Renault Triber Long Term Reports

By Shivank Bhatt | on October 24, 2020

Long Term Report: October 2020

It’s time to part ways with our Renault Triber. During its 10-month stay with us, the Triber did its job in a commendable manner and, suffice it to say, without any real niggles. Sure, it was parked for nearly two months during the lockdown, but there were no hiccups once things resumed to normal.

I primarily used the Triber for my daily commute to the office and back home – a run of 56km – along with some occasional road trips to the hills. And in all those months, I’ve really enjoyed its company. Mind you, by ‘enjoyed’, I don’t mean it’s exciting to drive in any way – it’s more of a compliment for its practicality, comfort, and fuss-free nature. First and foremost, the Triber is a proper seven-seater. Initially, I used to think it was a marketing ploy. But, no, as the days went by, I realised that it’s very spacious and comfortable – even in the third row, you’ve ample legroom and headroom (thanks to the cleverly scooped out roof). You even get your own AC vents. Yes, in a sub-`8 lakh car! In addition to the space for passengers, it also has a very practical cabin – you’ve lots of storage pockets everywhere in the cabin, and there’s a cooled storage compartment as well.

The Triber isn’t just about clever space management though, it’s also a very comfortable vehicle. The ride quality is pliant, and it has typical sturdiness and road manners that you’d associate with expensive Renault cars like the Duster. However, it doesn’t feel crude or basic inside. In fact, its quality and fit-and-finish are more than decent. The Renault Triber is also well equipped. The infotainment system is one of the best in the market. It’s large, intuitive, lag-free, and comes with Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Speaking of useful features, it also has projector headlamps, which are very good. I also quite like the design of the car – it’s a very pleasant looking car. And those faux alloy wheels, well, that’s another smart touch. It won’t be wrong to say that the Triber looks more expensive than it really is, and I believe, the Triber’s aesthetics are one of its main USPs.

The 1.0-litre three-cylinder powertrain is a mixed bag. During daily driving or even during long drives, it felt underpowered. The low-end is weak, but the mid-range is more than adequate for daily duties or even occasional highway runs. What’s more, it’s quite refined at mid-revs, and the cabin is well insulated. At high revs – above 4,500rpm – the engine does sound coarse, and there isn’t much juice to extract as well. The problem arises while driving with more people/load and AC turned on full blast, for the whole task becomes a bit laborious, especially in the city. On the highway, once you’re doing speeds above 80km/h, there’s no problem, as the Triber cruises comfortably, regardless of the number of people on-board. The high-speed stability is also very good. Having said that, a bigger engine will definitely make the Triber more complete.

The build quality of the car is, surprisingly, very impressive, too. In the last 10 months, we haven’t witnessed any rattling panel or unwanted noises in the cabin. 

Overall, the Triber is nearly a perfect car for its price. Its spacious, comfortable, feature-packed, efficient, and, most importantly, very easy and pleasant to live with.

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 10,447kms

Mileage this month: 413kms

Fuel efficiency: 15km/l

What’s good: Space, comfort, practicality, design

What’s not: Needs a bigger heart

Long Term Report: September 2020

Last month, the Triber’s radiator fan stopped working due to a blown fuse. It was fixed by Renault service quickly. However, when the car came back, the USB port stopped functioning. 

Renault Triber

I thought it was a blown fuse again, and being a qualified engineer that I am, I turned it into a DIY assignment since I had nothing better to do. However, the access to the fuse box is really complicated in the Triber (inside the glove box), and you can’t pull a fuse out with your hands – you need to have a pair of pliers. After hopelessly trying to fix it myself for nearly half a day, I gave up and rang the folks at Renault service. They reverted promptly, sending a technician to my place the very next morning. It was fixed in just 5 minutes. The issue wasn’t a blown fuse, in fact, it was a loose connection. All I can say is that it isn’t funny to be proved wrong every now and then as an engineer, you know. The car is now running fine, and it’s back to being a fuss-free and comfortable daily runabout. It’s also hit 10,000km, meaning a service is due soon.

