At first and second glance, there are many things bizarre about the C4 Cactus from Citroen.
A production version of the Cactus show car, this funky little crossover packs conventional diesel engines and front-drive under those futuristic panels.
This ditches the need for AWD and any off-road credibility, but the tradeoff for big cabin room at a low price is well worth it.
Perhaps most importantly, the C4 Cactus can play to both the young hipster crowd as well as the young parent consumer segment. A big child seat or three will certainly fit inside — with Mom and Dad not looking nearly as nerdy as they might in the C4 Picasso…
Overall, the look is a little bizarre but pretty quirky and cute. The “More Design” header below earned a scoff from this writer — as though More of something is the only answer.
But after reviewing the cute roof bars and stylish color contrasts, the More the merrier!
2015 Citroen C4 Cactus
NEW CITROËN C4 CACTUS ON SALE NOW
New Citroën C4 Cactus launches in the UK
Priced from just £12,990 to £18,190 (MRRP OTR)
Unique Airbump® technology provides style with substance to absorb minor impacts
200kg lighter than an equivalent Citroën C4
Up to 91mpg fuel economy & low CO2 emissions from 82g/km
Running costs 20% lower than conventional C segment hatchbacks
Intuitive & innovative technology includes a fully digital Touch Drive interface, roof-mounted airbag & ‘Magic Wash’ windscreen wipers
The New Citroën C4 Cactus is a bold response to the changing needs and priorities of today’s car owners, offering a real alternative to the traditional compact hatchback, with a fresh and distinctive approach.
Visually striking, the New C4 Cactus stands out in the competitive C segment with its concept car looks, crossover styling cues and a broad range of customisation options.
Simplicity and efficiency combine with practicality and low ownership costs in a unique blend of form and function to offer more of what really counts to new car buyers.
The Citroën C4 Cactus heralds a new approach to automotive design, providing;
More useful technology
…with a reduced cost of ownership.
New Citroën C4 Cactus highlights include;
Revolutionary Airbump® technology, a stand-out design feature that absorbs minor impacts
A fully digital, intuitive interface with controls grouped around a 7-inch touchscreen
Wide sofa-style front seats
‘Magic Wash’ windscreen wipers that reduce washer fluid consumption and reservoir size by 50%
The world’s first roof-mounted passenger airbag, allowing for more in-dash storage
A panoramic glazed roof with advanced heat protection
Impressive efficiency, with up to 91mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions from 82g/km
Running costs reduced by around 20% compared to a typical C segment hatchback
The New C4 Cactus is available with three high specification trim levels – Touch, Feel & Flair – with prices starting from £12,990 for the petrol PureTech 75 manual Touch, rising to £18,190 for the ETG6 equipped e-HDi 92 Flair.
The New Citroën C4 Cactus sits at a market sector crossroads, offering a stylish alternative to a conventional C segment hatchback; more space than a B segment crossover; and a downsizing opportunity from larger C segment crossovers. Combining the best of crossover and hatchback, the New C4 Cactus pioneers the concept of the ‘Crosshatch’.
Typical C segment hatchback buyers look for attractive styling, reliability, functionality and value-for-money. A variety of needs must be satisfied, rather than one dominating factor. In contrast, B and C segment crossover customers place greater emphasis on distinctive styling, a sense of fun, personality and innovation.
The New Citroën C4 Cactus will exceed expectations for all of these consumer groups. It is designed to appeal to the heart, with its unique personalised styling, expressive design and pleasurable driving characteristics. It will also make sense as the smart choice, thanks to the lower cost of ownership, useable technologies, space and practicality.
The New Citroën C4 Cactus’ refreshingly modern exterior incorporates elements of crossover styling – such as a semi-raised ride height, wheel arch protection, short overhangs and roof bars – within a compact and eye-catching design.
Externally, the New Citroën C4 Cactus features pure, smooth surfaces with flowing lines. An ideal profile in terms of styling – with 1/3 glazed areas and 2/3 body panels – stand-out features include the floating roof, floating rear quarter-panels and Citroën’s unique Airbump® technology.
At the front, the car features a high-tech light signature with LED daytime running lights and headlights seamlessly integrated into the bumper.
Offering exterior personalisation, the New C4 Cactus is available in 10 body colours, from eye-catching Hello Yellow to elegant Pearl White. All versions are fitted with black Airbump® as standard with three additional colours – Stone Grey, Dune & Chocolate – also available depending on the body colour.
The standard specification black door mirrors and rear quarter-panel inserts can be changed to a choice of red or white. The roof bars can also be personalised, with an optional gloss white finish or standard gloss black. A range of stylish wheels come in 15 to 17-inch diameters, including four alloy designs.
Inside, there are five choices of seat upholstery – including velour, cloth and leather options – complemented by three interior ambiences (door trims and dashboard) – Stone Grey, Purple Highlight and Habana Highlight.
The interior is de-cluttered and minimalist, with clean lines and design nods to the theme of travel. The door handles are inspired by leather luggage straps and the lid of the Top-Box dashboard storage compartment has its own luggage-inspired design.
