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Maruti Suzuki has always been at the forefront of the Indian automotive market. This has certainly been the case with affordable automatic transmission cars, as Maruti Suzuki was one of the first carmakers in the country to offer the option with its entry-level cars.
Maruti Suzuki's automatic cars are currently offered with three different transmission options in its vehicle lineup - AT, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) termed as Auto Gear Shift (AGS).
Maruti Suzuki introduced AGS in India in 2014 with the Celerio hatchback. Since then, the new AGS transmission has been found in vehicles like the Alto K10, Wagon R, Swift, Ignis, Dzire and India's best-selling SUV - the Vitara Brezza.
AGS is almost exactly the same as regular AMT transmissions which use an electro-hydraulic system powered by an actuator mounted to a manual transmission. The system controls the operation of the clutch and the gear shifts automatically meaning that the driver has a much easier time behind the wheel.
The reason AGS differs from regular AMTs is that Maruti Suzuki has added a Transmission Control Unit (TCU) which controls the operations of the hydraulic system based on the position of the accelerator pedal and the speed at which the vehicle is travelling.
Maruti Suzuki's Auto Gear Shift Gearbox offers drivers the best of both worlds. Along with the ease of driving provided by a two-pedal setup, AGS also allows cars from Maruti Suzuki to return the same mileage as any model fitted with a manual gearbox. This is especially welcome in India, where fuel economy is always a big talking point when customers want to buy a new car. This is also the reason that makes AGS a much more agreeable option for new car buyers and those looking to upgrade from a manual transmission vehicle.
Without the need to depress the clutch pedal every time a gear needs to be changed, drivers of Maruti Suzuki's AGS-equipped cars are able to concentrate more on the road ahead, which results in a much safer drive thanks to the driver's attention being completely focused on the road ahead.
This is especially true in hilly areas, where sharp turns and hairpin bends, along with increases and decreases in elevation calls for a constant shifting of gears. With Maruti Suzuki's AGS gearbox taking care of the gear shifts and the clutch, the driver can focus on the twisty mountain roads ahead.
For those drivers who like a bit more control with the gear shifts, Maruti Suzuki's AGS gearbox offers a manual mode as well. In manual mode, the AGS system acts as a sequential gearbox with the hydraulics taking care of the clutch while the driver moves the gear shifter up or down to change gears. This means that on steep hills, drivers can select the gear they feel appropriate and drive, especially if the selected gear offers better performance.
Unlike AT and CVT gearboxes, Maruti Suzuki's AGS technology is also much easier on the customer's wallet, with AGS-equipped models costing around Rs 50,000 more than a similarly equipped manual transmission variant of the same car.
So to summarise, Maruti Suzuki's AGS gearbox offers the same mileage as a car equipped with a manual gearbox without the hassle of having to shift through the gears and work the clutch. The fact that automatic cars with AGS technologies are extremely easy to use and maintains. AGS cars are not too expensive compared to similar manual variants and hence shows us just why so many Indians are switching to Maruti Suzuki automatic cars — Click here to know more.