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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As much as I don't want to get rid of my cracking little 116, old age is starting to destroy my knees and working the clutch around town is getting bloody painful if I've been active/on my feet for too long so I'm thinking it may soon be time to go automatic. The only thing is, I'm not a fan of the more traditional "lurchy" auto boxes, and after my mate's Skoda gearbox went bang on him I'm paranoid about that happening!

I've driven an auto 320d for work (the one with the fancy 'toggle' gearstick) and I very much like the box on that, and the exploding Skoda was a really nice drive until it packed in too. So, if you were me, what would you be looking at? Swap out for an older 1er with the necessary old-man gears? Look at something else entirely?
I've got about 2k value in the car i reckon (maybe a bit more if I can patch up teh scratches where some utter cretin has scraped the rear panel this week) and I can maybe scrape together another grand on top.
For that ballpark, I've seen a couple that I have reservations about:
-A couple of Merc CLKs with about 80-90k on the clock, but the MPG looks even worse than the 116 which is a genuine concern at the moment.
-A couple of Volvo C70s with 100-110k on the clock, which look like fun to drive but I'm wary of that mileage on the gearbox. The aforementioned Skoda went kaput at about 100.

TLDR: Recommend me a good, reliable, non lurchy automatic at about 3 grand. What do you reckon?
 

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The E8x (all models, not sure?) use a ZF6 gearbox which is very good by slushbox standards, no lurch or jerk. The Fxx and Gxx models on the other hand use the ZF8 box which, by any standard, is simply amazing, better than almost any dual clutch manual (the exception might be Porsche's PDK), by a long shot.
 

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The ZF6 is fine as a gearbox. It’s a bit slow compared to the modern autos, but it does the job just fine. Despite BMW’s claims of being sealed for life the fluid is supposed to be changed every 60k if I recall.
 

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All petrol automatic E8X (except E89 and E84) have GM 6L45 gearbox, not ZF6
e84 with N52 have GM6L45
e84 with N46 have GM6L45
e84 with N20 and N47N have ZF8
e84 with N55 have ZF6
e89 with N20 have ZF8
e89 with N52 have ZF6
e89 with N54 have DCT
 

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My petrol, automatic, E87 130i LCI has a ZF6 box, I know because it's running an xHP flash which doesn't work on the GM boxes.
 

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Just chiming in to confirm that I have the GM6L45 on my E82 125i. Sure, it could be a tad quicker to shift sometimes but its pretty good.
 

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Out of the criteria “good, reliable, non-lurchy auto, ~£3k, petrol, ULEZ compliant, MPG >116i”, I think you're going to need to pick 3 or 4 to gamble/sacrifice if you're staying with ze Germans.

Any mid-00s Hondas in budget?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Out of the criteria “good, reliable, non-lurchy auto, ~£3k, petrol, ULEZ compliant, MPG >116i”, I think you're going to need to pick 3 or 4 to gamble/sacrifice if you're staying with ze Germans.

Any mid-00s Hondas in budget?
Hah, yeah, I think I might have to give up the hopes of better MPG or just accept I'm going to end up with a 1.4 Polo or something.

I did notice a Civic Type-S that seems to fit the criteria, but it just seemed a bit dodgy. "Trade" advert with a mobile number, mentioned it was reduced due to cosmetic damage which I couldn't see on the pictures, that sort of thing.
Is Mini worth a look? There were a couple of mid-00s Cooper S automatics on AutoTrader at around the 90k mark, that were a little over budget. Do they use BMW boxes?
 

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Ive heard minis arent so great if you have any tooth fillings. But then ride comfort is very subjective.
 
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