Citroen has given its unique C4 Cactus crossover hatch a sweeping makeover as part of a 2018 model year upgrade, minimising the defining AirBump protective cladding and creating a more conservative small hatch in the process.
The C4 Cactus has also been brought in line with Citroen’s Advanced Comfort Strategy which debuts a new Progressive Hydraulic Cushion suspension system and Advanced Comfort seats ahead of a wider rollout across the Citroen range.
The French automaker is also backing away from positioning the facelifted model as a small SUV, instead classifying the C4 Cactus as a traditional compact hatchback, leaving the model’s recently revealed C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross models to occupy the small and medium SUV classes.
Sweeping changes to the exterior see the polarising plastic AirBumps of the doors and front and rear bumpers either minimised or deleted completely.
Restyled front and rear bumpers now offer cleaner surfacing with a more defined lower protective strip and new corner vents while the large door cladding has been reduced to a single strip and moved to just above sill-height.
A fresh face mimics the styling of the smaller C3 hatch, with a new chrome strip linking the high-mounted daytime running lights, larger lower headlights, a chrome-lipped central air intake, and coloured surrounds for the lower fog lights that match the coloured highlight of the door protection strip.
Rear styling has received a similar clean-up, with plastic cladding removed from the tailgate and new wider two-section tail lights used to give a lower, wider stance. Previous styling treatments including the floating C-pillar and visor-style A-pillar have been left untouched.
Citroen has also debuted its Advanced Comfort technology in the new C4 Cactus, headlined by suspension with Progressive Hydraulic Cushions (PHC).
Unlike the brand’s previous hydro-pneumatic suspension system, PHC uses a simpler system comprising a regular spring and damper system and adding a pair of hydraulic stops to each assembly to absorb major inputs on both the compression and rebound strokes.
Also forming part of the Advanced Comfort system is a new seat design incorporating high density foam up to 15mm thicker than before, promising increased postural comfort and added back support. Designers have also worked to increase ‘visual comfort’ with more visible padding and a new graphical language shared with the C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross.
Noise suppression has also been touched on, with thicker windows, improved door seals, an acoustic windscreen, and additional sound absorption materials fitted to the floor and front bulkhead.
Interior changes have been kept to a minimum, meaning the C4 Cactus retains its travel case-inspired interior styling, dual passenger side glove boxes, roof mounted passenger airbag, huge door pockets, pop-out rear windows, and large central touchscreen for control of most interior functions. The new seat design does remove the previous bench seat styling of earlier versions however.
Customisation will remain a strong point for the C4 Cactus with five interior colour schemes available and 31 possible exterior colour combinations via nine paint colours and four exterior highlight colour packs.
Safety systems for Europe have been brought up to speed thanks to the availability of Active Safety Brake (otherwise known as autonomous emergency braking), speed limit recognition, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, self-parking for parallel and perpendicular spaces, and driver fatigue monitoring.
Overseas buyers will have a choice of three petrol engines ranging from 60kW to 96kW and two diesel engines rated at 74kW and 89kW.
Specifications and pricing for Australia are yet to be confirmed, but Citroen’s local importer has confirmed a local launch for late 2018. With the C3 Aircross arriving before then to fill the small SUV space. Expect the C4 Cactus to occupy the small hatch space vacated by the discontinued C4 hatch.
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