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Paying more for a conventional automatic over an AMT

While the price advantage offered by AMTs cannot be questioned, it is an equally well known fact that AMTs are far from perfect.

Sanidhya mukund recently shared this with other BHPians.

Ever since Maruti Suzuki introduced their Celerio with the Magneti Marelli sourced Automated Manual Transmission, AMT seems to have become the de facto choice for manufacturers to make automatic budget cars. While the price advantage offered by AMTs cannot be questioned, it is an equally well known fact that AMTs are far from perfect. They are jerky, confused and are now also proving to be unreliable. Almost all manufacturers that make AMTs seem to be having issues. Mahindra had catastrophic failures with the TUV300 AMT. Their XUV300 AMT also seems to be suffering from some issues. Maruti AMTs suffer from juddering and premature clutch wear. Tata, Renault and Hyundai also suffer from reliability and drivability issues.

Thus, it seems as if CVTs and conventional auto boxes are way better in terms of smoothness and reliability. The only advantage then seems to be that AMTs are cheaper to buy and run. But if we look at some examples of cars in the 7-9 lakh range, the AMT variant seems to be nearly Rs. 50,000 more than the manual car with the same engine and trim level:

At the budget end of the market, the same story is repeated. For a car of the same spec, AMT seems to be costing nearly Rs. 40,000 - 50,000 more:

Now, when we look at the cheapest cars that come with non-AMT auto transmissions, the price difference seems to be Rs. 1-1.5 lakh for the same spec and engine:

When I looked at the prices from March 2014, the time when the first AMT hit the market, the price difference between a Celerio VXI and VXI AMT was about Rs. 40,000. Back then, Hyundai offered a conventional auto box with the Grand i10. The price difference between Sportz variant and Sportz automatic was about Rs. 79,000. (Image source: Autocar India March 2014 issue):

Going by the above, it is safe to assume that for an A or B segment car, a CVT or torque converter is going to be about 0.5-1.5 lakhs more expensive than an equivalent car with AMT. In EMI terms, this won’t be more than 1-3K more every month, but the advantages that you get with respect to smoothness, driveabilty and reliability seems to be well worth it and personally, I would be willing to spend that much more for a better gearbox.

My question to you is:

Would you spend more money to get a CVT or torque converter over an AMT? If yes, then how much more are you willing to pay?

Thanks to Sanidhya mukund once again! Check out BHPian comments for more insights & information.

 
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