Best finance deals for automatic cars

Do you need an automatic car? Do you need affordable car finance? Then you’ll love these affordable automatic car finance deals...

James Wilson
Jul 22, 2020

You don’t need to hate driving a manual car to like automatics. In fact, as the list below shows, if you like low monthly car payments that's a good enough reason to go for a self-shifter. The thing is, us UK motorists tend to favour a manual gearbox over an automatic despite the fact many of us would find our lives simplified with an auto.

Not only does an automatic ‘box take the edge off driving in stop/start traffic or cruising down a busy motorway, many of the stigmas that have plagued automatics through the years simply aren’t true any more. For example, many drivers believe automatic cars have worse fuel economy than an equivalent manual - not always the case these days.

Others think automatics are slower than manuals - that's rubbish these days - Ferrari doesn’t sell a car with a manual transmission anymore and neither do Lamborghini or McLaren. More than this, where manual and automatic gearboxes are available on the same car, it's often the auto that accelerates faster and uses less fuel.

Of course, driving isn’t just about going fast or using a teaspoon of fuel to travel 1,000 miles. It can sometimes be about getting from A to B in comfort with all your stuff time and time again - and it is these types of car this article focuses on. Automatic cars that take one bit of stress out of life.

Below are eight of the best automatic cars on sale right now which represent good value if you are purchasing with PCP finance - which offers lower monthly payments than Hire Purchase or a traditional loan. The most affordable models cost well under £150 per month, with even the most decadent on this list come in at less than £400 per month.

Best automatic cars available on finance

1. Vauxhall Corsa

Used deals from £10,500
Monthly finance from £191

While there may be an all-new Vauxhall Corsa on sale now, the previous generation was a great car - especially as a used buy thanks to its very low prices - and went toe-to-toe with the impressive Ford Fiesta in many areas.

There are only two engines available with an automatic gearbox in the Corsa and both are petrol-powered. They are pretty similar in size (1.2 or 1.4 litres) but it is the larger capacity option that you want, as it works better with the automatic gearbox.

Vauxhall’s little hatchback really comes into its own when considering value for money - costs start well under the £150 per month mark. Active models are the entry-point to the range and come with decent amounts of equipment but we’d go for better-equipped Design or Energy trims.

VAUXHALL CORSA BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Mazda 2

Used deals from £9,100
Monthly finance from £173

Mazda’s 2 is one of the sportiest standard superminis on the market - with 'supermini' being a term used to describe compact hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta, and of course the Mazda 2, which are larger than city cars but smaller than family hatchbacks like the VW Golf.

Not only is the Mazda 2 great to drive but it looks sharp, as well. Where the automatic models fall down, perhaps, is engine choice as there is only one unit available with a shelf-shifting gearbox. This is a petrol engine, which is what most drivers looking for a small car are after, though, so that one could be perfect for your needs.

Prices for the latest generation Mazda 2 paired with an automatic transmission start well under £200 per month with trims on offer including SE-L and Sport. As standard SE-L models get alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control and rear electric windows. Sport models get a slightly sportier-looking exterior, should that float your boat.

MAZDA 2 BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Nissan Juke

Used deals from £7,995
Monthly finance from £154

Back in 2014, the Juke was treated to a refreshed 'X-tronic' (Nissan speak for automatic) gearbox. It transformed the automatic Juke from a car that you would struggle to recommend to a car that was hard not to for those after a striking and high-riding self-shifting 'crossover'. This was largely thanks to the car being smooth and easy to drive in automatic form, yet able to keep up with things when driven in a more sporty fashion.

Nissan offered the Juke automatic with a number of trims and even the entry-level Acenta spec came with alloy wheels, Bluetooth and climate control. There was a choice of engines, too - a two-wheel-drive 1.6-litre petrol producing around 115hp or a four-wheel-drive 1.6-litre petrol producing just under 190hp.

To top things off Nissan offered an automatic high-performance Nismo RS model with well over 200hp, although these are normally more expensive than the standard Jukes. This also prioritises a sporty feel over comfort with firm suspension, so unless you want the strange combination of small, high-riding car with a stiff ride and an automatic gearbox, we'd recommend one of the less powerful versions.

