Driven: 2016 Citroen C1 Furio Review
We got some time to try out the new variant of the C1, the Furio, and here are our thoughts on it.
What is the Citroen C1 Furio all About?
Citroen has always been an interesting brand for me, in fact, I like to think of them as the black horse of the market. As a matter of fact, I think the French is one of the bravest and boldest in terms of exploring the market, they always make niche products that may or may not sell, and frankly, I love them for it.
The C1 itself, despite being an ordinary city car, actually has a bit of history itself even. As boring as the last C1 looked, it was actually a multinational joint venture between 3 manufacturers: Peugeot, Citroen and Toyota, AKA TPCA (Toyota Peugeot Citroen Automobile).
This project was devised to produce city cars, resulting in the birth of multiple cars that are quite well known today: The Peugeot 107 (later the 108), the Toyota Aygo, and the Citroen C1. Now we have the second generation of the C1, and coming with it is a special edition known as the C1 Furio; in a nutshell, the sporty version of the C1.
Before even sitting in the car, you can already tell the difference between it from a normal C1. From a distance, you immediately notice the vinyls applied to the Furio just below the rear windows, and also the ‘Sunrise Red’ coloured wing mirrors.
The engine featured in this little sprinter is an engine we’re quite familiar with from Citroen, the Puretech 1.2 litre inline-3 cylinder engine found in the C4 Cactus, without the turbocharger. It’s a small engine, putting out just 82 hp at the top end and 86 lb/ft of torque at the mid-range.
This engine is mated to only one type of gearbox, a proper 5-speed H-gate manual that spins the front wheels. Props to Citroen for the bold move and really putting the ‘sporty’ feel to the car. However, the true strong suit of the car is its weight, at only 856 kg, there’s not much weight to move around, hence the decision to remove the turbocharger, keeping the driving characteristics of a light hatchback. Again, kudos to Citroen.
All of that comes together to allow the car to achieve the 0-60 mph run in just 10.9 seconds, to a top speed of 109 mph, given that you find a road long enough. Thanks to a relatively unstressed engine and the light weight, this car retains a 65.7 combined MPG figure, while putting out just 99 g of carbon per km.
Additionally, our test model is the C1 Furio Flair, providing us with front ventilated discs, 15 inch alloy wheels, and some additional small tweaks to make the car look and feel sportier than it already is.
How Does it Drive?
All you need to do is to step into the car, insert the key and turn it over to go.
Let’s all be honest here, the C1 Furio is not a fast car. 10.9 seconds to 62 mph is nothing to write home about, and it’ll feel slow if you’re comparing it to a proper hot hatchback, say the Fiesta ST. That’s because it was never designed to be a rapid mile eater in the first place.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, there’s one thing that the car constantly reminds me of, and that is its weight. It’s such a fantastic little car to drive around in almost any situation other than on the motorway, although it’s not exactly bad, as interior noises while driving the car are actually minimal considering it’s a budget city car, just wasted potential.
Driving it around the city is a joy, the car is incredibly small, it’s a city car after all, so parking space can be found easily, also navigating narrow streets is as easy as pie. However, you don’t stick out like a sore thumb while driving it around the streets, you still know that you’re driving something that has a bit of style and substance.
It’s not just in the city that it really excels. Where it truly surpasses people’s typical expectation of a city car, and a French one at that, is when you reach a piece of nice backroad. Weighing at less than 900 kg does wonders for the car, and having a low-powered engine won’t get in the way when you’re dealing with corners.
The Furio variant just contains that much more character than the normal C1, it encourages you to drive it harder and harder, it’s like an excited puppy yearning for food. The car pounces into corner after corner, and doesn’t mind taking them at all. The engine, despite putting out only over 80 lb/ft of torque, it comes at the midrange, making it quite usable.
It sticks well enough to the ground, and the small yet punchy engine propels what little weight the C1 Furio has out of the corner, although the car definitely does not feel as dialed in as some of the hot hatchback staples as you would expect, for example. The C1 Furio is still no slouch.
What’s it Like Inside?
Let’s all be honest here, for the buyers at this market segment, they’re not expecting interior qualities that will rival a Rolls-Royce, and sometimes practicality triumphs over all. And practical the C1 Furio’s interior is, starting with the cloth seats that are simple but they work.
Most of the media entertainment is handled by the large LCD screen in the middle, buttons are kept to a minimum, and the console is driver-focused. Of course, many parts of the console are made with plenty of plastic, as is to be expected. Saying that, the steering feels bulky and great to grip. It’s a 3-spoke leather steering wheel with glossy black trimming and on-steering controls.
The instrument cluster basically consists of a large center speedometer with useful information such as the revs to the side, there is also an additional screen just above the centre console that’s positioned for the driver to view displaying additional information.
All in all, the interior consists of everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
The C1 Furio is probably one of the best value cars I’ve driven, it does not look boring, with all those additional trimmings, it is good to drive, it does not stand out too much, and above all, it does not make you feel bad about your life.
For the money, you’re getting a sprightly car that appreciates you for driving it fast, and has character and a personality.
Put it simply, I’m impressed. For a car of this budget, it does not feel cheap and to top it all, is a joy to drive. It’s charming, and it certainly has won me over. However, despite all that. One thing should be noted, it feels like a solid car while driving which shows you can’t really judge a book by its cover.
Citroen C1 Furio
- Price: £11,205
- Engine: 1.2-litre inline-three
- Power: 82 hp
- Torque: 116 Nm
- Transmission: 5-speed manual
- 0-62mph: 10.9 Seconds
- Top speed: 106 mph
- Weight: 856 kg
- Economy combined: 65.7 mpg
- CO2: 99 g/km
Author: Paul Hadley