There’s not a lot to see here, performance fans – even the quickest Cactus, the PureTech 110 with a manual gearbox, takes 9.3 seconds to reach 62mph and eventually runs on to a modest 117mph. Next past the post is the manual-equipped diesel, which covers the 0-62mph run in 10.7sec and hits 114mph.
For some clue as to how much the automatic ‘box hampers progress, the ETG6 diesel is half a second slower to 62mph than its manual equivalent.
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No Cactus feels particularly rapid on the road either, though in the PureTech 110 that’s partly as a result of how quiet and refined the thrummy little three-cylinder is. At idle it’s nearly silent and crawling around town it hardly intrudes either. Use all the revs (guessing when to change gear, with no tachometer to observe) and there’s a little more din and vibration, but there’s not the sporty exhaust note you get with some threes.
The diesel is a little more vocal but not excessively so, while the naturally-aspirated petrol models do require a few more revs and a little more noise as they scoot down the road. It goes without saying that it’s the turbocharged three-pot that we’d recommend – with a kerb weight of 1020kg, it can be bundled along quickly enough.