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In-depth reviews

Citroen C4 Cactus review - Engines, performance and drive

There aren’t many engine choices, but they do the job. The smooth ride is excellent

On the road, the C4 Cactus is a relaxing cruiser. The new clever suspension tech means that the car wafts over all manner of road surfaces. It’s a far more comfortable car because of it. The trade off for this is that the C4 Cactus does generate pronounced roll through the corners, and there’s more pitch and dive under acceleration and braking than in its rivals.

There’s decent grip though, so while not conventionally sporty to drive, it remains enjoyable. Improvements in sound insulation, combined with that ride, means that the Cactus is an accomplished motorway cruiser, too.

The manual gearbox was a let-down in earlier Cactus models, but the facelift has brought a noticeable improvement. It’s still not the sweetest shifting car, but much of the old car’s sloppy, vague feel has gone.

The ratios, however, remain quite widely spaced, so you have to do quite a lot of forward planning to avoid finding yourself in the wrong gear at the wrong time. This can take some hard work from the engines, which in the diesel models results in a slightly unpleasant gruff sound. However, the C4 Cactus has sharp brakes, and stops well – again, helped by the the Citroen’s low weight.

Engines

The C4 Cactus is offered with a pair of small-capacity petrol and diesel engines, with the diesels catered for by the recently introduced four-cylinder 1.5 BlueHDi. It comes in 100hp and 120hp auto guises, and both provide reasonable performance thanks to the C4 Cactus’ low kerbweight. Citroen claims 0-62mph times of 10.0 and 8.7 seconds respectively.

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For petrol power, you have the 1.2 PureTech three-cylinder turbo unit. It comes in 100hp and 130hp guises, which have 0-62mph times of 9.2 and 8.1 seconds respectively. Adding the EAT6 auto to the 110hp engine has no effect on the 0-62mph time.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Flair 5dr [6 Speed]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,835

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Flair 5dr [6 Speed]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £20,835

Fastest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech 130 Flair EAT6 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £22,635
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