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View Poll Results: Your favourite?
Torque-converter 369 38.44%
Dual-clutch (DSG) 429 44.69%
CVT 129 13.44%
AMT 33 3.44%
Voters: 960. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 26th June 2018, 23:32   #46
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

The following thoughts came to my mind when I saw this post , especially the Advantage/Disadvantage list. Somebody please clarify?

[*]Offers the highest FE among all the AT's present, thanks to its ability to vary gear ratios according to the situation.
I was on the assumption, CVT was not great at FE, and was widely adopted due to simple - cost effective for the manufacturer (Of course after AMT).My observation is Petrol Jetta with DSG/DCT always gives better FE than a CVT Corolla.Another advantage I guess is,CVT has less moving parts, so a bit more reliable too. Most of the small cars that are economic to buy in US market comes with CVT. Eg :- Honda Fit, Civic, Nissan versa, Toyota Yaris, Corolla, Mitsubishi Mirage etc (Ford is an exception, which has a no so great DCT for its budget cars too)

  • DCT's, on account of their complex mechanism, are known to be highly unreliable. Chances of gearbox failures are really high.
  • Expensive to manufacture compared to other transmissions. This in turn translates into more $$$.
  • Expensive to maintain and repair, thanks to its complex mechanism. What's more, finding a mechanic with proper knowledge regarding the DCT is like finding a needle in a haystack!
Adding to the DCT disadvantage list, I read somewhere that the DCT cannot be used for heavy towing and other heavy applications. Most of the current offroaders, automatic trucks/Buses comes with Torque converters with some electronic shift mechanism. Don't know what is the reason.

[*]The most reliable among all the AT options available.[*]Less expensive than the DCT and the CVT. Hence, the price difference between an AT variant with a torque converter and an MT variant is relatively less.[*]Maintenance and replacement of a torque converter is less expensive than a DCT or CVT.
I guess Torque Converters are costlier than CVTs and may be cheaper than DCT.

[*]The cheapest among all the AT's available, as a result of which it is becoming increasingly popular among manufacturers.[*]It is the most convenient to operate, due to it possessing the most simple mechanism.[*]Offers the highest FE among all the AT options.[*]Lowest cost of maintenance among all the automatics available. [/list]
Atleast, I guess Torque Converters are costlier than CVTs and may be cheaper than DCT. Some manufacturers gives TC for the higher variant of same model and lower variants gets CVT. It explains that CVTs are cheaper than TC for the manufacturer. Eg:- Honda Accord and Mitsubishi Outlander gives option for Torque converters for its higher variants.

My assumption was the excluding AMT, CVT has the lowest maintenance among automatic. There are some CVTs with comparatively gives more trouble like in some Nissan and Mini Cooper models, excluding that, but most of Toyota's, Honda's, Mitsubishi's and Mazda’s CVTs, rarely get into trouble, compared to Torque Converters.

Now comes the question:

Which one would you guys prefer? It might seem to be a tough call but life is all about that my friend!
Will be interesting to see the poll results.

Two I like from this list were DCT and TC and I have to pick one between these. Have driven DCT and was nice experience next to manual transmission. As GTO said, Torque converters have improved a lot compared to earlier and some can give equally good driving experience and more reliable than DCT. Hence my vote goes to TC.

Last edited by arunrajk81 : 26th June 2018 at 23:38. Reason: spacing
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Old 27th June 2018, 02:32   #47
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

As many have mentioned Torque Converters have just kept getting better over the years. Even the new TCs used in Fords clearly outshine the old DCT. Their simplicity, smoothness, predictability and reliability is what I most appreciate.

Also OP you have failed to mention what I most hate about twin clutch gearboxes in your list of disadvantages which is that they goof up when it comes to shifting a couple of gears down. Torque Converters on the other hand cans shift way more predictably through the ratios.
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Old 27th June 2018, 05:51   #48
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Originally Posted by speedmunster View Post
Correct me if I am wrong but the 2012 Honda City is a CVT. I myself happen to drive a 2013 Honda City CVT.
Iím afraid youíre wrong. It was a torque converter with paddle shift. You could just check on the web and clarify.
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Old 27th June 2018, 11:23   #49
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

It much depends on the size of engine and implementation too. Hated CVT so far, but using it in my present Corolla, don't find much to complain. Especially, given the negligible loss in FE and uber smoothness.

Overall, I find automatics in smaller cars still having some pain point.

TC could have horrible FE in smaller cars and CVT could have horrible rubber band effect in them. AMT has very bad jerks in smaller cars. DSG, as all mentioned, still is not reliable and cost effective enough for them. So all in all bigger vehicles are at a big advantage when it comes to automatics.

