Team-BHP > BHP India > What Car?


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 13th December 2017, 09:35   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 1
Thanked: 2 Times
Default Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Hi all, need help choosing a new car. My friend, currently based in Delhi, is moving to the hills, relocating to a hamlet close to Mukteshwar. He plans to buy a car that will work well in the hills and also for his runabouts when he drives back to the city. Plans to head back to Delhi not more than once a month, and some local hill driving as well thru the month. Has a budget of approx 9 lacs. Wants to check is automatic is a good choice for the hills. And any other recommendations.
punjabibagh is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 10:08   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
blackwasp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Navi Mumbai
Posts: 2,093
Thanked: 13,747 Times
Default re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by punjabibagh View Post
Wants to check is automatic is a good choice for the hills. And any other recommendations.
I would advise against ATs that are AMT based. They will simply slip the clutch and the car will roll back on hill starts, if the handbrake is not used. Torque Converters, DSGs etc. should be ok.

In an AT, to get engine braking, it might need to be slotted in 2/L/M modes of the gearbox. As long as your friend is comfortable with all the workings of the gearbox, it shouldn't matter on the choice. Please take test drives of all the potential candidates and compare the differences. If you can manage to test them on an inclined area, nothing like it.
blackwasp is online now   (14) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 10:34   #3
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 54,246
Thanked: 135,159 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Really depends on the type of Automatic and the car. As Blackwasp said, avoid AMTs. They are sad on hilly terrain. Also avoid poorly matched CVTs - as an example, the Nissan CVTs which are so damn sluggish.

A solid torque-converter AT or a CVT mated to a strong engine (e.g. Honda City) will serve your friend well. For 9 lakhs, he can consider the Elite i20 AT. I've reviewed the engine & gearbox here (previous-gen car).
GTO is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 10:51   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,817
Thanked: 2,940 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Umm.. not sure why he would want an automatic for the hills. There are not many gear changes required anyway. Most of the climbs around Mukteshwar/Almora can be tackled in 3rd. Roads aren't too bad either. Any petrol MT hatch should do. Manuals also have the added benefit of engine braking when going downhill. I know you can also simulate that in an AT, but for his major use case, a MT should do just fine. Infact, AT might prove to be more work than a MT up there.
Dry Ice is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 11:00   #5
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Rajeevraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,728
Thanked: 10,684 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

The Polo TSI DSG AT would be one AT that will be perfect for the hills. Downside is that it would go beyond the set budget and being a VW car, after sales can be a challenge especially if there is no service center close by.

Not a very popular car, but I think the Brio AT with its 5 speed TC gearbox and Honda's popular 1.2 iVtec may be a good choice.
Rajeevraj is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 12:34   #6
Team-BHP Support
 
SmartCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,290
Thanked: 21,209 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

1) Even AMTs are fine because most of them in your price range will have a manual mode.

2) CVTs offer the smoothest (but noisy) hill climb experience - because the car is always in the "right gear". But you need to plan a few seconds ahead and make sure your accelerator inputs are perfect.

3) If the shortlisted car has torque convertor mated to a small (weak) petrol engine, make sure it has a manual mode.

4) Go for diesel AT if possible. Diesels produce higher torque at low RPM, and this characteristic hides most shortcomings of a slow AT transmission.

Last edited by SmartCat : 13th December 2017 at 12:42.
SmartCat is online now   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 12:41   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
DCEite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NCR
Posts: 3,126
Thanked: 734 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Really depends on the type of Automatic and the car. As Blackwasp said, avoid AMTs. They are sad on hilly terrain. Also avoid poorly matched CVTs - as an example, the Nissan CVTs which are so damn sluggish.
How about using Manual mode on the AMT. All AMT's today come with manual mode, so should not be an issue with clutch slippage.
DCEite is online now   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 13:05   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: BLR, GGN
Posts: 410
Thanked: 814 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

As mentioned above, Hyundai i20 would be a good purchase. Its due for a facelift, most likely during Auto Expo, which may add some missing features. Another car worth looking at would be Jazz.

The major issue with AT is starting on an incline. To negate that, while its a stretch but Ecosport Trend+ with hill start assist would be a good option. The car is good for highway drives too. That's where I felt Hyundai's 4 speed AT lacks.
autorahul is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 13:21   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madras
Posts: 1,577
Thanked: 1,194 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

I own a Corolla AT which comes with a 4-speed torque coverter and taken her to the hills. For uphill, she was on D mode all through. Only one 45+ degree gradient on a hair pin with a vehicle on the opposite lane impeding my climb did I put her on manual (2nd gear). She took downhill on D as well, with a handful of inclines, I put in manual for my satisfaction.

So as long as there is manual mode to the rescue (for those few situations) and a good motor to back it up, your friend should be fine.

