Following the debut of the avant-garde C4 Cactus back in 2014, Citroën has employed many of the design features found on the large hatchback on its models ever since – including the distinctive airbumps.
Now, the updated C4 Cactus is upon us, and here we get to see what Citroen has learned over the last four years in terms of design and what could potentially lead the way for future Citroën models.
With a toned-down look, the newest version of the family hatchback comes with some innovative features, such as the Advanced Comfort seating and suspension setup, and a refreshed design.
But can the new, more mature Cactus be less divisive than the opinion-splitting last version? We take a look…
With three petrol options and a single diesel unit available, the Cactus has plenty to offer in terms of powertrains – but the petrol engines are so good, there’s no need to go for the diesel. We tested the mid-level 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol, which in this case produced 109bhp and 205Nm of torque, and was paired to a five-speed manual gearbox.
This car isn’t built to be quick and the 0-60mph time of 9.2 seconds is more than adequate in the real world. It has a top speed of 117mph, but you aren’t likely to reach that anytime. It works well on the motorway as it is smooth enough, and performs excellently in the urban environment where it is most at home.
Ride & Handling
As is the way with other Citroën models, the new Cactus is set up to be comfortable and very easy to drive. With its Advanced Comfort setup that adds hydraulics to each suspension element, the Cactus soaks up plenty of bumps on rougher roads and is super smooth on motorways and larger A-roads.
With the setup making it very simple to drive in most situations, the steering is light and doesn’t have the most feel in the world, but the Cactus corners very flat and body roll isn’t too prevalent.
Interior & Equipment
Like the exterior design, the cabin of the Cactus is very stylish indeed, with the seats also employing the Advanced Comfort concept. With special compact foam that offers comfort and support, the Cactus seating is durable and very accommodating on longer journeys.
Interior space is also very good for a large hatchback as the Citroën designers have cleverly arranged and sculpted the surfaces to optimise the area with the dimensions on offer. For example, the backs of the front seats have been sculpted to allow for more knee room and the door trim is shaped to allow for more shoulder and elbow room.
Equipment-wise, the C4 Cactus does offer plenty in either the Feel or Flair trim levels, with the base Feel spec offering a seven-inch touchscreen that controls most of the vehicle’s features, smartphone connectivity with Apple and Android devices, air conditioning, cruise control and electric windows. You also get 16-inch alloy wheels, a cloth interior and other tasteful design features – although there are plenty of customisation options for your choosing.Save money on a new Citroen today
Prices for the C4 Cactus start at a very reasonable £17,265, with the Feel model we had on test costing just £700 more due to the engine choice. Compared to similarly-sized models, this puts the Cactus in an advantageous position as it does well indeed.
In terms of fuel usage, this petrol returns a quoted 62.8mpg – very good for an engine in this segment – and only emits 104g/km CO2, leading to low first-year tax.
Overall, the Citroën C4 Cactus is more appealing to the market as the design isn’t as quirky and outlandish as before, as well as the engine offerings being very economical. The new suspension tech soaks up most of the bumps, and when combined with the special cushioning in the seats the Cactus has a very comfortable ride indeed. In short, the C4 Cactus is a more than worthy option in the large hatchback market and one that is rather affordable, too.