What's the used Citroën C4 Cactus hatchback like?
Once upon a time, it would have been unthinkable for a Citroën to have been anything but a style leader. But the firm went through a long period of hardship, and one of the casualties of that was its avant-garde, and potentially off-putting, design language.
However, a brace of Picasso-dubbed MPVs hinted at a potential rethink to this remit, and when the C4 Cactus appeared in 2014, it truly heralded the return of design flair to the French brand's cars.
This quirky five-door hatchback is the firm’s take on the fashionable small SUV, with eye-catching rubberised Airbumps along the side and vivid and contrasting colour options to match. At heart, it’s a practical little family car that's based on the platform of the smaller Citroën C3.
Underneath the unusual styling is a range of frugal petrol and diesel engines, with many dipping below the 100g/km of CO2 emissions level. We prefer the petrol options for their refinement, especially the three-cylinder 1.2 Puretech 110, which adds a turbocharger for more sprightly performance. On the road, the C4 Cactus is set up to be on the soft side, with a comfortable ride (most of the time) and secure handling, despite quite a lot of body roll in the corners.
There’s a wide choice of trims, too: Touch, Feel, Flair, Flair Edition and Onetone. Every model gets a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen, as well as a DAB radio, electric front windows and cruise control. You have to step up to Feel trim to get air conditioning and Bluetooth, so that’s what we would look for.
A facelift in 2018 reduced the range to Feel and Flair and dropped the least powerful 82bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine in favour of the turbocharged 1.2 Puretech 110. You can also spot a facelifted Cactus by its lower-down Airbumps and different rear-end styling.
When new, the Cactus's purchase price undercuts many similarly sized rivals', and viewed as a used buy it now looks like a surprisingly sensible choice.