More than just a nip and tuck, this new car’s got even more going for it.
Quirky French carmaker Citroen has unveiled the 2018 facelift for its immensely-popular C4 Cactus, which has been extensively reworked to keep it relevant and competitive in an ever-changing market. While it retains the raised ride height and uses body cladding extensively, we haven't once found the word ‘crossover’ or ‘SUV’ in the press release, with the company instead referring to it as a hatchback.
We commend the logical approach to the matter (because its about as off-road ready as a Holden Astra), though the verdict’s still out as to whether the market will care about this apparent repositioning.
Categorisation aside, the new C4 Cactus most certainly won’t be mistaken for the car it replaces, thanks to the myriad of updates that the French company has applied to the vehicle both inside and out. What’s immediately apparent is the sleeker, more modern design applied to the front of the car, with the Citroen chevrons being pushed all the way up to the most prominent position on the bonnet, with the chrome strips outlining the more pulled-back LED daytime running lights that sit above reshaped headlights and a slightly smaller grille.
Going round the side, the most obvious change is the revision of the AirBump rubberised-plastic body-protection solutions that were previously a prominent feature of the Cactus. The redesigned door panels not only lend a more muscular, more athletic profile to the car, but have reduced the AirBumps to just three little ovals on the bottom-most edge of the doors, continuing to offer parking-ding protection while taking a less headlining design role, as it were. The rear sees redesigned wrap-around taillights, which still feature a cool 3D-effect design that this writer likes a little more than strictly necessary.
The cabin of the outgoing C4 Cactus didn’t leave much to be desired, so the new one doesn’t change that much. At a glance, there’s a revised steering wheel design and improved material quality, but the biggest change comes in the form of ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats fitted to the 2018MY car. The more inviting pews are also paired to “reinforced acoustic insulation” to provide an isolated, refined driving experience.
Under the skin, the C4 Cactus gets the title of being the first Citroen outside of China to utilise the company’s proprietary ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushion’ suspension, which offers unrivalled comfort over a myriad of surfaces, and should prove to be pretty robust (the Chinese market is known to be punishing to under-engineered solutions). The inclusion of PHC cements the C4 Cactus’ primary focus on offering a comfortable, pliant ride for its occupants.
Tech has also seen a bump for the new model year, with a 7.0-inch touchscreen available with satellite navigation, with smartphone mirroring technology for Android and Apple devices available as an option. There’s also the inclusion of things like autonomous emergency braking (AEB), speed-sign recognition technology, lane departure warning, driver-attention monitor, rear-view camera, fog-lights with cornering functionality, as well as keyless entry and go, though how many of these will be made standard for our market remains a mystery.
While there’s a smattering of engines available for the European market, we don’t expect to see too many changes to the local engine offerings when the updated C4 Cactus arrives in late 2018. You can read our review of the funky C4 Cactus here, and we’re certainly keen to see how the latest one will move the game on from the existing car, given that the current model is the fastest-selling Citroen on our shores in the history of the brand.