Types Of Automatic Transmissions 

Explained: Types Of Automatic Transmissions 

Planning To Buy A New Automatic Car In India but confused with the types of automatic transmissions and their different names? Here is everything you should know.

In recent years, the automobile industry has come a long way and we saw new innovations being introduced every now and then. While a long list of technologies continue to be introduced in the market, buyers are often left confused deciding between the basics including the right transmission choice and the correct engine type they require at the moment. If you are in the market to buy an automatic car, chances are high that you must have come across various types of automatic transmissions and might be confused about which one is best for you. Here is a detailed yet simple guide on types of automatic transmissions which will help you decide better and know these gearboxes in detail.

What Is Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)?

Automated Manual Transmission is one of the most affordable and practical automatic gearbox options on offer and is very often offered with smaller and cheaper cars in the country. Mechanically, this type of gearbox is similar to a manual transmission and gets a series of sensors and actuators to shift the gears. These sensors closely work with an electronic control unit (ECU) to control the gears and the clutch during a gear shift. A pre-programmed gear-shift pattern controls the operation of the gearbox depending upon the revs and the speed of the vehicle. Despite being slightly slow, the AMT gearbox is a preferred choice for automakers today for its affordability and reliability. Furthermore, the AMT gearboxes are also known to be one of the most fuel-efficient automatic transmission options on sale today.

AMT Pros:

  • Cheap To Manufacture
  • Reliable And Easy To Maintain
  • Fuel Efficient

AMT Cons:

  • Slow And Jerky

imt gearbox explained

What Is Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT)?

An Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) is comparatively new technology and a number of automakers like Hyundai and Kia are now offering their cars with an iMT. In simple words, an iMT gearbox is a clutch-free manual transmission and gives a lot more control to the driver. In an iMT gearbox, the clutch is operated by an actuator based on the feedback received by the sensor and the gear is shifted by the driver using the H-pattern transmission gear shifter lever. If you are still wondering, the sensor senses that the driver wants to change the gear and disengages the clutch. An iMT gearbox is not only cheap to manufacture but also offers impressive fuel economy figures.

IMT Pros:

  • Better Control For Driver
  • Fuel Efficient
  • Cheap To Manufacture

IMT Cons:

  • Long-Term Reliability Is Still Unknown
  • Complex To Operate

What is Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)?

Also regarded as the smoothest and most refined automatic gearbox, the Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) is the preferred choice of anyone looking for a practical and comfortable automatic car in India. Unlike the other type of gearboxes, a CVT gearbox does not have any gears or clutches and utilises a pulley-belt setup to channel the power to the wheels. CVT gearbox is not only offered with cars but is also offered with most of the automatic scooters in India like the Activa, NTorq, Jupiter, etc. Despite being the most refined gearbox, the CVT is known to be less efficient and suffers from a major power loss during operation.

Honda CVT gearbox

CVT Pros:

  • Smooth And Refined
  • Reliable
  • Cheap Maintenance

CVT Cons:

  • Less Fuel Efficient
  • Significant Acceleration Loss

What Is Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT)?

As the name suggests, a dual-clutch transmission uses a twin-clutch system and is currently the most advanced automatic gearbox available today. Also called the direct shift gearbox, a DCT setup is extremely fast and smooth with shifts In simple terms, the individual clutches control alternate gears because of which they have minimal power loss in addition to significantly reduced gear-shift time. Such a setup might use a dry clutch or a wet clutch depending on the power output and usage conditions. It is however worth noting the fact that DCT gearboxes are complex to manufacture and are known to be less reliable.

DCT Pros:

  • Fast And Smooth With Shifts
  • Better Control For Driver
  • Practical For Wide Range Of Engine Types

DCT Cons:

  • Less Reliable
  • Expensive To Maintain
  • Complex and Expensive To Manufacture

DCT Gearbox

What Is Torque Converter Automatic Gearbox?

Currently regarded as the most practical, reliable, and full-proof gearbox, Torque Converters are the most common type of automatic gearboxes we get in India. These are not only smooth and refined but are significantly more reliable for most conditions. Such gearboxes use two oppositely-faced fans and transmission fluid to transfer the power from the engine to the transmission. This fluid-driven setup also helps such a gearbox offer better torque output at low revs. Furthermore, these gearboxes are cheap to manufacture and easy to maintain in the longer run.


  • Proven Long Term Reliability
  • Strong Low-end Torque
  • Cheap To Maintain


  • Not Very Fast With Shifts
  • Less Efficient


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