The Citroen C4 Cactus caused shockwaves when it was first released in the UK in 2014. A compact crossover that competes with the likes of the Nissan Juke and the Skoda Yeti, the Cactus features one of the most unique designs on the market. With its plastic, anti-prang air bumps, raised ride height, and spacious interior, the Cactus ticks all the practicality boxes.
It’s not as fun to drive as it looks, but it’s pretty comfortable, which is more important for family buyers. And with an impressive safety record, decent standard kit, and low purchase price, there’s little wonder why the C4 Cactus has proved to be so popular in the UK. It really is the class-leading compact crossover.
Contemporary design and solid build quality.
When a car looks as striking as the Cactus does on the outside, you would expect an interior to match. The Cactus doesn’t disappoint. Practicality is also pretty impressive, whilst equipment is generous across the range.
Stepping inside the C4 Cactus is like stepping into the future. Citroen has obviously spent a lot of time thinking about the Cactus’ interior. Not only does it look modern, it’s also simple and ergonomic. Most of the controls are filtered through a central mounted touchscreen, which does have its positives and negatives. They’re simple to use, but trying to adjust the heating on the move can be a bit of a pain. Material quality is excellent throughout however. Soft-touch materials adorn almost every area, and the C4 Cactus feels like a much more premium product than its price suggests.
Practicality is obviously of significant importance in a compact crossover SUV. In terms of space alone, the Cactus impresses. There’s enough headroom and legroom in the back, even for tall adults, but the lack of retractable windows can sometimes feel claustrophobic. The 358 litre boot capacity is practical enough though, with more than enough room for a big family shop. It’s marginally bigger than the Nissan Juke’s as well.
Equipment levels in the C4 Cactus are generous no matter which trim you go for. The entry-level Touch trim still comes equipped with a 7” touchscreen, as well electric front windows, DAB, and cruise control. Mid-range Feel trim adds air-con and Bluetooth, whilst range-topping Flair trim adds luxuries such as sat-nav, and a reversing camera.
All in all the interior of the C4 Cactus is a well-thought out package. Its futuristic cabin, high-class materials, decent boot space, and generous equipment make an almost complete package. Some buyers won’t like the pop-out rear windows however.
On The Road
A decent all-rounder.
The C4 Cactus certainly looks like a lot of fun from the outside, but is it just as fun behind the wheel? Unfortunately it’s not. That’s not to say it’s a bad car to drive, but it doesn’t have the same flair in its handling as it does in its design. Steering is precise and responsive, particularly at lower speeds, though it feels less confident once you’re at the national speed limit. There’s a bit of body roll as well on winding country lanes, but generally speaking the C4 Cactus is a simple and easy car to drive.
Suspension and Chassis
When it comes to comfort and refinement, the C4 Cactus performs pretty well. Compact crossovers are never the most refined cars on the road, but the Cactus is one of the best in its class. The soft suspension setup means it easily handles city centre road imperfections, though it is still a little harsh when you encounter a nasty pothole at speed. The C4 Cactus is however one of the quietest compact crossovers. Road and wind noise are kept to a minimum, even at motorway speed, making it an impressive long-distance cruiser.
Gearbox options in the Cactus come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a 5-speed manual transmission. It’s not the most impressive, with many reviewers suggesting it’s the Cactus’ one major flaw. It could be sharper that’s for sure, whilst the lack of sixth gear is a downside if you plan on doing a lot of miles out of town. There’s also an ETG automatic manual available, though you’ll have to adjust your driving style if you want to avoid noise and jerkiness.
Two impressive petrols, and a super-efficient diesel.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your C4 Cactus, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The two petrols are best-suited to town driving, whilst the diesel (though noisy at times) is an exceptional option for mile munchers.
Petrolheads don’t usually fall in love with funky crossovers, and they’re not going to be swayed by the C4 Cactus either. If you are interested in power output, the most powerful engine in the range is the more powerful 1.2 PureTech (110) petrol engine. It produces 110bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds. It won’t warm the cockles of wannabe racers, but it’s definitely the pick of the engines if you want to get from A-B quickly.
More and more family buyers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious. Thankfully, the C4 Cactus is one of the greenest cars on the road. The most impressive engine in the range in terms of green credentials is the diesel-powered 1.6 BlueHDi, which emits just 89g/km of CO2. That’s low enough to be road tax exempt, whilst it’s also a great option for company car buyers. This model also happens to be the best option for money-savers. With up to 83.1mpg on offer, you can save yourself plenty of money each week at the fuel pumps.
Whichever engine you go for in your C4 Cactus you’re unlikely to be disappointed. All of the engines have enough punch to get you around town. If you plan on doing a lot of miles, go for the diesel, but otherwise the more powerful petrol is the one to go for.
Four star NCAP safety rating is disappointing, but impressive safety kit.
Unlike a lot of its rivals, the Citroen C4 Cactus failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. The 4-stars that it did achieve is decent enough, but some family buyers will expect more. Despite this, the scores of 82% in adult safety, 79% in child safety, and 80% are impressive, but the Cactus is let down by its poor 56% safety assist score.
Standard safety kit will please a lot of buyers however. For a car with a purchase cost as low as the Cactus’, you get plenty for your money. Even entry-level models come with six airbags (including an innovative roof-mounted airbag), stability control, and a tyre-pressure monitoring system.
Value for money
Excellent value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation.
The Citroen C4 Cactus represent incredibly good value for money for family buyers. Cost do vary between model to model, but no Cactus will cost a lot to run day-to-day. The diesel model offers the best fuel efficiency, as well as a zero road tax bill. But even the least efficient 1.2 petrol engine will only cost £20 in road tax, as well as achieving over 60mpg. No matter which model you go for, you’re going to be impressed with how little the Cactus costs to run.
Insurance groups for the Cactus again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 7 for the 1.2 PureTech (82bhp) Feel 5d ETG, and climbs up towards group 19 for the range-topping 1.6 BlueHDi Flair Edition. All models in the range compare well with the Cactus’ closest rivals.
Depreciation is a large factor with the almost all new cars, but this is only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40% with the C4 Cactus, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Citroen C4 Cactus is without doubt the most complete compact crossover on the market. The Juke might have been the reigning champion in recent years, but it’s most definitely been knocked off its perch. The C4 Cactus combines unique funky styling, impressive practicality, and low running costs to make an ideal family package. It’s not especially fun to drive, but it really is a minor negative. The C4 Cactus is the best car in its class.
Buying a used Citroen C4 Cactus online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Citroen C4 Cactus for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used C4 Cactus. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Citroen C4 Cactus online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Citroen? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Citroen C4 Cactus, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used C4 Cactus, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Citroen to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.