There are apparently 100 possible seating configurations available in the Renault Triber and I must confess I did not get to investigate every possibility during my time with the car – suffice it to say it is an extremely versatile small car.
It can quickly change from a 5-seater to a 7-seater configuration, in the former offering boot space of 625 litres, while, the cabin provides reasonable space for passengers in all rows.
The SUV-inspired Renault Triber is well named and easy to see doing duty as a Mom’s Taxi ferrying a tribe of kids to soccer practice and the like. In that, it does occupy a niche space in the small SUV arena by daring to be a bit different .
I can see, appreciate and enjoy what it set out be but my big gripe is there is no way of hiding luggage when the seats are folded away and, sadly, in this South Africa I believe that protection is vital.
Up fron the Triber features projector headlights, daytime running lights and comes standard with roof rails that have a 50 kg load capacity.
A ground clearance of 182 mm and SUV skid plates along with a prominent crease in the hood, strong shoulder lines, wheel arch flare and cladding suggest sturdiness.
The modular seating configurations include: Camp Mode [2-seater]; Surf Mode [4-seater]; Life Mode [5-seater] and Tribe Mode [7-seater] and EasyFix seats allow for the two rear seats within the third row to be completely removed with ease.
The interior of the vehicle is equipped with stowage spaces of up to 31 litres, with a cold storage facility within the centre console and lower glove box and a drawer under the driver’s seat.
The power steering wheel has newly introduced steering mount controls with thumb contours, while a gear shift indicator on the digital tachometer assists with driving at an optimum speed for better fuel efficiency.
I found the 1,0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine a trifle vocal from quite early on in the rev range but the 52 kW and 96 Nm from the dual VVT system keeps it urban capable with downshifting required only on the longer and steeper hills.
Although Renault claim 5,5 l/100 km from the five-speed manual, the overall average on the test cycle ended closer to 6,00 l/100 km – still, this equates to around 670 km on a full tank of fuel.
The 8-inch MediaNav Evolution touchscreen comes integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Voice Command button and video playback on the screen, while a Smart Access Card allows Keyless Entry and Stop/Start functionality and a Reverse Parking Camera with guidelines helps with parking in tricky situations.
Aside from the four vents in the front row, an added feature is the two independent controls for the air-conditioner with vents on the second and third rows.
The Triber is equipped with anti-lock braking and emergency lock retractor, 3-points safety belts in the front and second row seat belts (side only) with retractors, three-point without retractor in the third, pyrotechnic pre-tensioner driver seat belt, load limiter driver and passenger seat belts, driver and passenger crash bags and reinforced body structure.
Triber comes standard with a two-year/ 30 000 km Service Plan, plus a five-year/150 000 km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at15 000 km intervals.
The 185/65 R15 wheels and tyres provide adequate grip for the task the Triber was designed for and the car should really be enjoyed in that context.