NISSAN JUKE BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Skoda Superb

Used deals from £11,350
Monthly finance from £174

Let’s not beat about the bush, the Skoda Superb can be all the car a motorist ever needs - whether you want an upmarket car for relaxed commuting, a big-booted hatchback or estate for your various hobbies or have long-legged teenagers who need as much space as possible in the rear seats.

There is a wonderful range of engines (petrol and diesel) of which some are available with four-wheel-drive and the choice of hatchback or estate body styles. A high-performance version was offered, too. It might not be the kind of car you'd want to fling around Silverstone, but it is very fast and enjoyable to drive.

The good news doesn’t end there, either. All Superbs come with an impressive kit list; entry-level S variants feature air-conditioning, cruise control and a touchscreen media system that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.

SKODA SUPERB BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Hyundai Ioniq

Used deals from £12,499
Monthly finance from £180

Hyundai only offers the Ioniq as an automatic. While this might seem unusual at first it is actually pretty normal for this type of car. The reason being is all Ioniqs feature some degree of electrification - with hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric versions available - which, from an engineering standpoint makes an automatic gearbox the best option.

Here we are only talking about self-charging hybrid Ioniqs, as these are the most affordable. Since even the standard hybrid version is pretty economical, it's possible that this basic Ioniq hybrid could cost you less overall - including fuel and purchase costs - than the plug-in hybrid or electric model.

Hyundai refreshed the Ioniq in 2019 and if your budget will stretch to one of these updated models, they are well worth hunting out for the improved interior. Regardless of which version you go for, all are well-equipped and thanks to the hybrid powertrain will be very frugal indeed - especially if you mainly drive around town.

HYUNDAI IONIQ BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Mercedes CLA

Used deals from £14,500
Monthly finance from £205

How best to describe the first-generation Mercedes CLA? A supposedly more desirable alternative to the A-Class seems fitting. We say 'supposedly' as the CLA can have something of a marmite effect - some love the way it looks, some hate it.

Mercedes offers the CLA as what it calls a 'four-door coupe' - essentially this is a sleek four-door saloon, with a metal boot opening rather than a hatchback, prioritising style over practicality - and a 'shooting brake' - a fancy name for an estate, a five-door hatchback with a slightly larger boot.

There are a number of petrol and diesel engines on offer which can cater to those after economy, performance or something in between. Trims are similar to most of Mercedes’ range, with Sport, AMG Line and AMG Sport amongst the most common on the second-hand car market. And, as with many Mercedes models, the automatic gearbox options suit the car best.

MERCEDES CLA BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Lexus NX

Used deals from £19,400
Monthly finance from £288

A Lexus might not have the same street cred as a BMW or an Audi, but year in year out its cars rate incredibly highly in ownership surveys - reports rating what real owners think of their cars. This means that the NX should prove pretty reliable and stress-free to live with.

It’s not all about reliability - the NX has some exciting features. For one, Lexus hasn’t dilly-dallied around with middle of the road styling, it's gone bold. For two, it is only available with a 2.5-litre petrol hybrid model (all models are paired with an automatic gearbox).

For three, everything from the cup holders to the indicator stalks feel built to last - another typically Lexus feature. And for four, all models come with a list of standard equipment that puts many of its German rivals to shame.

LEXUS NX BUYERS' GUIDE

8. BMW 3 Series

Used deals from £10,500
Monthly finance from £191

Ask a car fan what BMW does best and chances are they will say six-cylinder engines. Or rather silky-smooth beautiful sounding six-cylinder engines to be precise. As luck would have it, around £400 per month is more than enough to snap up a previous-generation BMW 330i or 330d both of which come with a six-cylinder engine.

They also come well-equipped, feature easy-on-the-eyes styling, boast great handling and benefit from truly excellent automatic gearboxes. The only tough part is deciding whether to go for petrol or diesel. The petrol is smoother and sounds better, but the diesel offers immense mid-engine-speed muscle and uses less fuel.

Petrol versions are undoubtedly the better driver's car, therefore, while diesel models are pure witchcraft in that they still offer rapid performance and decent economy. So, think about whether you need to rack up lots of miles with the lowest fuel bills or want the most fun option, and the choice should be straightforward.

BMW 3 SERIES BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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