First Drive: Citroen C4 Cactus

cactus1We travelled to Amsterdam, the home town of Andre Citroën, to test drive the new Citroën C4 Cactus

First impressions of the new C4 Cactus? The Cactus brings something genuinely different to the family car market with innovative and functional airbumps, split headlights and a funky interior. The quirky Airbumps are not just for show, they took three years to develop and are essentially bubble wrap for cars which should stop people with questionable supermarket trolley control causing bumps and dents to doors.

What is it? With concept car styling the C4 Cactus is what Citroën do best, it is a fun and quirky alternative to the traditional compact hatchback that blends form and function with distinctive Gallic charm.

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What about the interior?  Slip behind the wheel and it is supremely comfortable with beautifully cosseting seats.  The layout is simple with a digital display right in front of the driver and a large touch screen central display for all the entertainment and info functions. Look closely at the dash and the lack of a rev counter suggests this is not a car for setting scorching lap times at the Nurburgring but rather a comfortable cruiser that is all about practical family motoring. In the rear space could be better but overall there is so much to like inside that these gripes can be quickly overlooked.

And behind the wheel? At the launch we had an opportunity to test drive Citroen’s new 108bhp 1.2-litre PureTec petrol engine.

C4 Cactus in the city: On the road it is light and on the narrow streets of Amsterdam it proved very easy to manoueve. While it is certainly set up in favour of comfort over driving dynamics it is relaxing and pleasant to drive.

C4 Cactus on the motorway; Take it out of the city and the Cactus is an impressive and quiet cruiser. The petrol engine is slightly underpowered but once at cruising speed it makes for  refreshingly effortless driving.

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How Much? The C4 Cactus is 200kg lighter than the equivalent C4 hatchback so it should prove very frugal to run. Official figures from Citroën claim it returns   61.4mpg on a mix of city and motorway driving and CO2 emissions are 105 g/km.  Prices for the new Cactus start at £12,990 and it will be here in October.

How Safe? Interestingly  the front passenger airbag is transferred to the roof  this “Airbag In Roof technology” is a world exclusive that creates more room and storage space for the front passenger. In addition, there are a host of  safety features and driving aids to cocoon you and yours safely.

What about my options:   Engine options include 1.2 petrol units in 82 and 110hp versions with CO2 emissions of 104 and 107g/km, and a 1.6 diesel with 100hp and emissions as low as 82g/km.

3 words to describe the Citroën C4 Cactus: Comfortable; Cool; Clever

For more information on the Citroën C4 Cactus check out Citroen.co.uk , the Citroen UK facebook page or the video below

 

Geraldine Herbert

8th July, 2014

 

 

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of goodhousekeeing.co.uk. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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