For some drivers the automatic transmission is a blessing that makes driving more relaxed and comfortable, especially in town, while for others it's an unnecessary complication that robs the driver of the pleasure of changing gear.

If you're in the first group of motorists, you'll find automatic transmission very useful and almost indispensable. That's why we've decided to find out which automatic transmissions are the cheapest at under €20,000 (approx. £17,200 at the current exchange rate).

In short, a way of having a car with automatic transmission without spending too much, and travelling with peace of mind even when traffic is chaotic or there are traffic jams. You can choose between city cars and automatic hatchbacks, even electric ones!

Cars up to €20,000

  1. Dacia Sandero
  2. Kia Picanto
  3. Hyundai i10
  4. Toyota Aygo X
  5. Mitsubishi Space Star

There are also electric models

Dacia Sandero

The Dacia Sandero is one of the best-selling cars in Europe, and its success is also linked to its historic policy of affordable prices and 'value for money'. The range of the Romanian five-door compact car also includes an automatic transmission version, priced at around €16,000 in various European countries.

Foto - Prova della Dacia Sandero 2023

Dacia Sandero

This is the Dacia Sandero 1.0 TCe Streetway Expression CVT with a 91 PS three-cylinder turbo petrol engine that boasts an average fuel consumption of 5.7 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions of 129g/km. As its name suggests, the gearbox is a continuously variable CVT.

Kia Picanto

Closer to the €17,000 mark is the cheapest version of the Kia Picanto with automatic transmission, which uses the 67 PS 1.0-litre three-cylinder aspirated petrol engine.

Foto - Kia Picanto (2023)

Kia Picanto

The gearbox on this Picanto is special because it is the first application of Kia's new Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), i.e. based on a five-speed manual gearbox with clutch actuators and gear changes that allow the clutch pedal to be dispensed with. Combined WLTP fuel consumption is 5.2 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are 119 g/km.

Hyundai i10

Very similar to the Picanto and priced at just over €17,000, the Hyundai i10, which has just been refreshed, uses the same 67 PS 1.0-litre engine and the same five-speed automated manual gearbox.

Hyundai i10 restyling (2023)

Hyundai i10

This combination of engine and gearbox enables the little Korean to consume an average of 5.3 litres/100 km and emit 121 g/km of CO2 in the combined cycle according to WLTP certification.

Toyota Aygo X

The Toyota Aygo X also has an automatic transmission version that costs less than €20,000 in European price lists, or around €19,000.

Prova Toyota Aygo X (2022) con trasmissione CVT

Toyota Aygo X

This is the entry-level version of the Aygo X 1.0 72 PS with CVT transmission. The little five-door Japanese car boasts a combined fuel consumption of 4.9 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions of 111 g/km.

Mitsubishi Space Star

The last automatic car to break the €20,000 barrier is the Mitsubishi Space Star, which combines a 71 PS naturally aspirated 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with a CVT automatic gearbox.

The Space Star automatic's combined fuel consumption is 5.3 litres/100 km and CO2 emissions are 121 g/km.

Mitsubishi Space Start, prova su strada

Mitsubishi Space Star

There are also electric models

In some European countries, national or local incentives reduce the price of the cheapest electric cars to around €20,000, and all these cars are equipped with an automatic gearbox.

In fact, most electric cars on the market do not have a gearbox, which is considered unnecessary and ill-suited to the simple mechanics of EVs, so to date they are almost all 'native automatics' with a fixed gear ratio.

Dacia Spring Extreme

Dacia Spring

Citroen e-C3 2024

Citroen e-C3

Renault Twingo Electric

Renault Twingo E-Tech

smart EQ fortwo

smart EQ fortwo

The Dacia Spring, the new Citroën e-C3, the Renault Twingo E-Tech and the smart EQ fortwo are among the least expensive battery-powered cars that manage to approach the €20,000 threshold with purchase incentives.