Voted for CVT, given the practicality of the Corolla.
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Old 27th June 2018, 11:32   #50
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

I own a SX4 AT with a 4 speed TC and a Volkswagen Ameo DSG, I love driving the Ameo on highways and no doubt it feels brilliant with its rapid up-shifting. However, city driving feels sluggish, especially in Bengaluru traffic where the gearbox shifts between 1 and 2 and vice-versa and tends to remain in these two gears due to slow moving traffic. The SX4 in the city feels much better to drive. I'm not too much of an enthusiast, hence, for me AT is just a convenience and I'm not too particular about what is better in terms of tech or capabilities
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Old 27th June 2018, 12:12   #51
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Among all of us who have voted, how many have owned an automatic? how many have only experienced it on a test drive or so or on a hired car once in a while? how many have never driven an automatic and have voted based on whatever they have read online?

Therefore, for anyone coming across this thread in his/her research for their next car, I would suggest to not rely completely on the poll results itself but to read the posts very carefully and then decide! This poll is more of a "your favorite" poll rather than which is ACTUALLY the best. I do not think there is anything like the best transmission unit! Everything depends on your feel of the drive when you are at the wheel and your requirements and, of course, the actual reports of failures. Maruti AMTs are known for problems but Tata Tiago AMT is so good that you might want to choose it over a grand i10 TC (may be may be not)

I drove my first automatic one year back when my father bought the 4 speed torque converter grand i10 without ABS! A lot of people say that it is not a good unit because it is only 4 speed! Well, it was enough for the purpose it was intended! Therefore, when experts say Torque Converters are most reliable and getting better and better and after experiencing it for myself, I went ahead and voted for the TC! In fact, even when I drive the i10 (apparently I am 'enthusiastic' at the wheel), I really like it...such a smooth & subtle drive! Maybe I am getting old!? God knows...
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Old 27th June 2018, 12:18   #52
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

My preference :

Expensive car : DSG or equivalent.
Big Diesel like Innova, Hexa: TC
Small Cheap cars : AMT(Drive one extensively, no different form the manual except slow shift), most of them are too slow for TC!
CVT : Depends on the car, hard to gauge the feel of acceleration if it is a plain CVT, not sure about the expensive ones.

ZF seems to have good reviews, if TATA launches it with their upcoming Land Rover based car, might give that combo a shot.
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Old 27th June 2018, 12:20   #53
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

@sjain2054; I have had a series of AT cars for coming on to 20 years. I started with a second hand Zen (carb at that), then went through, Santro, Civic and Brio. All with torque converter box. So I have had a decent experience with AT cars. One can even add that the Civic and Brio share essentially the same box.
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Old 27th June 2018, 12:27   #54
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Thanks for the poll, but can someone please also collate a list of all cars classified by their respective gear boxes?
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Old 27th June 2018, 13:07   #55
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

I will opt for the AMT - for all cars. In line with some people (non-US citizens definitely, that mecca for automatics!) I did not think much of auto boxes till the advent of the AMT.

The TC/CVT options did not offer direct mechanical coupling of engine to wheel & were inefficient to my mind - OK, the T/C lock-up provision did offer a means of bypassing the hydraulic slushbox, but this was an afterthought & most people did not give it a passing thought. The CVT's rubber-band operation again went against the mechanic in me. Too much elasticity between wheel & engine.

Enough has been said about the Dual Clutch transmission and its reliability issues, despite it being touted by 'enthusiasts'! I live in good old India where the no. of road accident fatalities has put paid to any remaining 'enthusiast' aspirations permanently.

The AMT to my mind offers the best compromise. Granted there's some jerkiness in some of the models (the Alto, as GTO has pointed out) But that is more of a fine-tuning-the-clutch-engagement issue than any inherent flaw in the mechanism. The AMT offers most purists that escape route to clutch-less driving and at the same allows them to keep self-respect intact!

Last edited by shashanka : 27th June 2018 at 13:13.
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Old 27th June 2018, 14:40   #56
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

I can never stand AMTs, just hate their jerky behavior! After test driving Swift and Dzire ZDI AMT, I decided never to buy AMTs.
I see folks spending more than 1 million INR on new cars and still get an AMT. One chap recently booked a Brezza AMT and this is how the conversation went between me and him.

Him: Congrats on the new car purchase, heard you bought Amaze 2018 CVT

Me: Thanks

Him: I checked the car, but did not like it. I don't like to spend more than 10L when we don't get touchscreen system also.

Me: Yes, I understand. Each person has different preference. For me driving comfort matters more than anything. Other than this, my only option was Dzire ZDI AMT, which also does not have touchscreen HU, and mated with AMT. I just can't stand AMTs.

Him: But Maruti is the best. They make the best cars. That is why I have booked Brezza VDI AGS.

Me: Congrats! Like I said, each person has different preference. Maybe you feel AMT manageable, but I don't. Also I think Brezza VDI also doesn't come with touchscreen HU. It does not even have alloys, auto climate control, etc.

Him: Brezza does not come with AMT, comes with AGS. They are different technologies.

Me: No, it comes with AMT. AGS stands for Auto Gear Shift. Similarly there is CVT, DSG, etc. You can google it, or check on T-BHP. You'll see multiple feedback on them. AMT is prone to jerky behavior during sudden upshifts, and many wouldn't like this after paying >10L.

All my further efforts to explain AMT went in vain. No wonder Maruti is able to sell AMTs in such high volumes!
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Old 27th June 2018, 15:12   #57
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Torque Convertor for me. I bought my first TC car just 6 months back and frankly I can't think of buying a MT car ever in the future.

CVT is some thing I am considering for my wife who has recently started driving, so may get one CVT car in the near future. But still I prefer a TC over a CVT as of now.

The AMT I wouldnt even touch one with a barge pole as of now, hearing so much about all the clutch and jerk issues. Also I need to see long term reliability as well as its still quite new in India and seems like a work in progress technology.

DSG again seems like a work in progress tech so not for me as of now and maybe it will replace traditional TC boxes someday once all it's reliability and longivity issues are resolved.
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Old 27th June 2018, 15:18   #58
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

VW’s DSG, although purportedly not as reliable as a torque converter, is a superb piece of hardware, and makes for a lovely driving experience. Sure, it doesn’t downshift as aggressively as the Bimmer’s gearbox, but it holds up well, and gives a consistent driving experience, which is a tick in my books. And switch it to S-mode, and it works wonders. Case in point, the new Octavia RS and the Skoda Superb diesel use the 6 speed DSG, and I love the way my Superb has adapted to my driving style (or maybe it’s the other way around - I may have adapted my driving style to suit the DSG, but I suppose I’ll never know). My family’s E250 is not great fun to drive, to be honest, although I know I could be wrong, for I’ve never had occasion to take it out for a long drive, yet. The CVT is no fun, what with the rubber band effect, and that’s also one of the reasons why I’ll never approve of the Lexus series and the Camrys and Corollas using the CVT setup. I’ve never had the opportunity to test an AMT, yet, but from what I’ve read, it isn’t any better than a CVT. So yeah, I’ll take a wet clutch DSG over anything else, any day.

Last edited by gk1234 : 27th June 2018 at 15:34. Reason: Adding content; typos.
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Old 27th June 2018, 15:23   #59
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

While I voted for TC, I believe AMTs are going to be the future. It's a simple design mechanically, with software taking over the manual work of operating clutch for changing gears. With so much focus and R&D going on in AI/machine learning and Self-driving cars, AMT would evolve fast and become as good as (if not better than) any other Transmission in near future.

Also, I see a bias against AMTs here. Have all the people who are saying they will not touch an AMT equipped car with a "whatever", driven one? esp the newer ones in Nexon/brezza.

Disclaimer: I do not own any Auto transmission car.
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Old 27th June 2018, 15:39   #60
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Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

My vote was for TC

I've tried my hands on the Rapid DSG, Polo TSi, Jazz CVT, Brio AT, i10 AT, Celerio AMT and the Ignis AMT in recent years.

I found the DSG to be very exciting to drive, both on the Rapid 1.6 (previous avatar of the TDi) and the Polo TSi. I still think its the best option for an enthusiast, who does not want to miss the control of an MT.

On the other hand, AMTs are synonymous with Altos and Celerios, and that's probably why there is this perception of a jerky, underwhelming experience. I was pleasantly surprised, when I got behind the wheels of an Ignis AMT. Not only were the gear shifts smoother, but the car felt a lot more responsive.

However, after owing the Honda Brio AT for a little over three months, my vote goes to TC. I especially like how smoothly the gearbox responds to minimal input and spools up power for quick overtakes. The 5 speed AT on the Honda has been a breeze to drive - be it within the city or on sightly longer drives to the Airport or outskirts.

Complimenting the steady increase in popularity, automatics are certainly getting better with time.

Long story short - driving an AT takes a fair deal of unlearning and getting used to, which when done well, can be a surprisingly satisfying experience, with the added bonus of relief to knees
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