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DCT vs CVT: Which gearbox is better?

Team AckoMar 15, 2023

Choosing the right gearbox for your car is an important decision that significantly affects your driving experience. You have two popular options: Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Both transmissions have their unique advantages and disadvantages. However, when it comes to which gearbox is better, the answer is complex. In this article, we shall take an in-depth look at the differences between the DCT and CVT gearboxes, examining their features, benefits and drawbacks.




What is a DCT gearbox?

DCT is an advanced version of an automatic gearbox that uses two separate clutches to shift gears. While one clutch engages a gear, the other pre-selects the next gear, ensuring seamless gear shifts.

The Dual Clutch Transmission gearbox is favoured for its lightning-fast gear shifts, making it a popular choice for sports cars and high-performance vehicles. That said, this gearbox can be expensive and complex and may only suit some types of cars.

What is a CVT gearbox?

CVT is also an advanced version of an automatic gearbox that uses a belt and a pulley system to vary the gear ratio continuously. It offers a seamless driving experience and is more fuel-efficient than conventional transmissions. That said, Continuously Variable Transmission can be less responsive than DCT and may not be suitable for high-performance vehicles.

DCT vs CVT: Comparison

When it comes to DCT vs CVT gearbox, there are several factors to consider, including performance, fuel economy, cost, maintenance and durability. Here is the comparison of DCT and CVT based on different factors.

DCT vs CVT: Performance

Here is the performance comparison between DCT and CVT gearboxes.




Gearshift time

Lightning fast

Seamless driving experience

Type of vehicles

High-performance and sports cars

Mainstream vehicles

DCT vs CVT: Efficiency

Here is the efficiency comparison of DCT and CVT transmissions.





Slightly lower mileage

Higher fuel efficiency


Highly responsive

Slightly sluggish

DCT vs CVT: Cost

Regarding the cost comparison of DCT and CVT, DCT can be expensive to manufacture and maintain. In contrast, the CVT gearbox is less expensive. However, the price of CVT can differ between the make and model of the vehicle.

DCT vs CVT: Maintenance

DCT and CVT require regular maintenance and can be prone to wear and tear. That said, the Dual Clutch Transmission gearbox is complex and requires specialised care, while the Continously Variable Transmission gearbox can be less durable than other types of car gearboxes.

DCT vs CVT: Advantages and disadvantages

Here are the primary benefits and drawbacks of DCT and CVT gearboxes.

Advantages of the DCT gearbox

  • Extremely quick gear shifts

  • Better fuel efficiency than torque convertor gearboxes

  • Suitable for high-performance and sports cars

  • Highly efficient

Disadvantages of the DCT gearbox

  • Expensive compared to CVT and torque convertor transmissions

  • Repairs cost a fortune

Advantages of the CVT gearbox

  • Smooth gearshifts

  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Easy to repair because of less number of components

  • High fuel efficiency

Disadvantages of the CVT gearbox

  • Rubber band effect resulting in lack of performance

  • Not easy for quick overtakes

  • Gearbox is not highly responsive

DCT vs CVT: Which is better?

Both Dual Clutch Transmission and Continuously Variable Transmission gearboxes are unique and cater to different needs. CVT can be better if you want a smooth and efficient driving experience. However, if you are looking for lightning-fast gear shifts and better acceleration, DCT can be a better choice. 

Best DCT cars in India 2023

Here are some top DCT cars in India.



Fuel Efficiency

Ex-showroom Price

Honda Amaze

1.2-litre petrol

18.60 kmpl

Rs. 8.50 lakh onwards

Honda City

1.5-litre petrol

18.40 kmpl

Rs. 13.62 lakh onwards

Nissan Magnite

1.0-litre turbo petrol

19 kmpl

Rs. 9.93 lakh onwards

Honda Jazz

1.2-litre petrol

17.10 kmpl

Rs. 9.18 lakh onwards

Renault Kiger

1.0-litre turbo petrol

19 kmpl

Rs. 10.45 lakh onwards

Hyundai Verna

1.5-litre turbo petrol

16.50 kmpl

Rs. 13.50 lakh onwards

Hyundai Creta

1.5-litre petrol

16.50 kmpl

Rs. 16.26 lakh onwards

Kia Seltos

1.5-litre petrol

16.50 kmpl

Rs. 14.65 lakh onwards

MG Astor

1.5-litre petrol


Rs. 13.50 lakh onwards

Toyota Hyryder

1.5-litre petrol hybrid

28 kmpl

Rs. 15.61 lakh onwards

MG Hector

1.5-litre turbo petrol

14 kmpl

Rs. 15 lakh onwards

Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara

1.5-litre turbo petrol

28 kmpl

Rs. 18 lakh onwards

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to some common questions about DCT and CVT gearboxes.


What is the difference between DCT and a conventional automatic gearbox?

Conventional automatic gearbox uses a torque converter to transfer power between the engine and the wheels. In contrast, the DCT gearbox uses two clutches to send power to wheels to achieve quicker gear shifts.

Can you shift gears manually with a DCT or a CVT gearbox?

Yes, some Dual Clutch Transmission and Continuously Variable Transmission gearboxes come with a manual mode, allowing the driver to shift gears manually using paddle shifters or buttons on the steering wheel.

DCT vs CVT, which is better for driving in traffic?

The CVT gearbox offers a smooth and seamless driving experience, resulting in better driving dynamics in heavy traffic conditions.

Which are the most affordable CVT cars in India?

Honda Amaze, Renault Kiger, Nissan Magnite and Honda Jazz are some of the most affordable CVT cars in India.

Which are the most affordable DCT cars in India?

Tata Altroz, Hyundai Venue, Hyundai i20 and Kia Sonet are some of the most affordable DCT cars in India.

Which is the best car insurance policy in India?

A Comprehensive Car Insurance Policy offers wide-ranging benefits, including coverage for third-party liabilities and damage to the insured car. It also covers theft.

Manual vs Automatic vs CVT gearbox, which is better?

While automatic gearboxes, and traditional torque converters, are suitable, they are outdated and not highly efficient. When you compare manual gearboxes to other automatic gearboxes, the manual gearbox is easier to maintain and costs less.

Explore more:

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on industry experience and several secondary sources on the internet, and is subject to changes. Please go through the applicable policy wordings for updated ACKO-centric content, and before making any insurance-related decisions.


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