In-depth reviews

Citroën C4 Cactus hatchback (2014-2021) - Engines, drive & performance

The Citroen C4 Cactus is designed to be comfortable – something it does with aplomb

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.1 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.5 out of 5

Old Citroens such as the BX and the iconic 2CV and DS were set up to be comfortable first and foremost and Citroen has fitted the latest Cactus with special suspension designed to recreate those halcyon days. Called Progressive Hydraulic Cushion (PHC), it adds extra dampening at the top and bottom of the suspension travel for each wheel, so you’re less likely to feel a sharp thump if when you drive over a pothole or speed bump.

There’s an impressive sensation of floating from one corner to the next, yet the C4 Cactus still feels composed in sharp bends, despite plenty of body lean should you drive too vigorously. Even on the standard 17-inch alloy wheels, you get big tyres that have plenty of give and the large sofa seats are unique in the class.

It’s a welcome return to the relaxing, wafting cruisers that Citroen built its reputation on. We don’t mind too much that the Cactus leans a bit in corners because it’s still good fun to drive on a winding country lane. The steering is light, making round-town driving easy.

The ‘110’ petrol and ‘100’ diesel engines are paired to six-speed gearboxes, which are good to use. The unimpressive five-speed manual gearbox was withdrawn in the 2019 update due to RDE2-compliant emissions legislation, but it wasn’t particularly satisfying to use in any case. The six-speed automatic gearbox, available with 130-badged petrol and 120-badged diesel engines, is excellent – it changes gear quickly and doesn’t lurch when doing so. The only disappointment is the rather old-fashioned nature of the gear selector, although it does introduce a proper manually operated handbrake.

Citroen C4 Cactus petrol engines

All the engines are now RDE2-complaint and feel more than up to the job of moving the Cactus. The PureTech 110 has enough power to get the Cactus from 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds. Its performance also makes the Citroen more relaxing to drive. If you choose the EAT6 automatic gearbox, the 0-62mph time goes down to a brisk 8.6 seconds.

Diesel engines

The BlueHDi 100 diesel does 0-62mph in 10 seconds exactly and makes the car competent at overtaking on A-roads. Performance increases if you choose a diesel with the six-speed automatic gearbox, completing 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds.

Recommended

Citroën C4 Cactus hatchback review (2014-2021)
Citroen C4 Cactus
Citroën C4 Cactus
12 Mar 2021

Citroën C4 Cactus hatchback review (2014-2021)

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest
Jeep Cherokee SUV
15 Dec 2020

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023
2023 Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
9 Sep 2021

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks