Face it, you're not a gear head. 

A slick shift from 1st to 2nd doesn't fill you with joy - not least because you're stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a daily basis. 

Some of us just want an easy life, and that's okay. 

Automatic cars in the UK used to only be found in upmarket, more luxurious cars. If you sourced an affordable car that had an automatic transmission, it was almost guaranteed to be dreadful.

Thankfully, this isn't the case anymore - there's a lot of affordable car models that have automatic transmissions that are actually good. 

Of course, there’s still plenty of automatic options if you fancy  something a little more luxurious.

We're going to run you through the advantages of driving an automatic car, before letting you know our top 10 best automatic cars of 2019. 

Why choose an automatic? 

An automatic is obviously easier to drive - you don't need to worry about changing gears so you can give your left leg a break! 

Here's a few other reasons why you might want to consider driving a car with an automatic gearbox: 

Great in traffic: Handbrake on, handbrake off, into first, into second, back into first...sitting in traffic isn't fun in a manual. An automatic lets you sit back and relax without having to constantly shift gears. 

Less likely to break: We're all guilty of shifting aggressively and holding onto the gearstick for dear life. An automatic is far less susceptible to driver abuse, and might save you from a hefty repair bill down the road. 

Arguably safer: Having two hands on the wheel at all times is safer than having one hand occupied with the gearbox. With two hands, you can react more quickly to incoming threats and focus more on the road. 

Automatics aren’t perfect though. Here’s a few drawbacks: 

More expensive: Automatic cars are more expensive to buy than manual cars. This is due to the automatic gearbox being quite complex, as well as being more desirable. As they’re rarer, the repair price is more expensive than with a regular manual gearbox.

Lack of control: This is a big one for most people. Some people like to be completely in control to select gears, particularly if you’re often going up hills or steep roads. While automatics these days are pretty good at picking the optimum gear, it’s good to have total control sometimes. 

Best Automatic Cars of 2019 

With so many car models available with an automatic transmission, it can be hard to determine which ones are worth a look. All automatic transmissions aren’t created equal, and some are pretty poor when compared to their manual transmission counterparts. 

To save you some time, we’ve identified the best cars with automatic transmissions - from affordable city cars to luxurious saloons.

From £11,501 or from £139.38 per month on LeaseFetcher.

A city car with an automatic transmission? Even a few years ago, this would’ve been unthinkable.

What’s more, the Hyundai i10 actually has a good automatic transmission! It’s far better than similar competitors. For instance, take the Volkswagen Up - a car with most of the same features as the i10. While the i10’s automatic transmission is smooth and refined, the Up is plagued with a disappointing gearbox that makes it painful to drive for more than 10 minutes.

The Hyundai i10 makes a fantastic first car. It’s super small so it’s excellent for city driving, manages to holds it own on the motorway, and has some excellent tech - like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

If you fancy a car with an automatic transmission on a budget, the Hyundai i10 is an excellent choice.

Standout Features: 

  • Five-year Hyundai warranty.
  • Rear parking sensors.  

Pros: 

  • Great value for money. 
  • Build quality is brilliant.

Cons: 

  • Not very exciting looking.
  • Driving it can be a touch dull. 
14 viewed this car I10 Hatchback View Gallery
7.4

Hyundai I10 Hatchback

10 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.2
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 93 - 141g/km

From £107.18 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,286.16 inc VAT
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From £15,245 or from £208.75 per month on LeaseFetcher.

It makes sense that Britain’s most popular car is available as an automatic. While more expensive up front, Ford’s ultra efficient EcoBoost engine gives you an incredible fuel economy of 57.5mpg, so you won’t be spending too much at the fuel pumps.  

The manual transmission Fiesta is renowned for being fun to drive. Thankfully, an automatic transmission doesn't change this. The steering is still super responsive and the handling is excellent. The 1.0 litre EcoBoost is deceptively powerful - so you’ll have no problem overtaking on the motorway. 

If a city car is a touch too small for you but you still want a compact car, then the Fiesta is a great choice. With both three and five-door models available, you can easily fit in all of your mates comfortably. 

Standout Features: 

  • EcoBoost engine is truly excellent.
  • Active park assist. 

Pros: 

  • Looks fantastic. 
  • Still amazing to drive with an automatic transmission. 

Cons:  

  • EcoBoost option is a bit too expensive. 
  • Base trims are lacking in tech.
44 viewed this car Fiesta Hatchback View Gallery
7.3

Ford Fiesta Hatchback

99 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £125.26 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,503.12 inc VAT
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From £20,115 or from £199.87 per month on LeaseFetcher.

The VW Golf is a true all rounder. Big sister of the Polo, the Golf is an ideal car for a small family. 

Driving with your significant other criticising you and your kids bouncing off the windows in the back can be stressful. Luckily, the VW Golf is available with an automatic transmission, so you have one less thing to worry about! Volkswagen’s dual clutch transmission is efficient and handles gear changes seamlessly. 

