Family cars may have a reputation for being boring, but the Citroen C4 Cactus – true to its name – is anything but ordinary. This quirky machine looks striking, with an array of bold colours available and unique ‘Airbump’ trim around its flanks, which should protect it from the odd car park ding.

Best of all, though, the Cactus is very cheap to buy, with prices starting from less than £13,000. Even if you go all out and opt for the top-of-the-range model, you’ll still struggle to spend much more than £18,000.

We’ve trawled through the Cactus range to find the models that make the most sense for those on a tight budget, those looking for the most bang for their buck and others after the plushest car for their money.

The smart choice for those on a budget: 1.2 75 Touch – £12,990

Touch trim might be the first rung on the Cactus ladder, but even this base car looks seriously quirky, with black squidgy trim on its sides and corners protecting the paintwork from scratches. For just under £13,000 this model includes a seven-inch touchscreen media system, a digital radio, electric front windows and wing mirrors, steering wheel controls, cruise control and LED daytime running lights.

With a 1.2-litre petrol engine this Cactus returns strong claimed fuel consumption of 61.4mpg, while its lightweight construction means it can scamper to 62mph in a reasonable 12.9 seconds. Annual car tax bills should also be inexpensive, weighing in at a mere £20 for this model.

The smart choice for value for money: 1.2 110 Feel – £15,890

Up the budget to £16,000 and you can get yourself the nippy turbocharged 1.2-litre 110 petrol, which sprints to 62mph in a brisk 9.3 seconds. Fuel economy remains strong, with claimed consumption of 60.1mpg, while car tax also costs just £20 per year.

As for equipment, stepping up to Feel trim adds air conditioning, Bluetooth phone connection and music streaming, 16-inch alloy wheels and gloss black roof rails, wing mirrors and trim. Helping to make the cabin feel more upmarket, however, is a two-tone leather steering wheel.

The smart choice for technophiles: 1.6 HDi 100 Flair – £18,090

If you cover a lot of miles, though, the 1.6 HDi diesel could be a wise investment, with its low CO2 emissions making it exempt from car tax and claimed economy of 83.1mpg meaning that fuel top ups should be few and far between. Just over £18,000 gets you a 99bhp diesel motor that carts the Cactus to 62mph in a perfectly adequate 10.7 seconds.

Range-topping Flair trim, meanwhile, adds plenty of toys, including sat nav and uprated speakers, a colour reversing camera and rear parking sensors for easy manoeuvring, along with climate control, automatic lights and windscreen wipers and an additional USB input for charging electronic devices.

Other standard kit includes eye-catching 17-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, tinted rear windows, a front arm rest and handy heated wing mirrors.

Picture: Citroen