Is the Renault Triber’s modularity enough to convince you to pick it over its more established rivals?

Renault is planning to disrupt the midsize hatchback space, that, for long, has been dominated by conventional hatchbacks like the Maruti Swift, Hyundai Grand i10, Ford Figo and Freestyle (cross hatch based on the Figo). So, with the Renault Triber expected to launch in July 2019, should you wait for an extra month or go for its well-established rivals which have proven their worth over time?

Compact Hatchbacks Ex-showroom Delhi price range (Only Petrol)
Renault Triber Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh (expected)
Maruti Swift Rs 5.14 lakh to Rs 7.94 lakh
Hyundai Grand i10 Rs 4.79 lakh to Rs 7.09 lakh
Ford Figo Rs 5.23 lakh to Rs 7.70 lakh
Ford Freestyle Rs 5.64 lakh to Rs 7.45 lakh

Maruti Swift: BUY it for the styling, sporty drive, equipment and solid resale value

The Swift is one of the most popular cars not just in its segment but in the entire passenger vehicle market in India. Its sporty design is complemented by similar driving dynamics, backed by a peppy 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel engine without compromising on fuel economy. In terms of features, the Swift is a well-equipped offering that gets equipment like auto LED projector headlamps, auto climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and reverse parking camera, among many others. The Swift has been in high demand ever since its inception and thus enjoys a solid resale value in the second-hand market. Moreover, it is the only car in the segment to offer a BS6 petrol engine.

Hyundai Grand i10: BUY it for a premium and comfortable experience

The Grand i10 has a premium flair as the quality of materials inside the hatchback is better than its segment rivals. Even the rear seat experience of the Grand i10 is slightly better as it is the only offering with rear AC vents. Other notable features on the Grand i10 include LED DRLs, diamond-cut alloy wheels, a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. While the Swift offers a basic AMT, the Grand i10 gets a 4-speed torque converter AT. What’s more? The Grand i10’s top variant is also priced lower than that of the Swift and Ford hatchbacks.

Ford Figo/ Freestyle: BUY for the fun of driving – most powerful engines and segment-leading technology

The Ford Figo and Freestyle are both fun-to-drive hatchbacks and get the 96PS/120Nm 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder Dragon Series engine, the most potent in its segment. In terms of features, it gets all the necessary equipment that you expect in the segment such as automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, alloy wheels, touchscreen infotainment system and more. However, the ace up the sleeves of these two Fords is the availability of six airbags and ESP (electronic stability control), TCS (traction control system) with HLA (hill launch assist).

If you are eyeing an automatic variant, then it’s only the Figo that gets the most sophisticated 6-speed AT of the lot, and that too with a bigger, 1.5-litre petrol engine good for 123PS/150Nm.

Renault Triber: HOLD your purchase if you want a versatile city car that has loads of cabin and luggage space with some unique features

In a segment where cars offer a conventional midsize hatchback layout, the Renault Triber’s USP is its modularity. It can be turned into a 2-, 4-, 6- or even a 7-seater. And by folding the third row, you can open up a humongous 625 litres of boot space. Inside, you get an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with a digital instrument cluster as well as push-button start/stop.

Practicality is further enhanced by dedicated AC vents for all the rows and a segment-first refrigerator. In the safety department, it lags behind the Figo and Freestyle, but is better than the Swift and Grand i10 with up to four airbags on offer. Just like all of its rivals, the Triber will also offer an automatic transmission option in the form of a 5-speed AMT unit.