C4 Cactus Feel PureTech 110
from a significant Spring
facelift, Citroens C4 Cactus is now
even more charming with a strong
emphasis on a rare commodity
NOW DEFIANTLY MORE well-groomed hatchback than quirky crossover, the Cactus's
revamped design is targeted at and is sure to appeal to family
buyers, particularly those looking for something snazzy but also a little bit
different in their mid-sized five-door hatch.
What really does it for the C4 Cactus is its fluent lines; not only is it good
to look at but in today's samey old world it's instantly recognisable. There's
still a tease of crossover in its stylish wheelarch and perimeter protection
strips but the über-slim bonnet and equally narrow daytime running lights and
fastback glasshouse treatment make for an appealing hatchback style that stands
out from the crowd.
Occupying the Cactus's engine bay can be either an 82, 110 or 130hp petrol engine
or a four cylinder 1.6-litre BlueHDi turbodiesel unit with 100hp. This past
week we've been driving the most popular engine choice the award-winning
three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech turboed direct injection petrol engine; mated
to a five-speed manual 'box, it kicks out a responsive and refined 108bhp backed-up
by a generous 151lb ft of torque. Impressive.
too is its eagerness to dish out the power be it nipping around
the houses or zipping along motorways. And although it makes a nicely thrummy
signature three-pot sound, you rarely hear it inside the cabin. And it goes
better than you might think given its three cylinders, hitting 62mph off-the-line
in a breezy 9.4 seconds and topping out at 117mph.
you into the
airy cockpit are wide,
Advanced Comfort Seats.
armchair-like seats are
upholstered in two-tone
cloth and inject a real
the tastefully trimmed
Going by out test figures 47.7mpg over the course of a week's
hard driving most owners should easily encounter the magic Five-O,
or maybe more given the 62.8mpg official Combined Cycle figure. Emissions are
a road tax-friendly 117g/km.
Welcoming you into the airy cockpit are wide, deeply-cushioned chairs
Citroen's new Advanced Comfort Seats. These satisfyingly supportive and effectively
bolstered armchair-like seats are upholstered in two-tone cloth and inject a
real snugness into the tastefully trimmed cabin. There's plenty of personal
wriggle room for your front passenger too and decent elbow room to go round,
and thanks to some clever design and a slim-line fascia it also, despite the
large chairs, manages to feel very spacious.
Naturally there's the obligatory central touchscreen, set at an equal height
to the digital head-up-style instrument display directly ahead of the driver
both are blessed with clear and sharp graphics. The tactile shelf-like
dash allows for a practical top-lidded glovebox that offers ample space for
oddments and personal 'stuff' (there are also big front door bins capable of
taking large bottles, dual-use cupholders and a lidded central armrest box).
Also contributing to the bespoke Citroen treatment are natty luggage strap-style
door pulls that work perfectly. A swan-necked pull-up handbrake also saves on
space while being easy to use.
You sit high with fine views out over the bonnet, all of which makes the Cactus
an easy one to place and park. Both front seats adjust for height plus the driver's
benefits further with adjustable lumbar support, and the multifunction flat-bottomed
leather-wrapped wheel is good to grip. On the move, thanks to effective soundproofing
and an acoustic windscreen, the cabin is well insulated from the clatter of
the outside world.
seven-inch infotainment touchscreen, with smartphone mirroring (Android Auto
and Apple CarPlay), is slick and foolproof plus there's Citroen's Connect Nav
and Connect Box providing full onboard navigation and emergency and assistance
support as required (a reasonable £800 option for the lot). Helpfully, the current
speed limit is always posted on the mapping and fingertip-tappers will be pleased
to find that adjusting the climate control is also done via the screen, through
which all primary vehicle functions are also controlled.
dont have to drive
far at all to discover
that this new Cactus
serves up an agreeably
Thats mostly down to
blacktop, potholes and
are all neatly
standard kit includes a DAB digital radio with six-speakers and MP3 player,
Bluetooth (handsfree and media streaming), AirCon, one-touch electric front
windows, electrically-adjustable heated door mirrors, and rear parking sensors.
Safety and assist features include Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start
Assist, cruise control with speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring, a full
set of airbags, LED daytime running lights, LED 3D-effect taillights, and front
fog lights with cornering function.
If you just have to have more safety stuff it's there for the asking: automatic
emergency braking, Driver Attention Alert, Road Speed Sign Recognition, Lane
Departure Warning, Coffee Break Alert, colour reversing camera, Blind Spot Monitoring,
front parking sensors, Gap Measurement, and active self-parking Park Assist.
All can be added either as options or simply upgrade to the next
(and top) trim level: Flair.
You don't have to drive far at all to discover that this new Cactus serves up
an agreeably cosseting ride. That's mostly down to Citroen's new Progressive
Hydraulic Cushions suspension set-up patchy blacktop, potholes
and sleeping policemen are all neatly ironed out. Partnered by the big, comfy
chairs it helps the Cactus do exactly what it says in the ad: 'Comfort is the
new Cool'. Make no mistake this hatch is a car designed to calm
does the 'soft' ride rule out press-on driving? Non! It's jolly nice
to drive and while it wafts along, behind the fluent ride it remains predictable
and composed with light but accurate steering; push on and sure there is some
body lean (as you'd expect given the limo grade ride) but you're never in any
doubt as to what's going on as the power's laid down through the front wheels
getting it there is a no-brainer courtesy of a clean-gated and
fluent gearchange action.
wet and windy motorways the Cactus tracks arrow-straight, so no worries there.
However, if more traction is on your wish-list you can always tick the box for
Grip Control which, along with multiple driving modes for the likes of snow,
sand, mud, damp grass, etc, also gets you '4-season' tyres wrapped around up-sized
boot swallows more than
enough luggage to satisfy
the average family,
while for lugging larger
loads the split rear seats
can be easily folded
to create a useful
Rear passengers have it equally good with the same high-comfort seats as those
up front. The backrests are set at a relaxing angle and legroom is fine; even
three side-by-side is doable with sociable space for three pairs of feet. Plus
there are good views out through the longish, front-hinged 'pop-out' side windows
that when open let in a refreshing and controlled breeze; using them over standard
drop-down electric versions also means more there's elbow room to be had.
will appreciate the Isofix child seat mounting points and remote-operated electronic
child locks; all age groups will be glad of the mag pouches on the front seatbacks,
the deep, large capacity door pockets and handy open storage bins near the top
of the rear doors.
The deepish 358-litre boot swallows more than enough luggage to satisfy the
average family, while for lugging larger loads the 1/3:2/3 split rear seats
can be easily folded down to create a useful 1,170-litre loadbay within the
Cactus's 4.1-metre length. And if you like to keep loads on the outside, well
that's fine too the 1.2-litre will happily tow a braked 950kg.
Drive a Rolls-Royce and, more than anything else, you'll experience Serenity;
amazingly, for a fraction of the price, you'll get a taste of it riding around
in a C4 Cactus. With its unique comfort suspension and seats and celebrated
French flair, the C4 Cactus is making Comfort the new Cool ~ MotorBar
Citroen C4 Cactus Feel PureTech 110
Maximum speed: 117mph | 0-62mph: 9.4 seconds | Test Average: 47.7mpg
Power: 108bhp | Torque: 151lb ft | CO2: 117g/km