2016 Citroën C4 Cactus road test and review.
I was fortunate to have an extra week in the 2016 Citroën C4 Cactus following on from the Australian launch last week to give me a more in-depth look.
So what was it like the second time round? Well, my opinion is pretty much the same as before, but in a good way.
The Citroen C4 Cactus is a very live-able car despite its quirks, it’s one that could lend itself to everyday usage.
The distinctive Airbumps may be Citroën’s lure to get you in the door along with the colour choices and combinations, but it’s not what you deal with long term (for more on extras and prices, see my launch review).
Like with all cars it’s the interior and the performance that you notice on a day-to-day basis and experience from behind the driver’s seat.
I was handed the keys to the manual petrol spec for the extended drive and I enjoyed it as much as the launch drive.
As I said in my previous analysis, the Cactus is comfortable car, made so from a combination of the roomy interior and wide, square seats and the impressive suspension.
Controlling the vehicle is a breeze with the five-speed manual transmission (which I favour over the temperamental semi-auto) and possesses great acceleration from what is a seemingly small 1.2L petrol engine producing 81kW and 205Nm.
Performance is enhanced thanks to Citroën’s affinity for simplicity in the design and the use of aluminium in the framework.
It handles fantastically all controlled from the big steering wheel with its weird flat top and bottom and could do with more padding and reach adjustment.
For the longer test I drove the Cactus round more urban scenarios and produced a higher fuel economy of 8.0L per 100km compared with 6L in the previous test however they’ve proven the Cactus to be the most efficient non-hybrid model on the market.
The C4 Cactus also comes in a semi-auto variant with a 1.6L diesel engine and an output of 68kW and 230Nm priced from $29,990.
I had the chance to carry a couple of passengers and asking their opinion they commented the rear seat are comfortable as is the ride though the pop up windows are peculiar and the absence of power window switches hard to acclimatise to.
No power windows creates more space in the door panel and the rear has a big pocket at the bottom and one small one at the top which also serves as a handle. The front pockets would be better equipped with a bottle holder but are also large and accommodating.
Wide fronts seat mean more comfort but also a narrow armrest that has a storage compartment (triangle-shaped in the diesel) and it would be nicer if the centre console wells were larger and deeper.
The unique top box on the dash on the passenger side could have been a lot bigger than 8.5L given the fact they decided to do away with the glovebox, left air vent and relocated the drop-down airbag to the roof.
There is little advantaged gained, space-wise, by setting the dash farther back other than a visual one especially when you now have more room for a larger storage box.
This box and the door handles have a theme of yesteryear with straps adorning the dash and doors adding to the eccentric look.
At the other end of the vehicle the boot is an average length but quite deep providing 358L of space.
Back to the Airbumps and I must say they really went unnoticed. They pretty much serve as insurance though you can be a bit more free about opening doors near poles and walls but this is only practical with the front doors.
Another cool innovation by Citroën is the wiper blade technology which shoots a jet of water from the bottom of the arm up the side of the blade removing the need for separate jets, specialised replacement wiper blades and more water use.
Standard tech and features include: 7” touchscreen, digital HUD-style instrument display, reverse camera and rear sensors, cruise control and speed limiter, tyre pressure monitor, ISOFIX mounts, electric child lock for rear doors and 17” alloy wheels.
Other than that couldn’t think any more features that’ you’d need in a car that weren’t present in this less than conventional offering.
After a week you do get used to the Cactus, and while it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it certainly attract a lot of attention.
The 2016 Citroën C4 Cactus starts from $26,990.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Citroën C4 Cactus
Engine: 1.2L turbo petrol producing 81kW and 205Nm
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Warranty: 6 Year/Unlimited km
Safety: Not tested
Price: From $26,990