I’m resurrecting this poll as I’d been thinking about starting a thread on the same issue.
I had my first proper experience of an auto box on an advanced driving course and I was a convert. The course is intended to train the student to make safe progress but to the absolute limit: on national limit roads, there is no restriction on speed so you drive as quickly as the car and road conditions permit. What was obvious was just how fast the automatic car was and how much control you had using manual override when necessary.
I’d always dismissed anything auto as an old man’s car. I think that‘s a common misconception.
I’d take issue with anyone saying that an auto box isn’t suitable or as efficient for spirited driving (how many F1 cars have a gear lever?).
The auto box in the Mokka is a great example of a good auto: the shift quality is excellent and has enough ratios to provide good acceleration and relaxed cruising ability. It can easily be used with manual override when wanting to control a descent using engine braking, navigating a ford or wanting to lock a gear when cornering.
Fuel economy is acceptable, and I suspect, comparable to what the majority of manual gearbox users would achieve in ordinary driving.
The auto makes town driving a doddle, makes for relaxed cruising (particularly if using cruise control) and from what I’ve read, isn’t prone to the problems that manuals have with dual-mass flywheels.
I think the biggest critics of auto boxes are those that haven’t driven one.
Anybody in the market for a Mokka should definitely consider one as an option.
If you’re reading this as a fan of manual gearboxes, I have to ask what, apart from a cost saving, would stop you going auto?