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
- 1IntroductionSlick-shifting and economical, and even great fun to drive - we list the 10 best automatic cars on sale today
- 2Volkswagen Polo DSG automaticWith its excellent refinement and classy cabin, the VW Polo is the small car that thinks big.
- 3Jaguar F-Pace eight-speed automaticThe Jaguar XF used to be our favourite automatic Jaguar, but the arrival of the new F-Pace SUV crossover has changed all that.
- 4Smart ForTwo six-speed twinamicThe Renault Twingo-based Smart ForTwo is a much more grown-up proposition than its predecessors, and the twinamic dual clutch gearbox option makes it better still.
- 5Porsche 911 PDKPerformance car purists will reel back in horror at the suggestion, but the rapid Porsche 911 makes more sense as an automatic
- 6SEAT Leon DSG automaticOur compact family car favourite, the SEAT Leon, makes a lot of sense as an automatic.
- 7BMW 3 Series eight-speed auto - currently readingGiven BMW’s reputation for building the ‘ultimate driving machine’, you’d have thought a manual gearbox-equipped BMW 3 Series would be our pick.
- 8Toyota Prius CVT automaticIt wasn’t long ago that the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) was seen as the future for automatic gearboxes.
- 9Mercedes S-Class 7G-tronicFew cars are better suited to an automatic gearbox than the luxurious Mercedes S-Class
- 10Tesla Model S
- 11McLaren 650S