There are so many reasons why CVT cars in India are popular. Manual transmission is good for the sporty driver but most of us like the ease and comfort an automatic transmission offers. In bumper-to-bumper traffic, CVT cars are great because the driver does not have to worry about changing gears and operating a clutch. CVT cars in India are also very smooth to drive and don’t cost as much as a torque converter automatic transmission.

Cars with CVT are able to shift gears smoothly because they don’t have a fixed number of ratios. They actually have a wide number of ratios unlike automatic transmissions that have a small number of fixed step ratios. CVT cars can maintain a constant rpm at varying speeds of the vehicle, which works in favour of fuel economy.

CVT Cars in India

The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is a technological marvel of engineering and a sophisticated piece of machinery. It makes use of two pulleys with a belt in between to provide the transmission with infinite gear ratios. It is one of the most efficient transmissions and allows the vehicle to operate at peak efficiency by keeping the rpms low and not allowing the engine to rev.

There are some CVTs that have a rubber band effect where there is lag when you press the throttle, which causes the rpms to rise and then a sudden surge of power.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of CVT cars:

Advantages of a CVT

  • There is no jerky movement between gear changes like other automatic transmissions. In CVTs the gear changes are smooth, in fact the driver and passengers will not know when a gear change is taking place. 
  • They provide a good driving experience and improved fuel economy. CVT cars are well suited for city driving and most of them get petrol engines because of their desired power and torque characteristics. Diesel CVTs are also available.
  • The most significant benefit is good fuel efficiency. CVTs can keep the engine rpms low and consistent, and if driven with a light foot, rpms will not rise and consume fuel unnecessarily.
  • CVTs have fewer moving parts and are simpler in design as compared to regular automatic transmissions. The manufacturing costs of a CVT car are less and this appeals to manufacturers who like to keep prices low for the car buyer.
     As compared to a manual transmission, ride quality on a CVT car is smooth and refined.

Disadvantages of a CVT

  • There is something known as a rubber band effect for CVT transmission cars where there is a slight delay after stepping on the accelerator, and the gearbox has to move to the right gear ratio. Acceleration is a little delayed and the effect of stepping on the throttle takes a second or two.
  • CVT cars have a different feel to them as compared to a regular, traditional automatic transmission. It takes a while to get used to a CVT. Since the rpms remain constant and gear changes are imperceptible, the driver may not feel involved with the engine and drivetrain.
  • CVT cars may have a low initial cost, but replacements of certain components in the CVT can turn out to be expensive. Another issue is that not all mechanics are certified to work on CVT cars because they may not be familiar with the technology. However, as CVT cars have become more popular, this disadvantage is becoming less of an issue.
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List of CVT cars in India

With hassle free gear shifting, a smooth and refined drive and freedom from operating a clutch, a CVT car in India can be the perfect choice for those who want to escape daily traffic and constantly changing gears. CVT cars are the best choice among automatic cars because of their innovative engineering, simplified mechanics and great fuel economy.

Here is a list of CVT cars in India that you can buy today.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno

The Baleno is one of the best-selling hatchbacks in India. It provides exceptional mileage and is a good looker too. It makes sense as a family car and can be used as a daily driver.

The Maruti Suzuki Baleno gets a smooth K12 petrol engine, which is a 1.2 litre with a maximum power rating of 85 bhp and 115 Nm of maximum torque. There is an option of a CVT gearbox on the Baleno which works equally well in city traffic and on the highway. Not only is performance good from this transmission, it also offers good fuel mileage keeping running costs down.

It is clever that Maruti Suzuki chose to release the Baleno with a CVT instead of an AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) for the sake of drivability and performance. It has excellent ride quality and really good performance dynamics. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a CVT car in India under 8 lakhs. Its ex-showroom price is 7.91 lakhs. It is also one of the best mileage CVT cars in India.

Also Read: 11 Most Wanted Best Mileage Cars in India

Nissan Magnite

The Nissan Magnite is an ambitious SUV that became the centre of attraction thanks to its attractive design and budget friendly pricing. With the added advantage of a convenient CVT gearbox, the Magnite has become a sensational hit in the Indian market.

The compact SUV gets a 1.0 litre petrol turbocharged engine that delivers 100 bhp of maximum power and 152 Nm of peak torque. A refined powertrain comes integrated to a CVT that offers seamless power delivery and a refined, hassle-free driving experience. The compact SUV is known to be fuel efficient as well.

The Nissan Magnite is a CVT car in India under 10 lakhs. It comes with numerous features such as an 8-inch infotainment screen, automatic air-conditioning, LED lights, a JBL stereo speaker system, and cruise control. The exterior styling, coupled with a capable power train and aggressive pricing makes the Magnite the compact SUV of choice for those looking for a CVT car in India.

Also Read: Nissan Magnite vs Mahindra XUV 300

Renault Kiger

The Renault brand rose to fame with the dependable Duster that took the SUV market by storm. However, they needed a model that would cater to the compact SUV segment in a sort of crossover exterior styling and the Kiger filled that space perfectly.

