What's the best automatic supermnini?

* New BMW 3 Series * Back-dated road tax * Child seat covers...

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Tom Webster
01 August 2008

Ive been looking at buying Honda Jazz with an automatic gearbox. Its quite expensive, though, so are there any similar cars with a smaller price tag?
Mohsen Alem

The Jazz is probably the best small automatic under 12,500. The CVT (continuously variable transmission) is reasonably smooth and barely affects economy and CO2 output at all.

Youre right, though, it is quite expensive at 12,270 for the SE version. If youre willing to sacrifice a little performance, then the Nissan Micra 1.4 Acenta Auto is the next best thing. It adds 900 to the cost of the car, but the Nissan is a lot cheaper to begin with, so it works out over 2000 cheaper than the Honda.

If you want something with a bit more style, then the Fiat 500 with semi-automatic Dualogic transmission costs from 8820, and actually gives better fuel economy and produces less CO2 than the manual version.

The only downside is that upshifts are quite jerky, but with some practice you should be able to make smooth progress. Compared to the Honda or Nissan, you'll also save money when buying the 500, and on subsequent fuel and tax.