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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having now covered 1000 miles in the Cactus [Flair, manual, 82 PureTech], here are my observations:

+

• Minimalist dashboard - all you need to know is on display permanently: speed and fuel. The rest of the gubbins is hidden away in the screen, to be summoned as and when required. Less is more.
Driving the Cactus after 'conventional' cars is more restful and easier on the eye because of the above.

• Driving position - a high driving position allows a very good view of what's happening all around.

• DAB Radio and sound system - the sound quality is impressive and the amount of adjustment available via the audio settings is surprisingly varied and usable - check the loudness button.

• Speed limiter and cruise control - the two systems complement each other well. The speed limiter is ideal for speeds from 20 - 40mph when it's necessary to remain completely in touch with the gas pedal and keep precise control where speed is likely to fluctuate.
Cruise control ideal for speeds 40mph + where it's less likely that speed fluctuations will be necessary. .

Note: please see footnote regarding the finer details of the two systems.

• The looks of the car - it's characterful and quirky, and breaks the mould of euro-boxes

-

• Inadequate directional air flow - air vents cannot be set at full blast and moved in any given direction. Also no air vent on the passenger side at window level. Noted there is a double vent centrally, set below the dashboard but too ineffective and far away to clear the front passenger window if necessary.
The reason there isn't one is that it would intrude too far into the dash-top storage box.

• AC not cool - doesn't refrigerate to a very chilled temperature.

What the Cactus would benefit from:

• One-touch electric windows

• Stop start and hill start assist across the range

• Two [proper] cup holders

• Electronic handbrake

• Mirror on the passenger side sun visor [wife's suggestion]

• Fuel filler flap and cap release from inside the car [no need then to take key out of ignition when you fill up]

Rev counter? Nah, you ain't gonna go that fast!

Overall verdict: the more you drive the Cactus the more you like it. It's characterful and has hidden depths. It's a sedate drive but can be hustled along when required.

Average MPG: 37.5 almost exclusively short journeys in London traffic.
Fuel: Shell V Power

Speed limiter and Cruise control: details

Speed Limiter

Works at speeds of 20 mph +

Works in any gear

Foot must be pressed on the gas pedal at all times.

Gear changes up and down can be made without deactivating the speed limiter.

Ideal for lower speeds - 20-40mph, as it keeps you in direct contact with the gas pedal.

Cruise Control

Works at speeds of 25mph+

Must be in 4th [or 5th] gear for it to operate

It will deactivate if the clutch or footbrake is used

Therefore gear changes will switch off the cruise control.

No need for contact with the gas pedal [once set]

Ideal for speeds of 40mph+ on roads where fluctuating speed is unlikely
 

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ExAudi said:
Having now covered 1000 miles in the Cactus [Flair, manual, 82 PureTech], here are my observations:

...
Excellent review.

Must look for the loudness setting!

We are the same engine and fuel but auto and on longer drives are now getting 54 MPG.

In the auto the cruise control works across the gear range so I tend to engage it joining A roads / motorways traffic permitting and let the car achieve the set speed itself.

I am using the cruise limiter far more than I expected, have more and more average speed checks around so it is nice not to be distracted keeping an eye on the speedometer. Note that there is no braking so on downhill you can exceed the set limit but will be warned.

We are not missing an electronic handbrake but do appreciate the hill start assist, now tending to nudge the steering wheel if S&S kicks in when we are stationary on the foot brake on an incline to start the engine before releasing the brake.

Understand that the passenger side visor mirror is missing due the roof mounted air bag.

Have found the climate control quite effective but agree that more vents would be an improvement.

It is possible that the need to use the key in the fuel filler cap is deliberate to avoid a driver exiting the vehicle in drive with the key in the ignition, yes I realise that opening the door starts the engine and the car will complain if you do so without removing the key.

Driving position and comfort are good and find it a very relaxing car to drive.
 

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I don't want an electronic handbrake either. Heard nothing but bad reviews of those.

No mirror on the passenger visor as it would shatter glass in the passenger's face if the airbag went off. Maybe just keep a vanity mirror in the glove box? Sorted.

Definitely keep loudness on at all times unless you have a bit of a foray into youth and try and play prodigy! Was too much. :lol: it's in the audio settings option off the main settings in case you haven't found it yet. :)
 

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ExAudi said:
Having now covered 1000 miles in the Cactus [Flair, manual, 82 PureTech], here are my observations:

+

• Minimalist dashboard - all you need to know is on display permanently: speed and fuel. The rest of the gubbins is hidden away in the screen, to be summoned as and when required. Less is more.
Driving the Cactus after 'conventional' cars is more restful and easier on the eye because of the above.

