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View Poll Results: Your favourite?
Torque-converter 307 36.03%
Dual-clutch (DSG) 401 47.07%
CVT 114 13.38%
AMT 30 3.52%
Voters: 852. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27th June 2018, 16:19   #61
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

I too have the view that you cannot really figure out the pros and cons of an automatic gearbox technology from test drives (drive too short) or rental drives (mostly highway driving). You have to own the car, run it for atleast 5,000 kms and see how it performs in -

- Stop Go traffic
- Normal city roads
- Hills/Ghats
- Expressways
- 2 lane highways, with vehicles coming from opposite side
- Bad rutted roads (frequent braking and acceleration)

Also, your opinion on a car and a transmission type mostly depends on how good the engine is. There is a huge difference between -

- CVT mated to 1.2 litre petrol engine and CVT mated to (2.4 litre petrol engine) + (100 BHP electric motor)
- 4-speed TC mated to 1.2 petrol engine and 6 speed TC mated to 140 BHP 2 litre diesel engine.

However, by observing where a particular type of AT is mostly used, we can figure out its pros and cons.

DUAL CLUTCH TRANSMISSION

- Primarily used in high performance sports cars (or performance oriented mainstream cars)
- The fact that it has NOT been universally adopted by Luxury car makers implies that there are certain drawbacks (not related to cost or complexity). Going by comments of DSG owners, it looks like dual clutch transmission is not suitable for city or low speed driving (low FE, confused gear shifts)
- Higher premium over equivalent manual transmission car. Hence not suitable for lower priced cars.
- Possible long term reliability issues under extreme conditions (stop go traffic, heat etc)

TORQUE CONVERTOR TRANSMISSION

- Seems like jack of all trades kind of transmission with respect to parameters like cost, shift speed, fuel economy and complexity. No major drawbacks.
- Has 60% market share among automatic transmission cars.
- Main choice of luxury car makers and mainstream car makers alike. We have 4 speed TC for a Rs. 6 Lakh car and 8 speed TC for a Rs. 60 Lakh car.

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CONTINUOUSLY VARIABLE TRANSMISSION

- Choice of transmission if you want the best fuel economy. Sure, you can get decent fuel economy from a DSG or TC car too - but you need to consciously drive carefully (steady accelerator inputs, coasting etc). But in a CVT, the transmission maintains engine RPM at 1000 to 2500 RPM for an entire 500 km trip while still maintaining a good pace - resulting in an excellent average fuel economy. Without even trying.
- Not suitable for performance oriented mainstream cars or ultimate & less than ultimate driving machines because of its strange power delivery characteristics (rubber band effect). Not to forget the noise levels associated with it when you are in a hurry.
- Not suitable for entry level cars because it is significantly more expensive than AMT and 4 speed TC transmission.
- Ideal application is petrol hybrid car. This totally eliminates rubber band effect because the electric motor supplies power to the wheels at the right time.
- Because of smoothness of operation, it is suitable for majority of drivers (for city use, for highway cruisers)

AUTOMATED MANUAL TRANSMISSION:

- Low cost system. Some models have a premium of just Rs. 30,000 over the manual
- Second highest fuel economy (after CVT)
- Works better with bigger petrol engine or a diesel engine (low end torque)

Last edited by SmartCat : 27th June 2018 at 16:38.
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Old 27th June 2018, 16:55   #62
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

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Originally Posted by sjain2054 View Post
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?
Which is the reason why I could not really fathom the whole "hating the rubber band effect". I have driven my friend's Honda City CVT version and there is nothing better than I have felt in transmission department. I have also driven the AMT of Ignis but the jerkiness of manual transmission (gear change) was there.
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Old 27th June 2018, 17:55   #63
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Which is the reason why I could not really fathom the whole "hating the rubber band effect". I have driven my friend's Honda City CVT version and there is nothing better than I have felt in transmission department. I have also driven the AMT of Ignis but the jerkiness of manual transmission (gear change) was there.
May be you are sedate driver hence you cannot fathom the rubber band effect. Try this on a CVT city: floor the accelerator immediately on moving the car to D. Huge noise and whine no real progress. Try the same thing on a manual and you will see the difference.
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Old 27th June 2018, 18:44   #64
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Voted for the DSG, in the light of my four year ownership of a GT TSI, with zero issues to report

The appeal of the DSG in my view is the Jekyll and Hyde character - relaxed shifts when the accelerator is prodded gently and rapid shifts (even in regular D mode) when equivalent urgency is conveyed by the right foot; duly complemented by the TSI engine.