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 10,034kms

Mileage this month: 2,027kms

Fuel efficiency: 15.5km/l

What’s good: Ride, space

What’s not: Fussy fuse box

Long Term Report: August 2020

As soon as the lockdown ended, the very first thing I did was to drive down to Dehradun to spend some time with my family. It was a leisurely 250km drive in the Triber. The weather was nice and the roads were empty. Everything went smooth. Upon reaching Dehradun, I was quickly put into home quarantine for two weeks, meaning no driving or stepping out. Sadly, I managed to drive the Triber again only when it was time to come back to Delhi. 

Renault Triber Long Term August 2020

When I reached Delhi, it was pouring – which is another way of saying that our roads had turned into large water harvesting reservoirs of sorts. Unfortunately, I drove the Triber through a heavily waterlogged street, and while it came out unscathed, the radiator fan suffered a blown fuse and stopped working. I realised this the next day as the AC kept tripping and the temperature gauge shot up. I called the Renault service, and it was fixed rather promptly. However, after the car came back from service, the USB port stopped working – I am hoping it’s just another blown fuse and nothing else.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 8,007kms

Mileage this month: 1,975kms

Fuel efficiency: 15km/l

What’s good: Comfort, practicality

What’s not: USB port not working

Long Term Report: July 2020

After being parked for nearly two months, the Triber finally went back to work with full force in the last month. Since it's the only small big car in our long-term fleet, it's our camera team's first choice for a tracking vehicle or for transporting people and equipment. Not to mention, with its seven-seat layout, we all can also maintain social distancing inside the vehicle. 

Renault Triber Long Term

However, with full camera equipment and three heavy-weight people onboard, the Triber does struggle to gain momentum, especially with the aircon on full blast. However, once you get up to 50-60km/h, it doesn't feel as 'powerless'. So, the key is to thrash the motor in each gear and get up to speed really quickly. But this comes at the expense of fuel economy. However, more importantly, this aggressive driving style has affected my 'Eco Scoring' (shows on the touchscreen) adversely, as my score now stands at 74 / 100. Plus, it's given me a mediocre 3-star rating in 'Gear shift' category. On the upside, in 'Acceleration', I have scored a 4, and I got a full 5 star in 'Anticipation'. So, overall, I am happy that I haven't completely gone down in the Triber's estimation.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 6,032kms

Mileage this month: 553kms

Fuel efficiency: 13.5km/l

What’s good: Space, practicality

What’s not: Underpowered

Long Term Report: June 2020

In spite of some lockdown relaxations now, going out isn’t an option for me. This is because the border between Noida – where I stay – and Delhi (office) is still sealed. However, a couple of days ago, I was fortunate enough to take the Triber out on a cross-border expedition, as I had to drop a friend to the airport. It was after nearly 80 days that I was driving the Triber again! 

Renault Triber Long Term

The drive turned out to be a very pleasant affair – after being caged for over two months, getting to drive a car back on open roads again felt so gratifying. Plus, there was virtually no traffic, so that made it even more enjoyable. That said, there were scores of private cars on the road. In some parts, it even made me wonder if there ever was a lockdown in place. Everything seemed normal, although I am not sure if I should be happy or worried about this. Strange times, indeed! 

As for the Triber, it did this short journey without any troubles. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by its air-conditioning system. In 42 degrees of heat, the cabin remained cool and engine performance was decent. Hopefully, I’ll get to drive it more often from next month.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 5,479kms

Mileage this month: 84kms

Fuel efficiency: 15km/l

What’s good: Air-conditioning, comfort

What’s not: High NVH

Long Term Report: May 2020

Until a few hours ago, I hadn’t driven the Triber for over a month! Sure, I cranked it up once or twice around two weeks ago to keep its battery from draining, but it didn’t move an inch. However, since I had to get the odometer readings for this report, I went down to my apartment’s basement parking to check it. A few moments later, I noticed there was not a single soul in the parking lot, so I decided to take it for a spin, quite literally – I drove the car around the pillars of the parking lot for a good 5 minutes. I am happy to say that it’s the most fun thing I’ve done since the lockdown! Yes, that’s what it has come down to, sadly. 