If its a new car, take a test drive on the terrain its going to be used for. Used options in the budget of 9L have better engine-gearbox combinations. So I wouldn't be too worried.
narayans80 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 13:54   #10
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Siliguri
Posts: 197
Thanked: 339 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by autorahul View Post
Another car worth looking at would be Jazz.
I expect the Jazz to be quite a pain to drive up inclines, given its slow engine and CVT transmission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by autorahul View Post
The major issue with AT is starting on an incline. To negate that, while its a stretch but Ecosport Trend+ with hill start assist would be a good option. The car is good for highway drives too.
I took my EcoSport automatic (the facelift model) on a drive to Kalimpong a few days ago and it managed the entire journey (both uphill and down) in 'D' mode. It never felt strained or anything of the sort. The car seemed to always know the right gear to engage and there was always ample power to be had whenever I stepped down on the accelerator. If your budget permits you, this is one of the better choices.
aryayush is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 14:41   #11
A M
BHPian
 
A M's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Panchkula
Posts: 494
Thanked: 434 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

I would prefer a MT in the hills given that it does not have a brain of its own to up-shift when I need to revv the engine on an incline. Even though there are ATs with hill hold assist and other gadgetry, an MT will be my preferred choice.

But whatever the transmission you choose, please buy a car that can be serviced locally and the spares are available easily in the hills.
A M is online now   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 15:39   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
clevermax's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tvm/Amsterdam
Posts: 1,703
Thanked: 648 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aryayush View Post
I expect the Jazz to be quite a pain to drive up inclines, given its slow engine and CVT transmission.
Jazz CVT is quite a pain to drive even on normal roads owing to its sluggish engine mated with a CVT transmission. I had TD'ed it recently and hated the experience. This car has to be avoided from the list if majority of the usage is going to be on the hills.

Last edited by clevermax : 13th December 2017 at 15:40.
clevermax is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 15:58   #13
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 54,246
Thanked: 135,159 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Umm.. not sure why he would want an automatic for the hills.
I would say that it takes a higher degree of skill to choose the right gear on an incline / decline. An AT will definitely make things easier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
The Polo TSI DSG AT would be one AT that will be perfect for the hills.
I thought of the DSG too, but the thought of a high-tech gearbox breaking down on the hills with no VW shop closeby cancelled that recommendation .

Quote:
Not a very popular car, but I think the Brio AT with its 5 speed TC gearbox and Honda's popular 1.2 iVtec may be a good choice.
Too sluggish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Even AMTs are fine because most of them in your price range will have a manual mode.
Starting off will still be tricky. You have to make judicious use of the handbrake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aryayush View Post
I took my EcoSport automatic (the facelift model) on a drive to Kalimpong a few days ago and it managed the entire journey (both uphill and down) in 'D' mode. It never felt strained or anything of the sort.
Nice! Thanks for sharing feedback of the new engine + gearbox .
GTO is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 17:08   #14
BANNED
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Vizag
Posts: 2,007
Thanked: 1,424 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

AT fares much better on uphill drives compared to MT of the same car. I have driven both AT and MT variants of same car, i.e. A-Star , Verna diesel, CRV and Scorpio up the same gradient and found AT variants performing much better. Of course, all the above are Torque Converter ATs. I cannot vouch for CVTs. But in respect of the above vehicles, I have seen the AT variants charging up the incline at much faster pace than MT variants. So, I would say one can close his eyes and buy an AT for hills. For downhill driving, there is L , 1 , 2 and M (in Scorpio) . So, no worry there either.
pgsagar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th December 2017, 17:44   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
sajo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,620
Thanked: 1,113 Times
Default Re: Is an Automatic gearbox a good choice for the hills?

If we exclude the AMTs , there arent many automatics which are available under 9L OTR.
1) i10 Sportz AT :
Good quality and a good allrounder too. 4-Speed AT and a lack of safety features are a downer.

2) Brio AT :
Not very loaded, but on a recent drive, my Brio 1.2 5-AT felt crisp,smooth and peppy. The gearbox does a good job extracting whatever the engine has to offer. Convenient and zippy for narrow small town roads as well.

3) Jazz S-CVT :
The CVT is great for normal city drives, however wont feel as peppy as a proper Torque converter AT.

4) Micra CVT :
I have driven the Micra CVT on some rather steep inclines during the TD , and it left the gearbox somewhat flummoxed at times. Good car and package though.

For 9L , your friend can fetch himself a good preowned Corolla-AT as well.
sajo is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
To Biligiriranga Hills (aka BR Hills) nkrishnap Travelogues 5 24th March 2017 23:06
Automatic Transmission - Gearbox oil change vinodbijlani Technical Stuff 14 25th May 2016 15:20
Bangalore - BR Hills - Himavad Gopalaswamy Hills - Bandipur - Mysore coolfyre Route / Travel Queries 2 15th November 2009 01:40
A drive through Horseley Hills, Kone Falls and Red Hills. nickatnite Travelogues 27 27th August 2008 14:58


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 11:46.

Copyright 2000 - 2019, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks