Citroën South Africa this week launches one of the French marque’s most innovative and most exciting products ever: the game-changing C4 Cactus. Reflecting a changing motoring world shaped by shifting consumer expectations, the C4 Cactus presents an astute, versatile and trend-setting alternative to the conventional C-segment hatchback.
Fusing functionality and aesthetics, the C4 Cactus introduces originality in a sector earmarked by convention, while offering motorists what really matters: more design, more comfort, and more useful technology, coupled to more efficiency, more eco-friendliness, and more innovation.
The C4 Cactus’ enhanced efficiency also translates into reduced running costs, while strengthening the overall value proposition.
Innovation that makes sense
Innovation is at the very core of the new Citroën C4 Cactus. The striking design exudes a purity of purpose with smooth, wind-cheating surfaces, and powerful, graphic lines and elements.
The rounded front, with its high-mounted LED daytime running light strips and deep-set main light clusters, provides a bold introduction to a bold design, while the flanks feature one of the Cactus’ key innovations: the Airbump® – a pliable protective panel that protects while adding compelling visual interest.
The Airbump® is made of supple thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and encompasses air-filled cells that absorb small impacts. The Airbump® panels are fitted in black as standard, but can be optionally ordered in different colours, including Grey, Dune and Chocolate.
The C4 Cactus is also the first to feature a roof-mounted airbag for the front passenger in the interests of creating more space without compromising safety, while intelligent packaging links compact dimensions to expansive interior accommodation.
Prominent roof racks, eye-catching wheel designs, and a short rear overhang anchored to a bold, geometric C-pillar are further core aesthetic elements, while contrasting cladding at the rear adds to the functional appeal of the C4 Cactus.
The newcomer’s proportions reflect the careful design of the new C4 Cactus: at 4,16 m long and 1,73 m, the car is compact and wieldy, but the 2,6 m wheelbase ensures ample interior space, and also places the wheels at the corners of the car.
The one-third glazed area and two-thirds occupied by the side panel expresses the newcomer’s visual muscle, while the relatively low height of 1,48 m suggests keen aerodynamics.
Spacious, feel-good interior
Practicality and design continue a symbiotic relationship inside the C4 Cactus, where an airy, spacious cabin hosts a fully digital interface that is as intuitive to use as it is attractive. At the core of this arrangement is a large, seven-inch (17,8 cm) full-colour touchscreen, augmented by a digital instrument display ahead of the driver.
The expansive dashboard creates an uncluttered surface that adds to the cabin’s expansive ambience. Uniquely, the front passenger airbag is located in the roof to created more space and storage for front occupants.
Seating in front is via generously proportioned, individually adjustable seats, with a wide rear bench seat further enhancing the C4 Cactus cabin’s overriding sense of space and comfort.
Generous equipment levels
Specification levels are generous across the entire C4 Cactus range. Two levels of equipment – Feel and Shine – are offered for the South African market, but even the more affordable Feel version benefits from an extensive list of standard equipment.
That list includes air-conditioning, a four-speaker audio system with tuner and MP3 playback, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and audio streaming, cruise control with speed limiter, electrically operated front windows and exterior mirrors, and a multifunction steering wheel.
The Shine versions get even more, including climate control, integrated satellite navigation, a reverse camera, enhanced audio system, auto-activating headlights and windscreen wipers, front fog lights, rear privacy glass, interior mood lighting, and more.
Efficiency in focus
The C4 Cactus continues its theme of innovation under the skin, with efficiency an overriding priority. An optimised platform benefiting from careful weight reduction, and the use of new-generation engines, allowed the C4 Cactus development team to shave off 200 kg from the kerb weight, compared to the C4 hatchback.
As a result, the C4 Cactus boasts a trim kerb weight of just 965 kg for the PureTech 60 kW Feel model. The Feel and Shine versions powered by the PureTech 1.2 e-THP engines are only slightly heavier at just 1 020 kg.
