The Citroën C4 Cactus was first seen as a concept in 2007 in Frankfurt, launched officially last year in Geneva and is now available in South Africa. Citroën as a brand are looking to be unique and different in driving and owning one of their vehicles. They are trying to harness the feel good factor and the Citroën C4 Cactus certainly ticks these boxes.

The design of the Cactus is simply brilliant inside and out. It’s the furthest thing from dull in appearance as well as in driver experience. What makes it so different? From the outside the first thing you will notice are the Airbumps. These are made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and hold small air-filled pockets that absorb small impacts. Goodbye shopping trolley dings.

They are fitted in black as standard, but can be optionally ordered in different colours, including grey, dune (a dusky pink) and chocolate, so you can truly personalise your car to your taste and make it a much more personal experience.

Another first are the magic wash wiper blades. These dispense water through the windscreen wipers onto the windscreen making sure for a spotless finish and no water wastage either. This new sleek SUV crossover has all the right curves with some chunky add-ons that make for great conversation starters.

Inside the vehicle the interesting design hasn’t been spared and neither have driver comfort and ergonomics. At the entry level, the 1,2-litre PureTech unit has a maximum power output rating of 60kW, and a 118Nm torque peak, while achieving a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of just 4,6 litres/100km. The CO2 exhaust emissions come to just 107g/km. This engine is only available on the entry-level C4 Cactus Feel model.

The more powerful 1,2-litre PureTech Turbo e-THP engine features turbocharging to boost output to 81kW and 205Nm of torque. The result is swifter performance, but not at the cost of fuel efficiency: consumption remains impressive at just 4,7 litres/100km for the combined cycle, linked to an identical CO2 emissions rating of 107g/km.

The 1.2 PureTech Turbo e-THP unit can be specified in conjunction with both the Feel and the Shine equipment levels, while a five-speed manual gearbox driving the front wheels is standard across the range.

The whole car has seen a 200kg drop in weight, partially due to this new lighter engine, as well as modifications in the body make up of various high strength steels. It is made on the same platform as the DS3, some more money saving for the PSA group.

Another innovation is the airbag in the roof of the passenger side, which has been moved to give more legroom and storage space in the cubby hole. The door handles inside are a statement too as well as the central 7-inch touch screen control panel that allows easy access to all of the car’s functions. It takes a little getting used to, but the good news is, is that we figured it out without the help of a teenager or getting a degree in technology!

Love it or hate it, the new Citroën C4 Cactus – which will replace the C4 in South Africa – is certainly innovative and loads of fun to look at and drive. If you give them notification on their website, they will arrange a test drive for you – and they will bring the car to you. All part of the “We come to you” campaign – another “out the box” initiative from PSA.