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2020 Renault Triber AMT road test review

Tuhin Guha  | Updated: August 18, 2020, 09:38 AM IST

It's been almost a year since we first drove the Renault Triber. A fair few cars since then, we still can't think of another one that packs as much relative practicality into its footprint as the Renault MPV. The sales numbers suggest buyers like this trait too. So now, with the COVID19-related restrictions greatly lifted and the BSVI switchover out of the way, Renault has added to the Triber's arsenal by launching an automatic version, an AMT to be precise.

Like its general architecture and its engine, the Triber shares its AMT gearbox with the Kwid hatchback. This unit first debuted in the Kwid in 2016. In the Triber, there is a conventional shifter now, replacing the rotary dial in the Kwid. This is an improvement because here you can take manual control of the box when you want to, unlike in the Kwid.

Renault also seems to have sharpened the gearbox's responses in this new application. With the manual control on offer, means that this is a more even experience on the move. Having said that, we would have liked for the gearbox to have been even more responsive, in line with what competitors offer. Now, this isn't too apparent when you are going about your daily routine in the city, the Triber will haul along just fine. The creep function that Renault has engineered into the 'box makes things easier still.

It's only under certain situations, like setting off from a dead stop or closing a narrowing gap in traffic in front of you, does the gearbox's slow response time become apparent. The unpleasant head nod trait that AMTs suffer from is better controlled in the Triber than on the Kwid, although simply stepping off the accelerator during the shift negates that what little of the effect remains entirely.

The Triber AMT continues to be powered by the same 1.0-litre Energy three-cylinder petrol unit as in the manual version, making an identical 72PS at 6,250rpm and 96 Nm at 3,500rpm. Like we've noted earlier, the engine could do with better low-end responses. This could also help negate some of the inconsistencies we've mentioned in the gearbox's operation. But once past 2,500 rpm, there is a likeable surge of power that lasts right up to the redline. In the higher reaches of the rev band, the drivetrain feels eager enough. Here once it's up and running, the gearbox also seems to come into its own, with well-timed shifts. It also helps that with the manual mode, the Triber will hold gears right up to the redline.

In fact, with how well controlled the NVH is at speed, the Triber is a genuinely good mile muncher. This also doesn't come with much of a caveat. We found the Triber AMT returned 17.5 kmpl on the highway and a strong 16.4 kmpl in the city.

The Triber starts to endear itself to you further with its dynamics. At speeds, very few cars in this price range can match the high-speed stability and body control it offers. In fact, the Triber is a great family road trip machine. Expectedly, with the tall-roof design, it's not exactly a corner-carver but you and your family will also not be apprehensive about a drive up to the hills in this MPV at all. This inherently well-tuned setup brings with it big benefits in the city too, where the Triber will handle our scarred city streets very comfortably, without any of the bounciness some smaller cars transmit into the cabin over bad roads.

With this update, the best bits of the Triber have remained unchanged. The very smartly thought out cabin continues to impress. Aside from the modular, removal seats and the very thoughtfully laid out storage spaces, the Triber's cabin impresses with class-leading levels of material quality, fit and finish. Touchpoints like the dash-top and steering wheel even get soft-feeling materials.

Three adults abreast may be a bit of a squeeze in the second row, but the airy cabin and generous legroom here means that shorter trips can be dispatched without much discomfort. The third row is a genuinely usable space for children and small adults, or when removed entirely can release a premium-sedan rivalling 625 litres of boot space. Things are a lot more pleasant in the last two rows because of the individual blower controls available here. Know more about the Triber's interiors here.

Renault has managed to package the Triber so well by pushing out its wheels as far as possible to each corner of the car. The square-ish footprint also means that Triber looks very well proportioned. There's none of the ungainliness that these tall-roof designs can often come with. Further, the stepped roof, kinked glass area and just the right amount of embellishments further spruce up what would otherwise have been a fairly simple looking car.

Objectively, the Triber's AMT gearbox is not the best proponent of this technology. But then, the Triber makes such a strong case for itself purely on the basis of how intelligently it has been put together. The design seems almost solely focused on making things easier for the MPV's occupants. When you look at it that way, the AMT is the logical step forward. It seals the deal as being the Triber to get when you realize that Renault is offering the AMT on all but the base version for a Rs 40,000 premium. That's not very much at all for the immense convenience it adds to this already impressive package. Know full prices of the Triber AMT here.

Renault India announces benefits of up to Rs 70,000 on Duster, Kwid and Triber

Meeting the Tribe(r): Renault Triber South Africa launch

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 4.99 Lakhs
Displacement
999cc
Transmission
AMT
Max Power(ps)
72
Max Torque(Nm)
96
Mileage
20.5 Kmpl
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