2015 Carbuyer Car of the Year - Citroen C4 Cactus

See why the Citroen C4 Cactus was awarded the 2015 Carbuyer Car Of The Year

  • Price when new: £12,990 - £20,495 (2016); £22,535 - £23,315 (2020)
  • Price now: £5,500 - £23,500

What we said at the time: “The Citroen C4 Cactus’s quirky style and its Airbump rubber panels stand out, plus it’s been set up with comfort in mind and it’s extremely economical, with a return of more than 60mpg for the petrol engine.”

There’s nothing wrong with blending in but Citroen decided its C4 Cactus would come with a couple of utterly unique styling touches. Most notable were the new Airbumps fitted on the sides and corners. Effectively like covering your car in bubble wrap, the Airbumps were designed to stop trolley dings and car park scuffs from damaging the bodywork. The Cactus was essentially a rival to the Renault Megane and Skoda Octavia, but the wheel arch cladding and roof rails gave it an SUV-like appearance. Perhaps a little ahead of its time, the Cactus is a similar concept to the Kia XCeed and Ford Focus Active, while the split headlight design has influenced all Citroens launched since - and cars from other brands. The interior was an exercise in simplicity and practicality; most controls were migrated to a floating touchscreen and there’s a cowl-less digital speedometer. Moving the passenger airbag to the roof allowed a huge glovebox - designed to look like a suitcase - while the boot isn’t far behind a Golf or Leon. The Cactus is around 200kg lighter than the C4 it was based on, so it’s pretty nippy and economical too.

According to the NEDC emissions test, you could expect 60mpg from the 1.2-litre petrol engine, which came in 81bhp naturally aspirated and 108bhp turbocharged versions. Around 50mpg was more realistic, while a 99bhp diesel engine was even more frugal - 83mpg was claimed, and VED costs nothing for cars registered before April 2017. The entry-level Touch version got cruise control and LED headlights; Feel added roof bars, Bluetooth, split-folding rear seats and air con. Most buyers went straight to Flair (the only trim Citroen now offers), with its auto lights and wipers, reversing camera and sat nav.

We’d recommend a pre-facelift car (the styling’s more characterful) with a 108bhp petrol engine but we’ve also seen huge discounts of up to £8,000 on brand-new models - and you can’t get many new family cars for £15,000.

Check out great deals on used Citroen C4 Cactus models on Buyacar.

Our other winners in 2015:

Best City CarHyundai i10
Best First CarSkoda Citigo
Best Small CarVolkswagen Polo
Best Luxury Small CarAudi A3
Best Hot HatchbackFord Fiesta ST
Best Family CarSEAT Leon
Best Estate CarPeugeot 308 SW
Best Economical CarCitroen C4 Cactus
Best Car That's Cheap To InsureHyundai i10
Best Road Tax-Exempt CarSkoda Octavia Estate
Best Diesel CarBMW 3 Series
Best Winter CarMazda CX-5
Best SUV and 4x4Nissan Qashqai
Best Seven-SeaterCitroen Grand C4 Picasso
Best Hybrid or Electric CarBMW i3
Best ConvertibleAudi A3 Cabriolet
Most Reliable CarHonda Jazz
Safest CarVolvo V40
Best Car For Under £150 Per MonthNissan Note
Best Used CarKia Cee'd

Click to see our 2016-17 Carbuyer Car Of The Year

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