Naming a car after a particularly prickly succulent usually found in
arid, rain starved environments around the world, could either be seen
as a win as much as it could be seen as a fail. Personally, announcing
to friends and family that I would be driving a Cactus, elicited as many
furrowed brows as it did guffaws.
Of course, leave it to the
French to defy convention whilst simultaneously polarising opinion and
with the Citroen C4 Cactus you see here, there can be no denying that
you’re either firmly in the ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ camp. Without
exception, no one is seems ambivalent to the Cactus’s (Cacti?) quirky
I love it/I hate it! Is that bubble wrap on the doors?
the desert dwelling counterpart who’s spines (the prickly bits) are
great at warding off hungry herbivores with their prickly spines, the C4
Cactus similarly has a special adaptation in preventing dents and
scratches on its doors from careless shoppers and parkers. It’s called
AirBump technology and yes, it looks weird.
Simply, it’s a pliable
protective strip made from thermoplastic polyurethane and indeed it
looks like a scaled up, automotive adaption of bubble wrap. Actually,
that’s a pretty good description because it works in exactly the same
way acting as a flexible bumper for the side of your car.
too. I invited a friend to intentionally park too close to the Cactus
and encouraged him to carelessly open his door against it and voila, no
dings or scratches. Similarly it’ll provide protection against errant
shopping trolleys carelessly abandoned by their operators.
door trim aside, the Cactus is as unique a crossover on the road as you
might find, with its three-tier light arrangement up front, rising
waistline and minimal glass area and stubby rear end, even the glossy
black roof racks are out of keeping with the norm, further setting the
Cactus apart from everything else on the road.