The Volkswagen Golf is as good as ever to drive. It’s refined, smooth but with a sporty edge that makes country roads exciting to drive on. The automatic transmission is well balanced, so you won’t feel short on power. 

Standout Features: 

  • Winter Pack with heated seats. 
  • Dual-zone climate control to stop the kids complaining. 

Pros: 

  • Cabin quality is as good as you’d expect. 
  • Refined driving experience. 

Cons: 

  • Not as good as it once was. 
  • Competitors offer better value for money.
49 viewed this car Golf Hatchback View Gallery
7.7

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

39 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.2
  • Fuel: P, D, X, E
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £174.00 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,566.00 inc VAT
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From £22,745 or from £226.79 per month on LeaseFetcher. 

Mercedes is an extremely desirable brand, and people will overlook issues just to get their hands on that badge. Nothing demonstrates this more than how well the previous generation Mercedes A-Class sold in the UK - despite being a bit rubbish! 

The latest generation however, is impressive. The new A Class has a distinctive muscular design that makes it stand out from others in class. It really does have that premium Mercedes look and feel.

 

Mercedes are often fitted with automatics and it’s easy to see why. When you pay for luxury, you want easy driving! The Mercedes A-Class eight-speed transmission is brilliant. 

This all comes at a price though. The A-class may be a budget option in the Mercedes world, but it’s still a seriously expensive small hatchback. If you have the budget and want luxury and small form factor, you can’t go wrong with the A-Class. 

Standout Features: 

  • Voice-Control system. 
  • Glass Cockpit - no knobs or dials. 

Pros: 

  • Stunning looking. 
  • The tech is amazing for a small car. 

Cons: 

  • Way too expensive for a small hatchback.  
  • Doesn’t drive as well as cheaper rivals, like the Ford Fiesta. 
166 viewed this car A Class Hatchback View Gallery
7.3

Mercedes-Benz A Class Hatchback

88 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.1
  • Fuel: D, P, X
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 32 - 197g/km

From £212.19 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,546.28 inc VAT
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From £31,460 or from £272.30 per month on LeaseFetcher.

A true mainstay of European motoring, the BMW 3 Series remains an excellent choice in 2019. BMW offers an excellent happy medium between decadent luxuries and performance. 

Unfortunately for BMW, the days of the 3-Series being head and shoulders above the competition in this class are over. With cheaper competitors getting better and better each year, BMW has their work cut out in making the 3-series stand out. 

The 2019 3-series accentuates everything we loved about the old version - it looks as good as ever and drives like a dream. BMW has had a lot of practice perfecting the automatic transmission, and this is an area where they continue to reign over competitors in this class.  

Standout Features: 

  • BMW Personal Assistant (voice control). 
  • Reversing assistant. 

Pros: 

  • Handling and powertrains still class-leading.
  • Lots of great tech, even on standard trim.

Cons:

  • Competitors, like the Skoda Octavia, are almost as good yet are much cheaper.
  • Can be uncomfortable on rocky/uneven terrain.
56 viewed this car 3 Series Saloon View Gallery
8.3

BMW 3 Series Saloon

75 derivatives available

  • Doors: 2 - 4
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.0
  • Fuel: P, D, H, X
  • Body: Saloon
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £284.02 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,556.14 inc VAT
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From £18,545 or from £187.21 per month on Leasefetcher.

When Honda revealed the Civic’s sportier new look in 2018, the opinions were polarising. Some loved it, and some preferred the simpler and inoffensive design of the old Civic. 

Well we happen to love it, and we also love the automatic transmission on the new Civic even more! You know you’re getting value with money when you go Honda, and their incredible reliability record speaks for itself. 

While not as refined an automatic experience as a BMW-3 series, you can bet that the BMW will need repaired before the Honda does!

Standout Features: 

  • Wireless charging.
  • Honda CONNECT with Garmin Navigation. 

Pros: 

  • Twin-turbo engines (particularly the 1.5 litre petrol engine) are great.
  • Safety kit, even on standard trim, is excellent,

Cons: 

  • Divisive design. 
  • Not as spacious as it used to be.
19 viewed this car Civic Hatchback View Gallery
7.5

Honda Civic Hatchback

26 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.2
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £179.68 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,617.12 inc VAT
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From £19,685 or from £215.15 per month on LeaseFetcher.

It’s easy to forget that there was a time when Skoda was a laughable car maker. In 2019, the  VW-owned automotive company are at the top of their game, and it shows with the latest Skoda Octavia. 

The Skoda Octavia’s value for money is truly incredible, coming in significantly cheaper than upmarket rivals Audi and BMW. 

The Octavia, WhatCars Family Car of the Year for 2019, is a car that manages to have great practicality while still being fun. With a wide range of trims, you can go as sporty as you want to (or can afford)! 

With the performance spec VRS doing an impressive, 0-60 in 6.7 seconds, the Octavia gives the likes of the BMW 3 series a run for its money. Skoda has learned a lot from owners Volkswagen, and they sure know how to design a great automatic transmission - which makes the Octavia even more enjoyable to own. 

