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New C4 Cactus - a huge improvement

Created on 15/03/2018 @ 19:15

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

Citroen has unveiled an impressive new player in the C-Segment hatchback division - and believe me C4 Cactus is a huge improvement on the previous model which did nothing to get my taste buds going.

Majoring on comfort and personality the new C4 Cactus is now available in the UK with a lengthy list of exterior and interior styling, engineering, technology and connectivity updates featuring two core trim levels.

If like me you weren’t impressed with the “plastic” side-panel finish on the outgoing model you’ll be delighted to hear it’s been dispatched to the Citroen design bin and is nowhere to be seen on the new Feel and Flair trim levels revealed this week.

Prices start at £17,265 and rise to £20,895 for the top of the range option and you will be staggered by the level of ride comfort with C4 Cactus benefitting from the European premier of Citroen’s brand new suspension system with progressive hydraulic cushions and easily the most comfortable seating in the sector.

The new suspension system is a European first for Citroen, improving the ride comfort without having any effect on handling, while support and height adjustable seats are given the full Citroen treatment for additional comfort. Improved sound conditioning is also very evident.

Building on previous successes the new model boasts an extended range of external personalisation options, with nine body colours – including a new Emerald Blue metallic paint and four colour packs, giving a total of 31 possible combinations. 

And you can’t help but be impressed with the range of technologies and engines with 12 driver assistance systems now on offer, including Active Safety Brake, Grip Control and Lane Departure Warning.

There are also three connectivity technologies; Citroën Connect Nav, Citroën Connect Box with the brand’s Emergency & Assistance system and Mirror Screen functionality.

All the segment-essential technologies are packed in with driving assistance systems such as: Active Safety Brake; Speed Limit Recognition and Recommendation; Lane Departure Warning System;  Coffee Break Alert (a first for me); Driver Attention Alert Blind Spot Monitoring;  Park Assist; Reversing Camera; Hill Start Assist; Front Fog Lights with Cornering Function; Keyless Entry and Start and Grip Control.

The Citroen cabin is an area of acquired taste but there’s no doubting how much room there is up front or for the averaged sized rear-seat passengers.

Up-front the dashboard is dominated by a 7-inch touchscreen which groups together all of the key vehicle functions, such as air conditioning, radio, telephone and a very clear sat-nav system.

New C4 Cactus range is available with three 3-cylinder PureTech petrol engines and the highly efficient BlueHDi 100 S&S diesel, as well as the latest generation EAT6 fully automatic gearbox.

Citroen expect the 110 Bluetech to be the best seller. They say manual will be the preferred option but I would advise testing the automatic version too if you are looking for comfort and easy motoring. The automatic on test was a pure joy.

The 3-cylinder transverse 1200 engine produced a top speed of 117mph and 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds, has a claimed combined fuel figure of 61.4mpg and produced C02 emissions of only 105g/km – impressive in any class.

The test car came with cruise control and speed limiter, gear efficiency indicator, ice alert, child locking doors, deadlocks, immobiliser, alarm, steering wheel controls, city camera pack and LED front and rear interior reading lights.

The basic price of the test model was £21,165 and while extras pushed the bill up to just over £23,000 this is a car which really does stand out in any company and has just improved its appeal amongst C-Segment buyers.

There are three “Feel” and four “Free” options available in both manual and automatic alternatives but I tend to agree with the Citroen suits that the 110 will be the popular choice.

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