In India, Fuel economy is one of the major factors that a buyer looks for when buying a vehicle. No matter which segment, a vehicle with good fuel economy in India and even elsewhere around the have been known to attract buyers over a gas guzzler in modern times when fuel prices have skyrocketed.
In order to offer good fuel economy even at higher speeds, mostly the Germans worked out that a 9-speed automatic will be ideal, especially for driving down the unrestricted autobahn. Some of these gearboxes are also available in India in a few vehicles, so we have narrowed down a list of vehicles that you can now buy in India which offer 9-speed automatic transmissions.
The fifth-generation Honda CR-V arrived in India in October 2018. In India, the CR-V comes with a 2.0-lite petrol motor mated to a CVT, while for the first time it is also available with a diesel engine. The CR-V in India comes with a 1.6-litre 4 cylinder i-DTEC engine which is tuned to develop 118hp and 300Nm of torque. The diesel CR-V comes with a 9-speed automatic torque converter, the ZF 9HP transmission, front-transverse mounted gearbox designed to be used in front-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive vehicles.
Jeep Compass Trailhawk
The Jeep Compass has finally been given a Trail Rated badge with the arrival of the Jeep Compass Trailhawk in India. The Compass Trailhawk is powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo diesel MultiJet II engine and is the first Compass variant that offers an automatic option. As it is offered in other Jeep products internationally, the Compass Trailhawk also uses same the ZF sources 9HP 9-Speed torque converter automatic transmission from the Honda CR-V with its specific tuning.
Land Rover Discovery Sport and Evoque
Two of the smallest products from Land Rover’s line up are the Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque. In India, the Discovery Sport and the Range Rover Evoque are both offered with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines and both of which come with 9-speed automatic transmissions, the same ZF unit used by the Jeep Compass, albeit tuned to work with the JLR Ingenium engines.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, E-Class & S-Class
In India, Mercedes-Benz offered a long line up of cars, their sedans have always been the most popular luxury or premium vehicles in India and the world over. In India Mercedes sells a long line up of Sedans like the CLA, C-Class, E-Class and the flagship S-Class and their entire range comes with automatic gearboxes only. barring the CLA which comes with a 7-speed auto-box, the C, E and E-Class models in India come with Mercedes’ in-house developed 9G 9-speed automatic transmissions.
Mercedes-Benz GLC, GLE & GLS
Like its sedan range, Mercedes also offered a large range of SUVs in India which include the GLC, GLE and GLS models. While there are petrol and diesel models to offer different capacities in each of the models, the one thing they all have in common in India is the 9G 9-speed automatic transmission. The GLA compact crossover is also offered in India, although it only comes with the 7-speed automatic.
Mercedes-AMG E 63 & G 63
While Mercedes-AMG till now only offered 7-speed AMG spec SPEEDSHIFT automatic transmission, the latest generation of V8 biturbo powered AMG models are equipped with their new 9G SPEEDSHIFT 9-speed automatic transmissions. Both the E 63 and the G63 performance models are direct imports, therefore are priced very high due to import taxes imposed on CBUs by the Indian government, leading them to cost north of Rs 1.5-crore.
WILD CARD: Lexus LS
Japan's direct rival the Mercedes-Benz S-Class comes from Toyota's luxury brand Lexus in the form of the LS 500h. The LS is Lexus' flagship four-door saloon which is equipped with a 354hp 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to two electric motors for a hybrid drive which draws power from both electric and petrol motors, This engine comes mated to a CVT transmission, however, Lexus has designed the gearbox to offer a sensation of a gear change in order to reduce the 'rubber band effect' that is inherent with CVTs. Hence the CVT in the LS comes with 7+3-speed steps, proving a 10-speed gearbox in theory.