This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Citroën C4 Cactus Hatchback (18-20) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

Along with Peugeot, Citroen has had something of a clear-out when it comes to its cabins – and the firm’s dashboards are now more minimalist than ever, C4 Cactus included. In fact save for two digital displays (speedo and multi-function touchscreen) plus a thin row of 6 buttons below one of them, there’s nothing much to press.

The centrally-located touchscreen controls everything from climate to audio requests as well as offering sat-nav and car information. As seems to be traditional for car manufacturers it stands proud of the dash, like a tablet, but unfortunately isn’t removable. It does feature sharp and clear graphics though – even if some detailing looks a little fiddly on the sat-nav function – and is reasonably quick to respond to inputs.

We would like it to be a little more intuitive in some of the menu controls though, but it’s not at Krypton Factor levels of confusion and after little time in the car we’re sure owners would master it.

There’s no rev-counter behind that slightly less than round steering wheel, but as the car isn’t a performance variant that matters not.

Primarily though the front cabin is exceptionally interesting and well-designed, with plenty of neat detailing in terms of surfacing and components – as can be seen by the suitcase inspired glovebox and leather-strap door handles. Some of the material quality leaves a little to be desired, especially on the doorcards and lower areas, but a quick reminder about this car’s value for money intent soon sees this pale into insignificance.

Without reach adjustment for the steering, you could expect to struggle to settle into a comfortable driving position but that’s just not the case – the driver’s seat offers plenty of height adjustment especially and you soon find yourself sitting with perfect poise.

This used to be Citroen’s USP, an area where no other manufacturer could touch it, and going by the Citroen C4 Cactus comfort levels we experienced it appears the firm may just have struck gold once again.

Despite using a conventional suspension system, rather than the trick hydropneumatic system the firm is famous for, the Citroen simply glides and floats over bumps, be they large or small, and you can’t help but settle into the same relaxed gait as the car. Speed bumps aren’t quite dealt with as if they don’t exist, but the C4 Cactus does make short work of traversing them.

There’s no point in driving quickly though, not least because doing so simply highlights considerable body roll around corners as well as allowing plenty of engine noise to enter the cabin from the screaming thrum of the three-cylinder petrol or diesel engines.

Avoid the ETG automated manual gearbox if you can as well, the lurching between ratio changes proves anything but comfortable when on the move.

Not only does this family-focused junior SUV feature a pair of seats (or bench in the automatic models) up front, that genuinely do resemble armchairs – for comfort, looks and material choice – but it rides superbly as well.

The latter is largely down to the decrease in mass, the new C4 Cactus tipping the scales at around 200kg less than the equivalent C4, thanks to extensive use of aluminium and clever technologies –the heat-treated glass in the panoramic roof does without a blind, losing 6kg.

And while pop-out rear windows on anything with more than two-doors usually feels like a cop-out, on the Citroen there’s no such stigma, the pared-back ethos entirely in-keeping with the C4 Cactus. Especially when you consider these contribute a loss of 11kg from the overall weight.