I'm told that the Renault Triber is looked up to as a city car. But an owner might not just limit it to the city confines and will need to take it out for some or the other jaunt. We, the CarWale Editorial team, took it out on a 3,500+ km Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai trip. As promised, here's our long term report with highway usage that not many might ever consider to do.
And when I say that, I mean it, as the Triber clocked more than 5,500km this month. This also included the inter-city car shoots that we did. Not many will do this as this 1.0-litre petrol engine powered small car lacks that cruising ability with less than 100Nm of torque. It also has to be kept up in the power band constantly to get it moving. And the occupants might raise eyebrows every time you rev it, as it makes noise and the vibrations too are felt inside the cabin. But then, I managed to divert their attention by playing some foot-tapping music on the eight-inch touch screen music system. After all, we had long hours to spend in the car on these long outings.
On this Mumbai-Delhi trip, we were four adults with varied interests. Keeping all on the same page at all times is difficult, but the Triber took that responsibility well. We were pampered with a spacious cabin with a good view of the surroundings. The seats offer adequate support, and with adjustments to slide and even recline the backrest, we all were very comfortable at all times. The rear vents helped managed to dissipate air uniformly and keep the climate cool inside, even on hot afternoons and the scorching stretches of Rajasthan.
I was mostly behind the wheel avoiding any tantrums that my colleagues would throw about its engine. Yes, it does lack that punch and returned only about 13.5-14kmpl on empty stretches of the highway. However, surprisingly it did the job with luggage loaded to the brim. Apart from big bags packed for a week's job, we even managed to accommodate equipment of two desktops including CPUs and monitors. This is despite not removing the last row of seats, but in fact, using the seats’ padding to protect this delicate equipment. Otherwise you know 625 litres of space without the third row inside and not a high loading lip is more than sufficient for anyone's needs. It's our go-to vehicle for car shoots. Be it a photographer or a videographer, their huge reflectors, full-size tripods, buckets and bottles, laptop bags and everything else;it can gobble it all.
In fact, despite loading it on our trips it continued with its neutral road manners unlike other seven-seater MPVs. It drives like a hatchback with light controls including the steering and clutch. Sure, I would have loved if the brakes had more bite to inspire more confidence especially with urgent braking. But when not hauling luggage it’s satisfactory. Plus it can transform to carry seven aboard on short journeys. Also having a narrower spare tyre mounted under the body, I dreaded having a puncture and putting in effort to fix that. Thankfully, we were lucky to not face anything of those sorts. The 15-inch wheels and 182mm of ground clearance are sufficient enough to clear different types of speed breakers and diversions that our national highways offered.
What’s more, this smart-looking Renault Triber did put up a smile on people's faces in rural areas. One for its nice design and secondly, them knowing this city-friendly sized car is a seven-seater! Otherwise, there are cities like Mumbai and Thane where many Tribers are roaming around hinting people have already liked it to buy one. In the coming month, we shall find out why as our next long term report shall focus on its city performance. Stay tuned.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi