Renault Triber vs Maruti Suzuki Ertiga: Comparison Review
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These don’t cost the same and yet they rival each other on the premise that they can seat seven. Is the Triber ‘worthy’ or is the Ertiga too ‘big’ a match for it?
Renault launched the Triber with the expectation of another ‘Kwid’ moment. The Kwid was a package that delivered features and an SUV-like experience, which were once found only in bigger cars, albeit in a small affordable package. With the Triber, Renault has tried to do the same, but this time around it is targeting the seven-seater MPV segment.
The Triber has no real rivals in its price band. There are the likes of Swift and Grand i10 but if you’re looking at buying either of these two hatchbacks, chances are you won’t give the Triber a second glance. However, if you’re considering a 7-seater MPV, say the Maruti Ertiga, and don’t really have the budget for it, that’s when the Triber starts making sense.
But does the Triber have what it takes to fill the Ertiga’s shoes?
Price: Rs 6.63 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi)
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
Variant: Smart Hybrid ZXi+
Price: Rs 9.61 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi)
Engine and performance
The Ertiga has the bigger engine here and there is no doubt that it offers better performance and driveability. The Triber, on the other hand, is good enough when you drive around by yourself, but fill up all the seats and it gets a little bogged down.
The first and second gears offer a fair amount of grunt but can be jerky to drive around in town. Picking the third gear for this is much better as the jerks disappear and you will be able to pull cleanly from 20kmph, even with seven people onboard.
On the highway, you will find it easy to maintain a 90-100kmph cruising speed when you are by yourself but fill up all the seats here and you will feel the engine getting stressed trying to match the same speeds. We suggest you stick to 70-80kmph and plan your overtakes well in such a situation.
In the city, you will find that the Triber insulates you well from bumps, even the table-top kind of speed breakers we have here in Pune. There is a tad bit of vertical movement, which can be expected of any car but as soon as you fill up the cabin, this is hardly noticeable. It feels like Renault has set up the Triber’s suspension to behave better with more people inside the cabin.
We were surprised when we stepped into the Ertiga and found that you could feel more side-to-side movement and vertical movement in its cabin. Going over speed breakers didn’t feel as plush as the Triber too. The experience doesn’t improve when you load-up the cabin.
The surprise here is because we never really complained about the Ertiga’s ride quality before, but it is the superior experience in the Triber that really brings chinks in the Ertiga’s ride quality to the foreground.
Get inside the Triber and you will be pleasantly surprised. The cabin has been tastefully done-up and even though you notice hard plastics, the overall fit and finish of the panels is good. Small bits like the knurled finish around the start/stop button gives an impression that despite it being a budget seven-seater, Renault hasn’t overtly skimped on premium elements.
The Triber’s cabin is quite good but gets left far behind the Ertiga’s in comparison. The Maruti MPV has a bigger cabin decked-up in beige. This leads to a colossal sense of space inside. The fit and finish of materials here is also more premium than the Triber. One negative here is that the beige upholstery will retain sweat marks, something that wouldn’t be that big a problem for the Triber’s dual-tone upholstery.
You can store more things in the Triber’s cabin too. It gets two glove boxes in the front, one of which is cooled, two shelves in the centre console, a cooled storage area in between the two front seats with its individual control and even smartphone stowaway spots in the third row.
The Ertiga, on the other hand, manages with only one glove box, however, its cup holders in the front are cooled. It only gets one shelf in the centre console, although third-row occupants do get a storage space where they can keep a water bottle or their smartphone.
The Triber’s second row is smaller than Ertiga’s and that means seating three abreast will be a bigger challenge here. However, the absence of an armrest for second-row passengers in the Triber means the middle person will have better back support.
You might think the one-touch tumble-forward functionality of the Triber’s second-row left-side seat might make it easier to get into its third-row, but, the Ertiga’s doors are huge and while the seat only tilts forward, it slides forward quite a bit. So, if you are entering with something in one hand, the Triber will be the easier one but in all other cases, it’s the Ertiga that will be better.
Once in the third row, the Ertiga feels more spacious. You will sit more upright and find that the longer seat base offers better under-thigh support too, so no doubt you will be able to spend more time here than in the Triber’s third-row. You also don’t get inertia-reel seatbelts for the third row in the Triber, which is something Renault should have provided.
However, the Triber’s third row isn’t exactly claustrophobic. The well-positioned quarter glass and gap from the passenger next to you are enough that you can spend around 30 minutes without complaining. This should make the Triber’s third row usable at least in the city.
Being the shorter car, the Triber is in no way going to surprise you here. The Ertiga can still take in a couple of suitcases with all seats up whereas all the Triber can do in such a scenario is maybe three-four backpacks.
However, drop the last row of the Triber and you have space for two medium-sized suitcases. You may even remove the two seats fully, which further frees up space, allowing you to comfortably store up to four medium-sized suitcases along with a few bags.
The Ertiga can take in all the luggage that the Triber can, and it will still have enough space left to take in the luggage of a couple of more people. Safe to say, road trips in the Ertiga will allow you to pack a whole lot more.
Take a look at the brochures of these two cars and you will be left surprised once again. There are features that both these cars have, then there are features that the Triber exclusively offers, and then there are features that are present only in the Ertiga. But nowhere is the gap significant enough to warrant an almost Rs 3 lakh difference in between the prices of these two cars.
Taking a look at their common features. Both cars get dual airbags, a touchscreen infotainment system with six speakers, AC vents for the second and third row, push button start/stop, and 12V power socket for passengers in all rows to name a few.
Then the Triber starts to stand out with stuff like two cooled glove boxes, two additional airbags, a bigger touchscreen, an LED instrument cluster compared to the analogue unit on the Ertiga, and LED DRLs.
The Ertiga does reclaim some points with features such as fog lamps, height-adjustable seatbelts for the second row, and alloy wheels.
The Triber is a good choice if most of your driving is in the city. It will do anything that the Ertiga can do in the city with relative ease, which includes making use of the third row. It’s even a practical option for those who own small businesses and need to ferry small goods occasionally. Just pop out the back seats and you are good to go. The Ertiga, on the other hand, will serve you better if you do highway stints frequently. The more powerful engine remains unstressed even when fully loaded and will feel more relaxed on long road trips.