• Driving position - a high driving position allows a very good view of what's happening all around.

• DAB Radio and sound system - the sound quality is impressive and the amount of adjustment available via the audio settings is surprisingly varied and usable - check the loudness button.

• Speed limiter and cruise control - the two systems complement each other well. The speed limiter is ideal for speeds from 20 - 40mph when it's necessary to remain completely in touch with the gas pedal and keep precise control where speed is likely to fluctuate.
Cruise control ideal for speeds 40mph + where it's less likely that speed fluctuations will be necessary. .

Note: please see footnote regarding the finer details of the two systems.

• The looks of the car - it's characterful and quirky, and breaks the mould of euro-boxes

-

• Inadequate directional air flow - air vents cannot be set at full blast and moved in any given direction. Also no air vent on the passenger side at window level. Noted there is a double vent centrally, set below the dashboard but too ineffective and far away to clear the front passenger window if necessary.
The reason there isn't one is that it would intrude too far into the dash-top storage box.

• AC not cool - doesn't refrigerate to a very chilled temperature.

What the Cactus would benefit from:

• One-touch electric windows

• Stop start and hill start assist across the range

• Two [proper] cup holders

• Electronic handbrake

• Mirror on the passenger side sun visor [wife's suggestion]

• Fuel filler flap and cap release from inside the car [no need then to take key out of ignition when you fill up]

Rev counter? Nah, you ain't gonna go that fast!

Overall verdict: the more you drive the Cactus the more you like it. It's characterful and has hidden depths. It's a sedate drive but can be hustled along when required.

Average MPG: 37.5 almost exclusively short journeys in London traffic.
Fuel: Shell V Power

Speed limiter and Cruise control: details

Speed Limiter

Works at speeds of 20 mph +

Works in any gear

Foot must be pressed on the gas pedal at all times.

Gear changes up and down can be made without deactivating the speed limiter.

Ideal for lower speeds - 20-40mph, as it keeps you in direct contact with the gas pedal.

Cruise Control

Works at speeds of 25mph+

Must be in 4th [or 5th] gear for it to operate

It will deactivate if the clutch or footbrake is used

Therefore gear changes will switch off the cruise control.

No need for contact with the gas pedal [once set]

Ideal for speeds of 40mph+ on roads where fluctuating speed is unlikely
Interesting to hear your views after 1k miles. I'm at 11k now so I might be able to help:

• AC not cool - doesn't refrigerate to a very chilled temperature.
Have yours checked because mine is freezing

• Fuel filler flap and cap release from inside the car [no need then to take key out of ignition when you fill up]
Please anyone, don't leave your key in any car ignition when you're not in the drivers seat. You never know who's about to hop in and drive off, or you may lock your keys inside.

• Electronic handbrake
Why? They are rubbish!

• Inadequate directional air flow - air vents cannot be set at full blast and moved in any given direction
I'm a passenger sometimes, it works a treat for me.

... clear the front passenger window if necessary.
Works well for me, press the button to have air on the windscreen and on the dash you will find vents for demisting or defrosting the front side windows https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/NkpYu5WSQFdlB3DQecLuAhfT7kfVsLl4Wn5SnLxw6BxQ7AzmrGCQ6MpoC4ZKlsWL/file
 

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Blactus said:
ExAudi said:
Having now covered 1000 miles in the Cactus [Flair, manual, 82 PureTech], here are my observations:

+

• Minimalist dashboard - all you need to know is on display permanently: speed and fuel. The rest of the gubbins is hidden away in the screen, to be summoned as and when required. Less is more.
Driving the Cactus after 'conventional' cars is more restful and easier on the eye because of the above.

• Driving position - a high driving position allows a very good view of what's happening all around.

• DAB Radio and sound system - the sound quality is impressive and the amount of adjustment available via the audio settings is surprisingly varied and usable - check the loudness button.

• Speed limiter and cruise control - the two systems complement each other well. The speed limiter is ideal for speeds from 20 - 40mph when it's necessary to remain completely in touch with the gas pedal and keep precise control where speed is likely to fluctuate.
Cruise control ideal for speeds 40mph + where it's less likely that speed fluctuations will be necessary. .

Note: please see footnote regarding the finer details of the two systems.

