AMT vs DCT vs CVT vs Torque Converter Automatic Comparison
AMT vs DCT vs CVT vs Torque Converter Comparison - Which Automatic Transmission to Choose?
Automatic cars have become very popular over the past few years and that is due to many factors. Earlier back in the day automatic gearbox equipped cars were seen as thirsty, difficult to maintain and very expensive. Few years back, automatic cars were mostly seen on high-end automobiles and many midsize sedans and hatchback only had a manual gearbox. The car buying public also liked a manual for its convenience. However with changing buyer trends and with traffic getting worse in many cities, the need for a more relaxed mode of driving was required. Buyers wanted to rest their left foot and wanted an automatic plus they were willing to pay the price too. That is due to more knowledge regarding automatic cars and them being much more affordable. Then Maruti brought in the Celerio with its AMT and that changed the whole way customers thought about autos. With the AMT, clutch less driving was available to a whole new audience and that sparked a trend. Today we see many new AMTs but along with that CVT, conventional torque converters and DCTs are also available on mainstream hatchbacks and sedans. So which type of gearbox is better? Let us take a look.
AMT Automatic Gearbox
This is the most simple form of automatic gearbox because it is not an automatic at all in the first place! The AMT is basically a manual gearbox but in which you are not doing the shifting. The AMT gearbox was first seen on the Maruti Celerio and since then Hyundai, Renault, Tata and others have offered this. In an AMT, you just drive it like an automatic but there are no P settings as there is N R and D. You slot it in N when you park. These days the AMT gearbox has become much better and you get a creep function plus added features.
In one of the AMT cars, the gearbox was jerky and also there was a pause on the shift quality. AMT gearbox cars are not fun to drive and also are slow on the highway due to the slow gearbox. These days with advancement in technologies, the AMT gearbox is much smoother and in city driving is like any auto and also on highways the lag is much less noticeable.
CVT Automatic Gearbox
This type of gearbox stands for Continuously Variable Transmission and here there are infinite gear ratios with no specific set of gears. CVT gearboxes are more complex and expensive which means cars with CVT are around Rs 1 lakh more. The CVT gearbox is being said as the best automatic for city driving for its smooth nature. If you do a lot of city driving then this gearbox makes sense. CVT also makes sense if you drive it with a light throttle and you are also rewarded by greater fuel efficiency. A CVT will offer better mileage than a manual gearbox with that being its USP. However also if you drive it with a heavy foot, the CVT transmission has something called as the rubber band effect and here the revs shoot up so you do not see a rise in speed but a rise in revs. Hence when driven fast will lose mileage and it is also not as good to drive.
Torque Converter Automatic Gearbox
This is the most popular automatic gearbox and also the oldest form of the automatics. It is also known for its reliability and best use in both city and highway. They have changed a lot from the early years and now it is possibly the best type of automatic to buy. The torque converter is expensive and usually has a price increase of more than a lack and plus the efficiency is less. But it works in all situations whether be it in slow traffic, highways or anything else. It is suited to diesel cars but due to its price, torque converters are seen less on cars these days due to the efficiency bit. However for driving this is one of the best.
DCT Automatic Gearbox
Lastly let us take a look at the most sophisticated form of automatics that you can buy. DCT or dual clutch transmission is the most modern type of gearbox and off late has been hugely popular in cars. DCT is the most complicated type with two clutches one for odd gears and one for even gears. Hence the car preselects the gears and it is said to be most fun to drive. A DCT gives the fastest shifts and is easily the most engaging with a feel of driving a manual car. That is why most premium cars have this gearbox and it is paired well with turbo petrol cars. DCT gearboxes though are dependent on the type of driving and hence are sensitive. If you drive fast the mileage drops but if driven sedately the mileage is good. Also the biggest downside to the DCT gearbox is the reliability factor. That is the reason Volkswagen changed from the Polo DSG to a torque converter. However carmakers like Hyundai are putting DCTs on many of its cars.
Which type of Automatic Gearbox is for me?
As we have explained earlier it depends on your budget, type of driving and how you drive. If you need a basic city commuter then go for an AMT or if at more budget a torque converter is reliable and it makes sense too. However if you want ease of use in the city then a CVT is your best bet while ultimately for sheer driving thrill, a DCT is the best option, though expensive.
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