"I'm pretty much where I was last year, if not a little bit better," the Team Sky rider, who won the eight stage race in 2013, told the event's website (www.letour.com).
"I'm very, very happy with my performance today. I didn't think I'd do so well in such a short and flat time trial."
Spain's Alberto Contador finished second, eight seconds behind the 29-year-old Briton, while Luxembourg's Bob Jungels finished a further second back in third after the 10.4 km stage around Lyon.
The Dauphine is the traditional warm-up for the Tour.
Criterium du Dauphine stage one result
1. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) 13:13"
2. Alberto Contador (Spain / Tinkoff - Saxo) +8"
3. Bob Jungels (Luxembourg / Trek) +9"
4. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Garmin) +11"
5. Wilco Kelderman (Netherlands / Belkin)
6. Lars Boom (Netherlands / Belkin) +12"
7. Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus / Team Sky)
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy / Astana) +13"
9. Tejay van Garderen (U.S. / BMC Racing)
10. Matthias Braendle (Austria / IAM Cycling)
- Sports & Recreation
- Alberto Contador
- Bob Jungels
- Chris Froome
- Team Sky