The cabin is possibly one of the C4 Cactus’s best features. For a car that starts at such a modest price it’s a thoroughly refreshing piece of design.
While there are some hard plastics dotted about (and in fairly prominent positions, such as the door cards), they’re offset by some pleasingly tactile surfaces, soft fabrics and some really neat details, such as the luggage-strap door handles and upper glovebox lid.
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It’s a simple layout too, with most auxiliary functions handled by a central touchscreen system. This takes a little getting used-to and some unsteady prodding while on the move, but once you’ve lived with it for a week or so it’s simple enough to use and responds fairly quickly to inputs. Instruments are also digital, on a small panel in front of the driver. There’s no rev counter, which furthers the relaxing vibe. In all, there’s a sense of occasion in here that few other small crossovers get close to matching.
The major touch-points are all nice enough, though there’s a hint of long-arm/short-leg in the driving position that’d be solved if the steering column adjusted for reach as well as rake. The wide seats are much softer than most modern cars (more like an older Citroen in fact), which will suit some drivers and deter others – though they do lack side support if you’re driving enthusiastically.
Manual transmission models have a fairly conventional control layout but the automatic versions have a neat party trick, including an aircraft throttle-style low-mounted handbrake and dash-mounted gear selection buttons, both of which clear space for the front seat to become a bench. Very retro, though with no central seatbelt it doesn’t turn the Cactus into a six-seater car.