Citroën C4 Cactus hatchback - Interior & comfort
Even some cheap-feeling plastics can’t dent our love for the stylish interior design of the Citroen C4 Cactus
As it's a family car, there’s no need for the Citroen C4 Cactus to be particularly fast or handle like a sports car. It offers a comfortable ride and does an impressive job of ironing out lumps in the road.
One feature that’s missing from the Cactus is fully opening rear windows, which have been ditched in favour of pop-out ones. They make the car lighter and cheaper to build, but restrict the amount of fresh air that can get into the back. On the plus side, they're less likely to be fiddled with by children on long journeys and have allowed Citroen to insert handy storage pockets in the doors.
Citroen C4 Cactus dashboard
We’re happy to forgive the cheap plastics used in some parts of the Cactus interior, because it offers genuine style that’s absent from most models in this price bracket. Simplicity is key, characterised by the grab straps on the doors and the storage space on top of the dashboard.
Buyers now only get the choice of one interior colour scheme, rather than a range of dashboard colours. There are some lighter surfaces, but it’s grey everywhere you look and we’d like a little extra chrome splashed around - on the steering wheel, for instance. The seven-inch colour display and digital instrument cluster gives the C4 Cactus a minimalist look, and using the touchscreen to adjust the climate control means that conventional buttons are only used for primary functions (such as operating the electric windows).
Citroen reduced the UK model range to just the one trim level in 2020 because of the demand for the top-of-the-range Flair model. Not only do you get a seven-inch display with Bluetooth, DAB digital radio, sat nav with live traffic updates, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the Flair trim also packs in a reversing camera, parking sensors all-round, keyless entry and start, cornering front fog lights, cruise control and auto lights and wipers.
An optional fixed panoramic sunroof always brightens any car interior and this costs £500, while some might see a spacesaver spare wheel as a necessity at £100.
The C4 Cactus is surprisingly well equipped, even if it's not the last word in hi-tech features. It looks the part inside with a seven-inch main screen and a small one in place of the instrument cluster. It's actually quite frustrating to use, though – it's not very responsive and is slow to respond to inputs. We’d much prefer physical buttons to control the heating and air-con, too. Perhaps more impressive is the amount of active safety technology on this car.
There are some touch-sensitive buttons around the outside, but even these sometimes need a good prod to work. If you're scrolling through menus or zooming on the sat nav, it can be very sluggish to respond, as well.
However, the sat-nav system is quick to come up with routes, even if it takes a while to input your destination. Instructions are pretty clear and will be even more useful on the top of the range Flair model with its TomTom Live traffic updates.