It’s no secret that passing a driver’s test in a manual car is daunting when first starting out. A manual transmission or stick shift vehicle is a bit more engaging and harder to drive.
The clutch is the main reason most people find manual transmission cars hard to drive. Automatic transmission cars did away with this several decades ago.
In an automatic transmission car, there is usually no clutch pedal and therefore one less step to changing gears when driving.
Automatic transmission cars are now becoming the go-to option when buyers look for a car.
Although there are other transmissions to consider other than just the automatic and manual, these are the two most prominent in the industry.
In this article, we’ll be looking at well-known cars that do not have a clutch and are much easier to drive.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
1. Hyundai Venue Turbo iMT
Hyundai has been making big waves in the auto industry in recent times. Innovation and keeping up with modern trends might be the reason the South Korean automaker is a force to be reckoned with.
With their latest offering in the SUV market, the company revealed the Hyundai Venue Turbo iMT.
This subcompact SUV from Hyundai uses an iMT clutchless transmission.
A clutchless transmission confuses a lot of people as to how it works because they’re quite rare.
This is a manual transmission vehicle that does not have a clutch pedal. Needless to say, this is one of the easiest cars to drive.
However, the Hyundai Venue also have some problems.
In the iMT (intelligent manual transmission) from Hyundai, the clutch works automatically without a manual clutch pedal. The rest of the transmission works just like the regular gearbox, shifting throughout the gears as required.
Types of Automatic Transmissions
- Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)
- Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)
- Torque Converters
- Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)
Automatic transmissions give drivers convenience and hassle-free driving, resulting in more buyers preferring automatics over manuals.
With the Venue’s iMT transmission, the clutch is automatically disengaged by sensors signaling the actuator. When you’re done changing gears, the clutch is closed and the drive is engaged.
For those who struggle in heavy traffic, this technology is a godsend. Some drivers just want to get the car moving as easy as possible.
This technology makes for a convenient and fun drive.
There are several other car manufacturers like Toyota, BMW, and Kia amongst others that are looking into introducing iMT clutchless models. This is a huge sigh of relief for people looking for cars without a clutch and that is easy to drive.
2. BMW 3 Series
Driving pleasure is a feature when thinking about BMWs. It would come as a surprise that the automatic version of the 3 Series can also be just as fun to drive.
BMW has enhanced the driving experience for many of its models, both automatic and manual versions.
While the manual is the best pick for most Beamer lovers, the BMW 3 Series also comes equipped with an automatic transmission.
The optional eight-speed automatic transmission in the BMW 3 Series is just as exceptional as the manual. This transmission is based on a torque converter automatic transmission.
Torque converter automatics are the most common types of transmissions in automatic cars.
Not only is this gearbox silent and smooth through gear shifts, but it is also very reliable for long-term use.
BMW has made sure that this transmission is just as quick and precise as the manual variables. For just a bit more, you can choose to go for the sport automatic gearbox on the 3 Series. The Sport Pro model gives faster gear shifting together with paddle shifters for manual shifting.
A review from the AutoExpress website states
“The BMW 3 Series offers the perfect blend of performance, driving dynamics, low running costs, technology, and refinement”.
For the automatic 3 Series, these features are also coupled with exceptional fuel economy and lower emission scores. Not to mention the spacious interior and cutting-edge technology.
With seamless shifts and a luxurious ride, the BMW 3 Series is one of the easiest and most fun cars to drive without a clutch pedal.
3. Volkswagen Polo DSG
The Volkswagen Polo has been dubbed “one of the best superminis in modern times”.
The VW Polo is a huge seller in most countries that enjoy comfortable and efficient hatchbacks.
Whether you’re whizzing around town or going on longer highway trips, the Polo proves stable and up to the job. The German-made VW Polo has been the go-to hatch for many people that need an all-rounder vehicle that ticks all the right boxes.
With its DSG models, the dual-clutch system makes this hatch one of the easiest to drive. Dual-clutch gearbox automatics are reliable, smooth, and have faster gear changes.
A dual shift gearbox is essentially an automated manual gearbox rather than a full automatic. Drivers have the option to change gear levers up or down just like in a manual transmission car.
