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Ford EcoSport AT vs Tata Nexon AMT

Motor Trend India logo Motor Trend India 17-04-2018 Somnath Chatterjee
Ecosport Vsnexon © Motor Trend Staff Ecosport Vsnexon

Compact SUVs are popular and so are automatics thus a combination of two is bound to be a hit. Till now our favourite has been the Ford EcoSport AT. Available in petrol, the new EcoSport AT has been called by us as the best compact SUV and also in automatic. Now Tata Motors is bringing the Neoxn in its much awaited automatic avatar. So obviously a short on paper comparo is very much the need of the hour. Tata showed the Nexon AMT at the auto expo and unlike the EcoSport it has an AMT gearbox. Also unlike the EcoSport, the Nexon AMT will be available in both diesel and petrol. First let us talk about the autobox.

a blue car parked in a parking lot: Tata Nexon Side © Motor Trend Staff Tata Nexon Side

The AMT in the Nexon has a creep function, hill-assist and manual mode. The petrol Nexon has a 1.2 turbo motor with 108 bhp and 170Nm. The diesel has 1.5l unit 108 bhp and 260Nm. Plus the Nexon will have drive modes as like the manual (Eco, City, Sport). Back to the AMT in the Nexon and Tata Motors says that it has anti-stall, kick down and fast-off.The EcoSport AT meanwhile is a torque-converter automatic and comes with its new 1.5l three cylinder petrol motor with 123 bhp and 150Nm. The gearbox, as said earlier is a 6-speed torque converter and has paddle shifts too along with an S mode. In terms of other notable features, you have hill launch assist, traction control etc.

IMG 20180207 WA0214 © Motor Trend Staff IMG 20180207 WA0214

Since its about automatics let us stick to that. First things first. We have not yet driven the Nexon AMT since this is an on paper comparo. But the Nexon has an AMT which is Automatic Manual Transmission i.e. a manual gearbox without the clutch for you to operate. Thus it is not a conventional automatic. Still you do not have to use your left leg to use the clutch. Few of the AMT issues include jerky shifts and lack of smoothness and being slightly slow. AMT gearboxes take a bit of time to respond. Plus you have to drive an AMT car slightly differently.

a blue car: Ford Ecosport Side Facelift © Motor Trend Staff Ford Ecosport Side Facelift

But Tata says it has changed some issues with AMTs with its iteration in the Nexon. The AMT in Nexon has creep funtion where you can drive in slow moving traffic, Hill-start helps avoiding the car rolling backwards and manual mode gives more control.That said AMTs can never match the smoothness dished out by a conventional torque converter. That cannot be changed. The EcoSport AT is a really nice automatic which is really smooth at low speeds and when you want, it also gets the downshifts right on with in S mode or with paddle shifts. This new automatic with the petrol engine has been one of the biggest highlights and as a driving experience the EcoSport AT is a benchmark.

a close up of a car: IMG 1528 © Motor Trend Staff IMG 1528

Thus to draw conclusions. The AMT gearbox has its own set of advantages and disadvantages namely with AMT gearbox making the car more affordable and here the Nexon AMT promises to be the most affordable compact SUV. The EcoSport AT is not cheap with Rs 9.7 lakh starting and going to Rs 11.3 lakh for the top-end version. But you get your moneys worth. In terms of smoothness, driving experience and overall dynamics the EcoSport AT is really worth the money and on an another league. It is the best compact SUV with an automatic gearbox.

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(Provided by Wochit)

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