The Cactus finally removes the one real thorn in our side.
When the Citroen C4 Cactus landed on Aussie shores, we were bowled over by its quirky French charm and excellent ride quality. Of course, there were some things that weren’t quite up to snuff (you can read about it in our review here), but what was most detrimental to the experience was the six-speed semi-automatic (paired exclusively with the diesel engine). Like its name suggests, the semi-auto shifts gears the way a manual would, with a motors within the gearbox doing the shifting for you. The result is a driving experience that you have to learn to live with, because ‘smooth’ is not a word you would use to describe progress with a semi-automatic.
However, it seems that Citroen has heard our complaints (as well as many others, we believe) and so they have seen it fit to introduce a proper automatic gearbox into the lineup, in the form of an Efficient Automatic Transmission, or EAT. The EAT6 unit will be fitted into the C4 Cactus from February production, and will be available for sale in the UK tomorrow.
The EAT6 is not an unfamiliar gearbox, as we’ve encountered it before in other PSA Group cars (like the Peugeot 308 and Peugeot 208). It’s generally noted for its smooth progress and quick wits, as it never seems to put a foot wrong (though for fuel economy reasons, it does hesitate slightly to kick down a cog). There has been no confirmation from Citroen Australia regarding the offering of the EAT6 in the C4 Cactus here yet, but we expect it to be coming very soon indeed.