Another 200-odd mile round trip and another opportunity to reflect on what the C4 Cactus does best. After averaging close to 50mph for the duration, the trip computer displayed 70.5mpg. Realistically it’s important to knock a bit off that figure but, as I’m hardly an expert when it comes to economy motoring, I’m still happy to add that performance to my ‘things I like about the C4 Cactus’ list.
I mentioned previously that the C4 Cactus can roll a bit in the corners, but it’s not really an issue when you’re just ambling along. You’re reminded of the car’s comfort bias when you tackle those giant out of town roundabouts as you brace for the change in direction. If the alternative is a stiffer ride to ensure a flatter cornering trajectory then I’ll happily stick with the current arrangement thanks. Away from the retail sprawl, the car continues to deliver a solid balance of stability and comfort.
Recently I spent some time behind the wheel of a Citroën XM, which in isolation ticked plenty of boxes for this Citroën fanboy. Of equal interest in the context of living with a C4 Cactus was the realisation that, given all the C4’s 21st century quirky design touches and character, it shares more with the XM than I expected, despite the age gap.
The relaxed gait of big old Citroëns might be a cliché in motoring circles but, thanks to its plush seats and trick suspension, the XM really was more at home being gently guided rather than hustled at speed. Factor in its light yet accurate steering and the whole experience was one that has clearly influenced the Citroën engineers of today. In a world of superficial marketing messages it’s good to see some semblance of consistency of both message and intent from Citroën with its new cars. If you want something fast or ‘edgy’ then look elsewhere, but if you value comfort mixed with intriguing design, then you’ll find it here, just like I did with the XM and you would have with a GS or BX first time around.
Anyway, enough rose-tinted reminiscing, as I’ll attempt to finish on a positive nod to modern technology. For all my occasional digs at Citroën’s sometimes frustrating infotainment system, I think I’ve finally made my peace with the C4’s touchscreen interface. For starters, the car’s reversing camera requires no direct input from me, but it’s proven many times to be a reliable and helpful aid, although the camera’s low resolution is a let-down in poor light.
And being a tech nerd, I continue to switch between the C4’s own music and navigation functions and the Android Auto equivalents. The latter’s less cluttered interface is the clear winner if you value ease of use, but the superior traffic jam function of Citroën’s own system has saved me from stewing in time-sapping jams numerous times. If I was in the XM I’d have to pass the time by pressing all of its buttons.
Date arrived 21st October 2018
Fuel economy 70.6mpg (combined) 60.6mpg (on test)
The car’s reversing camera isn’t the highest resolution, but I’ve grown to trust it, which is a big deal for a Luddite like me.
The days are thankfully getting longer, which means being less reliant on the C4’s headlights. Yes, they’re still weak.