The drivetrain options comprise a choice of two new-generation, high-efficiency PureTech three-cylinder petrol engines. The advanced power units are compact and lightweight, contributing to the C4 Cactus’ reduced mass and impressive efficiency.
PureTech power and frugality
At the entry level, the 1,2-litre PureTech unit has a maximum power output rating of 60 kW, and a 118 Nm torque peak, while achieving a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of just 4,6 litres/100 km. The CO2 exhaust emissions come to just 107 g/km. This engine is only available on the entry-level C4 Cactus Feel model.
The more powerful 1,2-litre PureTech Turbo e-THP engine features turbocharging to boost output to 81 kW and 205 Nm. The result is swifter performance, but not at the cost of fuel efficiency: consumption remains impressive at just 4,7 litres/100 km for the combined cycle, linked to an identical CO2 emissions rating of 107 g/km.
The 1.2 PureTech Turbo e-THP unit can be specified in conjunction with both the Feel and the Shine equipment levels, while a five-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels is standard across the range.
The new C4 Cactus extends its innovation to its comprehensive safety equipment array. Passive measures include six airbags – front driver, roof-mounted front passenger, as well as dual side and dual curtain airbags.
The roof-mounted front passenger airbag is a world first, and allows more space and storage for front occupants without compromising safety.
Active safety systems standard across the C4 Cactus range include ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency braking assistance (EBA), electronic stability control (ESC), while the 81 kW Feel and Shine models add Hill Assist to the list.
Tyre pressure monitoring, a full-size spare wheel, Isofix child seat tethers, electronic child locks, a transponder immobiliser, remote central locking and front seat belt pre-tensioners are all included on all C4 Cactus models.
A global award winner
The innovation, efficiency, versatility and overall excellence of the new Citroën C4 Cactus has already won the newcomer a raft of wards internationally. These include Car of the Year awards in Croatia, Finland and Denmark, while the two-million members of Austria’s OAMTC automobile club voted the C4 Cactus as their favourite car.
The C4 Cactus was also crowned Car of the Year and MPV of the Year in Spain, while it received the Small Hatchback of the Year title in the UK, and Golden Steering Wheel awards in Bulgaria and Slovakia. Meanwhile, TopGear Magazine in the UK honoured the C4 Cactus with its ‘2014 Hatchback of the Year’ accolade.
To crown it all, the C4 Cactus won the 2015 World Car Design of the Year Award at the recent New York International Motor Show. Each year, the “World Car of the Year” jury awards this prize to the new car with the most innovative design that challenges the conventional codes.
With its daring styling and a design that optimally reconciles the attractive and the functional, the C4 Cactus succeeded in winning the most votes. The coveted international award recognizes the creativity and the courage of Citroën’s designs.
A landmark product for SA
“The new Citroën C4 Cactus is a landmark product for the brand, both internationally and here in South Africa,” says Francis Harnie, managing director of Peugeot-Citroën SA.
“It’s not only a bold statement in automotive design that breaks the conventional mould, but also a shining example of how innovation and intelligent engineering can produce a vehicle that delivers new and effective solutions.”
Harnie says the C4 Cactus will change the way people consider the normal categorisation of C-segment cars. “It’s a compact hatchback and a spacious SUV rolled into one, but linked to strong design appeal and an overriding sense of innovation.
“Perhaps most importantly, it addresses running costs by delivering exceptional fuel economy, yet remains engaging and fun to drive,” Harnie added. “It allows you to live a unique adventure every day.”
The recommended retail prices of the new Citroën C4 Cactus range are as follows:
Citroën C4 Cactus 1.2l PureTech 60 kW FEEL R224 900
Citroën C4 Cactus 1.2l PureTech Turbo e-THP 81 kW FEEL R259 900
Citroën C4 Cactus 1.2l PureTech Turbo e-THP 81 kW SHINE R284 900
The pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty, a five-year/100 000 km service plan, as well as roadside assistance. There is an option to upgrade to the FreeDrive or five-year/100 000 km warranty extension. Services are at 15 000 km intervals.