Automatic gearboxes used to be rare outside of big saloons and 4x4s. And when they were fitted to more affordable models, they inevitably forced you to put up with sluggish performance and poor fuel economy.
Fortunately, there are now a host of smooth and efficient cars with automatic gearboxes that you can buy new for less than £20,000. Here we count down the top 10.
The best automatic cars for less than £20,000
10. Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium SE Auto
List price: £13,760
It might be smaller than many of the other cars on this list, the but the i10 is a perfect companion if you'll mainly be driving around town. After all, we named it as our favourite city car at the most recent What Car? Awards. The 1.2-litre engine we recommend is peppy, and Premium SE specification gets you a touchscreen infotainment system and 15in alloy wheels.
9. Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI S DSG
List price: £18,870
The Yeti might be getting on a bit, but it also remains a very practical choice. Our favourite version is the turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol because it offers all the performance you need and is impressively frugal. In addition, the Yeti has a smart interior and is enjoyable to drive. Its replacement, the Skoda Karoq, is due to go on sale later this year, so now is the time to find a generous discount.
8. Suzuki Vitara 1.6 SZ-T auto
List price: £18,350
Compact on the outside but spacious inside, the Vitara represents the best of what a budget SUV should offer. It comes with lots of standard equipment and is surprisingly composed in bends for such a tall car. However, while it's good in auto form, it's worth noting that the Vitara is even better as a manual, because this improves performance and efficiency.
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