Citroën has its mojo back. For the last few years, with every new model generation, Citroën has been giving us quirky, stylish and quintessentially French designs. The first to ignite the design and dynamic renaissance for the French company was in my opinion, the C4 Cactus; it just looked like no other vehicle in its class. Now we have a new Cactus and it’s time to find out if it’s still as sharp as the name suggests.
There have been subtle changes to the new Cactus versus the old. Those rubber impact sills or Airbumps are retained, while the front and rear seem to have been considerably influenced by the current gen C3. The wrap-around LED driving lights link up with the Citroën emblem very nicely, as does the continuous glass waistline and floating roof. Plus, those alloy wheels, à la C3, still look great. The C4 Cactus gives buyers the choice of 27 colour combinations.
Under the bonnet sits Citroën’s Puretech 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine. With 81kW of grunt and 205Nm of torque, it delivers a very linear power band through the six-speed automatic box, which shifts and responds very well while returning a sipping 5.3L/100km.
Inside, it couldn’t be anymore Citroën. Closing the door, via the exquisite leather bag-like door straps, you sit cocooned in your Star Trek-like surroundings. Ahead of you, a thing bar housing a digital speedometer, fuel and temperature gauge looks pretty neat. The glove box is also worth mentioning as it opens out rather than down, and those sticky bumps on the lid will keep your iPad or other valuables in place. All in all, it’s nice the way Citroën makes their production cars look as concept-like as possible.
The C4 Cactus comes with a wide array of safety kit. This includes lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and active safety braking. Plus, along with the usual helping of in-car goodies, the Cactus also comes with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Steering is very communicative and the mechanical bark from that Puretech four pot is a nice reminder that you have machinery working together.
Where the Cactus excels more than others in this class is ride comfort. Christchurch is not an easy city to thoroughly test a car’s ride but even the mightiest of potholes felt non-existent. This is down to Citroën’s rather clever “Progressive Hydraulic Cushion” suspension set up.
At $35,990, the C4 Cactus is good value, and for those wanting something a bit left field, unique and with a more than adequate feeling of comfort, there is not much out there that will tick those boxes like a C4 Cactus.