The turbo-powered Citroen C4 Cactus may not be a sharp handler, but it’s bristling with character. That’s the opinion of our motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay. Read his review to find out more about the car.
If you like a bit of Gallic eccentricity, then the oddly named Cactus could be the car you’ve been dreaming about. To some, it has a face only a mother could love. To others, it’s a work of art. I’ll let you decide on that one; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.
The Puretech 110 Flair variant, tested here, is undoubtedly the model to go for if, like me, you’ve been seduced by the down-to-earth charisma of the Cactus. But, should you be worried about the way the car drives? Not that much; well, not unless you’re expecting stacks of power.
Even with 110ps, the French hatchback’s performance is only satisfactory – but it’s much better than its diesel sibling in terms of flexibility and response. Its five-gear manual transmission’s throw does feel rather long-legged, and the PureTech gasps under 15mph in second gear. Additionally, it feels like it might stall; however, it spins cleanly to produce a good turn of speed from 1500rpm onwards. This makes the petrol-powered Cactus simple enough to drive, regardless of its minor irritations.
The PureTech 110 Flair, deserves a massive tick in the box when it comes to economy. If you’re in a Scrooge-like mood, you’ll be able to squeeze up to 80mpg out of the small family car. The three-cylinder engine makes the Citroen lighter than its four-pot diesel sibling’s. This not only helps efficiency, it also settles the ride a tad.
That said; the C4 Cactus is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to handling. Its rear tends to skip over uneven tarmac – especially when tackling corners quickly. Furthermore, the Cactus’ steering is bizarrely paced, and deficient in centre feel and feedback – but it remains planted when hammering along motorways.
There are many compact vehicles out there, and this isn’t the best driver’s car; but it isn’t the worst by any means. If anything, the Citroen Cactus will probably appeal to your emotions more than the actual drive. In all likelihood, you’ll love gazing at it parked outside your house, and people will always comment on it. Look at it as an ice-breaker when it comes to awkward social moments. Turn up at a work ‘do’ in this, and anyone spotting you in the car park will definitely speak to you about your nonconformist motor. Bearing in mind its inventive, distinctive interior and its jovial, unconventional allure, a slightly better driving experience may be all the Citroen Cactus requires to clinch the deal.
If you’re interested in checking out the Citroen Cactus for yourself, please get in touch with us.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Different √
- Economical √
- Comfortable √
- Charismatic √
- Unexceptional Drive X
Fast Facts (C4 Cactus PureTech 110 Flair – as tested)
- Max speed: 117 mph
- 0-62 mph: 9.3 secs
- Combined mpg: 80.7
- Engine layout: 1199cc three-cylinder petrol turbo
- Max. power (PS): 110
- CO2: 100 g/km
- Price: £19,825