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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We got delivery of our Cactus last Saturday and so I have been driving it now for a week, mainly the 25 miles to work and the same again back, but yesterday I did my first long journey in it to Brighton via the M4, M25, M23, A23 and then back following the more scenic A and B roads. These are my thoughts so far.

Cutting to the chase, overall I love the car. Its the first one I have had with a turbo and lets just say that there's no point in looking at fuel economy yet until I lose the grin I get when I hear the growl and feel the pull as I put the pedal down yet again!

I love the new gadgets to me such as the reversing camera, the parking sensors, cruise control and speed limiting, plus the fact that the sat nav voice comes from the car speakers and not a TomTom, and the way the audio mp3 will briefly replay the last seconds missed while the voice was talking. As someone who is overweight and suffers from lower back ache, I honestly don't think Ive sat in a more comfortable car seat, and don't feel the need for any lumbar support, but its also nice to see the slight cushioning effect carried on to the door arm rest too which is something not often seen on other cars.

I really enjoy the feel of the steering wheel, the two tone soft fabric and the fact that its not round add a sense of uniqueness and make it a pleasure to hold. The luggage type door handles - an apparently major negative factor to some car reviewers - are to me a lovely and elegant design that I would show off more if possible.

And I mustn't forget the stop start technology, which is so cool and saves a bit of planet every second. Just kidding, but it is very cool to listen to it switch off then on again without any apparent effort.

But having said all that, there are some negatives - there are always going to be with any car, and these are just mildly irritating things that take the cream off the top of it being a brilliant concept from Citroen. That one cup holder is annoying to me. I drive 50 miles a day and go through a bottle of water each way so I use a stainless steel refillable "one green bottle" make which has a bulbous bottom. Its never been a problem before yet its too big to fit in the holder of this car. Putting the bottle in the door pocket makes it too far out of reach to safely grab while driving so I basically have nowhere safe to put it while driving. Okay I can get a new bottle, but its still annoying. And I'm sorry but they could easily have added another holder in the arm rest or glovebox.

Oh yes, the central arm rest - clearly designed by someone who never ever uses the hand brake...ever! That, I am afraid is just shoddy design and there is no excuse really. I could accept it if Citroen were the first ever car company to come up with the idea of a centre arm rest with a hand brake close to it but they aren't and every other manufacturer has managed to make it work fine so why cant they? Flip the arm rest up you might say, but I like it down and Ive had it down on every other car and not had to be Mr Tickle in order to pull up the hand brake.

With hindsight I also think the climate control should have been made so it could be adjustable from outside of the a/c screen. Its a minor thing but when you have the sat nav going and you need to increase or decrease the temperature or fan speed, it would be nice to not have to leave the screen you're currently in. Whilst on the subject of the sat nav, I don't think its as good as the TomTom. Sure it gets you from A to B and at the end of the day that's all you need, but the Citroen version makes different distinctions of road conditions to normal, such as when it talks about forks in the road when they arent forks because one is just straight on, the other is a slip road off. Id also like it if the light blue line showing the route to take could be a different colour so I could actually see it better. Oh and it also seemed today to be that slight bit late with the directions on a few occasions.

So if I'm being niggly, I should mention the boot release too. It doesn't sound right to me. When you press the button under the lip its almost like that catch is the last gladiator in Christendom holding back the seven samurai of the apocalypse. Its not a smooth release of the catch but more of a really annoyed clunk. I don't like it. Ive heard many other boot releases (don't get me wrong, I don't normally dispose of bodies, etc) and none of them have ever sounded as "gruff". Maybe its the muffled pleading voices that hid the noise before!

Back of seat pouches and more hooks in the boot would also have been nice. Just because I have a sat nav doesn't mean Ill never need to carry a map book or local guide, and maybe Jean Pierre who designed the solitary Cactus boot hook only lives alone and therefore buys one bag of shopping at a time, but lots of us have families that eat like animals.

