Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs. Automatic

Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs. Automatic

The Kia Carens, a popular diesel model has recently received an upgrade in its transmission options replacing the traditional manual gearbox with Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) technology while also retaining a conventional automatic option. This upgrade aims to enhance driving convenience and address common issues associated with manual transmissions, such as clutch failure and engine stalling. However, it requires the driver to manually shift gears, whereas the automatic transmission handles both clutch operation and gear shifts automatically, offering a different driving experience.

Engine and Transmission Specifications

Under the hood, the Kia Carens diesel boasts a 1,493cc four-cylinder engine generating 113bhp and 250Nm of torque, providing ample power for various driving conditions. This engine is paired with either a six-speed iMT or a six-speed torque-converter (TC) automatic transmission. Both transmission options claim an ARAI-estimated fuel efficiency of 21.3kmpl, indicating comparable performance in ideal conditions.

Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs. Automatic - left
Kia Carens

Real-World City Mileage Comparison

When tested under typical city driving conditions, the iMT variant of the Kia Carens achieves a mileage of 14.9kmpl, while the automatic counterpart records a slightly lower figure of 14.4kmpl. Despite the minor discrepancy, both transmissions demonstrate efficiency in urban environments, catering to the demands of daily commuting.

Real-World Highway Mileage Comparison

However, the scenario changes when the vehicles are driven on highways. Surprisingly, the automatic transmission proves to be more fuel-efficient during highway cruising, achieving a mileage of 20.2kmpl compared to the iMT's 19.1kmpl. This unexpected outcome suggests that the automatic transmission may offer advantages in certain driving scenarios, such as long-distance travel, where consistent speed and minimal gear changes contribute to improved fuel efficiency.

Price Comparison

In terms of pricing, the Kia Carens diesel with iMT starts at an accessible Rs. 12.65 lakh, offering a cost-effective option for budget-conscious buyers. The price range extends up to Rs. 18.15 lakh for the top variant, providing additional features and luxury amenities. Conversely, the automatic variants command a higher starting price of Rs. 17.85 lakh, reflecting the added convenience and technological sophistication of automatic transmissions. The price range for automatic models peaks at Rs. 19.45 lakh for the highest-spec variant, catering to customers seeking premium features and performance.

Kia Carens Diesel iMT vs. Automatic - closeup
Kia Carens

The decision between iMT and automatic transmissions in the Kia Carens diesel ultimately hinges on individual preferences and driving requirements. While both transmission options offer commendable fuel efficiency in city driving, the automatic transmission demonstrates a slight advantage on highways. Factors such as driving habits, convenience preferences, and budget considerations play a crucial role in guiding prospective buyers towards the most suitable transmission choice. Therefore, careful evaluation of these factors is recommended to make an informed decision that aligns with the buyer's needs and priorities.