Volkswagen DSGs do not have a clutch pedal as you get in a fully manual car. Although the DSG has two gearboxes and two clutches, these are all operated hydraulically and electronically.
Having no need for the traditional clutch pedal, the DSG is similar to vehicles with a fully automatic transmission.
VW Polos with the DSG gearbox are essentially classed as semi-automatics with a two-clutch system.
As you select a gear, the next gear is automatically pre-selected and ready to go when you change gears. On the DSG Highline versions, you also have the option to change gears with paddle shifters that are not only faster but feel extra sporty.
The Polo is not only quiet and comfortable, but it also feels very grown-up for such a small hatchback.
With great looks, a spacious interior, and an infotainment system that rivals its best competitors, the Polo is a great choice for first-time buyers.
The direct shift gearbox makes this popular vehicle easy to drive.
Manual transmissions VS automatic transmissions
Global Gearbox Of Choice by Units Per Year
|Type of transmission||2016||2025|
|Continuously Variable Transmission||13%||17%|
According to this forecast, manual transmissions will remain the gearbox of choice in 2025.
Having said that, the table also shows that dual-clutch transmissions are expected to almost double in production by 2025.
4. Toyota Yaris
Toyota is one of the most versatile and reliable automakers in the world.
It’s models are known for their high-reliability scores and engaging driving experience.
The Toyota Yaris first made its mark back in 2005 when small hatchbacks were still making their way into the car industry.
Even though the landscape has changed since it was first introduced, the 2018 model of the Toyota Yaris is still making waves in its segment.
Sporting an impressive 1.5-liter 16V 4-cylinder engine with 79kW and 140Nm, the Yaris is more than capable. Toyota now has a Yaris 1.5 Xs model that’s equipped with a CVT (Continuous Variable Transmission) gearbox.
CVT gearboxes are known to be rather quiet and easy to maintain due to a simpler driver pulley system. Technically, CVT transmissions don’t have a clutch pedal, making for a smooth and easy drive.
Other Popular Cars With CVT Gearboxes
- Honda Jazz
- Maruti Baleno
- Honda City
- Nissan Micra
Style, comfort, and value for money are all qualities that the Yaris Xs has come to be known for.
It also comes fully equipped with safety features you might find in “big cars” such as ABS, EBD, hill start assist, and airbags.
A review from TopGear states “Efficient, interesting looking and updated inside, but the Yaris remains forgettable to drive. A supremely efficient and acceptable looking supermini.”
The latest model from the Japanese automaker is still not up there with the big boys just yet, but nonetheless a stellar offering. A “GR” model of the Yaris is now available and is suspected to be sportier and more aggressive in looks and performance.
Smaller cars like the Yaris and its competitors are preferred when people take their driver’s test.
With no clutch pedal and automatic transmission, it’s no wonder small hatches like the Yaris are among the easiest to drive.
5. Mercedes Benz S-Class 7G-Tronic
Luxury and efficiency are what Mercedes Benz has been known for in the past 50 years of the German automaker.
The S-Class makes no changes to the tradition of providing an impeccably luxurious driving experience.
With this seventh-generation S-Class, Mercedes decided to stick to a 7G-Tronic transmission. Essentially a seven-speed automatic transmission, the 7G-Tronic is one of the company’s most innovative transmissions.
With no clutch pedal on the S-Class, even beginner drivers can benefit from the automatic gear shifts on a dual-clutch transmission.
7G-Tronic transmissions on the S-Class are based on a mechanical clutch instead of a traditional torque converter unit. The result comes down to improved shift speed and notable fuel economy.
For quicker acceleration, the transmission can skip up to two gears when downshifting.
To save weight, this transmission’s case is made of magnesium, the world’s first.
The AutoExpress website reviewed the S-Class and had this to say “It’s calibrated to make relaxing progress, which means early upshifts and a reluctance to kick down unnecessarily eagerly on the motorway.”
For buyers willing to spend more, there are 5 trim levels in the AMG series. More expensive versions of the S-Class give executive-style luxury and unparalleled performance.
This flagship model from the German manufacturer gives the driver a stellar and fun driving experience with top-of-the-range features.
Needless to say, the Mercedes Benz S-Class 7G-Tronic is still a formidable machine.