The Clash of DCT Automatic Cars Under 15 Lakhs - 2021
The Clash of Dual Clutch Transmission Automatic Cars Under 15 Lakhs - 2021
Recently even Kia Motors in India entered into the sub-4-meter SUV category by launching its all-new Kia Sonet. This vehicle is offered with 2 petrol and 1 diesel engine with a combination of a DCT and iMT and IVT on the petrol and offers even a torque converter, with the diesel.
Obviously, this hit recipe has now found its way to the Sonet and as in the Seltos, the Sonet GT Line has a wide variety of flavors. The 1.0-liter turbo petrol in Sonet has a power output of 120PS and 172 NM. This is the same unit as in the Venue and Verna, and it can be opted with either the six-speed iMT clutch-less manual gearbox that debuted recently on the Hyundai Venue or the seven-speed DCT. Unfortunately, the most exacting enthusiasts would be left lacking, there is no turbo- manual transmission combo available on the Sonet, contrary to the Seltos.
Price OTR (approx.) – INR 14.80Lakhs.
Talking about the sub-4-meter SUV, how can we forget the Hyundai Venue. It’s the rival or sibling of the all-new Kia Sonet. Venue is among the top selling vehicles in India and the turbo petrol engine churns out 119 horses at 6000 rpm and 171.6Nm of torque. This 998-cc vehicle gives a tough competition to the rivalry Kia Sonet but when talked about the features, comfort and power the Kia plays its game after the launch of the Sonet the Venue's sales have gone down.
Now talking about how it drives, in the beginning, even at low revs, you're always going to have to pay a lot of attention to be able to say it's a three-cylinder. The motor is very quiet and polished, and it's easily one of the best systems we've ever driven. Speed is coming in rather linearly; the shifts will arrive without you knowing it. You just get a small taste of lag in the drivetrain, under downshifts, with the engine taking a split second to respond and turn over, showing its gruff three-cylinder engine sound.
There is a manual lockout for the gearbox if in case you want to take things in your own hands, and the place looks sporty. In traffic, the Venue rolls forward very predictably, and the brakes give a fair amount of acceleration but feels that the ABS could start to kick early if you see a pace breaker at the last moment and need to stop. Eventually, the ABS problems are a serious matter in all Hyundai cars.
Price OTR (approx.) – INR 13.42 Lakhs.
The latest contender in town, the most renowned and one of the highest selling Hyundai cars, i.e., the all-new Hyundai i20 is launched with some major changes on the inside and even on the outside with the third-generation.
Personally, I feel that the previous generation of the i20 was better looking and looked more muscular and it had an up stance but since we are talking DCTs, we talk about the all-new i20. It gets a DCT gearbox which churns the same figures as the Hyundai Venue. It is powered by a 998 cc 3-cylinder engine which produces a power figure of 119 bhp and 171.6Nm of torque.
As is known, Hyundai's 1.0 Turbo GDI engine is not the liveliest low-speed engine, but the DCT helps here. The gearbox does a decent job of masking the poor bottom end of the engine and keeping the i20 in the right gear, so you won't have any trouble retaining traction or keeping up with traffic flow.
There’s a nice tug of around 2,000 rpm or so, the engine pulls cleanly in the middle of the range, and it's just pretty fun. The 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox often comes into action as you drive faster, but there are a few points of interest. For one thing, it's easy and comfortable, but not quite fast and snappy as you'd expect the dual-clutch model to be. The all-new i20 for a change, doesn’t get paddle shifters.
Price OTR (approx.) – INR 13.05 Lakhs.
Verna's 1.0 three-cylinder petrol is so fluid and well balanced that you're going to be hard-pressed to say it's not a traditional four-cylinder petrol. The twin-clutch automatic gearbox, coupled with a smooth engine, makes driving light and simple. Turnabout at low engine speeds, though, and the engine sounds a little flat-footed since there's a bit of turbo lag.
But all you have to do to get around this is push down the throttle a little faster, get the gearbox to run a fast downshift, and then ride the surge of torque as the engine gets back into the power band. The 172Nm of torque which is available in the Verna, provides it a very peculiar mid-range, and the acceleration is also pretty good for a sedan like this, particularly if you hold your foot right on the gas pedal.
Many that like driving in a more buoyant fashion will also admire the large spectrum of power; the engine pulls hard all the way from around 2,000 to 6,000 rpm. While the twin-clutch gearbox isn't as fast as the VW or Skoda gearboxes, and the TSI pulls harder at the top end, all the way to the 6,500-rpm mark, the Verna isn't too far off the track.
Price Ex-Showroom (approx.) – INR 14.08 Lakhs.
The only well-known DCT in the market was the VW DSG. After the VW group moved to torque converters, there aren’t many vehicles under the 15 Lakh mark that offer a DCT gearbox.
Well, when we talk about the clash of DCTs, it's more like a clash of Hyundai family - Hyundai & Kia Brands. We have 4 contenders and all of them belong to the same family which uses the same engine and gearbox combo, albeit in different states of tunes and different body styles. My pick among them would be the Hyundai Verna. It looks unique, pulls clean and boasts of comfort and features all-around. For INR 15 Lakhs, you cannot go wrong with it.
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