What is it?

The Renault Triber isn’t exactly a true-blue MPV, but instead, comes across as a compact car that can seat seven occupants in comfort, and can be used within the city. It may appear like a mini MPV at first, and its seven-seat configuration might suggest so, but in truth, it is a small car that Renault has been very ambitious about. The company’s target was not to come up with a run-of-the-mill body style, but instead do something unconventional and unique, which the Triber is, in every sense of the word.

The looks

For what is called a small car, the Triber seems pretty big actually. It’s got the longest wheelbase among all sub-four-metre models. Thanks to its small engine, the bonnet appears stubby, there are scuff plates at the front and rear with plastic cladding around the wheel arches. The roof rails give it a bit of a crossover look, and the 15-inch steel wheels get wheel covers that could be mistaken for being alloy wheels. At the front, you’ll notice the Renault lozenge, the eagle-eye headlights with projector elements. There are also LED DRLs in the bumper. The kink in the C-pillar takes away its van-like look, and the huge wrap-around tail lights give it a sporty look. The Triber’s design language looks like it could fit into any overseas market.

Look inside

You get a good view from the driver’s seat, thanks to the high seating position. The quality of plastics is surprisingly very good, and the broad strip of faux metal on the dashboard gives it a solid look, and the dual tone theme is quite premium in appearance. The seat fabric is of good quality and the steering looks tidy. It gets an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Reading for the speed is available on the MID. There are also lots of storage spaces around, including two gloveboxes. The door open nice and wide, making getting in and out easy. The middle row can be split, slid forward and backward and the backrest angle is adjustable. The seats in this row are comfortable, but there is space only for two occupants; the third will be a squeeze. It also gets vents in the B-pillar, while the third row gets vents on the roof. You can easily have access to the rear-most row. There is ample room for adults who are not too tall or huge. And while you sit with your knees up, headroom is good. With all the seats up, the Renault Triber offers 84-litres of boot space.

Features include four airbags, rear camera, 14-inch alloy wheels, LED DRLs, keyless entry, push button start/stop, 2 front tweeters, rear defogger and wiper and 12V charging socket for third row, among other goodies.

Driving it

The Triber uses a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine that makes 71bhp and 96Nm of torque, paired either to an AMT or a 5-speed manual gearbox. Performance is nothing great, and overtaking will require the engine to be worked hard. It isn’t particularly peppy in the mid-range; maybe a turbo petrol engine should seriously be considered. And the gearshift is a bit mechanical in its function. Refinement could’ve been better, and engine noise is more than apparent. However, on bad roads, the Triber impresses as it absorbs bumps effortlessly, and at high speeds, the car feels confident. It stays planted, but the steering is light and lacking in feel.

Buying one

Priced between ₹ 5 and ₹ 7 lakh, it fits in to the hatchback segment, making it a rather interesting proposition. The Triber is unlike any other small car, for it offers a blend of practicality and versatility like no other. It can be used as a 5-seater, 6-seater and a 7-seater, whichever is to your preference. We just wish it had a peppier motor. Also, grab the latest info on the new cars, only at autoX.

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