Should you Buy AMT or iMT? Gearbox Technology Review
AMT Automatic vs iMT Semi-Auto Gearbox Comparison Review - Pros and Cons
Few years back Maruti launched the AMT gearbox with its Celerio and it was the first AMT car in India. The whole USP of an AMT car in general was that you have an automatic but without the cost of a typical auto or even the less efficiency which an automatic gives over manual. Also an AMT gearbox was much cheaper to make and price which meant that small cars and many cars below the Rs 10 lakh space now have it.
But now Hyundai have brought in the first iMT gearbox car in India. iMT stands for intelligent manual transmission and is basically a manual without a clutch for the driver to operate. So which type of gearbox is better, AMT or iMT? We compared the Hyundai Aura AMT and Venue iMT for that.
AMT vs iMT GEARBOX - How do they work?
An AMT gearbox is much like the manual but in place of a gearbox or a clutch you get a hydraulic actuator which does that for the driver. So the driver does not have to change gears or press the clutch. An iMT in case of the Hyundai system is basically a sensor that tells the transmission control unit that the driver is changing gears which then sends the hydraulic actuator a signal to engage the clutch.
AMT vs iMT GEARBOX - How do they drive?
An AMT drives like an automatic gearbox equipped car and most AMTs come with a creep function too. You drive it just like an automatic. However the AMT while in example here in the Hyundai Aura, feels smooth at low speeds, when needing urgent shifts, the AMT feels slow and you sometimes feel the lag between shifts or downshifts. For low speed city traffic the AMT works like an auto but at high speeds it is slow.
The iMT on the other hand just works like any manual gearbox but the only difference being that you do not have to use the clutch. You have to go through the gears just like a manual and drive it like any manual.
AMT vs iMT GEARBOX - Which one has a better mileage?
AMT generally has a lower mileage as compared to manual transmission during real world city driving. But as the iMT is a semi-automatic transmission where the driver decides the time of gear shift, the fuel economy of iMT will be close to a manual transmisson and has a slight advantage over AMT for daily commute
AMT vs iMT GEARBOX - What are the benefits and disadvantages of both?
An AMT has many benefits and one of them being it is an automatic for less money. In the end you are not shifting any gears and it is driving like an automatic but also by consuming less fuel. It is also cheaper which means AMT makes sense for those who want the automatic feel but on a budget. The disadvantages are the slow gearbox, the lag between shifts or the pause which means overtaking or driving quick is an effort but they are not pleasant to drive.
The iMT has its advantages linked to the disadvantages of an AMT. The iMT gives you control like any manual which means driving or overtaking is no effort plus it is more fun and involving. Yet there is no clutch which is also relaxing. It is even cheaper than AMTs since difference between a manual with a clutch and an iMT in case of the Venue here is only Rs 25,000. What are the minus points? Well an iMT is still a manual which means you need to shift gears and that for many might be a turn-off since they want the full automatic experience.
AMT vs iMT GEARBOX - Which one to choose - Verdict
An AMT gearbox is for those who drive a lot in the city and in traffic which means they want the automatic experience but at less price and good efficiency. An AMT fulfills that so it still remains a good choice. However the lack of smoothness and the known issues of AMTs regarding jerky shifts and more make many turn away from them. So for those car-buyers the iMT is perfect. It gives you full control yet you also rest your left foot along with the added benefits of less cost and good efficiency.
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