Citroen C4 Cac­tus

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

THIS week’s test car is some­thing spe­cial... Top Gear mag­a­zine’s hatch­back of the year for 2014 and a mo­tor that re­ally stands out from the crowd.

Like it or not the Citroen C4 Cac­tus ticks my most im­por­tant box as I hate cars that all look the same. Leave this mo­tor parked on the street and it is sure to get lots of glances.

And boy is it dif­fer­ent… from the ‘Air­bump’ (ther­mo­plas­tic polyurethane) plas­tic pan­els stuck to the doors and bumpers (which Citroen say com­bine ‘style and prac­ti­cal­ity’ as they ab­sorb mi­nor knocks and bumps with no dam­age) to the wide ‘sofa’ front seats, squared-off steer­ing wheel and ‘lug­gage style’ in­side door han­dles.

The speedo looks like a big 1970s dig­i­tal watch and ev­ery pri­mary func­tion of the car is con­trolled by a 7in, centrally-mounted touch­screen, while the glove­box re­sem­bles a big designer hand­bag – this is a car that could only have come from Citroen.

It’s all a bit bonkers, but it all sort of works, and af­ter a week of driv­ing my prickly friend around I had be­come a fan.

Es­pe­cially when I saw the mpg fig­ures from its 1560cc turbo-diesel en­gine – more than 88mpg on a long run and 74 around town (av­er­age 80.7). The 0 to 62 time is a re­spectable 10.7 sec­onds and top speed is 114.

And then there is the price, from £12,990 for the PureTech 75 man­ual, with a very re­spectable level of stan­dard equip­ment across the range. There are three trim lev­els, Touch, Feel and Flair and a choice of three petrol en­gines (74, 81 and 109bhp) plus a 91bhp diesel unit and the 99bhp Blue­HDi in our test car – but there is no six-speed gear­box.

Citroen says the Cac­tus is ‘a real al­ter­na­tive to the tra­di­tional com­pact hatch­back’. It cer­tainly gets you no­ticed too.

●● The Citroen C4 Cac­tus is def­i­nitely dif­fer­ent

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