Tata Punch 1.2-litre Petrol: Manual Or Automatic?

Which is the ideal transmission setup for the Punch? Well, frankly, it’s a hung verdict here


Tata Motors’ latest offering, the Punch, gets a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine to do propulsion duties. It can be specced with either a 5-speed manual or an AMT automatic. Now, which of these two gearboxes offers the punch (pun intended)? To find out, we fired up the VBox, headed to the ideal location, and put the micro SUV through its paces. 

Spec check


Tata Punch 1.2-litre MT

Tata Punch 1.2-litre AMT

Power (PS)



Torque (Nm)



Before we get to the results of this test, the good news is that the naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol motor delivers the same power and torque (86PS/113Nm) in both manual and automatic guises. This rules out any room for advantage/disadvantage. 


Performance Runs



Tata Punch 1.2-litre MT

Tata Punch 1.2-litre AMT


16.81 seconds

18.23 seconds

Remember the constant war of words between manual and automatic fanatics on which is the better gearbox in terms of performance? Well, at least for the Punch, it is the 5-speed manual that comes out on top in the 0-100kmph sprint with an advantage of well over a second.

The reason behind the AMT falling short is actually quite simple. This setup still uses a regular clutch and gear configuration, but the gear shifts are done using sensors, hydraulic actuators, and pneumatics. One of the drawbacks of an AMT compared to other automatic gearboxes is the lag between shifts. So you can actually shift into gears faster using a manual gearbox if done right, as you’re in control with lesser lag compared to the AMT. 


Fuel Economy


Tata Punch 1.2-litre MT

Tata Punch 1.2-litre AMT







In terms of frugality, both transmission setups have their advantages and disadvantages. The AMT, while lacking in performance, offers better fuel economy in the city (14.42kmpl). On the other hand, the 5-speed manual has the edge on the highway, returning 17.08kmpl.




Tata Punch 1.2-litre MT

Tata Punch 1.2-litre AMT

Ex-showroom Price

Rs 5.49 lakh (Pure) to Rs 8.49 lakh (Creative)

Rs 6.99 lakh (Adventure) to Rs  9.09 lakh  (Creative)

If you’re willing to sacrifice fuel efficiency (in the city) for performance, the Tata Punch’s 5-speed manual is ideal, more so because it’s affordable compared to the AMT. However, if the majority of your commutes are within the city and if you don’t mind shelling out a little extra for better fuel economy, go for the AMT. 

Tata Punch Video Review

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Tata Punch

Tata Punch

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