What is it?
Two years after its launch, Citroën has given its second-generation C1 city car a new variant, the Furio, reviving a name once applied to the Saxo. The new model "offers young drivers an affordable, sporty looking car," according to its maker, "to build on Citroën's sporting credentials."
Those said credentials aren’t too shabby – Citroën has won the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) for the last two years and has had some memorable success in the World Rally Championship (WRC) over the last couple of decades.
Citroën's sporting prestige doesn’t really rear its head here, though. The Furio’s only upgrades are a pack of extra visual adornments.
It’s only available as a three-door with a manual gearbox, and comes with the choice of two engines – the four-cylinder VTi 68, or a Puretech 82 triple. The less powerful car costs £10,855, and the version we’re testing here will set you back £11,205.
What's it like?
The Furio’s metal bits are exactly the same as the standard C1. It’s also the same as the latest Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 – all three are built on the same production line in the Czech Republic.
Therefore, the biggest talking point here is the exterior modifications. On top of the equipment that comes with mid-range Feel trim, the Furio gets some rather neat-looking 15in ‘Planet’ alloy wheels, a rear diffuser, and a new central exhaust pipe.
It’s available in two metallic paint colours – Lipizzan White, or Carlinite Grey – coupled with contrasting Sunrise Red door mirrors and wheel caps. This undeniably gives the Furio more visual character, as does the progressively-pixelating black stripe down the car’s side. We'll let you decide if Citroën - and any other manufacturers for that matter - should leave stickers to Hot Wheels.
To drive, the C1 remains as pleasant as ever and a competent city car. Its 82bhp three-cylinder engine has readily available torque and is quite flexible, giving it the speed you need around town. Unfortunately, it’s not particularly refined, being quite loud, and vibrating noticeably upon startup and when idling in our omnipresent urban queues. More upmarket rivals like the Volkswagen Up do a better job.
The C1 is agile enough around corners, with fairly direct steering that has the light steering you want in its natural habitat. It also comes with Hill Start Assist, which is a nice bonus in stop-start traffic. The ride is well-poised, smoothing out small scars in the road surface, but occasionally thumping and jittering over larger potholes. Wind and road noise at speed are also intrusive.
Inside, the C1 has the same dashboard, instrument display and infotainment display as its Peugeot and Toyota siblings. It’s a clean design, but the materials it’s made from aren’t great in terms of perceived quality. The new ‘Wave’ grey cloth upholstery is a nice touch, though, and these are applied to what are adjustable and comfortable seats.