BUBBLE RAP (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Citroen's C4 Cactus may no longer look quite so distinctive but it's matured into a very complete product. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at what's on offer.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 56
Citroen has moved its C4 Cactus into the mainstream, this car being the French brand's core offering in the Focus and Astra-dominated family hatchback sector. To suit its more conservative segment, the styling's been dialled down a bit but there are uniquely comfortable seats and a clever suspension system to make this contender feel really Citroen-esque.
Backgroundword count: 186
It's rather refreshing this. We seem to be in an age where it seems that just about every kind of car has to be offered in some kind of 'SUV'-orientated guise. This one though, Citroen's C4 Cactus, has gone the other way. It was launched back in 2014 as a model that mainly took on small B-segment Juke and Captur-style SUVs and Crossovers - though Citroen maintained at the time that the car wasn't an SUV. Now, it really isn't. The brand has at last killed off its slow-selling conventional C4 hatchback and has moved the C4 Cactus range a little more into the mainstream to fill the gap created. As part of that evolution, a little of the original C4 Cactus aesthetic eccentricity has been lost - but then if you want that, the company hopes you'll consider their C3 Aircross model, which is aimed at those for who a C4 Cactus would once have been the preferred choice. Cactus customers now are people who would once have just signed up for yet another Focus, Golf or Astra, but now want something a little different.
Driving Experienceword count: 211
As far the dynamics of this C4 Cactus are concerned, the big news, appropriately enough for a Citroen, centres on the design of the suspension. The damping set-up fitted to the original version of this car was somewhat crude but that's certainly not the case any more, the brand having introduced a clever new 'Progressive Hydraulic Cushions' system that is supposed to absorb road imperfections for a magic carpet ride effect, without adversely affecting the car's handling. Petrol buyers now get the choice of two PureTech 1.2-litre three cylinder engines, selecting between the two turbocharged versions of this unit, these developing either 110 or 130bhp. The lower powered unit only comes with a manual gearbox and will get the C4 Cactus to 62mph in 9.3 seconds. The pokier 130hp engine comes with an EAT6 auto transmission. The base diesel alternative continues to be a 1.6-litre 100bhp BlueHDi variant, offered with five-speed manual transmission only. Or there's a 120hp version of this BlueHDi engine, offered only with an EAT6 auto gearbox. On the move, handling continues to be aided by the fact that this car remains extremely light, the three-cylinder petrol model weighing in at not much more than a tonne, which helps it get the most out of its modest engines.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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