Citroën will kill off the C4 Cactus – what should it replace it with? [poll]

Reports are coming out yet again (source: Top Gear) that Citroën will kill off the C4 Cactus once the model runs out of steam – which may be soon. Many will decry this as a disappointment – the Cactus was a car we all wanted to love, with its quirky looks, bold engineering decisions and its impressive sub-1000kg (2,200lbs) weight. Unfortunately, the buying public did not agree, and the Cactus only ever managed 80,000 odd sales in it first full year (see full sale figures), falling to just under 60,000 in recent years. The Cactus’s performance in 2018 was particularly disappointing, given the model’s extensive facelift and the demise of the other similarly-sized hatch in Citroën’s lineup, the C4, an arguably even bigger sales disappointment for the brand (see full sale figures).

Now, Citroën needs to figure out: “what next?” First, it could re-enter the compact market with a new C4, possibly with a “faux-rider” version in the vain of the Ford Focus Active. Second, it could abandon the mainstream compact segment and focus on a crossover that the buying public wants, much as Nissan did with the Qashqai. Third, going against the reports, it could double-down on the Cactus’s ethos and engineering principles, fix the divisive quirks (proper wind-down windows in the back), and try to get it “right” the second time around. 

What do you think?

How should Citroën follow up the C4 Cactus?

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  1. Better read the source article. It’s long been decided what the successor will look like. As to the demise of the Cactus as we know it – too much a compromise. The next Cactus / C4 will be bold enough though, but without the quirks of the current Cactus. Btw, I ‘ve driven the Cactus as a rental. The semi automatic. Fine car, great comfort, but with bizarre location of the gear selector. Somewhere deep, deep down, in da dark … 😉

    1. Fair enough, I guess Citroën already knows what they’re going to do, but we don’t know, and I thought it would be interesting to hear what people think. But yeah, poor choice of words, I guess

  2. I loved the Cactus as soon as it came out. It looked cool and fun; unfortunately, we never got it in the USA. I was disappointed with the second-generation model. Although it stilled looked cool, there was no longer a big-enough difference between the Cactus and the C3 Aircross. I think that that was how it fell. Also, only the Rip Curl edition had SUV stuff like AWD and driving modes for different surfaces. The Cactus was a great hatchback, but not a great SUV, despite the looks. The question for customers must have been, “why get this when I can have both SUV stuff and AWD on C3 and C5 Aircross?”

    Therefore, I think the Cactus should keep it’s name and get AWD for the next generation. Then buyers will return.

    1. “I think the Cactus should get AWD for the next generation, then buyers will return”. AWD? In a mainstream Citroen? Given the option, only interesting for folks in specific regions / countries,

  3. C4 Cactus is a great car and an instant classic. Misunderstood by conservative people who get scared when their car doesn’t look like the one the neighbours own. Modern cars get bigger and bigger and are only luxurious when adding expensive options. Citroen showed you can build an affordable, innovative car with everything on board. Material use was impressive as well. Vive la France, vive la différence!

  4. Citroën needs to go bigger and bolder or go home. I loved the original Cactus and toning it down was a mistake in my opinion. The new one needs to add more family friendly features like individual and reclining seats in the rear, and drop down windows of course, something between a normal C-segment car like a golf, and a 5-seater Picasso which will no longer be available as well. And continue to emphasize on design, comfort and quirkiness as all Citroëns should be

    1. Totally agree with your first sentence. There is absolutely no reason for Citroen not to distance themselves even more from Peugeot now that PSA have purchased Opel.

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  8. Citroën has the C3 hatchback, C3 Aircross and C5 Aircross. I don’t think they need another car.

    A new C4 wouldn’t perform well, and would provide thin margins.

    1. C4 is a C segment car. C3 and C5 models are B and D segment respectively. I don’t see a reason why Citroen should not want to introduce a new C4 in one of the most popular segments.
      .

  9. When talking about Citroen’s sales numbers, I think people should open up their mind a bit. Why? Because it’s Citroen. In general, a brand that tries to attract buyers who like something different than the average car in each segment. Result? Smaller target groups. Citroen doesn’t do the same as other mainstream brands like Peugeot, VW, Opel and Toyota which are brands that build cars to attract larger target groups. In this respect, the performance of the French in for example the small crossover segment is rather successful. Over the years, the C4 Cactus had relatively stable sales figures according to CSB’s own stats. The model had a better first five months in 2019 compared with 2018. Sure, crossovers are still very popular, but all of this is quite good if you think about the position of the C4 Cactus within its segment and the introduction of the C3 Aircross which meant at least some kind of internal competition.
    .
    In short, I totally disagree with Kris about the C4 Cactus being a sales disappointment for the brand.

      1. Yes, I noticed a lot of them on the streets in Argentina and Brazil, especially the second generation seems popular there!

  10. Totally agree with your first sentence. There is absolutely no reason for Citroen not to distance themselves even more from Peugeot now that PSA have purchased Opel.

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