The end is nearing for the Citroen C4 Cactus | Top Gear
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Saturday 23rd September

The end is nearing for the Citroen C4 Cactus

The Cactus launched as a funky SUV antidote, but it won't be directly replaced

Published: 24 Jun 2019

You know the Citroen C4 Cactus: the affordable, unpretentious antidote to more aggressive mini SUVs, with bobbly doors that look like giant Lego while deflecting those irritating car park dings.

Well, it was. Then Citroen lost its bottle a bit and dumbed its extrovert features down to make it more like a mainstream hatchback. And soon, that bottle will be firmly out in the recycling box as the C4 Cactus departs this world forever.

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“I joined Citroen a few months after the launch of the first C4 Cactus,” Citroen product boss Xavier Peugeot told Top Gear (and yes, that's really his name). “It is a tremendous project, as it is in line with the Citroen values of demonstrating boldness and innovation and trying to consider cars in a different way. What we tried to do for the mid-life update of the car is keep this spirit alive, but to make it even more involved inside the range.

“So for the time being this car is our C-segment hatch offer. Our next C-segment car to come will replace the C4 Cactus. This will be the end of the Cactus. For the name, I don’t know yet, but for the car, yes.”

The car is leaving us, then, but the Cactus badge might be used in future. But Peugeot also hinted that his team have concocted a new suffix for the cars which aren’t Aircross SUVs.

Worried the next C4 will be dull as ditchwater? Peugeot also assures us that it’ll be bold enough to supersede the Cactus, and that Citroen's bottle remains intact.

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“We have made some choices which will definitely remain coherent with what Citroen stands for,” he continues. “The capacity to dare, the capacity to push the standards further than others do. To make cars which are not classical.

“I’m looking for polarised results in customer clinics. You would say I’m mad, but I do not expect people to only love the car. I would like a slightly higher proportion of people being unsure. Citroens have never been ‘the consensus way’; you have to generate this level of polarisation, to make things differently, to create some ‘what have they created again?’ stories. That’s what makes a successful Citroen.”

So, just as we’re finishing the triangular sandwiches at the C4 Cactus's wake, something just as wild will hopefully turn up replace it, and likely with Citroen’s saveur du mois, its Progressive Hydraulic Cushions that were developed in World Rallying but which make the facelifted C4 Cactus ride much more softly than its traditional rivals.

Sad to see the Cactus go, though?

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