If you like to be different and you’re in the market for a family hatchback, then the new Citroen C4 Cactus is worth checking out.
The Cactus has its genesis in a concept car, and the production model very much has a concept feel about it. With contrasting customisable coloured ‘airbumps’ on the door panels and oversized roof racks, the newest member of the C4 family is definitely a head-turner.
The quirkiness continues inside – with straps for door handles, a rectangular digital display where an instrument panel would usually sit and a bench seat in the back.
The front seat passenger has a double-sized angled air vent on the centre console – to make up for the fact that there’s none beside the passenger door.
While there are electric windows in the front – the rear ones are of the pop out variety – and they’re surprisingly difficult to close.
The driver window does not have an auto up/down feature – which is a pain if you spend a lot of time in and out of ticketed car parks and it’s raining (which it was during our test week).
My favourite quirky feature is the picnic basket-style glove compartment, which opens upwards rather than outwards. The airbag has been moved to the roof to accommodate this.
And I also liked the magic wipers – which squirt water from the wipers themselves. The C4 Cactus also scores well in the centre console cubbies department. However, the front door bins are not as successful as they’re too shallow to be of any real use.
The car has a large touchscreen infotainment unit, centrally located on top of the dashboard. While this is well equipped, with SatNav, Dab radio and Bluetooth streaming, I was disappointed with the lag in the screen and that the air conditioning can only be operated via the touchscreen. This makes it difficult to change when you’re on the move.
Leg and headroom is good both back and front and the boot is a decent size. Two adults would be comfortable in the back.
Our test car was the range topping 1.6-litre BlueHDi 100, in a Flair trim with the optional panoramic sunroof.
A five-speed manual, the suspension on this car is very family friendly – comfortable, bordering on soft.
It’s not the most exciting to drive, but then again it’s not supposed to be. It’s fine in the city and is easy to park though.
What the Citroen C4 Cactus definitely can be described as is a wonderfully quirky, family-friendly hatchback that will put a smile on your face every time you sit into it.
The Citroen C4 Cactus is available now, with prices starting from €17,795. The BlueHDI Flair I was driving starts from €23,845.
Engine: BlueHDi 100 manual diesel
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 10.7seconds
Maximum Speed: 183kph
CO2 emissions: 89g/km
Combined fuel economy: 3.4l/100km
Annual road tax: €180