Citroen C4 Cactus (2014 – 2021) Review

Citroen C4 Cactus (2014 – 2021) At A Glance


+Unique interior design has a boutique feel. Comfortable and refined on the move. Spacious inside with a good quality finish. Available with impressive 1.2 PureTech engine.

-Unusual styling sure to divide opinion. ETG6 gearbox can be jerky. Rear windows only pop-out and don't wind down.

New prices start from £12,990
Insurance Groups are between 7–19
On average it achieves 73% of the official MPG figure

The C4 Cactus shows Citroen back to its best. Quirky, funky yet still practical, it's exactly the sort of car the French brand should be building. And it's certain to appeal to family buyers because this isn't a car that's merely form over function. Yes it has an unusual design and certainly stands out from the crowd, especially in some of the more brighter paint hues, but it's also spacious, economical and family-friendly.

The bold exterior styling is a fresh alternative to the standard hatchback and the ever growing number of crossovers on the market.

It includes Citroen's innovative Airbump protective strips. These are tough air-filled polyurethane panels designed to protect against car park scrapes and dints. There are four colours available and you can also change them, allowing you to freshen your car's appearance over time.

The interior is as style-led as the exterior with an elegant and minimalist design that's inspired by luggage and travel. It has a bespoke and boutique feel that's unlike any other car on the market with nice features such as the leather straps for door handles. There's also plenty of space thanks to a thin dash design and the option of a front bench-style seat.

Citroen has included some useable technology too, with a simple digital instrument display which not only looks great but is easy to read. The rest of the cabin is very simply laid out, with an iPad-style touchscreen on top of the centre stack. Even the upholstery is outside of the ordinary, with fluffier fabrics used in some places instead of the usual materials.

The engine range includes Citroen's strong HDi diesels but we're most impressed with the new 1.2-litre PureTech petrol. This may seem small but thanks to the light weight of the C4 Cactus the turbocharged three-cylinder engine provides nippy performance with good refinement. It's economical too with a claimed 61.4mpg with the standard five-speed manual gearbox.

On the road the C4 Cactus drives well with a forgiving ride and decent refinement, while there's little wind or road noise even at motorway speeds. With prices starting at around £13,000 the C4 Cactus represents a lot of car for the money. It's the ideal family car and we have no doubt it will find plenty of fans.

Citroen C4 Cactus 1.2 PureTech Long Term Test

Citroen C4 Cactus 2018 Range Road Test

Real MPG average for a Citroen C4 Cactus (2014 – 2021)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

35–78 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

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Ask Honest John

Can you recommend a small, comfortable car?
"I currently have a Mercedes-Benz C180 coupe. It is a very pleasant car to drive - albeit expensive if it has a fault. I am expecting to move near to family and will have a small off road parking space - about 4 metres in length max. I am a fan of MINIs, although that is not my only consideration. I want something that has a comfortable ride, great seats, quiet and cheap/reliable to run. Speed is not of importance. I like well designed, interesting interiors. Can you recommend a suitable MINI or maybe something else? I would prefer not to spend more than about £8,000-9,000 which is about the value of my Mercedes. "
If comfort's really what you want, I would steer clear of a MINI – they sell on their 'go kart' handling, but comfort takes a hit in the pursuit of this. If your heart is set on one, have a look at the MINI Paceman. Its almost-an-SUV body means it's a bit softer riding then the other models (Countryman notwithstanding). It looks like a regular hatchback that's bloated. The Citroen C4 Cactus' styling tends to make it a marmite choice, but they're more comfortable than a MINI particularly if you get a high-spec face-lifted car that comes with the progressive hydraulic cushion suspension, which makes it very soft and floaty. Factor in its thickly padded memory foam seats, added sound deadening compared to the old model and the cruising refinement of its three-cylinder PureTech petrol engines, and it's hard to beat for the size and price. We have reviews of both:
Answered by Russell Campbell
What's the most economic motorway cruiser?
"What's the best motorway cruiser in terms of mpg?"
A Citroen C4 Cactus 1.5 BlueHDi will give you close to 70mpg: If you want something more refined, the older version of the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics will return around 58mpg:
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a comfortable but small new car?
"We would like a small car that is comfortable to drive, quite on the motorway with soft suspension and good fuel economy. Our present car is a Mazda 2 Sport and we feel every bump in the road. What do you suggest we replace it with?"
A Citroen C4 Cactus 1.2 Puretech with 'Advanced Comfort Suspension' and either 15-inch wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres or 16-inch with 205/55 R16 tyres.
Answered by Honest John
What car do you recommend for ride comfort on rough city roads?
"I currently drive a six-year-old Peugeot 2008. A great car but has the major drawback of feeling every bump in the road. And when you live in a poorly maintained road area such as Cardiff, that's a lot of discomfort. I was wondering what your car recommendations would be for under £7000? Would be a great bonus if it was also low/no tax and automatic gearbox."
We'd recommend a Citroen C4 Cactus. It rides very well and your budget will get you a 2016 model with low miles. That said, you'll struggle to find an automatic with budget. Otherwise, there aren't many alternatives to your 2008 on the market for less than £7000. You could get a Nissan Juke, but it's cramped and the CVT automatic gearbox is unreliable. It might be worth changing the wheels on your 2008 for a smaller set - you might be surprised at the difference it makes to ride quality.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

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