Renault Triber Long Term

However, before we were asked to stay home for an indefinite period, I managed to take it on another short road trip to Dehradun. Like I have said in my previous reports, it’s not really a thrill machine because of its pint-size three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine. Despite that, it manages to cruise at 100-110km/h quite comfortably. It returned a decent fuel-economy of around 16km/l during the road trip. However, it’s not that efficient in the city, as I only manage to get around 14-15km/l of fuel efficiency. And trust me, I don’t thrash the motor at all. Plus, I don’t think that it’s going to get any better in summer because of the air conditioning. But then, who knows if we will be allowed to step out this summer, let alone drive our cars?   

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 5,395kms

Mileage this month: 890kms

Fuel efficiency: 14km/l

What’s good: Comfort, space

What’s not: Low fuel-efficiency, unrefined engine

Long Term Report: February 2020

Usually, I prefer motorcycles to cars for commuting in cities. The reason is simple – it saves me a heck of a lot of time, and riding a motorcycle is not half as infuriating as driving a car in peak hour traffic. But last month, it got bone-chillingly cold here in Delhi, so, naturally, I ditched my motorcycle and used the Triber. And within a few days of driving to work, I realised that the Triber has turned me into a driving monk!

Renault Triber

You see, unlike other cars, the Triber has somewhat calmed me down as a driver. Now, I am not implying that it’s the most refined car in the segment – it’s not! In fact, the engine sounds very gruff during cold starts and even in traffic, the drivetrain feels very harsh. Plus, it’s not a car to drive enthusiastically. But, truth be told, I kind of like that fact – the fact that it’s a relatively slow car. I don’t know about other road users, but the Triber’s relaxed pace has forced me to be non-competitive on the road. I don’t fight for a tight spot in traffic, I don’t chase someone down if they cut me off, and I don’t get into traffic light drag races anymore. Instead, I stick to a lane, connect my music using Android Auto, and just drive leisurely without a care in the world.  However, if there’s one thing that makes me lose my cool while driving this car – the lack of steering audio controls.  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 4,505kms

Mileage this month: 746kms

Fuel efficiency: 15km/l

What’s good: Comfort, infotainment system

What’s not: High NVH levels, no steering controls

Long Term Report: January 2020

The Renault Triber entered our long-term fleet this month, and, surprisingly, I’ve been handed the keys of this spacious 7-seat crossover. I am no family man, but I’ve to say that I am liking the extra space that this car offers. On the very first week itself, I drove the Triber to Dehradun and beyond, with four passengers and their ‘winter’ luggage on-board. Of course, on paper, the 1.0-litre motor may not look ready for such a job, but, actually, it turned out to be pretty good. The engine, albeit whiny, cruises comfortably at 100 – 110km/h. Overtaking, however, requires you to send multiple requests to the engine – the motor feels strained and is reluctant to send all its horses to the wheels. Drive it at a leisurely pace, though, and it’s a very comfortable mile-muncher – yes, even when it’s fully-loaded. The ride quality over bad roads stands out in particular. 

Renault Triber

In the city, the driveability is decent. There’s enough grunt to pull the car in second gear in start-stop traffic. The clutch has a high biting point, though, and I also feel the pedal is set at a weird angle. The 8-inch touchscreen feels very premium. But I do miss steering-mounted controls. We will talk more about the Triber’s quality, practicality, and driving dynamics in next month’s report…  

  • LOGBOOK

When it came: December 2019

Current Odo reading: 3,759kms

Mileage this month: 1,554kms

Fuel efficiency: 16.4km/l

Faults: None

What’s good: Space, comfort, and infotainment system

What’s not: The engine hates hard acceleration/overtaking

Tags: Renault Renault Triber

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