Renault’s innings in the Indian car market is in trouble. They currently have less than 2% of the market share with all its products showing a slowdown. But with this new vehicle out in showrooms, Renault hopes for a better future. And why not? The Triber competes in a space that does not have any direct rival. Let's have a deeper look into the vehicle.
In pictures and in flesh, the Triber does not look like a sub 4m compact vehicle. For the uninitiated, cars under 4 meters in length enjoy less taxes which in turn make them more affordable for the masses. The Triber does enjoy good street cred as it is wider and taller than most other cars in the segment.
Up front, the slightly aggressive face, raised stance and three slate grille with the Renault logo looks nice. The bumper is well sculpted and gets in built LED DRLs for the higher trims. The Triber gets silver skid plates at both the ends and matt black cladding all around to give it a pseudo SUV look. The wheels are 14-inch ones but surprisingly, this car does not look under tyred at all.
There is an upper kink on the roof to liberate more headroom on the inside but this is hidden well by the roof rails. At the back, the slim and wrap around tail lamps look nice but otherwise it's a rather sober treatment done to this part of the car.
This is a USP of the vehicle. First, you get an additional row of seats at the back which makes this a 5+2-seater. These can be removed easily by owners themselves which ends up liberating a huge amount of space, as much as 625 liters which is more than double the boot space of the Swift or the Grand i10.
Up front, the dual tone cabin looks fresh and has a lot of practical points and storage spaces. The flat bottom steering and digital console looks sporty for what is a people mover but we love it. And then the 8-inch touchscreen, climate control knobs and seats that offer excellent bolstering - this place doesn’t look cheap and there aren’t many cost cutting measures either. For example, the thin silver insert running wide, across the width of the cabin looks upmarket.
The second row has a 60:40 split with independent slide and recline function. The left part of the seat also tumbles forward with a one touch operation and this makes getting into the rear easy. But truth be told - with adults seated one behind the other in the first two rows, the last row is best for anyone under 5 feet of height. So, while it may not be a proper 7-seater, space in the 3rd row is good for kids. They also get adjustable headrests and this gets a thumbs up from us.
Do note, the 2nd row passengers get cooled air via the vents in the pillar while the last row occupants get them through the roof mounted vents.
The Renault Triber gets a new for India 1000cc petrol engine that puts out 72 bhp of power and 96 Nm of torque. While these are better figures than say the 1000cc on the Wagon R, we feel the Triber might feel underpowered when driven with a full load of seven passengers with the air-con running. That said, knowing that this motor also does duties in international models sold under the Renault label gives some amount of relief to us.
The Triber, as of now, is only offered with a 5-speed manual though we are told a 5 speed AMT is on its way once the BS6 ready starts powering the car. Certified economy, as per ARAI, stands at 20 kmpl.
Pricing and Verdict
A starting price of Rs 4.99 lakh is tempting enough considering the features on offer even in the base model. This includes front power windows, ABS, Airbags, 3rd row air-con vents, LED console etc. And the extra set of 3rd row seats.
We are particularly impressed with the top spec RXZ that even offers two more Airbags (side ones), keyless entry with push button start, LED DRLs and the large 8-inch screen.
For anyone looking at a spacious 5-seater with the occasional benefit of extra 2 seats in the Rs 4-6 lakh bracket, there isn't any option save for the Datsun Go Plus which in itself suffers from a cramped 3rd row. The Triber, even in front of cars like the Hyundai Grand i10 and the Swift, does look like a value deal for those who like moving along with others. Is Renault back on track? Seems like!