For a long time we have been penalised financially on the mobility scheme for needing to drive an automatic, you would think that as a scheme designed for disabled customers that cars with an automatic gearbox would be subject to the best offers – well that’s not been the case, all manufacturers offers are on cars with a manual gearbox. Well we at www.whichmobilitycar.co.uk are on hand to give our opinion on the top offers for automatic cars. For more info on the different gearboxes see this post; Automatic gearboxes.
The Smart ForFour has the engine in the rear and is rear wheel drive thus freeing up space for passengers and offering the smallest turning circle possible. The ForFour is very easy to drive and the six speed dual clutch automatic gearbox paired to the three cylinder petrol engine producing 70bhp can return a claimed 67 miles per gallon. The entry level Passion cars have automatic climate control, leather steering wheel with infotainment controls and cruise control.
Summer Best Buy – Smart ForFour 5 door 1.0 petrol Passion 6 speed Automatic – £51.25 Per Week (you receive £6.20 Mobility Payment per week)
The Skoda Citigo is a five door small car with room for four adults yet only 3.5 metres long. A one litre three cylinder petrol engine with 75bhp and a five speed automatic gearbox is surprisingly agile and capable of 62.8 mpg. In ‘SE-L’ trim the Citigo has heated front seats, alloy wheels and a 5″ touchscreen sat nav media interface with bluetooth.
Summer Best Buy – Skoda Citigo 5 door 1.0 petrol SE-L 75bhp Automatic – £56.00 Per Week (you receive £1.45 Mobility Payment per week)
The Toyota Yaris is the only affordable Hybrid on the scheme, power comes from a petrol engine and an electric motor with the batteries under the rear seats, you do not plug the Yaris in to charge the batteries, they are charged from the petrol engine as you drive, you run on electric power alone up to 18 miles per hour giving the Yaris a claimed economy of 90 miles per gallon around town.
Summer Best Buy – Toyota Yaris Hybrid ‘Icon’ Automatic – Nil Advance Payment (£57.88 wpms)
The Ford Fiesta is a three and five door small hatchback that can boast being the best selling car in the UK, this face-lifted version with its wide mouthed grille, daytime running lights and redesigned interior will ensure the Fiesta stays at the top of the charts. In Zetec trim the Fiesta is very well equipped with electric front windows, Steering wheel controls, 15″ alloy wheels, air conditioning, front fog lights, heated front windscreen and ambient lighting. The 1.6 litre petrol with the powershift gearbox will return 48 mpg and reach 62mph in 10.5 seconds.
Summer Best Buy – Ford Fiesta 1.0 petrol Powershift Automatic Titanium 3 or 5dr (100 bhp) – £45 Advance Payment (58.18 wpms)
The GTC is not an obvious mobility car choice as it is low slung, bumpy by definition and though it has excellent space for a coupe it can hardly be described as overly practical, but good looking and good value it defiantly is. The 140bhp 1.4 turbo petrol with a six speed automatic offers 41.5 miles per gallon and 0-62 mph in a hot hatch 9 seconds. In the basic ‘Sport’ you do not suffer for spec, electric windows, air conditioning, 18″ alloy wheels, DAB radio and cruise control are all standard.
Summer Best Buy – Vauxhall Astra 1.4 petrol 140bhp Petrol Automatic ‘SRi’ – £149 Advance Payment (£58.88 wpms)
The latest VW Golf, the seventh, builds on the reputation of nearly 40 years of the Golf, the latest model is the biggest, most comfortable and best equipped yet, great to drive with a collection of cracking engines. The 1.6 Diesel in the excellent SE trim, with 105bhp can return 72.4 miles per gallon with the 7 speed DSG automatic transmission.
Summer Best Buy – Golf Match diesel 1.6 (110bhp) DSG Automatic 5dr – £599 Advance Payment (£61.90 wpms)
The latest Ford Focus is the perfect all rounder, good to drive, practical and cheap to run. The excellent Powershift gearbox is fitted to the 125 brake horse power 123bhp 1.0 litre petrol engine that will return 51.4 miles per gallon or the 1.5 118bhp diesel that can return 67.3 mpg. The new Focus has an upgraded interior complete with 8″ touchscreen.
Summer Best Buy – Ford Focus Titanium with sat nav 1.0 123bhp petrol powershift – £45 Advance Payment (£58.24 wpms) or £145 Advance Payment as an estate (£58.91 wpms)
The new Nissan Note is a departure from its boxy predecessor, this new car is lower and wider than the outgoing model and the sloping roof gives it a contemporary look. The all new supercharged 1.2 litre three cylinder petrol engine paired with a CVT (continuous variable transmission) automatic box with economy of 54 miles per gallon and acceleration to 62mph of 12.2 seconds makes for an excellent combination.
Summer Best Buy – Nissan Note 1.2 petrol DiG-S Tekna (CVT Automatic) – £99 Advance Payment(£58.55 wpms)
The Zafira Tourer, bigger and better than the old Zafira is available with a 170bhp diesel engine with a 6 speed automatic gearbox that can return 46.3 miles per gallon and enough grunt to shift a fully loaded car with ease. Exclusiv trim is well equipped and has all you need to carry seven in comfort, parking sensors, air conditioning and cruise control are all standard.
Summer Best Buy – Vauxhall Zafira Tourer SRi 1.4 Petrol 140bhp 6 speed Automatic – £199 Advance Payment (£59.22 wpms)
The Seat Alhambra is the sister car to the VW Sharan, it is a large seven seater, with three individual seats in the second row and two rear seats large enough for adults. The 150bhp 2.0 litre diesel offers all the power you need and claimed economy of 54.3 mpg even as an automatic. The SE Lux trim offers heated electric front seats, full leather, sat nav, power rear sliding doors and tailgate and electric panoramic sunroof.
Summer Best Buy – SEAT Alhambra 2.0 diesel 150bhp DSG Automatic SE Lux – £1099 Advance Payment (£83 wpms)
The new generation of automatic gearboxes are designed to assist fuel consumption and not as is historically the case cause a 20% reduction in the miles per gallon of fuel, they are also very advanced indeed many with six, seven or even eight gears, these new gearboxes usually come with a (clutch-less) manual override too. All hybrid cars have an automatic gearbox as standard as the power comes from two sources, a motor engine and an electric motor. If it’s been a while since you have driven an automatic or if you have never driven one, arrange a test drive as you will be surprised by the advancements in the technology, they are smooth, effortless and can be great fun too.