Citroen C4 Cactus

Flair PureTech 110

Citroen C4 Cactus, front
Citroen C4 Cactus, front
Citroen C4 Cactus, front
Citroen C4 Cactus, side
Citroen C4 Cactus, side
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear

IF you're a shrinking violet type that shies away from the limelight then the Citroen C4 Cactus is probably not the car for you.

If, however, you embrace modern and striking design concepts and like to convey this in the car you drive, then look no further.

The C4 Cactus is outrageously bold in its design with stand-out Airbumps that are guaranteed to attract attention.

Then there are the pop-out rear windows that are quirky but also practical as they are weight-saving - all design cues that show Citroen is looking to the future.

This particular car was set off with bright red paintwork which contrasted beautifully with the black Airbumps and 17-inch black alloys. And that dark theme continued with black pillars, tinted glass, plus black roof rails and side mirrors.

For anyone not familiar with Airbumps they are thermoplastic polyurethane panels that have been fitted to the sides of the car. They took three years to develop and Citroen took out nine patents along the way.

Some rigorous testing proved the bumps could withstand quite a battering so the likes of shopping trolleys or neighbouring car doors banging into the side of the Cactus will not have any impact whatsoever.

The interior of the C4 Cacust is neatly laid out with lots of on-board technology to be explored, especially in the Flair edition which was priced at £17,720 (increased to £20,720 with options fitted).

Creature comforts included a six-speaker sound system, touchscreen, sat nav, Bluetooth connectivity, media streaming and automatic air conditioning to name but a few.

The car was powered by a three-cylinder, 1.2-litre 110bhp petrol engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. It can reach from 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds, tops out at 117mph and can return combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions of 106g/km.

The car is comfortable with nice firm seats and a very driver-focused cabin with instrumentation ideally positioned.

My only real gripe was the lack of steering wheel adjustment. You can move the seat up and down, back and forth, but a little more flexibility in the wheel would have been appreciated. I also asked two other people to try the car for driving position comfort and they both agreed.

That aside, the Cactus was a delight to drive. It whizzed through traffic with ease and the driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility.

On the open road, there was ample power to keep pace motorway speed.

The auto gear shifts were smooth and responsive and the cabin remained fairly well insulated against the outside noise.

Road-holding is decent for a small SUV with fairly high sides and the soft suspension irons out most of the roads bumps and dips.

The C4 Cactus can be a little bouncy on uneven roads, but that was partly down to the 17-inch wheels on this car. It is available with smaller wheels which would be more comfortable in the long run.

On a practicality front, the five-door Cactus is also well designed with room for four adults to travel comfortably - a fifth can be squeezed in for shorter journeys. Storage options are impressive too with a boot capacity of 358 litres, which can be increased to 1,170 litres with the rear seats dropped flat.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C4 Cactus Flair PureTech 110

Price: £19,720

Mechanical: 110bhp, 1,199cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 117mph

0-62mph: 9.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 61.4

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 105g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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