Hyundai Venue IMT- reasons why I didn't like IMT - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Hyundai Venue IMT- reasons why I didn't like IMT

Transmission has a dozen variants, good enough to confuse a potential car buyer. Earlier there was only manual transmission or MT, often referred to as stick. And then came automatic. Automatic had several types- CVT (Continuously Varying transmission), DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox), DCT (Dual Clutch) and recently entry level cars are coming with AMT or autmated manual transmission.

Recently Hyundai introduced an all new game changer, a transmission that is a combination of manual and automatic. The lever feels like Manual and is operated the same way, while cluch pedal is missing and is handled electronically.

Last month I visited Kia showroom to test drive Sonet IMT, but they didn't have one. This week I test drove a Hyundai Venue IMT and here are my thoughts:

1. Starting:

Starting an IMT car is similar to starting an Automatic. You have to press the brake pedal and turn the key or press push button. In Manual transmission no need to press the brake ever- car can be started in neutral without pressing brake or we can start the car in any gear by pressing the clutch pedal. 

2. IMT Lever won't move smoothly to central position. In a manual transmission, if the lever is pushed to middle from say second gear, it will slide to central position right below 3rd gear and we just have to push it forward. I didn't get this experience in IMT- I have to manually ensure lever is dragged to right and pressed forward to enter 3rd gear.

3. IMT: Can't sense current gear by looking at gear lever position

In conventional manual gear the stick is long enough and by looking at its position you can sense which gear it is in. First will be left top, second will be left bottom etc. This comfort I didn't get in IMT. While the lever looks like manual and moves similarly, the movement is bit short and hard to interpret current position. We have to refer to display on the instrument cluster to understand which gear vehicle is currently in.

In IMT, the work of moving the clutch setup is controlled electronically through actuators, sensors and such systems. It does reduce work of your left leg, but the added electronics and equipment mean more money to buy the car. IMT variant of Venue or Sonet costs 25-30k more than Manual transmission of same trim. It is still better than DCT- Venue Turbo DCT costs 1.4 lakhs more than Turbo MT.

4. Less fuel efficiency- while Hyundai claims IMT doesn't compromise on fuel efficiency, Hyundai sales person said expect a slightly reduced mileage in IMT compared to MT (may be 1-2 kmph)

It remains to be seen how reliable IMT proves itself. Will the manufacturer bear all costs of clutch replacement? Unlike manual transmission where clutch is considered consumable and often blamed on driver for poor driving habit, in IMT driver has no role, so dealer can't blame driver. Need to see how this happens in reality.

IMT is better in some aspects- 

1. Chances of stalling are less, even if you are very slow and in 4th gear, vehicle didn't stall- you will have few extra seconds to correct yourself and slot the lever into right position. In conventional vehicle engine will stall and you'll be caught by surprise and will have to hurriedly restart.

2. No work for left leg- advantages of automatic-lot convenient in city traffic.

3. There is creep function like AMTs- lift leg from brake and car starts moving forward. No need to press accelerator. Kind of similar to half clutch experience.

4. You will also get some red coloured inserts on the front to give some visual clue that vehicle is IMT.

5. IMT gets 6 gears while regular MT in Sonet or Venue gets only 5 forward gears.

This is my personal experience driving IMT for a short distance. Of course Venue IMT is selling in great numbers so I believe many people are convinced of its potential. I am not saying don't buy IMT. I am just sharing my findings, please use your discretion.

Have you driven IMT? You like it? Do share your thoughts.

2 comments:

  1. "Kind of similar to half clutch experienc" : This is a bad habit which creeps into every drivers life at some point - something to be aware to avoid clutch driving as much as possible ,it has a massive knockout on the clutch and all related performance of the car .

    In the long run ruins the car .I know in city driving this is kind of unavoidable ,but as much as possible it needs to be avoided -in the interest of fuel consumption ,car life and peace of mind

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