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  • Writer's pictureGaurav Chakraborty

Different types of transmission. Which one is for you?

The automobile industry has come a long way with major developments in its technology. One such development is the transmission system. Today though there exists an unprecedented number of gearbox arrangements with a variety of engine types addressed to a wide variety of customers.

So let's find out which transmission suits your need the most.

Manual Transmission

The simplest and old-school transmission. Every person would have driven this transmission to pass in the driving test to get an LMV driving license. The manual transmission/ stick-shift uses three pedals where the driver controls the clutch play and changes the gear as they want. This gives one complete control of what is happening while they drive along. That means your vehicle delivers the mileage according to your driving style.

Learning how to drive with three-pedal takes some effort and time but it is rewarding at the end of the day. However, if you live in a city with horrible traffic conditions the manual will become frustrating. If you do find yourself commuting daily during peak hours through a jam-packed city you should stick with two-pedals.

Torque-Converter Automatic Transmission

This automatic transmission is generally found in almost all types of vehicles with auto-box options be it budget or expensive. The transmission works based on fluid coupling which does the job of changing gears rather than the physical clutch. The on-board computer calculates and gives a smooth engine control with smooth gear changes.

The torque-converter system is the most reliable along with being the cheaper tag among the AT's. The downside is this transmission suffers from drinking issues, this transmission delivers the least fuel-efficiency. Also, they suffer from 'shift shock' during the quick acceleration or climbing inclines.

If you want a drive smooth drive with good shifts but don't worry about efficiency then the traditional torque converters are for you. But, try and avoid companies that provide a 4-speed setup even in 2020.

Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

A manual with brains. The AMT is basically a manual transmission with clutch and gear but the ECU is programmed in a way to manage the clutch and gears. All this is done by the presence of sensors, hydraulic actuators, and pneumatics. These are cost-effective so they are found generally with cheaper cars like Hyundai Santro, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Tata Tiago. Companies call them with multiple names like AGS, AMT, SmartAuto.

An AMT attracts the group of people who want an automatic that is cost-effective and have a mileage and service calculator running behind the head. Well the AMT's are cost-effective but are slow with shifts and have jerkiness. Apart from that, every gear shift feels like slamming into a wall.

Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)

The belt drive transmission ideally doesn't have any gears it works basis on varying the gear ratio with the help of the belt and pulley. The advantage being they deliver good mileage figures and a drive with a linear buildup of speed.

These transmissions are generally found in Japanese vehicles. The downside being the transmission lag due to the rubber-band effect. Well if you are someone who needs a respectable mileage in the city alongside smooth shifts the CVT is for you.

In the market companies release the CVT with different names like iVT, xtronic

Example:- Suzuki Baleno, Honda City, Honda Jazz, KIA Seltos, KIA Sonet.


A Dual-clutch transmission has two separate shafts with own clutches for shifting gears i.e one shaft has odd gears while other houses the even gears. These transmissions are complicated hence are expensive. If you are someone who wants an enthusiastic automatic which shifts gears in lightning-quick pace with wonderful throttle response then this transmission is for you. Well, it comes at its own cost and that being the reliability.

If you consider buying a vehicle with DCT gearbox try to avoid the dry-DCT as they tend to heat up when in stop-go traffic and the frictional head will have the tendency to damage the transmission or reduce life of transmission.

Many manufacturers provide this transmission in their line up example Skoda's, Volkswagens, KIA, Hyundai Creta, Hyundai Verna.

Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)

The iMT is the new kid to the list of transmissions available in India. It is a combination of AMT and Manual transmission. Here the clutch is controlled by a sensor and ECU, while the gear is shifted using the stick in the traditional fashion. The advantage of lower cost and manual shifting of gears will help you get the efficiency of a true manual and help you avoid the 'shift shock' of true automatics while you still drive the two-pedal and zip through traffic with ease.

Newly seen in India this transmission is currently on offer with Hyundai Venue and KIA Sonet.

Now comes the question:

Which one would you guys prefer? It might seem to be a tough call but life is all about that.

With all these transmissions in place and the rise in two-pedal driving, the fear of losing the good old stick-shift is for real. Many performance-oriented cars too have shifted from manuals to automatics. While the technology for Automatics is good still nothing can replace the feel of a manual transmission.

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