How many times have you crunched a gear or stalled your car because you were in the wrong gear? Automatic cars spare you this embarrassment. The gearbox, also known as the ‘transmission’, changes gears automatically as you increase or lower your speed.
Automatic cars come in a range of styles, such as standard automatic and then semi-automatic ones such as DSG and CVT (more on these later), leaving you more headspace while driving to focus on getting to your destination. You can find automatic transmissions on a variety of cars, from the humble Volkswagen Golf through to BMWs and Jaguars, all making the drive a breeze for their owners.
How to drive an automatic car
Automatic cars used to be the kind of car only the elderly or someone who couldn’t hack a manual gearbox car would drive. Now they’re much more the norm and tend to have four main modes: P — park; R— reverse; N—neutral; and D—drive. The lack of a clutch pedal can confuse drivers, however.
Driving one is simple. Here are some basic steps:
- Push down on the brake, keeping your foot on it while you start the engine.
- Move the gear shifter to ‘D’ if you want to drive forward or ‘R’ if you want to reverse. When you start moving, the gearbox will automatically start moving up or down to the correct gear for you.
- When you stop driving, push down on the brake and move the gear shifter to ‘P’.
Best automatic cars
Got your automatic transmission nailed? Ready for some behind-the-wheel pampering? Below are 10 of the best automatic cars out there.