The battle of the sub-4-metre MPVs!
Renault Triber vs Datsun GO+
The Datsun GO+ debuted the idea of a mini MPV to our car industry. Since then it has enjoyed a rival-less run in its product cycle. But Renault is here to change all that with the Triber. So today let us see how the Renault Triber fares against its direct rival, the Datsun GO+.
The Renault Triber is built on the CMF-A platform that is being used by the Renault Kwid. So naturally, this car is styled a lot like its smaller brother right from the neatly integrated side turn signals to the body lines. But Renault has done a very good job in differentiating this car from the Kwid by giving this MPV different headlamps and taillights. Speaking of which, they are integrated nicely and suit the look of the car. The LED DRLs are nice to have, although they seem to be borrowed from the Datsun GO+.
One funny thing I noticed about this exterior (and the Kwid’s) is that Renault went ahead and made an indentation in their bonnet just to fit their logo, which is interesting, to say the least.
In 2018, the Datsun GO+ received a facelift and corrected many of its shortcomings. The brand added a few fake vents to make this car look more up to date. The alloy wheels look nice, and overall the facelift has done a lot of nice things to this car. The GO+ does not have a kink in the window line like the Triber and is cleaner from the side.
One thing about this car is that Datsun did not do much to differentiate this car from the Go. They were mainly focused on getting the price as low as possible. So this car shares comparatively more exterior and interior parts with its sibling.
Both are styled well in their own way, but the Datsun has more styling in the bumpers and has better-looking alloy wheels. The Triber, on the other hand, has more differentiating elements, and a projector set up for the headlamps. The GO+ is slightly longer, while the Triber is wider and taller. Overall, only personal preference can make a difference here.
The Triber’s interior is a nice place to be in. With silver, black, and beige elements, along with gloss black, there are a lot of good touches to this interior. The overall colour choices do make this interior feel airier. The infotainment screen is the standard one that you get in all Renault cars, but now gets Android Auto and Apple Carplay connectivity. What is not so standard is the instrument cluster, which looks very funky and futuristic. Only time will tell how practical it is to operate.
The rear seats are quite nice and seem to provide adequate space and get their own AC vents. The start-stop button placement is quite unorthodox and is in easy reach to the passenger, which may lead to accidental presses. Renault have given a lot of emphasis to practicality. The last row is modular and can be removed with a bit of strength. This car also gets two gloveboxes and a cooled center console. which is a nice touch. The car is mainly utility-based and seems more practical.
The GO+ gets a dual-tone interior. The interior door handles seem to be from the Micra, and like the Triber, it gets manual climate controls. With the facelift, the Datsun GO+ got a much-needed infotainment system, which also gets Apple Carplay and Android Auto. One other thing about this car is that the gear lever surround, infotainment surround and the grille all are hexagons. No funky gauge cluster here though.
The rear seat experience is pretty similar to the Datsun, save for the easy removal of the 3rd row and other practicality bits. The legroom and knee room also might be comparatively less, as the spec sheet suggests. The car is narrower than the Triber, and the difference can be seen in the pictures (note the gap between the two front seats). But this could just be the perspectives of these images. Just have a look in person to get the feel of the dimensional differences of the car.
With easier to remove back seats, and better practicality, nice additions like keyless go, the Renault seems to be the pick of the lot here. The GO’s body tapers just a bit at the rear, furthermore harming the rear seat space. The Triber’s body does not taper as much. This the fact that it is taller, wider, has a longer wheelbase and a shorter bonnet that means it will be more comfortable to be in, at least in theory.
Renault wanted to leave pretty much no space for the engine. So all we have here is the 1.0-litre petrol engine from the Kwid, churning out a wholesome 71 bhp (4bhp more than the Kwid) and 96 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM. Also, these horsepower numbers are achieved at a very high rev range, 6250 RPM. I don’t think any Triber owner would be redlining their car, ever. So lower down the RPM, power might be even less.
While the numbers do sound like this vehicle is underpowered, we will have to see how Renault can manage the driving dynamics and power of the car. Also, forget a diesel variant for this car, Renault never had plans for it, hence the minuscule size of this engine bay.
The story is no different in the Datsun’s case, the car’s 1.2-litre engine taken from the GO produces 67 bhp at a lower 5000 RPM, and 104 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. There is no extra tuning to counteract the extra bodywork in this case for the GO+. So we certainly won’t have thrilling rides in either of these vehicles.
The GO+ has more torque but less horsepower. It also weighs less, so on paper, its the better pick. This vehicle also does not have any diesel options, and I don’t think we will see any. Both get a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Since the Renault Triber is launched quite a while after the Datsun GO+, Renault had some time and resources to work with and put some thought in their product. Renault have added a few features over the GO+ like push-button start, and projector headlamps just enough to better the GO+ on paper. Plus the Triber has more safety features than the GO+, which is a significant point. At a starting price od Rs. 4.95 lakhs , the Triber is more expensive than the GO+ (starting at Rs. 3.29 lakhs), and that is the advantage Datsun holds.
Coming to this mini MPV segment itself. It looks like Renault-Nissan are the only brands trying launches in this category, as both of these cars are built in the same factory. I think this segment makes a lot of sense economically and has potential family buyers. Only time will tell if the category picks up in Asia or not.