Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs) have become really popular in the last few years. While these transmissions were earlier available only on the budget hatchbacks like the Maruti Alto, Tata Tiago and the Tata Nano, manufacturers have now even started providing these on costlier vehicles like the Maruti Swift, Tata Nexon, Renault Duster, and Maruti Vitara Brezza. So, basically, Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs) have made it to many segments of our mainstream car market. But are they any good? Why, yes, of course! Here are as many as 6 SOLID reasons to buy AMT cars.
Additional driving comfort because of automatic gear shifts
The biggest advantage of an AMT-equipped car is that it’s practically as good as any automatic car when driving on congested city streets. This leads to additional driving comfort over manual transmission-equipped models. Like an automatic car, the ones with an AMT don’t have a clutch pedal. Basically, you don’t have to change gears or use the clutch every few seconds. Hence, driving on the traffic-infested roads becomes a lot easier.
New drivers find it easier to handle AMTs than Manual Transmissions
The new drivers with less experience behind the wheel find it easier to handle AMT-equipped cars than the ones with a manual transmission. This is because they don’t have to use clutch or change gears manually. Many new drivers take time to get used to the clutch operation. Hence, the gear shifts are often jerky. There’s no such trouble while driving an AMT as all the work is done by the electronics. Drivers simply don’t need to worry about using a clutch or changing gears manually. The Tata Tiago is an AMT equipped car a lot of beginner drivers now prefer.
Fuel efficiency as good as manual
Conventional automatic cars are nowhere as fuel efficient as their manual counterparts. With AMTs, however, one doesn’t need to worry about the fuel efficiency taking a hit. In fact, there have been some cases of AMTs being even a bit more fuel efficient than their manual counterparts. In most other cases, the AMT variants are exactly as frugal as the MTs. For example, even the recently launched Vitara Brezza AMT and the Nexon AMT are as fuel efficient as the manual versions. The same is the case with the Maruti Swift as well. What this means is that the AMTs make perfect sense for the fuel mileage-conscious buyer.
Lower maintenance than conventional automatics
AMTs are not only more frugal than conventional automatic transmissions but are also easier to maintain. This is because of their simpler construction. Basically, an AMT unit comprises of a regular manual transmission and an electro-hydraulic system that completely eliminates the need to use the clutch and shift gears manually. Due to their simpler construction, they are much cheaper to maintain than the conventional automatics, which use much more sophisticated and costlier systems.
Cheaper to buy than conventional automatics
AMTs are also cheaper to buy than conventional automatics. Mostly, cars with a conventional automatic transmission cost at least a lakh rupees more than their manual transmission-equipped variants. The difference in prices gets bigger if you take into account cars that offer a dual-clutch automatic transmission. On the other hand, most AMT-equipped cars are only about Rs 40,000-50,000 costlier than the manual variants. Like we said, AMTs use a far simpler mechanism than conventional automatics. Hence, AMT systems turn out to be much cheaper than the ATs. This leads to a smaller increase in the prices. The AMT variants of the Maruti Swift and Tata Tiago AMT are priced only slightly higher than their manual counterparts.
AMTs now as good as conventional ATs
The earlier generation of AMTs was criticized for lacking in several features that are offered by conventional ATs. The new crop of AMTs, however, is as good as the automatic transmissions. The latest generation Automated Manual Transmissions offer features like a kick down mode, hill hold mode, etc, which make them almost as sophisticated as conventional automatics. Thanks to these additions, using an AMT-equipped car on hilly terrains is no more inconvenient. Furthermore, AMTs have become a lot more fun owing to the introduction of the kick-down mode.