2023 Kia Sonet, Seltos, Carens Diesel Variants To Get iMT Gearbox, Manual Discontinued

Kia India has pulled plugs on diesel manual variants of the 2023 editions of the Sonet, Seltos, and Carens, by replacing the stick shift transmission with the clutch-less iMT.

2023 Kia Sonet, Seltos, Carens Diesel Variants To Get iMT Gearbox, Manual Discontinued

Kia has announced plans to make the iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) a standard fitment in all manual transmission diesel versions of Kia Sonet, Seltos, and Carens. The 6iMT will now come as a standard transmission in its refreshed RDE-compliant vehicles of the brand. However, the option of automatic gearboxes will be available as before. The 2023 editions of the Seltos, the Sonet, and the Carens to be available from 1st April 2023. The price of the Diesel variants of Sonet, Seltos, and Carens with the iMT technology starts from INR 9.95 Lakhs, INR 12.39 Lakhs, and INR 12.65 Lakhs, respectively. 

The iMT technology is superior to a manual transmission and offers a range of benefits such as eliminating clutch fatigue and engine stalling in higher gears at low speeds. Additionally, it provides better fuel efficiency as the clutch operation is controlled by actuators and Transmission Control Unit (TCU). Kia's iMT technology has won over customers, with one out of every five Seltos and one out of every three Sonet sold in 2022 being iMT editions.

“Kia has been known for bold and meaningful disruptions shifting customer preferences for years. We are undisputed market leaders in iMT since its launch with the petrol edition in the Sonet in 2020 and in the Seltos in 2021 and feel that it’s the right time to revolutionise diesel drive experiences with the breakthrough technology. Our deep research and customer feedback showcase how India loves a clutch-free thrilling driving experience that allows them to navigate the growing traffic on the roads without restricting their long commutes to work or leisurely vacations. With iMT, Kia customers will now be able to enjoy the comfort of an automatic with the drivability of a manual transmission, said Mr. Tae-Jin Park, MD & CEO, Kia India.”

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Clutch has been a predominant driving concern with long-distance travel and traffic conditions. Recognizing this gap, Kia first launched the iMT concept at Auto Expo in 2020 which was later imbibed in its compact SUV, the Sonet in 2020, and the Seltos later contributing to their sales in double digits in FY 2022. Recently, Kia has also introduced iMT in petrol versions of the Carens to promote it as the primary transmission option.