Not sure if it's a shortcoming of ATs in general, I always felt that the DSG goes into coast mode at the drop of a hat, especially downhill, prompting me to hold the gear in Manual Mode. Something I never felt the need to control manually while going uphill !
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Old 27th June 2018, 21:57   #65
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

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Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
May be you are sedate driver hence you cannot fathom the rubber band effect. Try this on a CVT city: floor the accelerator immediately on moving the car to D. Huge noise and whine no real progress. Try the same thing on a manual and you will see the difference.

I have driven CVTs and this is true. A quick overtake is a pain with CVTs but if you are a sedate driver, CVTs are really an awesome companion except for may be couple of situations every few months.
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Old 27th June 2018, 23:17   #66
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

This was a tough poll, since there are transmissions and transmissions of each type.

I have driven my Superb, which had the DSG DQ 200, and two cars with torque converters, the Vento 1.6 MPI and the X3 20d extensively in India. I have test driven cars with CVTs (Honda City Gxi) and 4 speed torque converters, and sat in an AMT equipped Celerio.

When I compared the DSG in the Skoda and the 4 speed torque converter in the Accord back in 2010, the winner seemed obvious. The Superb was so much better to drive than the Accord, despite being down by 24 HP of peak power. The terrible quality of Hondaís 4 speeed torque converter was even more obvious when I test drove the manual and automatic Honda City (3rd gen) back to back. Yes, the mechatronics of my DSG failed twice, but with free replacement, that was not the end of the world.

I realised torque converters can be better when I drove the Vento with a 6 speed gearbox. And the fantastic shifting of the ZF 8 speed won the battle for the best transmission in my mind.

CVTs are also a bad choice - they suck power out of the cars. As for AMTs, I am not even sure they should be called automatic transmission (actually they arenít).

I have not driven any car with a high quality CVT extensively in India (I think the Mercedes C200 I drove in the UK in 2010 had a CVT abut could be wrong, and if so, that was a great gearbox). Overall, it is the pairing of the engine and gearbox that matters the most. With the right tune, you can get a lot out of any kind of transmission. Wish manufacturers would focus on that a bit more
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Old 28th June 2018, 08:23   #67
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Default

Voted for the conventional torque converter boxes.

The ZF 8 speed on a BMW is as good as any DSG. Similarly the 7 and 9 speed on the Mercedes is equally good. Hyundai has a fuss free box which have had almost no trouble that I have heard off.

The dual clutch transmissions though excellent just do not have reliability. Be it with VW group or with Ford.

Though CVTs are claimed to be extremely efficient and reliable, at least of what I have experienced, is not in the league of the other two transmissions in terms of performance.

AMTs, why was it even on the poll ?
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:16   #68
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

My vote goes to Torque converter for the optimum balance among reliability, fun to drive, smoothness and fuel efficiency (in that order).
- CVT may be smooth, but who would like to be pulled around with a rubber band.
- AMT? Oh! he is such a jerk.
- DSG? Not planning to sell my house!
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Old 28th June 2018, 12:18   #69
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nav-i-gator View Post
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.
Bashing AMT (for their jerkiness) seems like the in-thing these days (just like bashing Korean cars was the in-thing in the previous decade).

What people don't realize is that AMT is not even a real AT, it never claims to be one. But it is a clever solution for the Indian car scene. Most city dwellers are just looking for a clutch-less car. It doesn't matter to them what is the underlying technology. It is good enough for someone who is looking to move away from MT car.

The advantages of AMT can't be overlooked, especially in a country like ours.

Not voting on the poll because I don't have hands on experience with any AT. But whenever I buy my next car, it will definitely be a clutch-less one.

Rohan
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Old 28th June 2018, 12:56   #70
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Have used the TC and the DSG.

The TC was very quick to get off of the block and very smooth and convenient to drive but when the MT car could do 0 to 60 in 5.6 seconds, this would do it in a slumber-inducing 7.6. While the company rated top speed of the MT was 152 kph, the TC version had it curtailed to 140. As an enthusiast, that would always weigh on my pleasure.

Enter the DSG. Finally the Automatics have caught up with the big boys, the MT. This won't caress your cheek with a rose petal. It is raw, quick, brutal. This is not for the babies. This is when you want to drive the car and not when you want to be driven by the car. No extra transmission loss, no shift-time loss. Enjoy the smoothness and imperceptible shifts in D. Then shift that thing into S and watch the world go by your window in fast forward. DSG is best of both worlds. DSG for me any day!

And that is because, performance is first priority. But DSG can be very efficient if driven sedately as well.

