Are you the sort of person who loves loud-shirt days at work and other wacky, fun-loving things? Do you like to be the centre of attention? Do you stand out as much as a moment of subtly and thoughtfulness in a Michael Bay movie?
Then something like a Toyota Corolla probably isn’t for you.
Luckily, a country called “France” builds cars that will suit your extrovert personality perfectly. Generally stylish and, let’s face it, a little eccentric, French cars are rarely boring and never predictable.
And so it is with French car companies. Just when you think they are going in one direction, they do something entirely out of left field. Two examples of which are the Citroen C4 Cactus and the Renault Captur.
Where the C4 Cactus is rather avant-garde and oddly retro (without being particularly retro in any way), the Captur is a moment of well-designed clarity from a company that has veered wildly between deadly dull (Fluence, Koleos) and extremely cool (anything with an “RS” after its name), with a lot of vans in between.Handily, they meet in the middle to play in the same price range; the vowel-deficient Captur starting at $35,990 and the cheerfully squinty Cactus coming in at $37,990.
Both are small five-door hatches that are almost SUVs, but their external appearances couldn’t be more different. The Renault is easily the best expression of the company’s current design language, with a strong family look and an extraordinarily stylish stance. It is sleek, modern and remarkably attractive, something that is particularly difficult to pull off on this body type.
And it is not entirely without its odd little French quirks either: the two-tone colour scheme you see here is one of several options available.
The Citroen on the other hand is all kinds of wild. At its heart it is a relatively simple design, but that simple design has been draped with incredibly bold styling decisions that work together brilliantly. You will either love it or hate it, but during our time with the Cactus we met very little in the way of hate.
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