The Triber is Renault’s first offering in the sub-Rs 10 lakh price bracket since the Kwid, which was launched four years ago. Renault is certainly hoping to replicate the Kwid’s success with the Triber by bringing something unique to the table. We’ve seen the Triber in the flesh at its global debut in the capital, and here are our first impressions of the upcoming Renault.
Since it's a sub-4m vehicle, it attracts lower taxes under the government's taxation laws, similar to sub-4m sedans and SUVs. It appears to be a cross between a hatchback and an SUV at first. It measures just under 4m, like premium hatchbacks and subcompact SUVs, but is likely to rival midsize hatchbacks like the Swift in terms of pricing. If you look at the silhouette, its does have a subtle MPV vibe to it, but elements like high ground clearance, body cladding and roof rails add to its rugged quotient. In fact, on the whole, it doesn’t really come across as an MPV at all.
The front fascia of the Triber is in line with Renault's global products. There’s a chunky Renault logo that cuts into the heavily sculpted clamshell bonnet and there's the signature Renault grille with chrome inserts.
The headlamps feature a dual-barrel projector setup (low beam projectors, high beam multi-reflectors), while daytime runnings LEDs are placed on the bumper. Surprisingly, there are no fog lamps on the Triber and there's no provision for that either.
The dual-tone bumper features a large air dam with honeycomb mesh and a faux skid plate. Adding to its rugged appeal is 183mm of ground clearance and wheel cladding as well as functional roof rails, which can carry loads of up to 50kg.
There’s a kink in the roofline to liberate headroom at the rear, especially for the third row. The second door is massive for a car under 4m long. The Triber will come with both 5- and 5+2-seater options, but even for the former, the massive rear door will aid in easy ingress and egress. There’s a distinct kink on the C-pillar as well.
The rear is nearly flat if you compare it to other hatchbacks, something that you see in MPVs. There are split wrap-around tail lamps (no LEDs), which merge with the muscular centre crease line. You can also see a dual-tone bumper with faux a silver skid plate here.
The wheels are 15-inchers with 185/65 cross-section tyres having a four-lug nut setup, compared to three in the Kwid. There are no alloy wheels on offer even with the top-spec model as it features flex wheels which imitate alloys.
Renault might offer alloys as accessory, like it does with the Kwid, and thankfully with the four-lug nut setup, there will be multiple options in the aftermarket as well. Also, the spare wheel is accessible from outside.
The Triber is roughly as tall as the Ford EcoSport and its sub-4m length along with a healthy width keeps that MPV vibe at bay. It looks quite sporty, upright and European in appeal, much like the Escape sold abroad. It is based on a new platform, which Renault says is more than 90 per cent different compared to the Kwid’s CMF-A.
The dashboard is pretty minimal and features a light and dark grey theme with silver highlights and chrome accents. The 8-inch touchscreen juts out of the dashboard. It also gets a phone holder and start/stop button.
The instrument cluster packs a 3.5-inch screen at the centre flanked by twin dials that feature a digital setup like the Kwid. The steering wheel is borrowed from the Nissan Kicks and the upcoming 2019 Duster facelift, but has blank spaces as it surprisingly misses out on audio controls. There's no leather wrap either.
While the entire Renault range offers the 7-inch MediaNav touchscreen infotainment system, the Triber features a larger 8-inch clean looking, glass-encased unit. It supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and runs the same ULC 4.0 system as other Renault models with identical block-type UI. The screen isn’t the sharpest of all out there, but is responsive.
Below the screen are aeroplane-like buttons and circular dials for the manual air conditioning system. This setup is identical to what Renault/Dacia offers with the second-gen Duster in Europe. So, there’s a possibility that the Triber might get an auto climate control in the future. It also offers vents for the second and third row of seats.
Interestingly, there’s a built-in segment-first refrigerator, which is placed between the front seats and is easily accessible from the second row as well. Moreover, there are twin glove compartments in the dashboard and the lower one is cooled too.
While the front seats have integrated headrests, the rear two rows of seats offer adjustable headrests. The seat cushioning is slightly on the softer side. The front seats are nearly identical to the Kwid’s, but pack front side airbags (integrated into the seats) like the Brazil-spec Kwid.
It has a fabric upholstery and even the door pads get a padded fabric insert on the armrest. The overall fit and finish is on par with other midsize hatchbacks like the Figo, if not better. There are rough edges here and there and visible nuts, but they won’t be deal breakers. What we sorely missed on the Triber was driver’s seat height adjustment, though the steering wheel is tilt-adjustable.
The second-row seat features 60:40 split, while the third row offers 50:50. Moreover, the third-row seats can tumble and are also removable, whereas the second-row seats slide, tumble and recline. With this modularity, the Triber packs various options to carry luggage, much like Honda’s Magic Seats (earlier offered with the Jazz in India).
Its whooping 2636mm wheelbase is more than several high-end cars, including Honda City and Hyundai Creta. In fact, it is the largest of any sub-4m car on sale in India. This translates to a spacious second row if you compare it with hatchbacks like the Swift, Figo and Grand i10, thanks to its sliding feature. The first-in-segment reclining functionality boosts the comfort quotient. Adding further to this is its flat rear floor and B-pillar-mounted AC vents.
The third row would be suitable for kids, whereas for tall adults it would a bit of a squeeze, although the headroom is adequate and there are dedicated AC vents as well. We would rather prefer this as a comfy five-seater with a humongous 625-litre boot, which is the largest amongst sub-4m cars.
So, in the Triber, you get a mix of all -- a hatchback, an MPV and an SUV. On the downside, the 72PS engine seems underpowered on paper to carry full load and there a few misses like missing height adjustment for the driver's seat. Having said that, it still appears to be a pretty competent product as a much bigger and spacious alternative to midsize hatchbacks.
If its prices start from around Rs 5 lakh, the Triber would turn out to be a pretty good option for someone upgrading from a Kwid or other entry-level hatchbacks as it gives you that big car experience. It is expected to hit showrooms next month.