The lightest tow car in this year’s tests is the Citroën C4 Cactus. If you tow a trailer tent, and don’t want or need a bigger car, the Cactus is a great choice. In fact, it’s the winner of 2015’s ‘Best Ultralight Tow Car’ award.
It may have a lowly 825kg legal maximum (and that drops to 600kg if the car is fully loaded), but if that’s not a problem, the Citroën shows a reasonable turn of speed, pulling our trailer from 30-60mph in 16.9 seconds. That said, the rate of acceleration does tail off noticeably as the legal limit is approached.
Stability is more important than pace when towing, and this is where the Cactus really presses home its advantage of the other really small cars. Through the lane-change test the Citroën felt secure. The trailer slid around on the third and fastest run, but Cactus knuckled down and dragged it straight again. The Citroën stopped well, too, taking just 10.8 metres to slow from 30mph, and doing so without any drama or shunting from the trailer.
Hill starts can be tricky for small cars with modest power and torque outputs, but the Cactus made a decent fist of the 1-in-6 slope. The handbrake needed a firm pull to stop the car and trailer rolling backwards, though, and reversing a short distance uphill caused the clutch to smell.
Inside and out, the Citroën C4 Cactus’s design is a breath of fresh air. It won’t suit everyone, but it’s certainly distinctive. Adults should fit in the back at a squeeze, and the boot is a decent size. We couldn’t fit in every item of our holiday load, but there was room for most of it.
Go for Feel spec and you get a respectable level of kit and good value. Running costs should be very low, too, although we doubt many owners get near the official combined economy figure of 88.3mpg.