Citroen say that their new Citroen 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. And it is priced to get the attention of Irish buyers, ranging from €17,995 for the petrol PureTech 75 bhp 'Touch' spec version with manual transmission, rising to €23,845 for the diesel Blue HDi 100 bhp Flair spec version.
Visually, the 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 discerning new car buyers these days.
The Citroen C4 Cactus heralds a new approach to automotive design, providing more styling/design, greater comfort, more useful technology as well as reduced cost of ownership.
Citroen claims that running costs are reduced by around 20 per cent compared to a typical C segment hatchback. And it promises impressive efficiency, with up to 3.1l/100km (or 91mpg ) ideal fuel economy and CO2 emissions from as low as 82g/km. This is partially explained by the fact that the Cactus is 200kg lighter than an equivalent Citroen C4. And remember, the weight-saving measures also reduce wear on other consumables, including tyres and brake pads.
As a result, Citroen has also been able to adopt smaller engines to improve efficiency, without compromising drivability. Combined with ultra-low rolling resistance tyres, the latest-generation PureTech petrol and BlueHDi diesel engines offer a responsive drive whilst delivering those impressive combined fuel economy figures.
The new C4 Cactus is offered with five efficient powertrains, three petrol - PureTech 75, PureTech 82 and PureTech 110 S&S - and two HDi diesels - e-HDi 92 and BlueHDi 100.
Engines are mated to either five-speed manual or five- or six-speed ETG (efficient tronic gearbox ) transmissions.
The unique Airbump technology provides style with substance to absorb minor impacts - basically, it provides the stand-out design feature that also absorbs minor impacts.
Unique to the new C4 Cactus and an instantly recognisable feature of the model, 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.
And the intuitive and innovative technology goes much further in the C4 Cactus - it includes a fully digital touch drive interface, roof-mounted airbag, and magic wash windscreen wipers.
The world’s first roof-mounted passenger airbag, it allows for more in-dash storage, and it also facilitates a panoramic glazed roof with advanced heat protection. A fully digital, intuitive interface with controls grouped around a seven-inch touchscreen is impressive in this segment.
The 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 seven-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, fuel-efficient routing ); driving aids (reversing camera, park assist, speed limiter/cruise control ); as well as telephone (hands-free via Bluetooth, contacts, call management ); and vehicle settings.
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.
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; and Citroen’s eTouch - the brand’s localised emergency and assistance call system.
And on the outside of the windscreen, the innovative magic wash wipers deliver washer fluid where it is most effective - directly in front of the blade itself, while reducing consumption and the reservoir size and weight by 50 per cent. This new feature maintains visibility during operation and prevents overspray.
Like me, you may be asking what is the typical buyer profile for a C4 Cactus? Citroen say that the new 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.
According to Citroen, 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 Citroen 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 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 their 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 available.
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 ).
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.
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.