The increasing number of vehicles on the roads has encouraged a lot of consumers to move to automatics. Despite the perception that automatics are low on fuel efficiency and they come with a higher price, people are now inclined towards giving up on the manual gear shift and opting for an automatic.
The Auto Expo 2014 saw the introduction of an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) from Maruti – the Celerio. Ever since the Celerio was launched, this vehicle is considered as not only a cost effective one but also a fuel efficient alternative to the automatic. Technically the AMT is a manual transmission with equipment that eliminates the difficulty of shifting gears. The AMT is not only affordable but gives an economy with a manual gearbox which has given the Celerio a successful run. The Celerio has an option to manually shift gears but even in automatic mode downshifts arrive reasonably quickly. The price of the Maruti Celerio AMT ranges from Rs. 4.14 lakhs to Rs. 4.43 lakhs.
However, the Celerio is not the only affordable hatchback on offer with an automatic gearbox. It may be the cheapest one on sale today but there are other options with different gearbox technologies. Here is a comparison between the AMT Celerio and the Nissan Micra which has a CVT transmission.
The Japanese company currently uses its ‘X-tronic’ CVT gearbox on their Nissan Micra automatic variants of the Micra. The X-tronic is one of the best CVT gearboxes around. However, the problem is that the Nissan Micra CVT is expensive, especially in comparison to something as simple as Maruti’s manual gearbox based AMT.
When compared to the Nissan Micra CVT, the Celerio has a tiny engine. The engine has a 1 L three cylinder K-Next that produces 68 bhp of power at a maximum 90 Nm of torque. The Maruti Celerio AMT is mated with a 5-speed automated manual transmission. The overall fuel efficiency of the Celerio is 17 kmpl. The Nissan Micra CVT is mated to its 1.2 L three cylinder DOHC petrol engine that generates around 77 bhp of power at a maximum torque of 104 m. This makes the Nissan the quickest amongst the two and it returns a fuel efficiency of 19.3 kmpl. The price of the Nissan Micra CVT is Rs. 6.41 lakhs.
The Micra is the quickest from 0-100 kmph, taking 15.8 seconds to the Celerio which takes 17.1 seconds. The Celerio would have been considerably quicker if the gearbox shifted faster.
Latest reports say that Nissan is focussing its efforts on developing an Automated Manual Transmission gearbox for its more affordable models in India.