The advent of affordable automatic transmission-equipped cars, thanks to AMTs, has resulted in most of the new-age drivers choosing automatic cars over manual ones. There are several AMT cars in the market now which are available under Rs. 5 Lakh price mark. One of the major reasons why people are picking automatics over manuals is hassle-free operation. However, you about AMT type automatic transmission.
Expect much less
Simply put, AMTs won’t provide you with the same thrills as other proper automatic transmission car. You might even feel as if you have downgraded and the reason for this is that the AMTs do not function like other automatic. Instead, AMTs have a different feel and might even feel sluggish to some. However, if an AMT vehicle is your first go at an automatic transmission, it will leave you satisfied with its ease of usage.
It is a clutch-less manual transmission
AMT stands for Automated Manual Transmission, which basically means that it is not exactly a fully automatic gearbox. An AMT transmission has the same working and mechanical parts as in a manual gearbox but the difference lies in the use of the clutch pedal. While manual gearbox requires you to manage the clutch regularly, AMT does that for you itself. They automatically apply the clutch and hence are much easier to live with.
Affordable to buy and maintain
There is no doubt about the fact that AMTs are much more affordable than any other type of automatic transmission. They are manual gearboxes with some automatic transmission functioning and since they are not much complicated, many affordable hatchbacks are equipped with an AMT gearbox. It only gets a few additional features instead of an all-new transmission that keeps the cost low. Moreover, an AMT incurs less cost in the long run when compared to the maintenance of a manual gearbox,
And returns good fuel efficiency
AMTs are not only cheaper to buy and maintain but are also more fuel-efficient than most conventional automatic transmissions, which generally have a negative effect on the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Since the AMT is part manual in terms of functioning, it does not reduce the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Almost all the examples of AMT vehicles return the same fuel efficiency as their manual counterparts.
But a few traits of manual transmission remain
Nothing in this world is without its own shortcomings and the same is the case with AMTs. While AMT powered cars deliver the same fuel efficiency, they miss out on features like parking mode, hill hold and hill descent. Therefore, make it a habit to use handbrakes if you own or are planning to own an AMT equipped car.
You can shift gears and take control
Almost all the AMT equipped cars get usual stick which can be used whenever there is a need to take matters in your hands. The Renault Kwid is an exception to this, as it features a knob-based AMT gear-selector. However, such take-things-in-your-hands option is not offered on many conventional automatic transmissions that are offered with affordable cars on the Indian market. There is no denying the fact that having the choice of upshifting and downshifting upon will lends more control over the vehicle.
Modern AMTs are much more advanced
Technology is being developed every day at astonishing speed. Technology is not just your smartphone or PC but everywhere, and cars are also evolving at a very fast pace. Modern cars with AMT transmission are coming with cutting edge features such as hill hold. The Tata Nexon and Renault Duster are a good example of this. Not only this makes the vehicles less tiring to drive but also helps the driver to relax while stopping on the hill inclines.
No need for accelerator inputs in traffic
This is another boon for people who hate driving in traffic. Almost AMT equipped cars sold in our country now come with a ‘creep’ function. As the name suggests, this allows the car to move slowly in the traffic without any accelerator inputs. This is especially beneficial in heavy traffic situations where manual cars often turn off in first gear. The creep function comes with every automatic transmission car out there.
Engine braking is absent!
Engine braking is used to prevent unnecessary usage of brakes and a lot of people rely on engine braking while coming down a hill or bringing the vehicle to stop over a shorter distance. However, the AMT transmission does not allow you to control the clutch at all and hence, engine braking is missing from the vehicle. Engine braking means keeping the vehicle in lower gears while going down a slope or plane surface which eventually reduces the vehicle speed but since there is no clutch operation on AMTs, engine braking is not possible. One can use the manual mode to keep the vehicle in lower gears but different cars may behave differently in the same situation and one needs to drive and understand the vehicle
Overtaking needs planning
You might find the AMT to be a bit boring since overtaking needs planning in AMT cars. Even though AMTs get a manual mode to shift the gears, overtaking can be a major pain. That’s because AMTs are a bit sluggish, no matter how advanced they are. AMTs may let you to manually shift the gears, but they can’t match the speeds of manual or other advanced automatic transmissions. Even manually changing the gears is not instant.