BMW 3 Series eight-speed auto

Given BMW’s reputation for building the ‘ultimate driving machine’, you’d have thought a manual gearbox-equipped BMW 3 Series would be our pick.

Given BMW’s reputation for building the ‘ultimate driving machine’, you’d have thought a manual gearbox-equipped BMW 3 Series would be our pick. However, while the light and precise six-speed manual is good, the optional eight-speed auto is better. It’s not cheap, but it does promise lower running costs thanks to its lower CO2 emissions and stronger fuel economy.

More importantly it enhances the 3 Series’ already excellent driving experience. Like the best torque convertor autos it smoothly slurs gears for the ultimate in relaxed motoring. Yet when you want to have fun the transmission responds with the quick crispness of the best twin-clutch units. The pricier Sport Auto gearbox features the same internals but delivers even faster shifts and comes with a paddleshift set up.

Best automatic cars 

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020