What is it?
Usually when a car is described as “grown-up” or “mature”, it’s intended as something of a compliment; a way of emphasising a vehicle’s distinct sense of purpose, well-roundedness or refinement.
But in the case of the latest Citroën C4 Cactus, driven here for the first time on UK roads, those sorts of adjectives - although relatively accurate - do the car a bit of a disservice.
You see, the original C4 Cactus, launched back in 2014, was always a bit of an oddball - certainly in the way it looked. The wacky design stood out, turned heads and added a bit of verve into a segment of the car market that at times could be rather dreary.
That mould-breaking aesthetic contributed to Citroën selling around 30,000 of the things in the UK after it first rocked up on the scene.
This new model, though, billed by Citroën as a “mid-life product evolution”, loses some of the original’s visual charm, favouring a more reserved and - you guessed it - grown-up look.
The prominent Airbumps that originally divided opinion have been moved to a more discreet location, and the abundance of black plastic cladding that gave it its rufty-tufty, off-road-style appeal has been reduced in favour of a cleaner, arguably more premium image.
It’s not that it looks bad – it doesn’t – it’s just that it's lost a bit of the charm that made its predecessor unique and likeable.
But we’re not just here to discuss looks: we’re here to find out how the C4 Cactus deals with the UK’s notoriously battered roads - especially now it has Citroën’s ‘Progressive Hydraulic Cushions’ suspension and Advanced Comfort seats.
We’re driving the top-of-the range Puretech 130 Flair edition here, which pairs a turbocharged, 128bhp three-cylinder petrol engine with a six-speed manual transmission to send its power to the front wheels.