We have just driven the Maruti Dzire and while it has impressed us a lot, we are getting a lot of questions regarding whether to opt for the AMT or the manual. With this car, just like the Ignis, Maruti has made a big push for AMT or AGS technology as Maruti calls it. We have driven both the manual and AMT variants so let us do an analysis. First of all unlike other cars the AMT is available with six variants-including the fully loaded top-end which means you have more choice. Thus one can no longer complain about not being able to have an AMT along with all the features.
Another big plus with AMT is of course cost and efficiency. The official figures for both the manual and AMT versions of the Dzire are the same with 22 kmpl for the petrol and 28.4 kmpl for the diesel. In terms of cost the AMT is roughly around Rs 50 thousand more than the equivalent manual variant.
Thus in terms of cost and efficiency, buying the AMT Dzire is a no-brainer but how is it to drive? With the Ignis and now this, Maruti has worked a lot to improve the AMT and add in as much smoothness as possible. And it has worked. Start off and its smooth and just superb in the city- whether in stop-go traffic or just going at low speeds, the AMT works in the real world and that is a big plus. Between the diesel and petrol, the AMT works better with the petrol as the torque of the diesel makes the AMT slightly more difficult to cope with. Still compared to the last gen diesel AMT, it is massively improved and by far the best diesel AMT you can buy.
In the petrol though it is even better and smoother. As we have said earlier driving an AMT is basically to eradicate the pains of driving in traffic- which lets face it is what we do all the time. The AMT works here and as good as it is some basic characteristics cannot be changed. When you want that instant bit of performance, in D mode, there is a pause between shifts and drive it hard and you will be asking too much from the gearbox. Overtaking requires planning and as good as it is, we recommend using the manual mode when you want that extra performance during a quick overtake.
On the other hand a manual gearbox is on an another level in terms of driving enjoyment. On an empty road, the joy of the slick 5-speed manual cannot be matched and the petrol manual especially is quite fun. The clutch is light too and the gearbox-diesel included.
So the question is which to buy? There is no question that if you love driving or get out on a lot of road trips with a lot of highway use, get the manual- way more fun and engaging. But overall the AMT does make more sense as now Maruti has made it smoother and with traffic being a permanent fixture in our lives, giving your left leg a break is just too tempting. The AMT has gotten better and makes sense in our city plus it is not bad out on the highways, of course it is efficient too and not too expensive over the manual. AMT as a tech is better than ever and in the Dzire it is the best yet.