Citroen C4 Cactus
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