Editorial: The Car That Answers Today's Questions?
Most car advertisements tout the abundance of features that the car offers: big engines, advanced electronics and sexy styling. Not this one.
The Citroen C4 Cactus is, in my opinion, one of the coolest cars on sale today. Yes, it does not make much power, its looks are, well, polarizing (I happen to love it) and it is deliberately spartan.
Sounds a lot like Steve’s famous base model “strippers”, right? Well, this thing is, for lack of a better word, quite chic. A Cactus is cheap in the way that Zara clothing or Ikea furniture is cheap. A base Versa with crank windows is cheap in all the wrong ways.
As many people pointed out, the sheer value of new cars on sale today in the United States means that strippers will never see much success in the market. As commenter Paul wrote
I acknowledge stripper does not equal base, but look at the options list on a totally base Accord LX Sedan with a manual:
Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control with Air-Filtration System
i-MID with 8-Inch High-Resolution WVGA (800×480) Screen and Customizable Feature Settings
Rearview Camera with Guidelines
SMS Text Message Function5
Power Windows with Auto-Up/Down Driver’s Window
Illuminated Steering Wheel-Mounted Cruise, Audio, Phone and i-MID Controls
Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column
Fold-Down Rear Seatback with Center Armrest
160-Watt AM/FM/CD Audio System with 4 Speakers
Bluetooth® Streaming Audio4
USB Audio Interface7
MP3/Auxiliary Input Jack
Exterior Temperature Indicator
Thats not a bad list at all.
All this for just $21,995. Phenomenal value by any measure. A base Cactus, on the other hand, starts at $22,000 USD (just under 13,000 GBP). Even a base Nissan Juke in Europe, which retails for similar money, comes with a 1.6L engine making just 94 horsepower.
The point I’m trying to make is that in America, where cars are so comparatively cheap, something like the Cactus would be a non-starter. But in the rest of the world, where cars, as well as parking, fuel, insurance and other associated costs are much higher, it’s easy to see why the answer to today’s questions might be “less is more”.
28-Cars-Later on Jun 25, 2014
That was an entertaining commercial. FTR, I happen to like Zara clothes but don't own enough of them to make a judgement on their long term quality. Ikea seems to be hit and miss, I have a sturdy Ikea kitchen table which recently turned ten, but the "chic" little wooden chairs I bought to go with it didn't make it past six (actually two of the four broke in three years). Regarding Cactus, this seems to do almost everything right where something like Juke does almost everything wrong in my eyes. Although Wikipedia is sketchy on power details, French Wikipedia lists things as: "Petrol 1.2 VTi 75/82 hp 1.2 THP 110 hp (2015) Diesel 1.6 e-HDi 92 bhp 1.6 BlueHDi 100 hp (2015) HybridAir (2016" Ikea chic or not, $21K USD for a 75hp car is a non starter for me, feels like a huge penalty. The Diesel option sounds more appropriate. I realize this is not intended for US consumption, but if that were to change I implore Citron to learn from FCA's mistake with the Dart launch and offer a 2.0Lish gas motor. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_C4_Cactus This website notes diesel mileage of 76mpg (presumably Imperial) but conveniently forgets the gas motor mileage. Probably because its terrible. So have a potentially awful driving experience in your little underpowered car oh and btw have some poor mileage too (vs a conventional I4 2.0L). The US EPA rates the MY13 "Smart" car at 34mpg city with its 1.0L gas motor (which requires premium btw). My MY02 Saturn has been consistently delivering 25mpg even with ethanol-ed down gas and 28 or more mixed. This despite the fact the Saturn is physically larger and weighs 648lbs more. Seems like diminished returns the smaller the gas motor, but hey what do I know. Diesel is a whole other ball game. "The Cactus’ engine options aren’t only light but according to the manufacturer, the 99 bhp 1.6 liter diesel is capable of delivering mileage figures of 3.1L/100 km (76 mpg) and emissions of 82 gm of CO2/km. A 110 bhp turbo-charged 3-cylinder gas engine making 109 bhp will be available along with a choice of a 5-speed manual gearbox or Citroen’s ETG auto-box." http://www.gizmag.com/citroen-c4-cactus-officially-unveiled/30766/ http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymake/smart2013.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Fortwo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_SL
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