Cars with the best automatic gearboxes

The number of cars that have automatic transmissions is slowly increasing in India. If you are a buyer looking for a car with an automatic transmission, here’s a look at the cars with the best automatic transmissions in each segment.

Automatic transmissions come with different technologies. The dual-clutch automatic transmission, for instance, used in the Ford Fiesta, Skoda Laura and Skoda Superb is quite like a manual, except that it has two clutches – which are electronically operated – giving the driver the best of both worlds. You get fast shifts like a manual with no power loss. Then you have the simple CVTs – or constantly variable transmissions, like the Renault Fluence and Maruti Kizashi. And then there’s the traditional torque converter automatic used in almost all other cars, where there is some degree of slip due to fluid dynamics, before you get full power. Also read: Five myths about automatic transmission cars

CarToq lists the cars with the best automatic gearbox in each segment.

Hatchback

Honda Brio automatic

honda brio automatic photo

Among hatchbacks in India, there are three cars that offer automatic transmissions – the Maruti A-Star, Hyundai i10 and Honda Brio. Of these three, the Maruti A-Star and Hyundai i10 both offer 4-speed automatic transmissions, which are relatively simple. The Honda Brio offers a five-speed automatic, with a wider choice of drive modes. All the cars here are torque converter automatics, but it’s the Honda Brio, with its peppy 1.2 litre petrol engine that puts out 86 bhp of power and nimble handling characteristics that is the best of the lot. It comes in two variants – S (O) AT and V-AT, priced between Rs. 5.75 lakh and Rs. 6 lakh. Also read: Automatic hatchback comparison

Premium hatchback

Hyundai i20 Sportz AT

hyundai i20 front left

Among premium hatchbacks in India, there are very limited automatic choices. The only car with an automatic gearbox option at the moment is the Hyundai i20 automatic. This car comes with a 1.4 litre petrol engine that puts out 100 bhp of power and a 4-speed automatic transmission. The car is fairly expensive as well, priced at Rs. 7.67 lakh. It is not very fuel efficient and being a four-speed automatic, not much fun to drive either.

Entry-level sedan

Maruti Dzire VXI AT

new swift dzire front photo

If you are looking for an entry-level sedan with an automatic transmission, you again have no choice. There is only one car that offers an automatic transmission among entry-level sedans and that’s the Maruti Dzire VXI AT. The Dzire has a sequential shift 4-speed automatic transmission on its mid-level petrol variant. The car is powered by a 1.2 litre petrol engine that puts out 86 bhp of power. It does not have too many features – it has ABS, integrated music system, power steering, manual AC, central locking and power windows. The car is priced at Rs. 6.67 lakh. Also read: Verna voted most value-for-money automatic

Mid-size sedan

Ford Fiesta automatic

ford fiesta automatic

If you are looking for a mid-size sedan with an automatic transmission, the choice is vast. Almost all the carmakers here offer automatic transmission variants. Cars in this segment include the Hyundai Verna (petrol and diesel automatic), Ford Fiesta (six-speed dual clutch automatic in two petrol variants), Honda City (5-speed automatic with paddle shifts in two variants), Volkswagen Vento (six-speed automatic in top-end petrol variant), Skoda Rapid (six-speed automatic in two petrol variants) and Maruti SX4 (4-speed automatic in top-end petrol variant). The Renault Scala and Nissan Sunny will also soon come out with automatic transmissions. Of the cars in this segment, two cars stand out with their automatic transmissions – the Ford Fiesta automatic and the Honda City automatic.

The best automatic here is the Ford Fiesta dual-clutch six-speed automatic, as it is fuel-efficient (it gives more mileage than the manual), does not sap power and is fun to drive. The Ford Fiesta Style AT is priced at Rs. 9.13 lakh and the Ford Fiesta Titanium AT priced at Rs. 9.86 lakh. Also read: Five affordable automatics in India

Premium sedan

Skoda Laura automatic

skoda laura india

If you are looking for a premium mid-size sedan with an automatic transmission you again have quite a vast choice. Cars here include the Chevrolet Cruze (six-speed diesel automatic), Hyundai Elantra (six-speed petrol and diesel automatics), Toyota Corolla Altis (seven-speed petrol automatic), Volkswagen Jetta (six-speed dual-clutch diesel automatic), Skoda Laura (six-speed dual-clutch diesel automatic), Renault Fluence (CVT petrol automatic with six presets) and Maruti Kizashi (CVT petrol automatic with five presets). Honda Civic was the other car in this segment, but it is being discontinued.

Among all these, the Skoda Laura DSG automatic is the car that has the best automatic transmission. The same transmission and engine is also used in the Volkswagen Jetta automatic, but the Laura is slightly cheaper and has more features to offer. The Laura Ambition AT is priced at Rs. 15.8 lakh while the L&K is at Rs. 19.15 lakh. Another good choice here is the Hyundai Elantra automatic for the sheer features it offers at a price point of Rs. 15.8 lakh, but the Laura is more fun to drive. Also read: Five cars we need in India now

 

Which of these cars do you like the most? Share your experience or thoughts on these automatic cars.