Citroen C4 Cactus review

  • Bold new compact crossover combines style and practicality with stunning impact
  • 91mpg diesel, 110hp turbo petrol, innovative Airbump technology, cool design
  • £13,000 – £18,000 (approx. TBC) | On sale in the UK October 2014

CJ Hubbard | June 2014

When was the last time you actually saw some genuinely innovative car design? Ok, so the new Citroen C4 Cactus has the same number of doors on both sides, and none of them open backwards or upwards. But as an object that is quite obviously also a practical motorcar, the C4 Cactus is enormously distinctive.

It is, on a base level, Citroen’s response to the burgeoning compact crossover segment – an alternative choice to the likes of the Vauxhall Mokka, Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, Nissan Juke and Kia Soul. Yet nothing on the road looks anything like this car. It is disarmingly singular yet charming and devoid of aggression. A smooth, soothing shape, it suits its bold colour palette well.

The design is at once simple and sophisticated, not least because the contrast colour areas – most notably the panels on the doors, but also significant sections of the bumpers – are actually theoretically functional. They contain the unique C4 Cactus “Airbumps”, flexible thermoplastic pockets of air that are intended to absorb and repel attacks from shopping trolleys and the like. You won’t get this automotive bubblewrap anywhere else.

Couple all this excitement to a spacious, modern interior that shuns the predictable without sacrificing the practical, not to mention a lightweight structure and an efficient range of engines, and you’ve got a car that could genuinely make waves. This is Citroen at its brilliantly off-the-wall best.