The super-soft suspension makes the Cactus incredibly comfortable, and although the body does lean quite a bit, you can still have fun driving the car
There are three 1.2-litre petrol engines to choose from, but avoid the most basic PureTech 82. Not only is it not quick enough – Citroen quotes a decidedly leisurely 0-62mph time of 13.1 seconds – and it is the only one that doesn’t come with the Progressive Hydraulic Cushions in the suspension, which make the car so comfortable.
The PureTech 130 at the top of the range is pretty nippy, but most people will be happy to make do with the mid-range PureTech 110 engine. WIth a 0-62mph time of 9.4 seconds, it’s plenty quick enough around town and will cruise comfortably on the motorway.
The mid-range PureTech 110 engine will be the ideal choice for most people
According to Citroen’s claims, it should return 65.7mpg, but you’re more likely to see economy in the 50s in everyday use. Whatever you get, though, this engine will be cheaper to run than the more powerful PureTech 130.
If you do a lot of motorway driving or have a high mileage, then it’s worth considering the 1.6-litre diesel. With claimed economy of 83.1mpg, it’s comfortably the most economical engine in the range, although it’s expensive to buy and not as quiet as the petrol engines.
One of the highlights of the Cactus is the super-comfortable suspension that’s fitted to every model except the most basic Feel Edition version. Effectively, it’s like having an extra cushion in the suspension, allowing you to ‘float’ up the road; but, when you hit a bigger bump or pothole, that extra cushion takes the sting out of it.
It might sound complicated, but it really works and the Cactus is more comfortable than any of its alternatives – although some of the credit must also go to the super-soft seats.
The Cactus is certainly easy and comfy around town, helped by the soft suspension and light steering, but the blindspots – particularly through the small rear window – might be an issue.
Out of town, you’ll notice a fair amount of body roll, and there are times you feel as if you’re about to topple over. But, somehow, the car just grips and goes, and you can have a hoot driving the Cactus.
That’s despite the fact that some of the controls aren’t perfect: the steering feels like it’s connected to the front wheels by a rubber band, for example, and the brakes are super-sensitive. You only have to brush the pedal and you’re head-butting the steering wheel.
On the other hand, the Cactus should be pretty safe. It scored four stars in Euro NCAP crash tests back in 2014, but you should note that, if you want the full safety package, you have to go for the most expensive Flair trim. That gives you Lane Departure Warning, Driver Attention Alert and the Active Safety Brake system, which can automatically apply the brakes to either avoid or minimise the effects of an accident.