JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng – French automaker Renault believes its all-new Renault Triber, now in South Africa, is a totally new SUV design with the space and the flexibility for up to seven passengers but with a friendly price range (see end of feature) and a 182mm ride height which makes the SUV more at home than many foreigners on our gravel roads.
Underbelly skid plates, too…
LOTS OF STORAGE
Not only is it exceptionally pleasing to the eye, but the Renault Triber offers a multitude of distinctive features and a claimed 100 seating variations by dropping, sliding or removing some seats choose five seats and boot space increase to what the automaker describes as ”class-leading” boot space – 625 litres.
There’s also a wide selection of storage nooks – all within a vehicle that is less than four metres long.
The modern and well-equipped interior offers equipment akin to upper-segment vehicle standards, with the likes of a rear camera, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, remote locking and the introduction of individual aircon vent controls for the middle and rear seats.
Power comes from a new ‘Energy’ engine said to be capable of 5.5 litres/100km – nearly 20km/litre and crash avoidance and mitigation include anti-lock brakes, auto-unlocking, self-retracting three-point belts for the all three seat rows. The driving seat has an explosive pre-tensioner.
Each seat, it seems, has a crash mitigation bag while those up front have side bags too.
More equipment includes roof-rails (load capacity 50kg), diode daytime running lights, and model-specific wheel rims.
Renault has named the Triber’s seating arrangements: Camp Mode [two seats]; Surf Mode [four-seats]; Life Mode (five seats); Tribe Mode, (seven seats). The middle-row seats can slide and recline.
THERE’S EVEN A FRIDGE
”This seating flexibility,” Renault says, ”sets the Triber apart among SUVs. The first-in-industry EasyFix seats allow for the two rear seats to be completely removed for maximum cargo space.”
Cabin oddments storage volume is 31 litres, there’s a chill box within the centre console/lower glove box, and a handy drawer under the driver’s seat.
Renault describes the cabin as ”an inviting interior with dual-tone trim and striking finishes, a new centre facia with chromed edges, a fully digital instrument cluster with LED illumination and sporty graphics”.
The steering-wheel has thumb contours which, Renautl says, ”mean less effort to turn the wheel for a sharper turning angle”.
Other doodads include a gearshift indicator on the digital tachometer to help with optimum fuel-efficiency, a trip data computer also keeps the driver informed about fuel consumption but adds, average speed and distance-to-empty.
Apart from four vents for the front seats there are two independent controls for the aircon with vents on the second and third rows – together intended to balance quantity and quality of airflow and claimed to be unique in the Triber’s price segment.
Renault says more tech, depending on model, ”is generally associated with upper-segment vehicle”.
The the 20cm MediaNav Evolution touchscreen comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, voice command button, and video playback while a smartcard covers vehicle entry and starting. A rear camera, with guide lines and 50m range, will help with tight parking.
Each of the three models uses the same one-litre, 52kW/96Nm, three-cylinder, petrol engine. Variable valve-0timing ”ensures optimum acceleration” and fuel-efficiency.
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
Renault Triber Expression 1.0-litre Energy – R164 900
Renault Triber Dynamique 1.0-litre Energy – R174 900
Renault Triber Prestige 1.0-litre Energy – R189 900
The Triber will be delivered with a two-year or 30 000km service plan*, a five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty*and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Services intervals 15 000km.
* Whichever comes first.