ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS DRIVES THE NEW CITROEN C4 CACTUS
The first Citroen took to the road way back in 1919, just after the First World War had ended and for motorists, even then, it was different from the mainstream, something which the French car maker has held on to and what makes the brand stand out from its competitors.
There was a period when Citroens did venture into mainstream, a mistake, thankfully over recent years we have cars which are true to the company’s aim, cars which are different in many respects. The latest offering is the second generation C4 Cactus, the first Cactus appeared in 2014, and the latest edition scores well in many key areas and is set to be a strong contender in the busy C- segment.
One thing of note regarding Citroen, customers are key to what they do and the end result is a car which should appeal to an even bigger audience. Should you take a moment to look back at the history of Citroen, one aspect is comfort and with the C4 Cactus this is something the designers and engineers have majored in and the end result is
one of the most comfortable cars in class.
They speak of a flying carpet effect and on the recent press launch this was demonstrated to good effect over a route which was riddled with potholes, in fact I learned that Citroen had gone out of their way to find such routes, a brave move indeed.
Believe it or not, a certain driver by the name of Kris Meeke may have played a part in delivering the suspension set up used in the newcomer. The suspension geared for max comfort came as a result of similar systems proven in the World Rally Championship and Rally Raid events. Perhaps motorsport does after all pay its way.
However comfort depends on other facts, for example advanced comfort seats have been devolved for their new car, this yet another example of the quest to deliver higher comfort levels for all who travel in the new C4 Cactus.
The exterior styling is certainly eye catching, a chunky purposeful appearance, a strong front end and much sleeker air bumps, which may not provide the same protection as on the first generation model, but they do look so much better. In fact as regards the exterior it is a ninety percent change over the previous model.
I must applaud Citroen for giving their new offering such an attractive interior, with a choice of four different designs and by the way no less than thirty one exterior combinations are offered, so you can have your very own special Cactus.
No modern car can survive if it does not give the driver and occupants the opportunity to keep in contact with what is happening in the world around, so this Citroen gets a full connectivity package with a seven inch touch screen.
For having such compact exterior dimensions space inside is surprising and boot space is more than adequate at 358 litres. In order to provide more than adequate customer choice, three trim levels, Feel, Feel Edition and Flair and when it comes to power units, four petrol and one diesel.
My how times have changed, I can recall when Citroen announced a new model, diesel engines would have ruled, not so any more.
My brief launch time allowed me to try two engine variants, both petrol; with 110 and 130bhp power outputs and both cars had manual transmissions, a five speeder in the lower powered variant and a six speeder in the more powerful. No complaints re the transmissions and of course an automatic transmission is available.
Prices, £17,265 (€19,666) allows entry to the world of the new C4 Cactus and prices peak at £20,895 (€23,800). N.I. In the R.O.I. the Cactus starts at €18,020
The newcomer is much more than a face lift; it is a refreshing new chapter for the Cactus, an all together very pleasant driving experience.