CVT Vs AMT: Which One Is Better?

by IndianAuto Team | 17/03/2020
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This article is going to clarify the differences between CVT and AMT, which is expected to help you make a better decision on which one to choose.

Nowadays, there are a large number of transmission options available for car customers which might make many of them confused when choosing one. Modern cars can come with one or several gearbox options which range from conventional ones like an MT to advanced ones like a CVT unit. Two of the most popular transmission types available in the Indian auto market today are AMT and CVT which are equipped on many cars in the country. Nevertheless, not all people understand the differences between the two types of gearboxes. Read this article to discover which one is better for you.

What do AMT and CVT stand for?

Before discovering the differences between the two types of transmission, it is necessary to understand what they mean.

AMT stands for Automated Manual Transmission. Generally, this type of gearbox witnesses no remarkable alterations as regards design and basic principles in comparison with its MT counterpart.

On the other hand, CVT stands for Continuous Variable Transmission. In general, it substitutes the gears with variable-diameter pulleys which are connected by a metal chain or belt.

How do AMT and CVT operate?

Before coming to the way AMT operates, we would like to clarify a little bit of how MT works. When driving vintage vehicles or sportscars, which come with an MT unit, the driver needs to use the gearstick on the console or the steering column to change the transmission gears and depress the clutch pedal with your foot at the same time. Gears are numbered. When the motor’s revolutions per minute (RPM) increases or decreases, you change the gear to the highest level or the next lowest one. This will match a suitable motor speed with the car’s speed as the latter accelerates or decelerates.

Also readMyths About Automatic Vs Manual Transmission Decoded

However, you can drive an AMT car much more comfortably since the transmission does not require the driver to operate the clutch and gear shifting since both can be done automatically. For an AMT unit, the clutch-and-gear-shift-selector mechanism is operated by a hydraulically operated kit controlled by the Transmission Control Unit.

In the meanwhile, the CVT does not have any gears. Instead, it utilizes two pulleys. One is connected to the engine and one is connected to the transmission. They are connected by a steel belt. The pulleys’ width will alter according to the amount of power the wheels require from the motor. When one pulley becomes bigger, the other becomes smaller. This allows CVT car to speed up smoothly and powerfully.

What are the pros and cons of AMT and CVT?

This session will help you know which transmission type is more suitable for you.



  • Simple usage thanks to no-clutch driving

With the AMT, the driving experience becomes simpler, thanks to the no-clutch shifting.

  • Better fuel economy

The fuel efficiency is maximized with AMT in every gear shift from high to low, thanks to the precise timing and efficient engaging gears.

  • Lower maintenance cost

The cost to maintain the AMT is lower than that of the standard AT.

amt transmission


  • Jerky shifting

There might be some jerks when shifting from the automatic mode to the manual one while doing the vice versa will experience less.

  • Manual mode is more suitable for overtaking

When manual mode is selected, overtaking can be done more simply and smoothly; however, the automatic mode is not suitable for doing the same

  • Manual mode is more suitable for going uphill

Drivers are advised to select the manual mode when going uphill instead of the automatic mode.

Also readHelpful maintenance tips for manual and automatic transmission


  • Maximum power

Almost no power is lost, thanks to the precisely and well-controlled CVT gearbox.

  • Better fuel mileage

With the correctly timed shifting, the fuel mileage is optimized to the fullest, particularly for city driving.

  • Simpler engine design

With less moving parts for optimized mechanical efficiency, the CVT design consists of only cones and pulleys.

  • Lighter weight

Most cars equipped with CVT are subcompacts, small sedans, small crossovers which have the lighter motors installed.

  • Faster shifting

The shifting lag is limited and the transmission is much more responsive than the conventional AT or MT unit.

cvt transmission

Also read5 Things You Should Not Do in a Car With a CVT


  • Annoying sound

The engine emits broken-sounding noise, which is annoying for some drivers.

  • Not suitable for driving on the highway or off-roading

One of the biggest disadvantages of a CVT unit is that it cannot be used for off-roading or driving on the highway.

  • High maintenance cost

Despite the simple design, the CVT costs more to maintain.

Above is a detailed representation of the differences between AMT and CVT. In general, both of the transmission types offer a less-stressful driving experience and more decent fuel efficiency than a traditional MT unit. If you prefer a car with less engine noise and lower maintenance cost, the AMT is an ideal option, but if you are a fan of compact cars and power, the CVT is the transmission type for you.

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