It was finally time to put the Triber to the test on the highways. A work assignment came up in Goa and I decided to drive the Triber down. I had no idea about the road conditions but then that wasn’t something to be bothered about because the Triber has excellent ride quality. What I was bothered about was whether or not the 1-litre, naturally aspirated 72bhp engine can tackle the inclines and overtakes.
Things we didn’t like
Well let’s start with the obvious, the engine. Renault makes no bones about this being a city car, but then there will be instances when the car will head out to farther distances. Now once on the highways, the Triber can sit comfortably at 100 kmph but the problem happens when you need to brake and get back up to speed quickly enough. Also overtaking vehicles which are doing over 80 kmph is a stressful affair. In D mode, just when you step down to get more power, the gearbox downshifts which is acceptable but just then it realizes it does not have enough power there either and downshifts further by which time you have already lost considerable momentum. The only way to tackle this was to drive in manual mode which makes it a little better, but then there is no denying the fact that the Triber is underpowered for really long distances.
Things we like
Driven sedately, the Triber had us impressed. When there is no overtaking to be done, it takes on the ghats well and it does not struggle. The sedate driving also helps hugely with fuel efficiency. The Triber managed a best of 525 km on a full tank with a little more to go giving a mileage of almost 17kmpl. What was also impressive was the aircon which kept the cabin nice and cool even in the 40 degree heat. Then of course there is the practical cabin and 7 seats which make it an extremely practical choice.
The Triber has performed flawlessly without any issues in our long term fleet and we would definitely recommend it for those who need a 7-seater but are on a budget. Now all the Triber needs is a turbocharged heart to make it an ideal people mover no matter the roads.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi