In our last long-term report of the Renault Triber manual, we focused on its performance on the highway. In fact, we subjected it to quite a long and tiring Mumbai-Delhi return journey. And, though the car didn't really require a break as such, it got a very long one, thanks to the national lockdown. Then, as the restrictions lifted recently, it got back up on its daily grind after a service. Now, just before it goes back to Renault and we bid a farewell to it, we have managed to note its city performance, and here are the things we observed.
Room for one and all
Triber owners will love this compact city car with a huge interior. It doesn't take up too much of parking space, and yet offers so much space inside its cabin for average-sized adults. There is adequately adjustable legroom in all three rows despite the Triber being under sub-four-metre in length. However, the comfortable seats adorned in black and beige fabric will be difficult to maintain due to their light colour. And, if you choose to go for optional seat covers, do note, the side airbags are integrated with the front seats. So, it's not recommended to get these for the front of this top-spec trim.
The car still scores high on practicality with nifty spaces, two glove boxes, and many other storage spaces. These are very usable to fit in your phone, wallet, a small diary, small bottles and even the 1.0-litre bottles. In fact, there's a smart cooled centre storage that keeps your small bottles at slightly cooler temperatures than they will be in the door-pads. And, we appreciate the presence of physical knobs as they are easier to operate and are reliable than the touch interfaces. That said, the infotainment's interface is intuitive, user-friendly and its design is such that you can rest your phone over it, with an air-con vent mount to navigate through google maps.
Good volume is one, and flexibility to adjust seats is another noteworthy USP amongst the myriad of benefits the Triber provides to an owner. The left seat in the second row tumbles completely, while the other section can be folded too. The third row does both tumble and fold functions, and even though it doesn't get flat, you can take these seats out for more space. Simply clever adjustments to accommodate almost all your needs! We even managed to fit in two cycles horizontally. Then, there's no exposed metal in the cargo space, yet we recommend the optional rubber cargo mats. They help avoid scratches from sharper edged objects, are easy to clean, and make the space look very tidy.
Built to last?
On the downside, the tail gate does not shut under its own weight reminding you of the relatively slimmer sheet metal, which may not be entirely reassuring. We would also suggest an owner to get the thicker side body cladding, instead of the black decal. It will help avoid any scratches from motorcycles brushing by or impacts from the doors of cars parked too close.
Even parking this MPV is very easy with small car-like light controls. All-round visibility is great, and the reversing camera only adds more to the driver’s convenience. You can't really grumble much about its handling either, as it has a nice and tight turning radius and holds well on to the road. Around faster bends, it does lean a bit more than a hatchback would. Still, lesser than any other MPV. More importantly, occupants will be comfortable all the time until you push the car very fast while turning.
Well, a fully packed cabin with seven adults does take a toll on this 1.0-litre petrol engine with it requiring to be above 2,500-3,000rpm to get going. Fuel efficiency also goes down to 10-11kmpl, which otherwise stays in the 13-15kmpl range within the city. Meanwhile, with more than two or three occupants, the performance is quite satisfactory and manageable at mid-range. The clutch pedal doesn’t have a long travel and is also light on the foot, easing things for the driver in the bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Adios Triber manual!
When Renault had first unveiled this Triber MPV globally, the carmaker said its goal was to design it in such a way that it could transform according to the needs of the customers. By now, we have a fair idea on how the carmaker intended to bring this about successfully, and we like it. In fact, I like it more than I thought I would. And even though it’s now going back, we would love to welcome it back in our long-term fleet, may be, even better - in its automatic iteration!
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi