Here is the First Drive Review of Renault Triber
|Price|| 4.95 Lakhs onwards|
|Mileage|| 20 kmpl|
|Engine|| 999 cc|
|Seating Capacity|| 7|Variants Avg. Ex-Showroom price 999 cc, Petrol, Manual, 20 kmpl ₹ 4.95 Lakhs 999 cc, Petrol, Manual, 20 kmpl ₹ 5.49 Lakhs 999 cc, Petrol, Manual, 20 kmpl ₹ 5.99 Lakhs 999 cc, Petrol, Manual, 20 kmpl ₹ 6.53 Lakhs
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- Excellent city runabout with immense practicality
- Cabin space utilisation is ingenious
- Impressive price and package combination
Could be Better
- Some cabin plastic isn’t up to the mark
- No boot space with all three rows up
- Engine needs more grunt considering it is a seven-seater
There’s no doubt the Triber is a great value proposition. Consider its space, features, practicality, or even design and visual appeal, and the Triber has it in spades. It also rides well, is easy to drive in the city with light controls, and overall a good city car. But it is not do-it-all, as it falls short on highway manners. Otherwise, it is a well-packaged 5+2.
Here is the First Drive Review of Renault Triber
What is it?
Why I would buy it
Space utilisation, practical cabin, price, features
Why I would avoid it
Plastic quality not the best, no boot space with third row in place
Let me begin by stating, the third row on the Renault Triber is actually pretty usable. Yes, you need to play around a little with the second row so as to have enough knee room in the last row. But, with three average sized Indian adults seated in all three rows, and a bit of common sense, well, all three can sit comfortably. And for a decent duration of time, which in my case was over an hour.
But the Triber isn’t an out and out MPV, or a people hauler in the traditional sense. It is a compact car - a car meant for the city to do the short runabouts. And it is meant to fit the nuclear family. The extra seats then, and the usable third row kneeroom are its USPs. And as it turns out, it has a few more as well.
How is it on the inside?
Now, the Triber sits on a longer wheelbase than some medium sized SUVs - namely the Hyundai Creta. In fact, it’s almost as long as the Duster’s wheelbase. No wonder, space really isn’t an issue in the Triber. Plus with middle seats that slide and adjust for recline, and the the last row that can be completely removed and stowed away, there’s plenty of passenger and luggage flexibility that comes as standard on this Renault. And just to throw figures at you, with the last row removed and packed away, the Triber has over 600 litres of luggage room!
There’s nothing outstanding about the Triber’s seats though; not with these being thin and cost effective. These aren’t uncomfortable, if that’s what I led you to believe. In fact, in terms of thigh and back support, they do the job. But, the seats aren’t pampering or plush or cushy even. And, as for the last row, the seats could certainly do with better support and cushioning. Having said that, we did ride in them for over an hour, but I really had no problems relating to comfort or fatigue.
There’s also nothing to complain about when it comes to features. Just to reiterate - this top of the line RXZ version costs around Rs 7.5 lakhs on the road in Mumbai. And for this price, you get power windows all round with one touch up and down function for the driver.
It also gets a fancy looking instrumentation with a rev-to-light-up rev counter and a detailed driver information system. There’s no digital climate control system but the Triber gets vents for all three rows; these are mounted on the B-pillar for the second row and roof mounted for the last row. There’s a cooled glovebox, rear wash and wipe, electric ORVMs, and keyless entry and start. The keyless entry also comes with a proximity sensor. So, if you have the key card in your pocket, the car will lock itself if you are a little more than an arm’s length away from the car. And then when you walk up to the car, it automatically unlocks itself too.
The RXZ trim also gets a touchscreen multimedia system complete with Bluetooth telephony, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and voice commands. It also throws up ‘Eco’ related driving details for those who care a lot for the environment or their fuel efficiency.
The Renault Triber isn’t short on practically either. It has cup holders at the front and bottle holders for the first and second row. It has two gloveboxes. There’s a large storage area between the front two seats, which is also cooled. There’s a smartly integrated tray, which adds a second layer of storage in the central console and is ideal to keep your phone on.
The only thing, lacking of sorts, when it comes to the Triber’s interior, is the look and feel of materials. The plastic all round looks a bit tacky. And this stands out more because the Triber has a premium air to its exteriors. Blame it on the exterior design or its good proportions, or the liberal use of chrome, or the fact that the designers have done an excellent job of disguising steel wheels as alloy wheels. But, the same attention to detail, although obvious in the car’s interior design, is missing in the finish and texture of the materials used.
How does it drive?
Given the Triber’s dimensions and intent, a 1-litre naturally aspirated engine does seem lacklustre. And its output figures of a little over 70bhp of max power and a little under 100Nm of peak torque do little to convince you otherwise about this seven seater.
But, on the move the Triber isn’t bad at all. Firstly, the engine is an easy revving one. It’s not the quietest or one of the most refined petrol engines on sale, but it isn’t exactly harsh either. Keep it under 4,000rpm and the engine noise just blends into the surroundings. Beyond that, the higher you rev it, the louder it gets.
Now, we only tried the Triber with four people on board and not once did we find that it was struggling to cope with the load. It motors along with a slight spring in its step at anything over 3,000rpm on a flat road. And, it doesn’t mind taking on inclines either. Now, its progress might be slow if the revs drop to 2,000rpm or under, but, it won’t stall or die on you. And you can always shift to a lower gear. Unless you are in 1st, because then the really short gearing helps saves the day.
And that conveniently brings us to the Triber’s gearbox. It’s a five speed manual. And its clutch pedal is light to operate. But, it can get a bit erratic in its functioning. If you aren’t careful with the clutch release in a low gear and a higher rpm, the car tends to leap ahead unnecessarily. Plus, the shifts itself are notchy and a bit hard.
As far as ride and handling goes, Renault has reached a good compromise with the Triber. No matter which row you are seated in, the ride remains supple. It doesn’t wallow, or crash into sharp bumps, and it doesn’t feel brittle or loose on poorly surfaced roads either.
And when you chuck it into a corner, the Triber feels taut and neutral. It manages quick direction changes well too. Yes, it rolls a bit when pushed hard, but it isn’t unnerving or exaggerated. In fact, one can feel its chassis’ lightness in the car’s involving nature. What it could do with, however, is a quicker steering. The current setup isn’t vague but it requires many turns of the steering to get the car to do your bidding. Thankfully, at least the steering is light.
And along with the light clutch and good visibility - at least over the hood at via the A-Pillars - not to mention the Triber’s under 4 metre length, it should also be an easy car to live with in the city.
Now, if you are wondering about its highway performance especially with a full quota of load and that 1-litre engine, well, we didn’t get to give it a go in that setting. But, from what we have experienced, we feel the Triber will comfortably do 80-100kmph with five people and luggage on the highway. Things might get challenging if one was going up to Shimla or Manali with the same load, but when push comes to shove, it will manage that as well. Not at a blistering pace of course, but it will get the work done.
Should I buy one?
There’s no doubt the Triber is a great value proposition. Consider its space, features, practicality, or even design and visual appeal, and the Triber has it in spades.
It also rides well, no matter what the surface or where you might be seated. It is easy to drive in the city, courtesy its light controls. And though it has a small engine which is low on outright torque for a seven seater, it still has decent mid range grunt to haul four adults at city speeds without a bother.
But yes, if you are looking for a car that works equally well in the city and out on the highway, the Triber falls short on expectations. Like we said, it’s a good runabout in the city, but take it out on the highway, and chances are its lack of grunt might get in the way. Also, we aren't fans of the car’s slow steering, which honestly takes away from what is otherwise a good handling car.
Where does it fit in?
This top spec Triber RXZ goes up against the mid spec Maruti Swift, the top spec Tata Tiago, and the low spec (if not the absolute bottom spec) Hyundai i20 among other hatchbacks. It is the only one here to offer usable seven seats, though. And, it is also the only one to offer more rugged styling.
The only thing that the other cars mentioned here have on the Triber is better outright engine grunt. And in case of the Swift and the Tiago, an AMT automatic gearbox as well.
Pictures by - Kapil Angane
Renault Triber Colours
Triber is available/sold in the following colours in India.
Renault Triber Expert Reviews
Renault Triber in News
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