March 21, 2019




We drive Citroen’s cute but prickly Cactus 6 speed auto

Citroen has one of the coolest, kookiest, suavest SUVs on the market. But you have to be the right kind of person to appreciate it.

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If you’re keen on exploring an urban environment you need a car that fits. Peugeot Citroen’s best, award-winning 3 cylinder engine emulates success captured by the iconic 2CV. Like the 2CV, a farmer could no doubt cart his missus and a full basket of eggs across a ploughed field without breaking either wife, or the eggs.

The oblong motif created by the AirBump pads on the doors is repeated in the lower front grille, and throughout the interior.

Apple CarPlay makes entertainment completely voice controlled. The sound is excellent, and when you consider the run-out price, is superb.

You need never have your eyes leave the road.

If you’d prefer to use built in navigation, you can. You also have the option of using maps in your phone and have them displayed on the 7” touch screen.

A second LCD screen sits tablet-style on top of the dash in front of the driver.

Doors have straps in the style of luggage you might find on mighty steamers or classic trains. The rear seats fold down 60/40, and the is a space-saver steel wheel spare tyre. Never will you be caught out with a flat.

The cabin is supremely comfortable. Even with seats set high, there is a shedload of space. Rear passengers will be snug, but everyone will be happy on shortish trips. Only the biggest beehives are bound to brush the hood lining.

Seating is reminiscent of the classic Citroen DS of the 60’s. Deep cushions feels more like lounge chairs. There is a distinct club-like atmosphere, but only of the funkiest kind. There is not a hint of stodge here.

Weekends away are dispatched with the alacrity of a perky school boy. The eager 3 pot turbo petrol engine is teamed with a slick 6 speed automatic. At 81kw, it isn’t going to break the sound barrier any time soon, but it isn’t meant to.

You’ll find yourself darting in and out of city traffic but overtaking on highways needs a bit of thought. Why rush? Cactus is about enjoying the journey. Our review was flimed in and around Carriageworks, Sydney

Handling and ride harken back to the halcyon days of ginghamed picnics. There is enough room for you, your hunny, and a couple of mates to shove a basket, some blankets and a crate of bubbles in the back. No river bank is out of bounds.

But, for when you surely must do the dull-as-dishwater drudgery of the weekly shop, parking is easy with a standard rear-view camera.

Customisable options include AirBump and roof rack colours, and individualised badging. You can wave a wand over the cabin too if that’s your thang.

Peugeot Citroen is rolling out the latest safety features across their range as models are updated or replaced, and Cactus is no exception. The facelift is due so clever old Citroen is offering buyers 5 grand off the normal drive away price. You can have a Cactus for a touch under $27,000 drive away. Not only is it cheaper than to competition, but this kind of comfort and ride is hard to have at any price.

My only reservations are the push-out rear windows, and the front armrest that always seems in the way. Don’t get a large take-away coffee either. The cup holder is as shallow as an election promise.

Ample storage goes some way to making up for the misdemeanours. There is many a sneaky spot should you stop at a cellar door, and need to hide a purchase from ‘er-indoors (or ‘im-indoors).

Sales have been slow, and that’s a shame. I rate Cactus at 7/10 for its quirky campness. Its only a canvas roof short of being the classic candidate the 2CV was.







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