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Talk to me about automatic cars.

(20 Posts)
monkeytrousers Tue 11-Aug-09 10:35:00

Pros and cons.

Thinking mostly on fuel consumption and if anything is likely to break more than a normal car.

StinkyFart Tue 11-Aug-09 10:37:03

omg I love love love my automatic

tres lardy


PrincessToadstool Tue 11-Aug-09 10:52:43

No cons here... I don't notice that I use a lot of petrol really and I drive almost daily.

Just had my 20 year old Renault MOT'd and the only thing it needed was replacement bulbs and slight adjustment on the handbrake.

AMumInScotland Tue 11-Aug-09 11:01:53

Pros - easy to drive, can't stall them

Cons - I think they do use a small percentage more petrol than a well-driven manual, but since they are in the "right" gear, they're more efficient than a bad driver in a manual...
Not more likely to go wrong, but you may not be able to fix them yourself, or have a mate who knows how to sort them. But tbh with modern cars that's most often the case anyway - they have so many computerised bits that you have to take them to a proper garage which can talk to the computers.

If you need to be towed, they need to use a fancier truck.

I've had one for the last 8 years, and think it's great.

Furball Tue 11-Aug-09 11:05:58

another automatic fan here - even managed to convince dh that his should be auto too!

Wouldn't go back now, hate absolutely hate having to drive a manual on the odd occassion the garage have cocked up the loan car allocation.

No cons only pros from me (and dh!!)

CruelAndUnusualParenting Tue 11-Aug-09 13:31:44

Last time I drove an auto hire car, it was a pig in hilly country. I was always having to swap modes because you needed to be in sport mode to get it go up hills and also to get any engine braking when coming down hills. Even in normal driving around town there was an unpredictable lag between putting my foot on the accelerator and it selecting a gear that would let me pull away.

It may just have been underpowered and might have done better with a larger engine, I don't know. I do know I was relieved to get back to England and my manual gearbox.

Claire2301 Tue 11-Aug-09 13:40:16

Love my automatic, no problems with it. Has been in the family for 8 years and has had no repairs other than general wear.

monkeytrousers Wed 12-Aug-09 14:22:15

sounds good to me!

MrsBadger Wed 12-Aug-09 14:27:58

they are generally underpowered, inefficient, lacking in poke, very, very easy to drive and never stall

you have one hand free all the time with which to drink coffee / play with the radio / pass toys/books/juice to the screaming children in the back

when I'd driving in stop-start rush hour traffic I wish I still had one, when I'm pulling away, in the hills or on the dual carriageways I don't miss it at all

nickelbabe Wed 12-Aug-09 14:32:28

very easy to drive but are not fuel efficient: oh has an automatic vectra and it manages 22mpg on a 2 litre engine.

that's pants consumption.

you would be better off getting a diesel car: much better mileage (60mpg on the same size engine), and sooo much better for the environment ( they use sod all fuel when idling, cleaner exhausts etc)

hellywobs Wed 12-Aug-09 14:42:11

I have an automatic as my dh passed his test on a manual and then only ever drove automatics, so I got used to driving them too. Apart from the increased petrol costs (which aren't a great deal for me as we both commute to work by train), I can't understand why anyone would want to drive a manual!

We have a Honda Jazz. Very very reliable and a decent amount of room. But we have it because my dad gave it to us when he bought a new one. It's a great car but it suffers from an image problem - ie only grannies drive it and therefore people treat you as if you are a granny, even when you are doing above the speed limit they are desperate to get past. And sometimes I just feel invisible.

I think automatics are great. But if the cost of fuel is an issue, then perhaps not. I only fill up every 3 weeks or so, often not even that, so it's really not a big cost for me.

sillyoldfatcatpuss Wed 12-Aug-09 14:53:28

Love mine Its got a big engine and guzzles fuel anyway so don't notice that much (30-ish mpg), but soooo easy to drive. H has a manual and it's just such a bind to have to change gear wink (always stalling the bloody thing) Actually that's a downside, it makes you lazy and if you have to drive a manual, remembering the clutch and to change gear at all in fact is bit of a challenge My dc's are always grassing me up for stalling, grinding the gears in dh's car <insert 'do I care' emoticon>

raindroprhyme Wed 12-Aug-09 19:16:26

love mine

it is a 2lsport subaru legacy so have no problems with it being underpowered.

i am a boy racer in disguise. the huge estate car being my disguise!!!wink

supersalstrawberry Wed 12-Aug-09 19:21:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

K999 Wed 12-Aug-09 19:28:40

I have a Fiat 500 Sport - semi-automatic - which means you can have it soley in automatic or you can shift the gears for poke I switch a button which puts it into sport mode and I can beat any car off the line...grin blush

daffodilli Wed 12-Aug-09 19:33:31

We have an automatic Astra, pulls off very well, gets to speed very well. Not sure on MPG, but we only fill up once a fortnight, and thats going to and from work every day, and any other journeys. The best ones to get are the ones which dont 'change gear', i.e ones that dont do that really annoying 'jumping' as if the car cant decide what gear it should be in. The Astra just drives really smoothly. Had an automatic Micra before this and that was also lovely to drive, not as fuel efficient though being 15 years old!

daffodilli Wed 12-Aug-09 19:36:59

Oh yes, beating cars off the line, Autos are very good at this IME! Even my old Micra used to beat boy racers off the line grin!

monkeytrousers Mon 17-Aug-09 16:35:57

Okay, well today we saw a C-max (auto + diesel) with 60k on the clock at 3k and a focus (manual + petrol) with 36k on the clock for about the same.

Fuel economy works out better with the C-max, but the C-maz is about £10 more a month to insure.

DP is drooling over the focus. I dunno. DP drives a lot (he has put 40k on our current car since we bought it 3 years ago).

he says we will be able to trade the ficus in after 2-3 years and get a good price for it while the C-max will be worthless he thinks.

The main reasons I was looking for an auto is that DP *hates^ driving. He turns into a monster behind the wheel and I'm sick of it.

Also, I don't have my licence yet - mostly from cost but I really want to get this sorted this year, as I can't stand being dependet on DP, especially when he is so bad tempered in the car, which also makes him go too fast, hammer the clutch and brake, etc - I'm thinking an auto might make the driving expereinec better for him.

My main hope is that with an auto I will have my licence quicker and be driving quicker than I would if learing for a manual.

Comments appreciated.

raindroprhyme Mon 17-Aug-09 18:23:51

i learned in a manual but had driven auto before i started learning to get my license as lived in America.

i enjoyed the driving experience of learning in a manual and think i would have regretted learning in a auto.

it is like learning to ride a bike once you have clutch control it never goes away. can take a few stalls to find your footing tho.

so i would reccomend learning in a manual as then you have done it and are not restricted in your car choice later on.

As for your DP an Advanced Motorist course will probably be more use than an auto. I still have road rage driving my auto blush


MyArseIsTooGoodForTheDM Mon 17-Aug-09 18:30:24

I love my automatic [swoon]- it has a lovely 'boost' button so that when you think you are going flat out you can press the accelerator just a little further and it flies [speed freak].

No idea about fuel consumption, I just fill it when it's empty grin

If you buy a decent marque it's no more likely to go wrong than a manual.

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