The Kiger is based on the same platform as the Nissan Magnite, but has a number of independent elements that give it a unique character and it moves away from the boxy SUV to provide a crossover, sport design.

It is powered by the same 1.0 litre turbocharged engine as the Magnite and produces the same 100 bhp and 160 Nm of peak torque. The transmission option is a X-Tronic CVT that is smooth and refined.

Features on the Kiger include LED headlamps, an 8-inch infotainment screen and multi drive modes that make full use of the engine and CVT drivetrain. The Kiger is a CVT car in India under 10 lakhs and brings a good overall package in terms of performance, styling and price.

Also Read: Renault Kiger vs Nissan Magnite vs Kia Sonet

Honda City

The Honda City CVT is for those looking for a premium sedan with hassle free driving experience along with strong performance. It is one of the most refined powertrains in the country and is a CVT car in India under 15 lakhs.

The engine is the much sought after iVTEC which is hailed by many as a gem of an engine. It has been a class leader for decades now, and the CVT option makes the deal all the more desirable. The Honda City CVT gets a 1,497-cc petrol engine that produces a maximum power rating of 119 bhp and peak torque of 145 Nm. The engine has the trademark iVTEC which is variable valve technology allowing for superior performance at high rpms while providing good fuel economy at lower revs.

The engine gets a 7-speed CVT automatic transmission that turns the powerful engine into an efficient and convenient unit. On the inside, the interior doesn’t fail to impress with premium features such as an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Amazon Alexa remote control, paddle shifters, ambient lighting and car connect technology.

The Honda City CVT is easily one of the better choices for those looking for a CVT car in India under 15 lakhs. It is the perfect combination of executive sedan looks with bulletproof Japanese engineering.

Also Read: 14 Best Bullet Proof Cars Around the World


Driving a car is one of the more pleasurable experiences there is, and having an open road in front of you is a perfect scenario. However, today’s city traffic adds a great amount of hustle and bustle to your daily commutes and can become a real downer when you have to worry about changing gears all the time. A good solution to this is an automatic transmission like a CVT gearbox, that is a little different from the traditional torque converter auto boxes.

A CVT makes use of pulleys and a belt in between to provide an infinite range of gear ratios, making the driving experience smooth and refined. There are no jerks between gear shifts like in traditional gearshifts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Which transmission gives better fuel economy, CVT gearbox or manual?

Ans. In most cases, a manual transmission will give a better fuel mileage than other types of gearboxes. However, CVT cars have modern technology that can match the fuel average of a manual gearbox.

Q2. Why are CVT transmissions expensive?

Ans. CVT cars are loaded with precision engineered components and intricate parts that are used to provide a smooth drive. CVT gearboxes are unlike other transmissions and provide a refined driving experience, as compared to a traditional automatic gearbox where you might feel a jerk between gear ratio changes. CVT cars keep the rpms at a constant range irrespective of the speed of the vehicle which leads to better fuel economy as well.

Q3. Which is the best CVT car in India?

Ans. The CVT car you buy depends on your requirements. If you live in a city and will be using your car for city commutes, then the Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a good choice. There are a number of hatchbacks available in India that offer a similar driving experience.

The Honda City is also a good choice due to its comfort and you also get the feel of an executive saloon, either when commuting or on long highway drives. The Nissan Magnite gives you an SUV feel with the convenience of a CVT so that you can enjoy your rides. The Renault Kiger is similar to the Nissan Magnite while offering futuristic looks.

Q5. Are used or pre-owned CVT cars a good option to buy?

Ans. CVT cars are very convenient and provide a good driving experience. However, some car buyers may shy away from the initial cost and may be on the lookout for a pre-owned car that costs less. Used CVT cars in India are a good choice for those looking for a smooth driving experience at exceptional value. A pre-owned CVT car is a good choice for those on a budget but are not willing to compromise on a convenient drive.

Q6. Who should buy a CVT car?

Ans. If you prefer easy driving especially within the city in bumper-to-bumper traffic, then a CVT car makes perfect sense. It does come at a premium cost though, however there are a few budget CVT cars available in the market to suit your needs.

Q7. Which is better: an AMT (Automated Manual Transmission) or CVT?

Ans. A CVT transmission offers smooth driving and a truly automatic driving experience. Gear shifts in a CVT are virtually seamless and you will not have any sudden jolts during gear changing. An AMT is essentially a manual transmission that has electronics added to it to give it automatic shifting capabilities.

Q8. Which is the most expensive CVT car in India?

Ans. The Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos that come with CVT transmissions are the most expensive CVT cars in India.

Also Read: Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza vs Hyundai Creta 

Q9. Which are the lowest priced CVTs that are available in India?

Ans. The Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite are the lowest priced CVT cars in India. The Renault Kiger and Nissan Magnite have prices starting from Rs. 6 lakhs.

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