Standout Features: 

  • Different driving modes (eco/comfort/sport/custom). 
  • Voice control. 

Pros: 

  • Good interior build quality.
  • Deceptively spacious 

Cons: 

  • Design is a bit dull.
  • Competitors are more exciting to drive.
26 viewed this car Octavia Hatchback View Gallery
7.5

Skoda Octavia Hatchback

29 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 90 - 221g/km

From £166.88 Per Month

Initial Rental: £2,002.56 inc VAT
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From £23,449 or from £202.37 per month on  LeaseFetcher.

Not all of us want an exciting, high performance car. For many of us, particularly those on a budget, just want something that has excellent fuel economy and reliability. 

The Prius has a reputation of being ‘boring, but efficient’, and it’s admittedly well earned. You’re not going to giggle driving round country roads in a Prius. Toyota’s CVT transmission (continuously variable transmission) is a bit dull, but it does the job.

And with a fuel economy of 83 mpg, who needs fun?! Available as a Hybrid or Electric, the Prius has an excellent CVT automatic transmission with ridiculously low running costs. It’s super easy to drive and is a true no-hassle car. 

(If you’re in the market for an electric or hybrid car, check out our ‘best electric cars’ and ‘best hybrid cars’ lists!)  

Standout Features: 

  • Night-time Pedestrian Detection 
  • Smart Entry and one button start 

Pros: 

  • Incredible fuel economy. 
  • Lots of safety features as standard. 

Cons: 

  • Still an ugly car. 
  • Extremely boring to drive. 

17 viewed this car Prius Hatchback View Gallery
7.8

Toyota Prius Hatchback

12 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.8
  • Fuel: H, X
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: A
  • CO2: 28 - 104g/km

From £202.37 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,821.33 inc VAT
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From £23,560 or from £288.42 per month on LeaseFetcher.

Audi isn’t the most adventurous car brand these days - the last few generations of  the A3 have looked pretty much the same. However, this isn’t a bad thing. 

Focused on evolution over revolution, the A3 becomes more and more refined (however subtly) with each new iteration. New tech is incorporated in an elegant manner, and the cars dashboard never looks overcrowded.

Audi is a brand focused on luxury and ease of use. The A3 doesn’t disappoint in this regard, with the A3’s automatic transmission being a pleasure to use. It’s smooth and intelligent, and manages to strike a fine balance between luxury and fun. 

Standout Features: 

  • Choice of dynamic or sport suspension.
  • Option of Quattro all-wheel-drive 

Pros: 

  • Truly stunning inside and out. 
  • Great fun to drive, while still being comfortable.

Cons: 

  • Lack of design change from the old one might disappoint some. 
  • Trim options can be a bit confusing. 
52 viewed this car A3 Sportback View Gallery
7.3

Audi A3 Sportback

55 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.2
  • Fuel: P, D, X
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £193.50 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,741.50 inc VAT
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From £34,210 or from £326.08 per month on LeaseFetcher.

For many, the only people who drive Jaguars are balding men who are rapidly approaching retirement age - well-off types who want a relaxed and easy life. 

It can’t be denied, whether you’re 54 or 24, that the Jaguar XF is an incredible car. With an 8 speed gearbox, Jaguar has one of the best automatic transmissions in the game. A true ‘executive saloon’, the XF is as refined a drive as you’d expect it to be for the price. 

Jaguars are all about luxury, but it’s luxury with logic. Every feature makes sense and doesn’t feel like pointless tech.

Standout Features: 

  • 5 Star EURO NCAP rating.
  • Fastest model does 0-60 in 5.9 seconds. 

Pros: 

  • An absolute joy to drive - refined, comfortable, and fun. Diesel engines are efficient.
  • Really well designed body.  

Cons: 

  • Interior should be better for the price. 
  • Competitors offer better value for money.
23 viewed this car XF Saloon View Gallery
8.2

Jaguar XF Saloon

34 derivatives available

  • Doors: 4
  • Engine: 0.0 - 5.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Saloon
  • Drive: A, M
  • CO2: 114 - 299g/km

From £344.84 Per Month

Initial Rental: £3,103.56 inc VAT
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Honourable mentions: 

Cars that have great automatic transmissions, but just didn’t quite make the list: 

Mazda 6 - from £185.26 per month on LeaseFetcher.

Mini Hatchback - from £176.99 per month on LeaseFetcher.

Kia Sportage SUV - from £222.07 per month on LeaseFetcher.

Summary: 

In 2019, automatic cars come in all shapes and sizes. From the pint sized Hyundai i10, to the intimidating Jaguar XF, there’s something for everyone. 

One of the drawbacks of an automatic is the higher up-front cost. For many, this is a dealbreaker.

However, if you have your heart set on an automatic but can’t afford to buy a new car outright (and don’t trust used cars) then why not check out a lease deal. 

Leasing lets you pay one low monthly price for an automatic car without having to worry about the big up front cost. 

To get the cheapest lease deal on an automatic car check out LeaseFetcher.