Citroen C4 Cactus vs crossover rivals

Citroen’s bold C4 Cactus crossover has the sharp looks and value pricing to be a hit. Can it beat Peugeot and Dacia?

Citroen has been going through something of a renaissance of late. The introduction of the DS range saw a marked step up in quality that’s filtered down to the company’s standard models. Cars such as the recently launched C4 Picasso MPV also deliver edgy styling that helps Citroen to stand out from the crowd.

Now it’s time for another addition in the form of a new crossover: the C4 Cactus. This car combines innovative design with lightweight build and competitive prices – just like the legendary Citroen 2CV – and also adds efficient engines to the mix. It promises to offer family buyers something genuinely different.

To find out how the quirky Cactus compares to similarly priced rivals, we’ve lined up two models that challenge its value and style philosophies. The Peugeot 2008 is our current small crossover favourite, and we test the 1.6 e-HDi Allure model here. 

Citroen C4 Cactus

• Dacia Duster

Peugeot 2008

In contrast, the Dacia Duster offers bargain pricing and a rugged look that’s backed up by genuine off-road ability in 4x4 form. And in top-spec Laureate trim, it’s reasonably well equipped, too. So where does the new C4 Cactus fit? Is it a great value family car, or does it sacrifice practicality in the pursuit of radical design?

Head-to-head

Boot space

The C4 Cactus has a 358-litre boot, which is two litres down on the 2008, and 50 litres behind the Duster. The Citroen’s load lip is the same height as the Dacia’s, but the boot floor is a lot lower, and the tailgate opening is smaller, too. 

In addition, Citroen only offers a split-folding bench as an option. The Peugeot has the largest tailgate opening of this trio, while plastic runners in the boot floor help with loading large items.

Roof rails

All three cars have roof rails, while Dacia offers a £555 Touring Pack, which adds cross bars as well as a tow bar. Peugeot’s roof bars are £134, and there’s a wide variety of accessories to go on them. Feel and Flair versions of the C4 Cactus come with gloss black bars as standard, while a white finish is £50.

Efficiency

Citroen’s BlueHDi diesels deliver low emissions to keep running costs down. A CO2 output of 87g/km is 18g/km lower than the 2008’s, and 48g/km better than the Duster’s. The C4 Cactus is also 43g/km up on the 2WD Dacia, so it qualifies for free road tax and will have low company car costs.

Verdict

1st place: Citroen C4 Cactus

The new C4 Cactus is a quirky and welcome addition to the crossover sector. It has stand-out looks, a high-quality interior and is reasonably comfortable, but it’s not without fault. Rear space could be better, and the diesel favours efficiency over everyday usability, while a six-speed box needs to be added. But great value and a decent amount of standard kit secure its victory. 

2nd place: Peugeot 2008

The 2008 is still a classy and desirable crossover. It has reasonable boot space and shares the premium feel of the C4 Cactus, but the compromised dashboard and driving position count against it, while rear seat space is tight, too.

The biggest sticking point with the 2008 is that it’s slightly pricier to buy than the new Citroen, and will cost you more to run, too.

3rd place: Dacia Duster

There’s no shame in the Duster finishing in third place in this test. Its budget price tag and no-nonsense design and build provide charm by the bucketload, and if you want to carry five people and luggage, this is the car to go for.

It also has the bonus of four-wheel-drive versatility. However, running costs are on the high side.

Figures

 Citroen C4 Cactus BlueHDi 100 FlairPeugeot 2008 1.6 e-HDi (115) AllureDacia Duster 1.5 dCi Laureate 4x4
    
On the road price/total as tested£17,990/£20,425£18,045/£19,445£15,495/£15,495
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)TBC£8,275/45.9%£7,531/48.6%
DepreciationTBC£9,770£7,964
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£502/£1,004£612/£1,223£704/£1,409
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,413/£2,355£1,575/£2,625£2,016/£3,360
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/costTBC/TBC/A/£020/£234/B/£2010/£301/E/£130
Servicing costsTBC£16.99p/m (3y/30k)£489 (3yrs/36k)
    
Length/wheelbase4,157/2,595mm4,159/2,538mm4,315/2,673mm
Height/width1,480/1,729mm1,556/1,739mm1,630/1,822mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,560cc4cyl in-line/1,560cc4cyl in-line/1,461cc
Peak power/revs 99/3,750 bhp/rpm113/3,600 bhp/rpm108/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs 254/1,750 Nm/rpm270/1,750 Nm/rpm240/1,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission 5-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/4WD
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel45 litres/£7550 litres/space saver50 litres/repair kit
Boot capacity (seats up/down)358/1,170 litres360/1,172 litres408/1,570 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight825/385/1,225kg1,180/528/1,300kg1,294/458/1,500kg
Turning circle10.9 metres10.4 metres10.4 metres
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/1yr3yrs (60,000)/1yr3yrs (60,000)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers12,500 (1yr)/19620,000 (1yr)/30012,000 (1yr)/127
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.26th/27th*14th/26th*5th/N/A
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./starsN/A88/77/72/574/78/28/3
    
0-60/30-70mph11.3/10.6 secs9.8/10.1 secs11.6/12.1 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th5.1/10.6 secs3.8/5.2 secsN/A/5.0 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th13.3 secs/N/A7.4/10.2 secs7.0/10.8 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 114mph/N/A117mph/1,900rpm104mph/2,600rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 49.6/34.0/8.8m58.5/41.3/12.1m55.2/39.0/10.1m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph66/48/64/68dB71/66/62/69dB70/47/63/71dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range52.5/11.5/520 miles47.1/10.4/518 miles36.8/8.1/405 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 74.3/88.3/83.1mpg60.1/78.5/70.6mpg47.9/56.5/53.3mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 16.3/19.4/18.3mpl13.2/17.3/15.5mpl10.5/12.4/11.7mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket144/87g/km/14%161/105g/km/17%206/135g/km/23%
    
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/yes/yesSix/yes/yes/noFour/yes/£595/no
Auto box/stability/cruise controlNo/yes/yesNo/yes/yesNo/yes/yes
Climate ctrl/leather/heated seatsYes/£695/noYes/£750/£150No/£995/no
Met paint/tyre monitor/keyless go£495/yes/no£495/no/no£495/no/no
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/yes/yes/yes£400/yes/yes/yes£300/yes/no/yes

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