The Triber is Renault's attempt to disrupt the market by offering a sub four-metre seven-seat people mover. Wait a minute…Is that even possible? Well… Datsun did try a similar formula with the Go plus but that didn’t turn out too well. So what is Renault doing differently that made it confident enough to tread down this difficult path? Let’s find out
For starters, Renault definitely seems to have got the styling right and for a market like India, that’s very important. The face is dominated by the signature three-slat Renault grille and rather sleek looking projector headlamps. There’s a muscular scoop out on the bonnet while the LED DRLs sit low and in their special recess. The side profile gives away its MPV-ish intentions, but even then it is designed very well with flared wheel arches and a rather heavy shoulder line that extends from the A-pillar to the wrap-around tail lamps. The rear is the least interesting angle with a really tall tail-gate and a faux bash plate. But overall Renault has done very well with the Triber’s design, giving it a good mix of MPV and Crossover elements.
Flexible seating is what Renault is pushing for, so lets take a look at that first and what you see in the first photo is the regular 5 seat mode, minus the last two seats.
Picture two is the two seat surf mode, so you can keep a surf board in the back. But is surfing really popular in India? I think they should rename it as ..umm… cycle mode or something more relevant. And this is the fully loaded 7-seat mode., Ffrankly this isn’t an ideal 7-seater, so at best it’s a 5+2 seater with the last row ideal for last moment passengers.
With 5 seats in place, the triber gets a very impressive 625 litres of boot space, however with 7 seats that figure comes down to a barely usable 84 litres. Talking about appearance, it’s a dual tone affair all around and you get a very trendy looking dash.
Renault has always been known to make very practical cabins and the Triber is no different. You get dual glove boxes, door pockets capable of holding dual 500ml bottles and plenty of nooks and crannies. This RXZ variant also gets dual front airbags, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Car Play/ Android Auto through an 8.0-inch display, button start with keyless entry, vents for the second and third-row and a cooled glove box. Another very convenient feature is the auto roll up and down for the windows.
Powering the compact Triber is an even more compact 1.0-litre litre naturally aspirated petrol engine. And you get it with either a five-speed manual or a 5-speed automated manual transmission that is expected later this year. But the question here is, will it be enough to carry a load of seven passengers? Well the answer to that is a yes and somewhat no. Around town, the three-pot 1.0-litre litre engine's 71bhp and 96Nm is pretty adequate with good drivability, but head out on the highway and the lack of torque becomes evident.
Overtaking needs planning and revving beyond 4000 rpm becomes pointless with the engine screaming its lungs out. The gearshifts are notchy too and the Triber just does not like to be hurried at all. We just wish it had some form of forced induction to make it peppier. Ride and handling is an area of expertise for Renault and they hardly get it wrong. The Triber feels extremely compliant over bad roads with the damping being just right. While we didn’t really get to push it into corners, we're sure it won't disappoint. Finally, the steering feels light at low speeds and weighs up nicely as one goes faster.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||72|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||96|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||40-litres|
|Tyre size||165/80 R14|
|Cooled glove box||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||84||72|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||113||96|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||37||40|
|Tyre size||165/80 R14||165/80 R14|
Prices for the Triber start at 4.95 lakhs and goes up totill 6.49 lakhs for this RXZ variant that we have driven. So for the price of a fully loaded Maruti Suzuki Wagon R, you get a 5+2 seat car. The Triber looks desirable, has plenty of handy features and can seat up to seven passengers. Sure it could do with more power but at this price, it looks set to woo a lot of buyers.
Photography by Kapil Angane.