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5 types of automatic cars – IMT, CVT, AMT, DCT & Torque Converter: Which one should you buy?

Manual transmission is the most preferred option in India. However, there are quite a few other options available in the Indian market especially after the arrival of iMT and AMT’s entry to the Indian market. Every transmission has its own benefits but a few downsides too. What are they and which one will suit you the best? Here are five types of transmission options and which one should you buy.

Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

If you’re looking for an affordable option and fuel efficiency is a high priority

The AMT automatic has attracted a lot of buyers in the Indian market. After Maruti Suzuki introduced it with the Celerio, there are many manufacturers who started offering the affordable transmission option. The basic operation of the AMT is exactly similar to the manual transmission. However, there are actuators, sensors, a servo motor and programming, the operation of the clutch becomes automatic. This is why the AMT variants do have a huge price tag attached to them compared to the manual models.

Both petrol and diesel engine options offer AMT or automated manual transmission. The only down-side of this type of transmission is its raw transition of gears. AMT are not a full-fledged automatic transmission and one needs to learn how to operate them as a manual transmission. Even high-end cars like Abarth 595 offered AMT in the past. In India, almost all the affordable models offer AMT. It includes Maruti Suzuki Swift, Ignis, Dzire, Hyundai Santro, Mahindra XUV300 and more.

Continous Variable Transmission (CVT)

If you want the smoothest drive

CVT technology has advanced over the years and there are many cars that offer the same. It is one of the oldest kind of automatic transmission and is also very quiet. The most common use of the CVT is in the automatic scooters. The CVT works with a system of pulleys and a belt, which is why they can offer an infinite number of gear ratios. The downside of the CVT is the rubberband effect, which will make you feel that the engine is at a high rpm but the car is not going as fast. Newer vehicles have the technology to reduce this effect. Honda offers 7-stepped CVT and Nissan offers an X-Tronic system with its range.

Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)

DCT is becoming the new favourite in the country with a slew of manufacturers like Hyundai, MG, Kia, and even Jeep offering the same in the Indian market. The Dual Clutch Transmission is very advanced and uses two separate clutch systems to engage the alternate gears to offer very quick shifts. The twin-clutch system is used in high-performance cars mainly. The clutch that is not engaged remains ready to engage as soon as needed. When the engaged clutch disengages, the other clutch engages almost instantly. This is why the shifts are so quick and are perfect for high-performance cars.

Volkswagen introduced the dual-clutch transmission with the Polo TSI while Ford used to offer the same with the Figo and the EcoSport. At the moment, Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue, Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass, MG Hector and more cars offer the same.

Torque Convertors

Torque Converters are the oldest form of automatic transmission available in the Indian market. The Torque Convertors use planetary gear system with turbine and impeller. The impeller uses a fluid that operates due to the centrifugal force. There are quite a few cars available with the good old torque convertors. It includes the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, S-Cross, Ciaz, XUV500 and more such vehicles.

Intelligent Manunal Transmission

Clutchless manual transmission or semi-automatic transmissions are a new kind that was introduced in the market by Hyundai and Kia earlier this year. It is just like a stick shift manual transmission but without a clutch. The iMT comes with actuators that sense the pressure on the gear stick and engages the clutch. This transmission is very affordable to maintain as it is basically as manual transmission without a clutch pedal. Currently, Hyundai i20, Venue and Kia Sonet offer the iMT in India.