Citroen C4 Cactus

Flair BlueHDi 100

Citroen C4 Cactus, front
Citroen C4 Cactus, front
Citroen C4 Cactus, front
Citroen C4 Cactus, side
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, rear
Citroen C4 Cactus, detail
Citroen C4 Cactus, boot
Citroen C4 Cactus, interior
Citroen C4 Cactus, interior
Citroen C4 Cactus, interior
Citroen C4 Cactus, interior
Citroen C4 Cactus, interior
Citroen C4 Cactus, front

CITROEN has never shied away from developing cars that stand out from the crowd and when it launched the C4 Cactus.

With its extravagant Airbumps along the side it was a clear indication that the company's vivid design creativity was still thriving.

That model hit the showrooms back in 2014 and more recently the C4 Cactus underwent a mid-life facelift.

As a result, the Airbumps are more discreet and the emphasis these days is on practicality and comfort.

From a styling point of view the latest C4 Cactus features new eye-catching light signatures with slender LED daytime running lights.

There are 3D-effect rear lights, wider air intakes, 17-inch alloys, gloss black pillars and spoiler supports, dark tinted rear windows and the Airbumps are smaller and positioned along the bottom of the doors so still offer some protection from knocks and scratches.

The interior is fun, funky, upmarket and packed with techno treats. For example, there is MirrorScreen with Apple CarPlay for smartphone connectivity, a navigation system with seven-inch touchscreen, DAB radio, Bluetooth handsfree with media streaming system and plenty more besides.

There is a luggage theme to the design with faux leather straps on the glovebox and door handles, along with lots of soft touch surfaces that also help raise the quality stakes.

The beautifully designed cloth seats are wonderfully comfortable and offer all the support necessary.

The latest model has Advanced Comfort Seats made from high density foam with additional lumbar support and the rather clever Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension helps to deliver the ‘magic carpet ride' of Citroens from bygone days.

This is particularly noticeable when you hit a small pothole or when driving along damaged roads with the system really smoothing out the ride. No need for a chiropractor on speed-dial when you're driving the C4 Cactus then.

I have spent the past three months driving the C4 Cactus powered by a punchy, yet ultra-efficient 1.5-litre 101hp diesel engine matched to a six-speed manual gearbox. Priced at £21,950 which includes £495 for metallic paint, it can sprint from 0-62mph in 10.0 seconds, maxes out at 118mph and, according to official figures, can deliver combined fuel economy of 70.6mpg with carbon emissions of just 97g/km.

I have already clocked up more than 3,000 miles in the vehicle which has included some lengthy 500-mile round trips to Cornwall and Dorset from South Wales and the C4 Cactus has lived up to its big build-up.

Out on the open road, the acceleration through the gears is beautifully smooth and there is always ample power on tap to overtake slower moving vehicles. Motorway driving is a breeze as the C4 Cactus effortlessly eats up the miles and the great all-round driver visibility, along with the nimble handling, make the car easy to manoeuvre in busy town centres too.

Comfort levels on long trips are excellent and there's ample space in the back for a couple of passengers, along with all their luggage requirements.

The boot has a capacity that ranges from 358 litres to 1,170 litres with the 60:40 split folding rear seats dropped flat.

In addition, there's plenty of convenient storage compartments scattered throughout the vehicle, although the cup holders are really pointless. They are far too shallow and a small water bottle or coffee cup would topple out if you cornered at a moderate speed.

That is my only gripe to date and I think I'm well on the way to discovering all the characteristics the C4 Cactus has to offer.

And there are so many plus points. For example, I'm averaging more than 60mpg, I still like the quirkiness of those Airbumps and the hinged rear windows.

I like the agility of the car and the ease in which it can be parked with a reversing camera along with guidelines.

FAST FACTS

Citroen C4 Cactus Flair BlueHDi 100

Price: £21,455

Mechanical: 101hp, 1,499cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 10.0 seconds

Combined MPG: 70.6

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 97g/km

Bik rating: 27%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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