In-depth reviews

Citroen C4 Cactus review - Reliability and Safety

Citroen reliability appears to be improving, but the C4 Cactus only has a four-star rating in Euro NCAP crash tests

Citroen’s vision for the C4 Cactus was to remove anything that wasn’t entirely necessary; by offering pop-out rear windows, fewer buttons on the dash and no adjustability for the gearbox, steering and engine mapping, the company felt there was less that could go wrong.

Even so, the crossover offers most of the kit you’d expect from a thoroughly modern family car. Automated parking, a reversing camera, hill start assist, six airbags, tyre pressure monitors and cruise control all feature, so there’s still scope for gremlins to take hold. 

While the C4 Cactus is still a relatively new model, it shares a lot of running gear with other Citroens. It sits on an extended version of the platform that underpins the Citroen C3 supermini and the upmarket DS 3 hatchback, while the standard touchscreen is similar to the one found in the 308 hatch from sister brand Peugeot.

The petrol engines are used across the Citroen range, and the 1.5 BlueHDi is a unit that's being added to a wide range of models, so will have been extensively tested to ensure its reliability. 

The company has been trying hard to shake off its reputation for poor build quality and patchy reliability, but the C4 Cactus finished third from bottom in our Driver Power 2017 satisfaction survey. Similarly, Citroen finished second to last on the list of best manufacturers, with only Dacia finishing below the French brand.

One byproduct of cutting 200kg from the kerbweight compared to the C4 hatch is that consumables such as the brake pads and tyres should function better for longer.

Unfortunately, by producing a simpler car, Citroen has achieved a disappointing result in Euro NCAP crash tests. The C4 Cactus scored only four out of five stars in the independent assessments, with a low rating in the safety assist category

Still, the rest of the Citroen’s standard safety kit is well up to the class benchmark, and includes six airbags, stability control and cruise control with a programmable speed limiter.

Warranty

The C4 Cactus comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty. This isn’t much to shout about when Kia offers a seven-year/100,000-mile package, while the likes of Hyundai and Toyota provide five years’ cover with their new cars.

Servicing

Citroen servicing is usually pretty cost-effective, and the C4 Cactus shouldn’t prove an exception being based on the firm’s supermini underneath. Dealers offer interest-free payment plans, too, so you can get two or three years’ worth of maintenance with fixed monthly instalments. 

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Flair 5dr [6 Speed]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £21,525

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.2 PureTech Flair 5dr [6 Speed]
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £21,525

Fastest

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

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