The French have always been bad with complex cars but very good with simple city cars, and the Citroen C4 Cactus was a punch in everyone’s testicles and set the tone for the new age city cars.

Because in 2014, the crossover was still a smaller, cheaper SUV, and the Citroen C4 Cactus came to change the paradigm and no longer has any pretensions of being an SUV. It’s just a C4 with orange doors, adapted for the city and in such a stylish manner adapted for the city.

Plus, in terms of price, the Citroen C4 Cactus is not very far from the Dacia Duster, whether we’re talking about the new or used car market. Sure, the Duster runs faster, but the Cactus looks much better, and that’s very important in the world of urban fashion. And they managed to combine utility with pleasure because those rubber protections on the doors and corners serve to protect the bodywork in the inevitable moment when you’ll hit a corner, a shopping cart, or someone opens the car door next to you with too much enthusiasm. And besides that, you have billions of customizations, like with the Opel Adam, aesthetically speaking at least, and so you can have a unique car even though the Citroen C4 Cactus is an fairly exclusive car altogether.

As for the mechanical and practical part, it’s clear that baguette eaters went for a strictly urban client profile. They are aware that most of the time these cars have a maximum of 2 passengers, and the seats in the back stay empty, and if there are occupants, they rarely roll down the windows, so they replaced the windows with plastic that protrudes slightly outward, like on the Aygo. You could say it’s cheap, and you’d be right. But it’s also about utility and fashion.

Then you only have two engines, one petrol and two diesesl, so you can’t say you don’t have options, although I’m not sure why you’d want a diesel on a Citroen C4 Cactus. But again, I’m not sure why people would watch a show about Snooki and her life, but the show had enough audience so most likely I’m detached from reality and need a reality check.


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Citroen C4 Cactus Engines


  • 1.2 MPI EB2 PureTech of 75 and 82 horsepower – This engine taught us on the Citroen C3 and on the Mini that it can’t be trusted because the first engines had major reliability issues. However, it seems that editions from 2014 onwards would be reliable.
  • 1.2 Turbo EB2 PureTech of 110 and 130 horsepower – Just like we learned on the Crossland, this engine can be reliable as long as you change the timing on time and you’re not bothered by the sudden death of the water pump. By far the most balanced engine for the C4 Cactus, but unfortunately, it was avoided quite a lot because it was too expensive, and 82 horsepower are enough anyway for a strictly city car.


  • 1.5 e-HDi of 102 and 120 horsepower – I know, I said there was only one diesel available and it’s not the 1.5 e-HDi, but the reality is that it was launched in 2018 and in 2019 the model was retired so good luck finding one.
  • 1.6 HDi of 92, 99, and 100 horsepower – It’s clear we’re true europeans because most classifieds about the Citroen C4 Cactus have models with this engine. Even though it’s a diesel engine, with a particle filter and AdBlue system in some cases, we insist on driving it in the city. And then we wonder why there are so many issues and we’re as confused as in the situation when we say, “What did we do, boss?” Overall, it’s a good and reliable engine, but unsuitable for urban driving.


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Citroen C4 Cactus Reliability Issues

  • Some haters would say it’s a issue, so I’ll mention it here, but unfortunately I don’t have anyone to argue with. But at least I was going to have a threesome this weekend, I only needed 2 more people! What was I saying? Oh yes, the haters. The Citroen C4 Cactus doesn’t have a tachometer, and all the press has latched onto that, but honestly, for the typical city driver, the tachometer isn’t relevant, especially since you have a gear shift indicator on the dashboard. Don’t complicate things with revs and numbers, follow the arrow.
  • The ETG6 robotized gearbox should be avoided because it has quite serious issues getting started. Like me or any student on Monday mornings.
  • The paint is as subtle as the snooze tolerance on Apple’s alarm. Seriously, that thing wakes you from the dead.
  • There are no buttons on the dashboard, only a tablet. So if you’re fine and get along strictly with the tablet, it’s okay. If not, it’s probably best to pass.


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Citroen C4 Cactus Verdict

It was a success for young people who wanted a cool city car but who never leave the city or very, very rarely. A kind of predecessor to the Toyota C-HR. Cars without outstanding driving characteristics but look good and catch your eye and money. Which is okay for typical C-HR and C4 Cactus buyers, because those people know nothing about cars and don’t want to know. It only matters that they look good and are easy to drive.

What engines do I recommend? For petrol, the 82 horsepower and 1.2-liter petrol engine are enough because you don’t need anything else for the city anyway, and for diesel, the classic 1.6 HDi with 99 horsepower, although I don’t know why you’d take a Cactus on long journeys. Or anywhere for that matter.