The Renault Triber is an ideal vehicle which has enough buff in its looks and enough practical space for a family of 5 to go out on a weekend getaway, says Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com.
Photos and video: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com
Built on a revolutionary new platform, the new Renault Triber hopes to take India by storm.
Its robust design, attractive styling and modern interiors make a statement, says the official statement from Renault, but a spin in the car shows that though the Triber is value for money, it's clearly not a driver's car. It is a car to be driven in and around the city, and not fit for high roads like what you encounter in the north-east.
Chrome, chrome and bold chrome fill up the front of the Renault Triber -- right from the triple edge front grille to the Renault logo and around the DRLs (daytime running lights).
In the photograph above you can see the projector headlamps which again have chrome accents that stand out quite well. The muscular hood along with the front and rear skid plates and cladding at the wheel arches give this MUV an SUV-type look.
Not to forget the roof rails which have a load capacity of 50 kg, and which enhance the SUV look.
From the side, the car looks like a much longer vehicle than the sub-4 metre it actually is, all because of its longer wheelbase of 2636 mm and 182 mm ground clearance.
The rear gets a bold silver branding just like all the other new cars nowadays.
And the taillights -- eagle beak, split tail lamps as Renault is calling them -- are designed to taper as they come to the centre.
Overall, it's a rugged good-looking car.
Open the door and you can instantly witness how Renault has cleverly utilised the space.
The dashboard has a stylish dual tone with silver accents.
Thinner seats with plenty of light coming in from the large windows, do give an impression of space.
Add to it the fully opening 3-step rear doors.
This makes entering and exiting the vehicle very easy and comfortable.
There's plenty of storage space, too.
There are two glove compartments, one cooled storage in the centre console and enough space for 2 bottles.
Room for a 1-litre and a 500-ml bottle in each of the door panels make this 7-seater an utilitarian vehicle.
The reclining 2nd-row sports enough legroom for three adults, helped by the almost flat rear flooring.
The 3rd row, however, would be quite uncomfortable for two adults.
It is best used by children or maybe one adult can manage to sit sideways, that too for a short distance.
Airconditioner vents in the 2nd row placed on the B pillars and for the 3rd row on the roof are quite useful and cools the cabin fast even on a hot and humid day.
The best feature of the 3rd row is that the seats are easily removable, making way for a whopping 625-litre boot which is the largest in this segment.
These seats are called easy-fix seats and come with the Renault Triber separately in a carry bag and can be clicked in or out of the third row, as and when required.
To enter the car you don’t even have to touch the keys or any receiver sensors on the door handles!
Yes, this is the most unique feature I have ever seen in any car.
You just need to have the key card on you, and as you approach the car it unlocks on its own when you are about 1-2 metres away.
And as you walk away from the car with the key card in your pocket, it locks itself up.
So no need to rummage through your pockets for the key, especially when you are carrying luggage.
Start the car and almost immediately you will notice the purring of the meek engine.
This definitely is not a car to race around in.
Nor is it one to overtake and push around.
The Triber has an easy-going 999cc engine which does not like to be revved at all.
Power delivery is slow and gradual, so take your time and ease it in.
This is a total city vehicle, to be driven with ease and no pressure.
Try revving up the engine and you will only end up getting irritated at the whiny sound the engine makes.
But drive this car with ease, pushing it slowly, and it does its job.
The suspensions are soft and most of the bad patches are taken care of with the soft smooth front McPherson Strut with Lower Triangle & Coil Springs and the rear Torsion Beam Axle.
Ride and handling are smooth with the light steering wheel.
Basically the machine does what it is supposed to, not what you may expect it to.
Renault offers 4 variants of the Triber and even the base model, which is the RXE, will get projector headlamps, steel-pressed rims, LED instrument cluster, Easyfix third-row seats, and dual airbags at the front.
The RXL variaant will get all the RXE features plus second and third row AC vents, chrome front grille, cooled storage unit and a music system with Bluetooth connectivity.
The RXT variant gets all the above goodies plus a dual glove box, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, along with roof rails and silver skid plates at the front and back.
The top end RXZ, which we drove in Goa, will have keyless entry, push-button stop/start, alloy wheels, reverse parking camera with assist, front tweeters, rear defogger with wash and wiper, as well as a charging socket for the third row.
The Triber will be available in 5 colour options -- Electric blue, Metal Mustard, Fiery Red, Moonlight Silver, Ice Cool White -- across all 4 variants.
In one sentence -- the Triber is value for money.
But don’t expect it to be a driver's car.
It is a car to be driven in and around the city only and not to far-off high roads like in the north-east.
But for a city like Mumbai, it is an ideal vehicle which has enough buff in its looks and enough practical space for a family of 5 to go out on a weekend getaway.
Although a 1.2 L engine would have made a huge huge difference!