Speak to any old-school driving enthusiast and they might say how automatic transmission in a car, screams sacrilege. However, put a manual car in heavy urban traffic and they might re-visit their words. Yes, a stick shift might give you that satisfaction of maxing out your rpm but it is not something we get to do every day, at all times. Crawling through rush hour traffic, struggling with the clutch pedal and shifting between the first two gears - that is something that we definitely do do quite often.
As convenience takes a front seat, manufacturers have been adapting to the market demand and coming out with automatic transmissions of various types at rather reasonable prices. Along with that, the pandemic has brought about a chronic fear of travelling in public transport, and the possible infection that you might contract. So, if you are in the market looking for your next car, here are some of the models that will offer an automatic transmission without burning a hole in your pocket-
1) Maruti-Suzuki Dzire AMT
The all-new third-gen Maruti-Suzuki Dzire was introduced with the brand's Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT) system from the offset. The AMT unit gets hydraulic actuators in order to shift gears through a convention planetary gear system, thereby offering the convenience of an automatic gearbox with the affordability of a manual. Offered both in petrol and diesel engines, the AGS gearbox also delivers the best mileage in its class.
The Dzire is offered with Maruti’s 1.2-litre DualJet petrol engine that produces 90 PS of power and 113 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual and gets the choice of a 5-speed AMT as well. This engine is the first to offer idle start-stop function in the segment, making it more efficient. It has a claimed fuel efficiency of 23.26 kmpl with the MT and 24.12 kmpl with the AMT.
In terms of features, the Maruti Dzire comes with cruise control, automatic LED headlamps, auto-folding ORVMs, push-button engine start-stop and auto AC with rear AC vents. It also gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, along with cloud-based services. Its AMT variants also get electronic stability control and hill hold assist, while features like rear-view camera and rear defogger are offered in higher-spec variants. Prices for the Maruti Suzuki Dzire AMT variants start at INR 7.32 lakh*.
2) Honda Amaze
The Honda Amaze offers a CVT, a more refined version of aforementioned automatic manual technology. In terms of engine options, there's a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel unit, both come with a CVT option. The petrol unit delivers 90 PS and 110 Nm, whereas the diesel develops 100 PS and 200 Nm. The diesel CVT, however, produces slightly less power and torque, rated at 80 PS and 160 Nm.
Honda’s claimed fuel efficiency states that the Petrol MT returns 18.6 kmpl, while the petrol CVT delivers 18.3 kmpl. On the other hand, the diesel MT returns 24.7 kmpl and the diesel CVT delivers 21 kmpl. In terms of features, the Amaze gets a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control, rear parking camera and a passive keyless entry system with a push-button engine start-stop feature. Prices for the Honda Amaze CVT automatic variants start at INR 7.81 lakh*.
3) Maruti-Suzuki Wagon R
If you are looking for a no-nonsense affordable automatic car, the Maruti-Suzuki Wagon R fits the bill perfectly. The hatchback has been one of the most popular badges in Maruti-Suzuki’s lineup for almost 20 years and is still going strong thanks to plenty of positives. It is easy to get in and out of, has an airy cabin and its flexible interior space makes it practical.
The new Wagon R comes with two engine options. In the lower variants, you get the same 1.0-litre engine as the previous generation. If you choose to buy the higher variants, you get the larger 1.2-litre K12 engine from the Ignis and the Swift. The 1.0-litre engine outputs 68 hp and returns 21.79 kmpl. The 1.2-litre, on the other hand, outputs 83 hp and returns 20.52 kmpl. Both the engines get an AMT gearbox option.
Prices for the AMT variants of the 1.0-litre version starts at INR 5.43 lakh, while the 1.2-litre with an AMT start at INR 5.66 lakh*. In terms of features, the new-gen model comes with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
4) Hyundai Grand i10 Nios
The Grand i10 has been a popular badge in the hatchback segment in India and with its latest update, Hyundai has made the package a lot more attractive with modern features and a laudable powertrain options. The Hyundai Grand i10 Nios comes with an AMT and is solely available with the 1.2-litre Kappa engine that outputs 82 bhp and 114 Nm of torque.
The Grand i10 Nios offers first-in-segment features like a wireless phone charger, 7.9-inch touch screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, and an Arkamys premium sound system. Prices for the AMT variants of the car begins at INR 6.51 lakh* for the Magna variant and goes up to INR 7.76 lakh* for the Asta variant.
5) Tata Tiago
Last on out list is the Tata Tiago, the small hatchback that has managed to turn fortunes for the Indian carmaker. In its most recent update, the Tata Tiago gets quite a few comprehensive updates over the outgoing version. Outside, the hatchback gets a new front bumper, headlamp and grille design. In addition to this, the car also gets dual-tone alloy wheels, a black-out roof and black ORVMs with turn indicators.
Inside, the new Tiago gets a mild update for a fresher appeal. The most major update is a fully-digital instrument cluster, a new touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a Harman Kardon speaker system.
In terms of powertrain options, the Tata Tiago gets a BS-VI compliant 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 84 bhp and 113 Nm of torque. The engine can be had in both five-speed manual and five-speed AMT options. The prices of the AMT variants start at INR 6.34 lakh* and there are three auto-equipped variants to choose from.