The new 2015 Citroen C4 Cactus, (nicknamed C.C.C) made its debut right in the sweltering heat of the Renault Captur and Ford EcoSport release – but the Cactus is a slight of more beastly elegance.
Its stealthy aerodynamics is a Kodak moment, captivated by the tortoise shell looking thermoplastic polyurethane Airbumps skirted on the driver and passenger doors, a design distinction sure to become lionized amongst our road going public. The Airbumps protect the pearlescent white paintwork from irritating little dents and paint chips left by door slinging anarchists. This is the same quality polyurethane material inserted on the inside door panels and inlay of the centre console. The cabin architecture is eccentric with a classic use of vintage material on the ultra-comfortable seats, a modified floating dashboard, (airbags are located in the roofline behind the sun visor), and black piano accents on the air vents – with the climate control dials nowhere to be found. Well, that is until you open the in car infotainment system on the 7” touch screen, and this is where you will find all the Sat-Nav, climate control, Bluetooth and USB/AUX functions. Not having immediate access to any climate control buttons or dials is an oversight, like the omitted auto up/down function on the electric windows and (instead of electric windows) – pop-out windows in the rear. Undeniably comfortable and spacious – the rear seat is literally a sofa-style single bench. Sure to become a trademark of the Cactus is the flat bottom and flat top steering wheel.
Behind that, is a funky digital flat screen speedometer with a piece of the puzzle missing rev-counter or tachometer, which is weird but forgivable – forgivable? Because the 81kw, 1.2L, 3-cyclinder PureTech Turbocharged engine is a pure mark of French engineering and hits every high note in sheer Celine Dion M.O.
With the two front twins eagerly awaiting their delivery of 205nm of torque, all thanks to a 5-speed manual gearbox – helping the Cactus achieve a top speed of 188km/h and although this is fastueux, a sixth gear would further elevate the Cactus’s surreal open road cruising style. Not to harp on this point, the gearshift feels weighted, yet you’re not going to need target practice finding the gates. Overall, the Cactus’s driving dynamics, handling/cornering, power delivery is a synaptic cascade that the most average of drivers can enjoy a rally car kind of experience.
Penned just under the psychodrama R300 000 mark at R284 900 – which in reality is a price that will get you driving a Cactus and not sitting on one.