5 cheapest automatics on SA’s new vehicle market

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Kia Picanto
Kia offers the cheapest automatic in the country in the form of the Picanto 1,2 LS auto.

Traffic. It’s getting steadily worse, isn’t it?

So much so that many city drivers – you know, the folks who generally spend much of their mornings and evenings creeping along in tortuous traffic – are keen on trading their manual-equipped vehicles for something with a self-shifting transmission.

With this in mind, we decided to round up the five cheapest automatic models currently on South Africa’s new vehicle market. They’re all small, all with relatively unsophisticated gearboxes, and all well under the R200k-mark.

If you’re interested in reading a full shootout between three of the five vehicles below, you’ll find one in our August 2016 issue…

1. Kia Picanto 1,2 LS auto: R152 995

South Africa’s cheapest automatic vehicle hasn’t been on the market for very long. Yes, the 1,2-litre LS derivative was added to the local range earlier this year, and slots in below the better-equipped 1,0 LX auto variant (which is priced at R172 995). The four-cylinder mill makes 65 kW and 120 N.m, and is linked to a four-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Claimed consumption comes in at 6,0 L/100 km, but this model does without ABS…

2. Suzuki Celerio 1,0 GL auto: R159 900

The Celerio can be had with an automated manual transmission, which uses a proprietary electro-hydraulic actuator to automatically operate the mechanical clutch and allow the automated up- and down-shifting of the five-speed gearbox. In practice, though, it’s not always the smoothest affair. Still, there’s much to like about the Celerio, which boasts a claimed fuel economy of 4,6 L/100 km from its 50 kW/90 N.m three-pot.

3. Hyundai i10 1,1 Motion auto: R174 900

The i10, of course, is closely related to the Picanto. The former’s four-cylinder engine is worth 50 kW and 99 N.m, and is married to the same four-speed ‘box as that of its Korean sibling. Claimed fuel economy, meanwhile, comes in at a slightly more palatable 5,7 L/100 km. Unfortunately, however, like the Picanto, this i10 is sans ABS.

4. Honda Brio hatch 1,2 Comfort auto: R176 400

The Brio features a five-speed automatic transmission, linked to a 1,2-litre naturally aspirated four-pot. This engine makes 65 kW and 109 N.m, sipping at a claimed 6,3 L/100 km. The boot, however, is pretty tiny, so there’s also the option of going for the Amaze-badged sedan instead (for an extra R10 700). ABS with EBD, thankfully, comes standard on both.

5. Suzuki Swift hatch 1,2 GL auto: R181 800

This Indian-built Swift derivative employs the Japanese automaker’s familiar 1,2-litre four-cylinder mill, which provides the front wheels with 63 kW and 113 N.m, while consuming a claimed 5,8 L/100 km. It employs a four-speed torque converter automatic transmission and also features ABS with EBD and brake assist. The Swift effectively plays in the segment above the other city cars on this list, and thus boasts a little more space. The DZire-badged sedan can be had for an extra R3 100, if you need more luggage room.

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  • Luke

    I think if Renault slotted an automatic or ideally there EDC gearbox form the Clio into the Sandero range they would have a real winner on their hands. It would fit right in with this range.

    • Tertius Thiart

      I agree !!!