Last edited by rageshgr : 28th June 2018 at 13:17.
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Old 28th June 2018, 14:18   #71
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

To some extend it really depends on the car I am driving. But in general I am a huge fan of the DSG type of boxes. I have had several in several different cars. Always in Europe and I never experienced any trouble with them, none whatsoever. Currently we have one in our Ford (they have a different name for it). I know in India these type of boxes have a somewhat iffy reputation. For me they have done extremely well. Very smooth driving. Loads of torque when you need it.

In general the smaller (less powerfull) the car the less likely I prefer a torque convertor and even the DSG boxes might become a bit heavy. So CVT might be the most suitable option.

My experience with torque convertors is varied. The one on my Jaguar XJR is absolutely superb, butter smooth and I like to think it is better than the best DSG I have ever driven.

I have driven a large number of small cars during my travels abroad all over the world. Depends a bit, but I often find the torque convertors on small cars a bit wonky. Just not as smooth as I would like.

Jeroen
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Old 28th June 2018, 14:19   #72
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

I started looking at AT because left leg started complaining.
Voted for TC as I own Brio AT (TC) 1.2L (almost all 12K kilometers in City).
Car drives really smooth. As combination of 5 speed gear box with 1.2 engine is good and was the deciding factor why I own it.

I also have Swift VDI which has done more than 100,000KM.

Somehow i feel if we use AMT as driver assist technology, we will start liking it more. By this i mean use the manual mode and shift lever to change gears. More like a clutch-less manual drive than automatic one.
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Old 28th June 2018, 14:24   #73
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Bashing AMT (for their jerkiness) seems like the in-thing these days (just like bashing Korean cars was the in-thing in the previous decade).



The advantages of AMT can't be overlooked, especially in a country like ours.


Rohan
AMT has great potential. It is much similar to the dry clutch DCT, except that it has a single clutch

Point is, AMT jerkiness is due to ECU not being able to preempt what driver want to do, when you floor the pedal/brake and manual shifting through actuators take a fraction of a second more than the DSG/DCT (though still less time than a manual shifting by pressing clutch pedal and moving the gear stick). Similar to how DSG/DCT gets confused whether to upshift or downshift in stop-go traffic. Problem is not with mechanicals as much as it's with the software. And as I said, with ever evolving technology in AI/Machine learning, AMT will become more responsive and adaptive to driver's driving patterns, and the jerkiness will be gone to a large extent. Add to that the advantage of being able to plonk it on any gear-clutch combination. 6-speed, 7-speed, even 10 speed gearbox can be employed with AMT (I'm no expert, but it can be used with multiple clutch gearboxes as well, isn't it. Like, having separate clutch for each gear and each operated through hydraulic actuators).

Anyways, all would agree on one thing, only drawback with AMT's is the jerkiness felt when the gear changes. Except that, AMT are more or less, flawless even now. And since, it's basically a manual transmission underneath, the manual/tiptronic mode can be a real manual override in AMT's.

Last edited by Nav-i-gator : 28th June 2018 at 14:36.
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Old 28th June 2018, 18:33   #74
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

AMT is rudimentary. A stop-gap arrangement or a low-cost alternative. Works as intended, but the target application is different. Let us keep it aside for the time being.

IMO, Between the other three, the major difference in terms of power transfer is "Mechanical Isolation". TC's and CVT's provide mechanical isolation between the Engine and the Transmission / distribution system. In case of a DSG, there is no isolation.That makes DSG's complicated to design, as they handle the load all the time and under all circumstances. They are practically sandwiched between the engine and the distribution system.

TC's and CVT's are more reliable due to this very fact. Recent TC's and CVT's are very fuel efficient too. My pick as on date would be a TC followed by a distance by CVT. TCs because they are faster, perceivable, rugged and cheaper to maintain.

My thoughts are that the DSGs are the future for automatics. There is no transfer loss, but just that they lag a bit to begin with. Companies have to figure out a way to make them more rugged and reliable. Fact that the cost factor is always at the back of the mind, does not help researchers.

Last edited by Chethan B G : 28th June 2018 at 18:37.
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Old 28th June 2018, 19:38   #75
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Default Re: Which type of Automatic Transmission do you prefer?

My Vento Tsi gear box is a dream to drive , in spite of the occasional minor jerks (once a month) when it moves from D3 to D2.
Just make a CVT AMT TORQUE CONVERTER fan, drive a DSG, and you will have a convert of life , ready to take the risk!!
I had driven a CVT and DSG back to back TD, no difference in smoothness, the CVT rubber band effect was horrible on sudden acceleration.
Folks who havent driven a DSG, can go on and on forever giving expert comments on the reliability issues, but off late VW seems to have got a grip on the matter (touch wood)!
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