Citroen sitting

comfortably with new

C4 Cactus

Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, front, action
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, rear, action
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, front, static
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, rear, static
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, interior
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, phone charger
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, seats, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, seats, front
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, handbrake
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, boot
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, advanced comfort seat construction
Citroen C4 Cactus, 2018, progressive hydraulic cushion damper

THE ride and glide experience is making a comeback at Citroen with a new C4 Cactus that's designed for comfort.

It's not quite the magic carpet set up associated with Citroens of old but the new suspension system in the Cactus soaks up the bumps in splendid fashion.

And with the current state of British roads that has to be an appealing feature - not least for the thousands of drivers who have experienced pothole damage.

What Citroen has done with the new C4 Cactus is reinvent the shock absorber and combine that with a new seat design that's ultra-supportive.

The result is a car which offers near-limousine levels of comfort but in a model priced from £17,965.

Citroen calls the technology in the new dampers progressive hydraulic cushions and the new seats are part of an advanced comfort system it is about to roll out on new models.

Think of the cushions as two hydraulic sponges at either end of the damper travel to absorb the first wave of shocks and you get the picture.

Ally that to seats which feature an extra layer of foam to provide added cushioning and you have a set up that insulates your bottom from all but the biggest of bumps.

From the driving seat the difference is highly noticeable and the new Cactus takes most of what Britain's roads have to throw at it in its stride.

That's not to say you won't feel anything at all but what would be a serious jolt becomes little more than a slight vibration over all but the biggest of holes.

For passengers the effect is not quite as marked - they don't have a steering wheel to transmit the feel of an impact - but they will notice the chunkier seats providing greater support, particularly over long distances.

It gives the new Cactus a special degree of refinement and comes as Citroen moves the compact crossover into the mainstream.

With the end of the C4 hatchback, the Cactus has been given a major revamp that not only includes the new comfort systems but also sees its characteristic Airbump side panels shrink to become smaller protective zones at the bottom of the doors.

There's also some changes to design which give the Cactus a more rounded look although it still looks quite SUV with pronounced wheel arch surrounds and chunky proportions.

It also comes with LED daytime running lights while inside there are some new trim options as well as a redesigned centre console with a new-look handbrake and gear lever mount.

The new line up majors on petrol engines which now include the 130bhp version of Citroen's three-cylinder 1.2-litre PureTech unit mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and with stop/start.

In top grade Flair trim it's priced from £20,665 and is a lively performer with a 0 to 60 time of 8.2 seconds topping out at 120mph.

On the economy front it excels and we achieved an average of 53.2 to the gallon, not far short of the official 58.6mpg with emissions of 110g/km.

The single diesel engine in the range - a 1.6-BlueHDi - is rated at 76.3mpg with a CO2 figure of 96g/km and we saw an average of 62 to the gallon.

Its priced from £18,145 in Feel specification and with the Flair costing from £20,885 and while its not as nippy - 0 to 60 is 10.7 seconds - it felt more composed with an extra 40 kilos over the front wheels.

Grip control - Citroen's electric traction enhancing system which gives a near 4x4 experience - is now an option costing up to £400 and that's a compelling enhancement but features such as pop-out rear windows and no rear interior lights when a panoramic sunroof is fitted remain.

The emphasis on the new Cactus is very much on comfort - other enhancements include thicker windows and greater noise insulation - and that's turned the car that brought us the Airbump into the car that soaks up the bumps like no other.

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