The Renault Triber MPV is a makeshift seven-seater at best. Nonetheless, if it’s projected as one by the manufacturer, it should surely be able to drive like one. Surprisingly, it can happily carry seven people without much complaint from the engine. It also demonstrates commendable driveability when it drives on at low speeds in heavier gear.
Renault Triber vs Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
Power and Efficiency
The 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine does not protest much until it is pushed to the higher end of the rev-band. Its optimal performance range is below the 3,000 rpm mark and runs best on a smooth throttle with early up-shifts. The 1.0 litre three-cylinder motor in the Triber is mated to a five-speed transmission and produces 72 bhp at 6,250 rpm.
The first and second gears are quite closely stacked, which helps with inclined surfaces and slopes. Steep inclines are best handled in the initial two gears, and one mustn’t forget that it is after-all a small capacity motor which is happier on low revs.
This issue is distinctly experienced on the open highway, where speeds need to be above 80kmph, and the Triber’s engine starts showing signs of stress under constant acceleration above its happy rpm-range. Despite all the drama at high-speed, the Triber handles the load well, though the Ertiga does it much better, owing to its bigger motor.
The Ertiga comes with a 1,462cc petrol motor also mated to a five-speed manual transmission and is capable of producing 103 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.
Fuel economy is a little diverse, with the Ertiga returning thirteen kilometres to a litre in the city, and over sixteen kilometres on the highway. The Triber returns a much lower eleven-kilometre range in the city and a much higher seventeen to eighteen kilometres to the litre on the highway. This eventually drops when the load is increased in the car.
Ride and Handling
The new Ertiga has a far superior ride quality than its previous version. It handles uneven roads and potholes quite well, ensuring that very few of them are felt in the cabin. The suspension causes a slight rocking of the body from side to side when dealing with track unevenness, but that can be overlooked.
The Triber has a quieter suspension that filters out almost all the jerks and bumps tossed its way by the Indian roads. Surprisingly, the ride quality gets better with an increase in the number of passengers. At worst, one can feel a slight bobbing of the body and some amount of roll.
Handling is quite essential, and both the Triber and Ertiga display nimble steering control and can manipulate traffic quite comfortably. Body roll, however, is also common to both and going even slightly off-angle on a series of speed-breakers will remind you of the meanest roller coaster ride you’ve been on. Of the two, the Ertiga sports better stability, body balance and steering command.
The Triber sports all the new-age features that cars have to come fitted with to receive some acceptable amount of merit. This includes a smart access card, push-button start, airbags, projector headlights with LED Daytime running lights, air-cooled glove-box and a central storage compartment. It does, however, lack some essentials such as height adjustment mechanism for the driver’s seat, steering-mounted controls, etc. The car gets alloy wheels only as accessories and all the Tribers that you’d see on the road come fitted with steel wheels with caps that are cleverly disguised as alloys.
On the other hand, the Ertiga comes with premium offerings such as climate control in the air-conditioning system, steering-mounted audio controls, projector headlights, anchorage/mount-hooks for baby seats and a 4.2-inch full-colour TFT screen. It also gets Maruti’s smart hybrid drive, along with a start-stop button. It, however, lacks in a few basics one would consider to default on the car, such as curtain airbags, automatic driver’s side power window, and daytime running lights.
The Triber gets a bigger eight-inch screen for its infotainment unit as compared to the Ertiga’s seven-inch Smart-play with a sharper display and better UI. The Triber’s unit receives a rotary dial for controlling the volume and other audio settings instead of steering-mounted controls.
For those seeking the thrill and convenience of an MPV at an affordable price, the Triber takes all and will give it all. For those, who want the MPV to be an actual seven-seater that can barrel down highways and be ideal for long-distance touring, the Ertiga leaves no doubts. In addition to its drive capabilities and performance, it gets the option of a four-speed automatic gearbox which makes it a definite winner.
The Triber doesn’t fall short anywhere except perhaps the small engine that protests when pulled too hard and too far in the rev range and the seven-passenger seating capacity which is much better off when restricted to five. The fact is that in B-segment territory, where hatchbacks and eventually compact SUVs have thrived, the Triber is the first-ever MPV to achieve what it has in terms of space and rear-end adaptability.
The top-variants of the Ertiga cost approximately between INR 9-11 lakh for the manual and automatic transmission models. The Triber’s top variant offered only with the manual transmission, comes in at just INR 7 lakh ex-showroom.