Small SUV of the Year 2017: Citroen C4 Cactus
The Citroen C4 Cactus is the 2017 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the Dacia Duster and Peugeot 2008 commended
Instead of playing it safe with the design of its small SUV, Citroen took a gamble with the C4 Cactus, and it paid off. It entered a crowded market in 2014 with a car offering quirky looks and a sense of fun missing from so many rivals, and in our view the model is still the best small SUV you can buy today.
Citroen has resisted the temptation to give the C4 Cactus a hard ride in a bid to make it feel sporty, and while none of its rivals is likely to set your hair on fire in corners, none is as comfortable as the Citroen on rough British roads, either. These features give the car a genuine link to classic Citroens, and as with those iconic models the Cactus offers plenty of individuality and comfort at an affordable price.
But it doesn’t just look back – the range of small-capacity engines, the funky interior and the lightweight design are evidence of Citroen’s forward thinking as well. The Airbumps on the sides of the car are a cool design feature, but they also have a practical purpose, protecting the paint on the doors from dings in car parks.
With a line-up of economical and punchy three-cylinder PureTech petrol engines, the Cactus is an efficient car to run, while Citroen offers diesel variants, too. That’s key for those owners covering longer journeys, because the most efficient version claims 91.1mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 82g/km.
Every version of the C4 Cactus comes generously equipped, with a seven-inch touchscreen and DAB radio featuring as standard. The interior design is also much more interesting than many of its rivals’, and uses relatively high-quality materials. This is a small car but it feels airy inside, and there’s actually plenty of room in the back as well.
In addition, the 358-litre boot capacity means the Cactus is competitive on luggage space despite being one of the more compact small SUVs on sale.
Citroen C4 Cactus PureTech 110 S&S manual Feel (£17,205)
Our pick of the C4 Cactus range is the 108bhp three-cylinder petrol turbo. The engine is fun to use, with a tuneful thrum and enough go. It’s also economical, claiming 65.7mpg economy and emitting 100g/km of CO2. Feel trim brings split-folding rear seats, as well as air-conditioning, Bluetooth and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard.
The Dacia Duster has been one of our favourite SUVs since it launched in 2012, and, thanks to its bargain price, remains a top pick. As the cost of small SUVs continues to rise, the Duster looks better value than ever. It’s spacious, rugged and comfortable, and allows buyers to get their hands on an affordable new SUV.
The 2008 is stylish, cheap to run and has lots of kit, while the practical interior and solid engine range cement its position among our favourite small SUVs. Clever Grip Control tech means it can handle off-roading without needing a heavy 4x4 system, which helps the engine return decent economy. A stylish cabin completes a well rounded car.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2017
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK right now? The 2017 Auto Express New Car Awards reveal all...
- 2Car of the Year 2017The Auto Express Car of the Year for 2017 is the Land Rover Discovery
- 3City Car of the Year 2017The Volkswagen up! is the 2017 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the Year 2017The SEAT Ibiza is the 2017 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Citroen C3 and Skoda Fabia commended
- 5Compact Family Car of the Year 2017The Volkswagen Golf is the 2017 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Octavia and Vauxhall Astra commended
- 6Family Car of the Year 2017The Skoda Superb is the 2017 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Toyota Prius and Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport commended
- 7Estate Car of the Year 2017The Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2017 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Skoda Superb Estate commended
- 8MPV of the Year 2017The Citroen Grand Grand C4 Picasso is the 2017 Auto Express MPV of the Year, with the Renault Grand Scenic and SEAT Alhambra commended
- 9Small SUV of the Year 2017 - currently readingThe Citroen C4 Cactus is the 2017 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the Dacia Duster and Peugeot 2008 commended
- 10Mid-size SUV of the Year 2017The Peugeot 3008 is the 2017 Auto Express Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Mazda CX-5 and SEAT Ateca commended
- 11Large SUV of the Year 2017The Skoda Kodiaq is the 2017 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento commended
- 12Premium SUV of the Year 2017The Volvo XC60 is the 2017 Auto Express Premium SUV of the Year, with the Jaguar F-Pace and Mercedes GLC commended
- 13Large Premium SUV of the Year 2017The Land Rover Discovery is the 2017 Auto Express Large Premium SUV of the Year, with the Tesla Model X and Volvo XC90 commended
- 14Pick-up of the Year 2017The Mitsubishi L200 is the 2017 Auto Express Pick-up of the Year, with the Fiat Fullback and Nissan Navara commended
- 15Hot Hatch of the Year 2017The Honda Civic Type R is the 2017 Auto Express Hot Hatch of the Year, with the Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf GTI commended
- 16Convertible of the Year 2017The Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet is the 2017 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and MINI Convertible commended
- 17Coupe of the Year 2017The Audi A5 is the 2017 Auto Express Coupe of the Year, with the Audi TT and Porsche 718 Cayman commended
- 18Roadster of the Year 2017The Mazda MX-5 RF is the 2017 Auto Express Roadster of the Year, with the Fiat 124 Spider and Porsche 718 Boxster commended
- 19Performance Car of the Year 2017The Porsche 911 GT3 is the 2017 Auto Express Performance Car of the Year, with the Ferrari 488 GTB and McLaren 720S commended
- 20Compact Executive Car of the Year 2017The Jaguar XE is the 2017 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and BMW 3 Series commended
- 21Executive Car of the Year 2017The BMW 5 Series is the 2017 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Tesla Model S commended
- 22Luxury Car of the Year 2017The Mercedes S-Class is the 2017 Auto Express Luxury Car of the Year, with the Bentley Mulsanne and Porsche Panamera commended
- 23Van of the Year 2017The Volkswagen Crafter is the 2017 Auto Express Van of the Year, with the Ford Transit and Peugeot Expert commended
- 24Electric car of the Year 2017The BMW i3 is the 2017 Auto Express Electric Car of the Year, with the Renault ZOE and Tesla Model S commended
- 25Technology Award 2017BMW wins the Auto Express 2017 Technology Award with its range of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles and semi-autonomous systems
- 26Car Advertising Campaign of the Year 2017Skoda's 'Driven by Something Different' advert for the new Kodiaq has won the 2017 integrated advertising campaign award
- 27Social Media Campaign of the Year 2017BMW's 'Genius - Live' has won the 2017 Social Media Campaign of the Year
- 28Design Award 2017We asked you what your favourite car design is for 2017, and the Jaguar I-Pace Concept has taken the crown
- 29Driver Power Award 2017Lexus scoops the 2017 Driver Power Award after taking the customer satisfaction survey by storm this year