And just for the sake of rounding off the review, my figures for the round trip:
Consumption: 46.2mpg
Distance: 164 miles
Average Speed: 32mph (I assume that last figure is average speed?)

I'd consider 46mpg pretty good considering I drove like a banshee down those back roads :)



Oh yes - this little chap is now dangling from my rear view mirror. He's called Cactus Dog.
 

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Well you're 'nearly' pleased with it then ;) , you don't have to come out of the current screen to change fan etc. At the top it shows what is currently on regardless of what screen you're on, just press the tab you want to change and it will go to it. Or is this what you're not happy with ?. You have the Flair like mine so there should be pouches on back of seats, just like mine has. Armrest as you say is pretty pointless until on a motorway then its great, you'll get used to it. :D
 

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Good review and yeah around town the armrest is useless and we leave it up BUT on long journeys it works great and I find it very comfortable. Its like OK long journey armrest down.

I know what you mean about the sat-nav saying "At fork in road ahead bare right" when its a slip road off the motorway but once you know that its fine and you get used to it. But we find the Sat-Nav very accurate and on a recent trip to family we were told by a few people its hard to find and you are wasting your time using Sat-Nav as it wont work - Ours did - right to the door :)

Love the photos though and I want a cactus dog :D
 

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I will never understand the beef with the climate control being in a menu - it's climate control, set a temperature, leave it in 'auto' and forget it.
 

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Adrian said:
With hindsight I also think the climate control should have been made so it could be adjustable from outside of the a/c screen. Its a minor thing but when you have the sat nav going and you need to increase or decrease the temperature or fan speed, it would be nice to not have to leave the screen you're currently in.
You can; when on the SatNav, or other, screen touch the centre top of the screen where the current AC setting is shown. You get a pop up window where you can do a basic temperature adjustment without having to switch to the AC screen.
 

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Lovely well thought out review.

I agree with all the niggles.

I also put MY Cactus in the same category into the same category as my first Mk 2 Jaguar. The experience was revolutionary. Admittedly that was after Austin Seven, Austin A35, MG TC. In those days a Mk 2 Jag cost £100. If it gave too much problem it was chucked away and one got another!

Compared to my previous C3 Picasso it is so much of a better car.

Roly
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Evilpaul said:
Adrian said:
With hindsight I also think the climate control should have been made so it could be adjustable from outside of the a/c screen. Its a minor thing but when you have the sat nav going and you need to increase or decrease the temperature or fan speed, it would be nice to not have to leave the screen you're currently in.
You can; when on the SatNav, or other, screen touch the centre top of the screen where the current AC setting is shown. You get a pop up window where you can do a basic temperature adjustment without having to switch to the AC screen.
wow I never knew that. I'm going to try that on the way to work in a minute.

I probably should stress that this is likely the best car I've owned to date (and I have had some fairly decent cars in the past), and is a real pleasure to drive in. All of the things above are as Mothy states, just niggles. Some of them I knew about before buying, some I wasn't aware of, and some become more apparent as time goes by, but despite all of them, I would still buy the car again if I had to do it all over.

I got up this morning and as I came downstairs I saw my car through the window half way down. I always look to check its there and I still have that little bit of anticipation knowing that Im shortly going to go out driving in it again, and just wish the 25 miles to work was really through mountain passes, beside beautiful fjords, beneath snow capped peaks and woodland.
 

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I'm like that about driving the Cactus.....

I work from home (Photographer) so don't go to work but when we go shopping or when we are doing the arduous trip to visit my son in long term hospital it makes it so much nicer a journey in the cactus
 

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Great review Adrian thanks for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
cactusjack said:
You have the Flair like mine so there should be pouches on back of seats, just like mine has.
Yes I have the Flair but no seat pouches. Must be a change to make it lighter lol.
 

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Adrian said:
cactusjack said:
You have the Flair like mine so there should be pouches on back of seats, just like mine has.
Yes I have the Flair but no seat pouches. Must be a change to make it lighter lol.
Seat pouches only come with a leather or coloured cloth interior upgrade.
 
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