Citroen are well known for often producing cars that are somewhat quirky and that little bit different. Well their latest offering certainly falls into that category in my opinion.
The C4 Cactus s built on the PSA group platform that also forms the basis for the Peugeot 208.
Its hard to classify as it looks a bit like a compact crossover but really its just a 5 door family hatchback.
The theme is Urban trendy. The Cactus steers away from gizzmos and complicated technology instead offering a car that aims to deliver a straightforward family motoring package at a competitive price point.
Its somewhat boxy profile is softened by the unique side “air bumps” which while adding a styling effect also offer practical protection to the doors from those dreaded car park knocks. Roof rails, the unusual front light set up and natty alloy wheels add to the individuality of the new Cactus.
Its distinctive for sure but will not appeal to everyone.
The cabin is simple enough with all the instrumentation being digital, which I don’t like! So in front of the driver is one stand alone rectangular panel which displays speed etc and in the centre of the dash another screen which is the touch screen for audio, climate, Nav (if fitted) and so forth.
The cloth upholstery looks fine, the seats are comfortable and otherwise thats it.
It comes with the now usual array of safety kit, from ESC to multiple airbags as well as front electric windows, DAB digital audio, MPS, Aux ports and 4 speakers.
The model on test is the FLAIR and it adds 17 inch alloys, front fog lights, darkened rear windows, LED interior lighting, a city camera pack with reversing camera and park sensors as well as Navigation with upgraded stereo.
The accomadation is just Ok really. I put my daughters child seat in the rear as many buyers of this car may do and really it was cramped even for her little legs.
You are soon reminded that the platform used here is that of the Peugeot 208.
The boot is adequate but has quite a high sill. A space saver spare wheel is optional at €100 which is unreasonable it should be standard.
The new Cactus is powered by a Blue HDi 100 diesel which emits just 89g of C02 per KM and is mated to a five speed manual gearbox.
Performance is fine, and its certainly frugal burning just 5.6 litres of diesel per 100km over my weeks test.
The gear change is sloppy though and it lacks any punch in top gear.
Citroen always make a good chassis and the new Cactus is no different.
It rides and handles pretty well though you will not be buying the Cactus for a rewarding driving experience. It goes well from A to B and that is what its made for but its not an involving car to drive.
Noise levels are on par with others in this class and it handles pretty well on wet or dry road surfaces.
Prices for the new Citroen Cactus start at €17,795. The version tested the FLAIR costs €23,845.
The new Cactus will appeal to those who like its very individual styling, its Urban Cruiser looks and the simplicity of its operation. I
t offers comfortable family motoring and is economical to own and run.