Best small automatic cars 2017 (and the ones to avoid)

Which small car works best with an automatic gearbox? We name the best – and the worst

Words ByWhat Car? team

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Small automatic cars

There are lots of great small cars on sale, but if you want one with an automatic gearbox, then your choice is rather more limited. It's not so much that small automatic cars aren't available, but more that many of them aren't very good.

That said, there are still some small cars that are every bit as impressive with an automatic gearbox as they are with a manual. Here we count down our top 10, and also name the models that are best avoided.

The best small automatics cars

10. Mazda 2 1.5 90 SE-L auto

The Mazda 2 isn't as quiet or comfortable as the very best small cars, but if you want an automatic it's well worth considering thanks to an excellent six-speed gearbox. Available only with the 1.5-litre petrol engine, it shifts smoothly and makes the car very nearly as economical as the five-speed manual version.

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9. Honda Jazz 1.3 SE CVT

If space is your top priority and you do most of your driving in town, the Honda Jazz is well worth a look. It's one of the most practical small cars around, bridging the gap between superminis and mini MPVs, and while its CVT auto gearbox lets the engine get very noisy when you accelerate hard, it works well when you're in less of a hurry.

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8. Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 Dynamique Nav EDC

This baby Renault might look awfully expensive at more than £18,000, but sizeable savings are available. It combines a frugal diesel engine with a slick auto gearbox, and comes luxuriously equipped.

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