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Citroen C4 Cactus Rip Curl BlueHDi 100 review

Date: 10 January 2017   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Category: Crossover
P11D price: £19,515
Key rival: Nissan Juke

Despite being launched two years ago, the Cactus is still one of the most distinctive cars you can buy today.

It's been a huge success for Citroen, especially in fleet, which makes up 70% of its sales.

For 2016, the manufacturer teamed up with surf brand Rip Curl for this special edition version that's based on the range-topping Flair trim. For an extra £500 you get additional styling features including some exterior graphics, silver skid plates, 17-inch diamond-style alloy wheels, and bright orange seatbelts. Plus, for the first time in the C4 Cactus range, the firm's Grip Control traction control system comes as standard.

Frugal diesel engine

Under the bonnet of our test car is the brand's accomplished 1.6-litre BlueHDi diesel engine, which offers some impressive headline figures. A combined fuel economy of 80.7mpg is about as good as it gets for a car with added traction capabilities alongside CO2 emissions of just 95g/km.

The 100hp engine is a good all-rounder with enough low-down torque to make decent progress, the 0-62mph sprint is officially achieved in 10.6 seconds, and the added grip will give drivers extra peace of mind during the winter months. It comes with five different modes to choose from including sand, snow and mud set-ups.

Inside

This isn't a car to take off-road, though, as there is no four-wheel drive capability or additional ground clearance.

Like the standard car, comfort levels are very good, although there's a fair amount of bodyroll in the corners, and the steering, albeit accurate, lacks any feel. We prefer the cheaper and more characterful 1.2-litre Puretech petrol in the line-up. It's more refined, offers some compelling running cost figures, and feels nippier on the roads.

Practical car

There's more to the Cactus Rip Curl then those quirky looks. Like the standard car, it's spacious and practical too, with plenty of leg and headroom on offer and a decent sized 358-litre boot.

Around the cabin storage options are limited, though, including just one solo cupholder that is obstructed by the addition of the Grip Control dial.

Side

The cabin is a cheerful and characterful place to be. We're particular fans of the luggage-themed door handles and funky glovebox, also available on the normal Cactus. However, interior quality is still a mixed bag with a couple of cheap plastics lurking.

Its minimalistic design means the various controls are easy to navigate around, with the exception of the seven-inch touchscreen system, which remains frustratingly awkward to operate at times, taking too many touches to get to the various functions you want.

Near the top of the range

This Rip Curl version costs from £18,840 and you get a decent amount of kit as standard including satnav, climate control, rear parking sensors, all-weather tyres, roof rails, panoramic sunroof, reversing camera, automatic lights and wipers, and cruise control.

Rear

When compared with high-spec'd versions of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Fiat 500X, the Cactus Rip Curl sits in the middle of the pack for residual values, but its cheaper P11D value and impressive fuel economy figures mean it's the cheapest overall for whole-life costs, with a 45.5p per-mile figure versus the Juke's 45.9p, the Captur's 47.6p and the 500X's high 48.7p.

Citroen C4 Cactus Rip Curl BlueHDi 100

Model price range: £13,260-£20,765
Residual value: 31.2%
Depreciation: £13,610
Fuel: £4,156
Service, maintenance and repair: £2,068
Vehicle Excise Duty: £0
National insurance: £1,720
Cost per mile: 45.5p
Fuel consumption: 80.7mpg
CO2 (BIK band): 95g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month: £63/£125
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space: 358 litres
Engine size/power: 1560cc/100hp

Verdict


The Citroen C4 Cactus Rip Curl is a quirky and fashionable choice in the Cactus range, which still delivers on whole-life costs. Its styling will not be to everyone's taste, but the addition of Grip Control will bring added peace of mind.
7/10
  • Spacious
  • Practical
  • Quirky cabin
  • Strong whole-life costs
  • Low CO2
  • Marmite styling
  • Some cheap plastics inside
  • Diesel not as good as petrol options

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