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.
The gearstick, meanwhile, is a completely different matter. It has an unusually long throw and requires a fair bit of force to get it through each gate. The lever is made from a hard, rough grey plastic, and the plastic cover hanging from it feels like it belongs more in your washing-up cupboard than your brand new car.
The C1’s 7.0in infotainment touchscreen is fairly easy to use, with an intuitive menu layout. It has Bluetooth compatibility for two devices at once - one for phone, one for music - and is quick to respond to inputs. It’s a real shame that the Furio doesn’t come with the sat-nav provided on some higher trim levels, though.
Should I buy one?
The Furio is a sensibly priced option within the C1 range. If you want something a bit more exciting and less common than the regular C1, it’s certainly a good bet. However, the Aygo is the same package with better refinement both on the road and inside. Insurance should be cheap for young drivers, though, with an insurance group of 12E and a small-capacity engine.
While the Hyundai i10 and Volkswagen Up continue to lead the class, the C1 maintains its position as a worthwhile cheaper alternative. For many, looks are high on the priority list, and if that’s the case, the Furio could well be popular amongst the younger buyers its intended for.
Citroën C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
Location Richmond; On sale Now; Price £11,205; Engine 3 cyls, 1199cc, petrol; Power 82bhp at 5750rpm; Torque 86lb ft at 2750rpm; Gearbox 5-speed manual; Kerb weight 856kg; 0-62mph 10.9sec; Top speed 106mph; Fuel economy 65.7mpg (combined); CO2 rating/tax band 99g/km, 16%; Rivals Toyota Aygo; Peugeot 108; Volkswagen Up