is a medium-sized SUV. Because of the way car companies are organised, it feels similar to a Volkswagen Golf inside and gets a lot of the same technology. Driving the automatic Ateca is a relaxing and comfortable experience and very economical on fuel, so it’s great for cost-conscious families who don’t want a full-sized SUV.

It’s also small enough to drive around town without feeling like a lorry. Compact dimensions and light steering help when navigating crowded car parks, making the Ateca a favourite with people who regularly drive into cities. For urban drivers, the automatic version is the one we’d recommend. 

The front exterior of a white Seat Ateca

9. Peugeot 5008

The Peugeot 5008 is a large SUV designed for families. It’s relatively easy to drive in town, but it’s best at long-distance motorway cruising, where its automatic gearboxes make driving for long periods of time quite relaxing. Quiet, comfortable and efficient, the automatic 5008 is a superb car for bigger trips. 

While automatic gearboxes are helpful on urban streets and in stop-start traffic, they also make driving in winter a bit easier too. And Peugeot’s 5008 SUV has a trick up its sleeve in particularly slippery conditions - despite being front-wheel drive the 5008 can maintain traction in snow and ice using its clever ‘Grip Control’ system.

The front exterior of a green Peugeot 5008

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