• The looks of the car - it's characterful and quirky, and breaks the mould of euro-boxes

-

• Inadequate directional air flow - air vents cannot be set at full blast and moved in any given direction. Also no air vent on the passenger side at window level. Noted there is a double vent centrally, set below the dashboard but too ineffective and far away to clear the front passenger window if necessary.
The reason there isn't one is that it would intrude too far into the dash-top storage box.

• AC not cool - doesn't refrigerate to a very chilled temperature.

What the Cactus would benefit from:

• One-touch electric windows

• Stop start and hill start assist across the range

• Two [proper] cup holders

• Electronic handbrake

• Mirror on the passenger side sun visor [wife's suggestion]

• Fuel filler flap and cap release from inside the car [no need then to take key out of ignition when you fill up]

Rev counter? Nah, you ain't gonna go that fast!

Overall verdict: the more you drive the Cactus the more you like it. It's characterful and has hidden depths. It's a sedate drive but can be hustled along when required.

Average MPG: 37.5 almost exclusively short journeys in London traffic.
Fuel: Shell V Power

Speed limiter and Cruise control: details

Speed Limiter

Works at speeds of 20 mph +

Works in any gear

Foot must be pressed on the gas pedal at all times.

Gear changes up and down can be made without deactivating the speed limiter.

Ideal for lower speeds - 20-40mph, as it keeps you in direct contact with the gas pedal.

Cruise Control

Works at speeds of 25mph+

Must be in 4th [or 5th] gear for it to operate

It will deactivate if the clutch or footbrake is used

Therefore gear changes will switch off the cruise control.

No need for contact with the gas pedal [once set]

Ideal for speeds of 40mph+ on roads where fluctuating speed is unlikely
Interesting to hear your views after 1k miles. I'm at 11k now so I might be able to help:

• AC not cool - doesn't refrigerate to a very chilled temperature.
Have yours checked because mine is freezing

• Fuel filler flap and cap release from inside the car [no need then to take key out of ignition when you fill up]
Please anyone, don't leave your key in any car ignition when you're not in the drivers seat. You never know who's about to hop in and drive off, or you may lock your keys inside.

• Electronic handbrake
Why? They are rubbish!

• Inadequate directional air flow - air vents cannot be set at full blast and moved in any given direction
I'm a passenger sometimes, it works a treat for me.

... clear the front passenger window if necessary.
Works well for me, press the button to have air on the windscreen and on the dash you will find vents for demisting or defrosting the front side windows https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/NkpYu5WSQFdlB3DQecLuAhfT7kfVsLl4Wn5SnLxw6BxQ7AzmrGCQ6MpoC4ZKlsWL/file
Ditto to that, personaly I found the whole Cactus 'experience' is totally different from other cars. As in 'normal' cars once you know what a button/knob/lever or dial does, thats it, done. It takes more than 1000 mls to get to grips with this 'new' dash/control experience. Keep with it, always something else to find out. ;)
 

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Maybe to let you know that the ignition is still on and you don't just open the door and walk away, leaving the key in the ignition?
 

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MaroonBells said:
Why does the SS start the engine when a door opens?
That is a safety feature. Otherwise the engine would stop and you can put it into gear without pressing the clutch and it would just sit there until the air conditioning system decides it needs to run the compressor and turn the engine on with your car taking off. That would be bad.

Or you could pop open the bonnet to change a fog light real quick, have your arm all the way down and then the engine turns on, with the auxiliary belt pulling your soft skin right into the gears. Not good. That engine also rumbles around quite a lot when starting, giving you a good bruise or broken bones.
 

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Just done 1000 miles in mine, took a few months, but finished it with 550mile round trip to the Peak District to visit family, and days out around the Peak, with my first long hauls ever on a motorway ( passed in March!) I have nothing but good things to say about the Cactus! Bit of a learning curve with regards to the quirks and what the gadgets do, but loving it more each day.
Used cruise control for the first time, so easy!
Just discovered I have electric wing mirrors! didn't realise until I clipped someone else's mirror in passing, stopped to assess damage ( none! Just folded it back) then saw the control by the right of the steering wheel!
Even with a full boot, 2 adults and 2 young kids, my 82 BHP handled very well in all conditions and roads, from motorways, to narrow, winding, fast country roads.
Aircon, I never have had it over 1/4 yet, haven't used the Satnav yet, as Google maps on my phone I'm more familiar with, but I'm planning to move over to it, soon.
 
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