We took the recently launched Renault Triber for a test drive, and have come up with an extensive review for it. Read ahead to find out all about the Renault MPV, and whether you should buy one or not.
Renault Triber – An Overview
Renault Duster is a nice, small, entry-level SUV, and was the company’s bestseller until a while ago. Renault Kwid is a nice, small, entry level hatchback, and is the French manufacturer’s bestselling model currently. Now, Renault has launched the Triber, which is a nice, small, entry-level MPV. Sensing a pattern? Small means easy-to-drive-in-narrow-streets and entry-level models are extremely popular in the Indian market primarily due to their cost-effectiveness and affordability. Those two words don’t mean the same thing: the first means you get more for your money, and the second means that you get it for cheap. Both are high on the priority list for buyers, and Renault seems to have understood that.
The Renault Triber is based on the low-cost CMF-A platform which also underpins the Kwid. In fact, if you peel the layers of the Triber, you’ll find seeds of the Kwid underneath. Still, the Triber is an extremely unique car and one that is extremely deserving of your attention. We recently got our hands on one in Goa, and boy have we got a lot to say! Here’s our Renault Triber test drive review:
Renault Triber Test Drive Review – Exterior
Visual similarities between the Kwid and the Triber are not obvious. Thankfully, this means you don’t feel like you’re looking at a stretched out, awkward Kwid, like the Datsun Go and Go+ situation, but rather a new car altogether. The Triber gets stylish, sleek-looking, dagger-shaped headlamps with LED DRLs positioned in the bumper. The bumper itself has been raised to feel more SUV-like, and the chrome embellishments give it a premium look. The lower front grill has a skid plate underneath, mostly for aesthetic purpose.
The side profile is extremely strong, with a high, straight bonnet, like the recently launched Maruti XL6 SUV. The roof rails lend it a very utilitarian look. The wheels arches have plastic cladding like the Kwid, which adds muscle to the look. The roof rises slightly towards the rear, to enhance space on the inside. Speaking of the rear, the taillights have a tear-drop design with the brake lights wrapped around the indicators/reverse lights. The Triber name is proudly bejewelled between the taillights and above the number-plate. There is another skid-plate at the bottom of the rear bumper, which further adds to the rugged looks of the vehicle. A job well done, Renault!
The Triber slots under the sub-4-metre category, but manages to push to the abosulte boundary of the limit, with just a single centimetre to spare! That, combined with the 2,636 mm long wheelbase, means that the interior space is (mostly) good.
Like the exterior, the interiors don't resemble the Kwid and have a unique design. Step in, and you’re greeted by a brushed aluminium-finished panel on the top of the dashboard and an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The infotainment has both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, and the touchscreen is intuitive and extremely responsive to the touch. Quality of build is the same as Kwid, full of hard plastics and built on a budget.
The top ‘RXZ’ trim offers a semi-digital instrument console, keyless entry with push-button start/stop, electrically adjustable ORVMs, several 12-volt charging sockets, and AC vents for the middle and last row seats. Another cool feature is Renault’s ‘Driving Eco2’ app, which offers feedback on your driving style to help improve fuel efficiency. There are plenty of cubby holes throughout the cabin, along with two glove-compartments and a cooled storage compartment under the central console armrest.
The basic requirement for an MPV is to fit lots of people, and that’s what the Triber does. It comes in a seven-seat configuration, where the last row seats are removable and the second row can fold 40:60. Thus you can turn the car into 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7- seater as per your liking.
Being a front-wheel-drive car, the Triber has a flat transmission tunnel, improving cabin space. The front and middle-row passengers will praise the legroom, but the last row passengers won’t. The last row seats are best used for kids or pets. Thankfully, ingress/egress is easy. Other than that, the seats are extremely accommodating. The driver has a great view of the road ahead owing to the high, commanding seating position. The ride quality is also brilliant, quite useful on Indian roads.
The boot is tiny with the last row seats in place, obviously. At 84-litres, it isn’t very usable, but you can improve it to a massive 625-litres. The various specifications are listed below:
Renault Triber Test Drive Review – Performance
Engine and Transmission
The Renault Triber gets the same 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine as the Kwid but gets variable valve timing (VVT) to enhance power figures. The engine churns out 71 bhp and 96 Nm of max power and torque and is mated to a 5-speed manual. The lack of an automatic is sad, but the company assures that AMT variants will be introduced soon.
Step on the gas, and you can feel the vibes of the 3-cylinder motor. The inherent imbalance of the three-pot design means that the refinement levels aren’t the best. Keeping the NVH balance aside, the engine is rather punchy above 3000 rpm. The gearbox isn’t very smooth, but rather notchy, just like the Kwid. The biggest problem is the additional 220 kg the Triber holds over the Kwid. The additional weight overshadows the marginal increase in power, and performance is rather lethargic.
With a price tag of ₹ 4.95-6.49 lakh (ex-showroom), the Renault Triber forces us to forget about its flaws, namely underpowered engine and the light steering. It also has plenty of strengths, like the brilliant interior space (sans the last row), configurable seating, and plenty of cubby holes and storage space. It is a great choice for you if you want the practicality of an Ertiga or an Innova for the price of a small hatchback. Even if you don’t, the Triber is a good choice for a family car and will be a great replacement for the tiny, space-less hatchbacks that usually fill this price bracket.