With Renault Triber, Can Modular MPV Be A Thing In India?

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With the launch of Triber, Renault will commercialize the modular cabin vehicles in India, that could help pave way for future vehicles in India

Renault India is all set to launch Triber in India, a new affordable MPV that was showcased last month at a global premiere event held in New Delhi. To be positioned between the two of the best-selling Renault cars in India – Kwid and the Duster, the seven-seater MPV will be India’s first modular vehicle with an option to seat five or seven passengers without affecting the cargo space much.

Also, being a sub-4 meter offering means the Renault Triber will be among the most affordable MPVs in India, with an expected price tag of Rs 4.5 lakh (ex-showroom). Based on the Kwid’s low-cost CMF-A platform, the MPV will be manufactured at Renault-Nissan’s Oragadam factory and will be exported to many emerging markets that want a compact MPV.

India, being a big market for MPVs is yet to get any modular vehicle, which Triber promises to be the one. Being modular means one can adjust the seats in 100 different configurations and there’s an option to fully remove the third-row seats to create a mammoth 625-litre of boot space with 5 people in the cabin. This type of removable seats can go a long way in the evolution of MPVs in India.

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Popular cars like Toyota Innova Crysta and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga are not preferred by family users who don’t want a third-row seating for 95% of the time. But when they do, those extra two seats come handy. However, third-row seats take away the storage capacity and they are not fully flat folded most of the time. The Renault Triber can be a way forward to the growing demand of unique cars in India.

As for the car itself, Renault India will most likely position the Triber against the B-Segment hatchbacks such as the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Hyundai Grand i10. It seems fair pitting the Triber against these cars given the incredible price tag it will carry. There’s also the Datsun GO+ affordable MPV in India, but that’s not as premium and functional as the Triber could turn out to be.

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In terms of design, the Triber looks like an offspring of Lodgy, Kwid and Duster with some or the other element borrowed from these vehicles. It will have a ground clearance of 182 mm. Design-wise, the Triber will get Projector headlamps and LED DRLs and roof rails for a sporty look.

Inside the cabin will be something new for the Indian market with dual tone dashboard, electric power steering and a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There will be cooled cup holders, a lot of space to keep stuff and four airbags, two more than the Renault Duster compact SUV. The second row seats can be moved and reclined.

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The Renault Triber will be powered by a 1-litre 3 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine with 72 bhp of power and 96 Nm of peak torque, the same engine powering the Kwid 1.0. However, the engine is tuned to get more output.

The engine will be mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and a 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) will be offered as an option. Renault has also announced to stop selling the diesel motors post the announcement of BS-VI emission norms that will come to force from 1st April 2020.

As for safety features, the Renault Triber will get 4 airbags as mentioned above, the automatic door unlocks feature in case of crashes, side-impact beams, crumple zones and a collapsible steering column. The car has also qualified for side-impact and front offset impact crash tests. ABS, twin airbags, speed alerts, seat belt reminder and reverse parking sensors will be offered as standard across all variants.

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The Renault Triber will be launched in August 2019 and will compete not only against the Datsun Go+ and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga but also against hatchbacks like Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Grand i10. The MPV will start at Rs 4.5 Lakh and go upto Rs 8 Lakh.

As said above, this car not only can prove to be a cash cow for Renault that is fighting to find another good product for India after Kwid and Duster, it can show a way to future MPVs and SUVs in India, that can offer a modular and customizable cabin to the buyers who want to dwell into a 7-seater vehicle but don’t want to give away the additional boot space.