There is a big emphasis on weight-saving in the C4 Cactus, and that may well include soundproofing...
Comfort and Refinement
How comfortable you would find this car depends on how squidgy you like your seats to be. For its overall size, this feels quite a roomy car, with what look like quite plushly upholstered seats with a sofa-like look to the front ones. In fact they are relatively softly cushioned, which on a test drive we found very comfortable and cosseting. Some with a preference for much firmer cushioning, though, may not find the C4 Cactus’s rather pliant and spongey seats to their liking, so it is important to try them on a test drive.
Refinement is reasonable, though not exceptional. There is a big emphasis on weight-saving in the C4 Cactus, and that may well include soundproofing. In this diesel version you are quite aware of engine noise, and there is also some road rumble permeating up through the bodywork. Wind noise is reasonably subdued though.
Safety and Security
Interestingly, the rather low-slung dashboard means that there was a shortage of space for fitting a front passenger airbag in its usual place, set into the top of the dash. So instead, in this car, it is located in the roof, from where it would billow out to guard against any impact against the fascia panel in the event of a collision.
Standard safety kit includes six airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, hill start assist and electronic rear door child locks. Citroen builds its cars to meet Euro NCAP 5-star safety standards, but the Cactus has yet to be tested, so at the time of writing has no score.
All the car’s main controls are accessed via a seven-inch tablet-style touch screen mounted vertically at the top of the dash panel. It gives the dashboard a clean, uncluttered look, and has good functionality, although some may find it a bit less convenient than conventional switches.
Connectivity is good in this car, with Citroen’s ‘Multicity Connect’ app portal, that lets you access useful applications such as filling station proximity, Trip Advisor to find a hotel or restaurant, Coyote and Michelin Traffic for journey information.
- Dacia Duster
- Mini Countryman
- Nissan Juke
- Renault Captur
What We Liked
- Protective ‘airbumps’
- Funky styling with interesting details
- Sofa comfort of front seats
- CO2 emissions that go as low as 82 g/km, depending on version
- Good-performing but also frugal engines
- Tablet-style screen for infotainment and satnav
- Enjoyable to drive, even if it’s not exactly sporty
- Suspension quite absorbent, mops up the bumps
What We Disliked
- No cup-holders, odd omission in a family ‘lifestyle’ car
- Wide rear can cause blindspots
- Need to work the engine quite hard to get lively performance
- Semi-automatic ETG ‘automated manual’ gearbox a bit Marmite
- Quirky looks may not suit all tastes
- Front seats may be too spongey for those who like firmer cushioning
- Rear windows do not open fully, they only hinge narrowly ajar.
What We Would Like To See
- Those clever, practical airbumps appear on other Citroen models and start a new fashion for better urban-proofed cars.
Citroen has a winner with the C4 Picasso. The car’s combination of funky looks, roomy comfort, pleasant driving manners and urban practicality make it an appealing family hatchback which is also something a bit different. Bravo for daring to be brave, Citroen.27 August 2014
Citroen C4 Cactus Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Citroen C4 Cactus Flair e-Hdi 92 ETG6|
|Body Type||5-door Hatchback|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||12.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||113 mph|
|Transmission||6-Speed Automated Manual|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||94 g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Euro NCAP Rating|
|Warranty||3 Years / 60,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 27/08/14)||£18,000 (est)|