The uniquely shaped large panoramic sunroof features a state-of-the-art coating, equivalent to category-4 sunglasses, to filter UV light and reflect heat. Eliminating the need for an additional sunblind, the design maintains headroom, fills the cabin with diffused light and saves weight (6kg) compared to an equivalent car with a powered sunshade.
AIRBUMP®: A CITROËN EXCLUSIVE
Unique to the New C4 Cactus and an instantly recognisable feature of the model, Citroën’s new Airbump® technology neatly sums up the fundamental purpose of design, providing an innovative solution to everyday problems, in a stylish and practical way.
Fitted to the front and rear doors, the tough air-filled TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) capsules protect against minor bumps and scrapes. Airbump® panels require no specific maintenance and reduce the stress and expense associated with car park dings and dents – cutting service and repair costs over the lifetime of the car.
The proportions of the New Citroën C4 Cactus are optimised for style, space and driving comfort with the de-cluttered cabin creating even more room for occupants.
Despite compact external dimensions – 4.16m long, 1.73m wide & 1.48m high – the 2.6m wheelbase and 1.48m height are virtually the same as the Citroën C4. This means plenty of leg, elbow and headroom inside for up to five adults.
The simplified dashboard creates more space for the front passenger and there are wide front seats that capture the style of a sofa. On ETG (Efficient Tronic Gearbox) versions, the gear selector is replaced by the neat ‘Easy Push’ system with ‘Drive, Neutral and Reverse’ push-button control, which makes room for a bench-style front seat layout.
Located on the passenger side of the dashboard, Top-Box is a large and easily accessible storage compartment made possible by new and exclusive ‘Airbag in Roof’ technology. This innovation delivers a roof-mounted front passenger airbag for the first time. The large airbag deploys from the roof and inflates correctly regardless of the passenger’s position. The 120-litre volume also ensures it covers the touchscreen area.
The doors feature large storage bins – big enough for two 1.5-litre bottles – as well as smaller storage trays. The boot is a generous 358-litre capacity, expandable to 1,170-litres with the rear seats folded.
MORE USEFUL TECHNOLOGY
The New Citroën C4 Cactus’ in-car technology focuses on connectivity, efficiency and usability without adding complexity – meeting real customer needs simply and intuitively.
Fitted as standard, the fully digital Touch Drive interface features a 7-inch touchscreen to control all the main vehicle functions, including;
Automatic air conditioning
Media (DAB radio, audio streaming, mobile connections, music and photo storage)
Navigation (map view, speed limit display, traffic conditions, fuel-efficient routing)
Driving Aids (reversing camera, Park Assist, speed limiter/cruise control)
Telephone (hands-free via Bluetooth®, contacts, call management)
All these controls are grouped on a single screen for practicality. For greater ease of use, there are convenient shortcut keys on either side of the main screen.
‘Magic Wash’ is an innovation that integrates targeted washer jets into the ends of the wiper blades, delivering the optimum amount of fluid directly in front of the blade itself. This new feature maintains visibility during operation, prevents overspray and reduces screen wash consumption – and therefore the size and weight of the reservoir – by 50%.
For a more relaxed drive, a range of innovative aids are also available, including;
Park Assist, for automatic assistance when manoeuvring into a tight parallel parking space
A reversing camera, which displays the rear view and guide lines on the touchscreen
Hill Start Assist, to keep the car stationary when the brake pedal is released
Static cornering lights, to provide an additional beam of light to the inside of bends, improving visibility and safety at corners and junctions
Programmable speed limiter/cruise control, with up to six personalised speed settings
REDUCED COST OF OWNERSHIP
The New Citroën C4 Cactus shares the same platform as DS 3 (Platform1) and makes extensive use of the latest weight-saving materials, manufacturing processes and efficient design codes. The bonnet is aluminium, there are pop-out rear windows and a single-piece folding rear bench. Weighing from just 965kg, the model is 200kg lighter than an equivalent Citroën C4.
As a result, Citroën has been able to adopt smaller engines to improve efficiency, without compromising driveability. Combined with ultra-low rolling resistance tyres, the latest-generation PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines offer a responsive drive whilst delivering impressive combined fuel economy figures of up to 91.1mpg and CO2 emissions from just 82g/km.
The New Citroën C4 Cactus is offered with six efficient powertrains, four petrol – PureTech 75, PureTech 82, PureTech 82 S&S & PureTech 110 S&S – and two HDi diesels – e-HDi 92 & BlueHDi 100.
Engines are mated to either 5-speed manual or 5 or 6-speed ETG (Efficient Tronic Gearbox) transmissions.
All diesel models are sub-100g/km of CO2 and are eligible for free VED. There is even a VED-exempt petrol version – the PureTech 82 S&S ETG – which emits just 98g/km.
The weight-saving measures also reduce wear on other consumables, including tyres and brake pads.
Overall, the ‘design to value’ approach employed with C4 Cactus reduces running costs by around 20% compared with conventional models in the compact hatchback segment.
With its compact, efficient powertrains and well matched running gear, the Citroën C4 Cactus combines performance, comfort and driveability in a light-weight, easy-to-drive car.
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.