@Tornado, congratulations on your decision to buy an Automatic Car. You certainly do not need to sound apologetic towards Fiat, since Fiat could have introduced an Automatic and sold at premium and people would have bought or 'risked' it purely for that sake. 'People' here are those who do not care or do not have resources or time to understand finer aspects of a car, like handling as you mentioned. Of course steering is just one part of the handling equation, so suspension and wheel geometry and chassis design all are a part of the game and that cannot be so cheap if another manufacturer wants to replicate it. Another thing I must mention is that the clatter we hear about Skoda and VW car being expensive to maintain etc. has a lot to do with bad service also and cheating dealers. Just be extra careful and vigilant about that DSG gearbox oil change; to be done only by a really experienced technician; and you probably have much less to worry about. Apart from that I refuse to believe that these gearboxes are problematic and Skoda costs a bomb to maintain.