Not often I want to recommend a petrol engine over derv but what the new Cactus really lacks is a bit of poke. A 100bhp HDi might sound perfect for this size of car – it isn’t.
The Cactus seems to have a range of super-frugal engines that sell on economy. However, even the 100bhp is tiresome to drive at low speed. It has very little pick-up from a standing start and twisty, low-speed roads mean plenty of gearbox changes.
Things improve slightly at high speed, where the five-speed Cactus we have on test moves along nicely. It’s when the revs drop that you have to start working the Citroen hard!
So, the PureTech 110bhp petrol might be worth a look. It still returns excellent mpg and has that extra bit of shove from under the bonnet. I’m getting 50mpg from the HDi – the official mpg figures are much higher but to achieve any kind of satisfactory performance, that is simply not possible…