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.
Winter Best Buy – Smart ForFour 5 door 1.0 petrol Passion 6 speed Automatic – £49.75 Per Week (you receive £7.70 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.
Winter Best Buy – Skoda Citigo 5 door 1.0 petrol SE-L 75bhp Automatic – £54.25 Per Week (you receive £3.20 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.
Winter Best Buy – Toyota Yaris Hybrid ‘Icon’ Automatic – Nil Advance Payment (£57.58 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.
Winter Best Buy – Ford Fiesta 1.6 petrol Powershift Automatic Zetec 3 or 5dr (105 bhp) – Nil Advance Payment (57.58 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 165bhp two litre diesel with a six speed automatic offers 49.7 miles per gallon and 0-62 mph in a hot hatch 8.4 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.
Winter Best Buy – Vauxhall Astra GTC 165bhp Diesel Automatic ‘SRi’ – £49 Advance Payment (£57.91 wpms)
The World Car of the Year 2011 and the only all electric car on the scheme. A maximum range of 109 miles from every £2 charge up makes very affordable motoring. Providing you have the ability to regularly charge your Leaf, this is the car for you. Silent and responsive to drive there is very little not to like, take a trip to the future of motoring with the impeccably designed and astonishingly well equipped Nissan Leaf.
Winter Best Buy – Nissan Leaf Full Electric Car (Automatic) Acenta – £499 Advance Payment (£60.93 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.
Winter Best Buy – Golf Match diesel 1.6 (110bhp) DSG Automatic 5dr – £599 Advance Payment (£61.60 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 1.6 litre petrol engine that will return 44.1 miles per gallon. The new Focus has an upgraded interior complete with 8″ touchscreen. Pricing is excellent a Titanium Focus is £95 Advance Payment.
Winter Best Buy – Ford Focus Titanium 1.6 petrol powershift – £45 Advance Payment (£57.88 wpms) or £145 Advance Payment as an estate (£58.55 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.
Winter Best Buy – Nissan Note 1.2 petrol Tekna (CVT Automatic) – £99 Advance Payment (£58.24 wpms)
The Volvo V60 2.0 litre diesel, badged as D2, offers 120 bhp and when paired with the six speed Geartronic automatic is powerful enough to reach 62mph in 11.7 seconds yet return a claimed 67.3 miles per gallon. The SE trim offers all you need to enjoy the V60 with cruise control, 17″ alloy wheels, electronic climate control, and an exceptional audio system with a 5″ colour display, at 430 litres, the boot is not the biggest but it offers a low lip and wide access, in short the V60 offers luxury, comfort and style above the price tag.
Winter Best Buy – Volvo V60 ‘SE’ Geartronic Automatic D2 2.0 litre diesel (120 bhp) – £1799 Advance Payment (£788 wpms)
If you are after a four wheel drive family car the classy Volkswagen Tiguan offers space, a decent drive and ample off-road ability, the 140 brake horse power two litre diesel engine paired with a seven speed DSG automatic gearbox will will reach 62 mph in 10.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 116 miles per hour. The start – stop technology aids the fuel consumption, the Tiguan returns 48.7 miles per gallon.
Winter Best Buy – Volkswagen Tiguan S 4Motion 2.0 diesel DSG automatic – £1099 Advance Payment (£88 wpms)
Winter Best Buy – Vauxhall Zafira Tourer SRi 2.0 diesel 170bhp 6 speed Automatic – £349 Advance Payment (£59.92 wpms)
With its twin electric motors supported by a 2.0 litre petrol engine the Mitsubishi PHEV leads the way in Plugin Hybrid technology. The full size SUV has 436 litres of boot space and can comfortably seat five, has all wheel drive and the ability to travel purely on electric power. The official figures of 148 miles per gallon may out of reach but if regularly charged the PHEV can be a very cost effective way to get through the British winter.
Winter Best Buy – Mitsibushi Outlander PHEV ’GX3h’ 4 Wheel Drive Automatic – £2499 Advance Payment (£1488 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.