With a shining framework and desirable dynamics, a Mazda MX-5 Miata simply won my heart when we reviewed it final year. Now, Fiat’s chronicle of a princely sports automobile is here to infer that there’s another way.
Especially in Lusso trim, a Fiat 124 Spider is a some-more adult, polished Miata ideally matched for those who wish a pleasing cruiser that can yield a healthy dollop of fun when a impulse is right.
The Fiat 124 is built along a same lines as a Mazda MX-5 Miata in Japan. It has a same underpinnings, yet with a few tweaks like a Fiat engine and a incomparable trunk.
That’s a distant cry from a strange Fiat 124 Spider from that this automobile gets a name, that was built in Italy by Pininfarina. Still, if you’re going to borrow, steal from a best.
A lot of what creates a Miata good still shines by in a 124 Spider, as a Fiat is still a shining tiny thing to drive. The Spider’s steering feels particularly reduction approach than a Miata, yet it still provides copiousness of feedback and feel.
Unlike a Miata, a Fiat 124 Spider has a 1.4-liter turbocharged Fiat engine that puts out 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Mated to an involuntary delivery — as was a box in my $32,435 tester — this engine’s impression wholly changes a core competency of a car. While a high-revving naturally-aspirated engine of a Miata always wants to roar by a gears, a 124’s low-end torque is improved matched to cruising around town.
Lusso models also accept additional sound insulation, slicing down on a highway sound that bugged me in a Miata. It’s still a shrill car, yet many some-more docile than a Japanese twin.
I’m also a vast fan of a exterior. While a Miata looks like an indignant child with it’s tiny scowl, a 124 facilities a prolonged hood and a wider mouth that helps costume a pipsqueak proportions of a platform. we adore a looks of a Miata, too, yet a 124 simply looks some-more grown up.
Finally, a pleasing and elementary interior pattern is mostly unchanged. Swap a Mazda badge for a Fiat badge and you’re many of a approach there, a excellent choice given how pleasing a roadster’s interior was already. The best partial is a top, a primer automobile roof that can be non-stop or sealed with one palm in reduction than 5 seconds. It’s brilliant, it’s simple, and it won’t mangle like a formidable power-folding unit.
The 124 Spider Lusso doesn’t utterly set your hair on glow a approach a Miata does. It’s still a fun automobile by any required yardstick, yet a 124’s additional weight and oppulance concentration strains out some of a pushing prowess. An involuntary delivery serve dulls a sensations, yet a primer is on offer for those who wish it.
If we opt for a Lusso model, and value a lush aspirations of a 124, you’ll be unhappy in a highway noise. As mentioned, it’s better-insulated than a automobile on that it’s based, yet there’s a important and destined hubbub on a highway. Every time we got adult to speed, we had to spin adult a volume of a radio or lift my voice in conversation.
The interior of a automobile is tiny. I’m 5′ 6″ and fit only fine, yet anyone over 6′ 2″ isn’t going to have a fun time. You also don’t get a glove box or any doorway pockets, so your storage cubbies include of a credit-card sized core console and a bigger, lockable cell between a seats.
But a misfortune partial is still a crater holders, dual mobile cosmetic baskets hardly able of confining a soda can. In fact, after pushing with an open Coke we after found brownish-red splatter speckling a lurch above a crater holder.
The Lusso indication we tested starts during $28,390.
Unless we live in a mark with serious trade or we can’t expostulate stick, I’d pass on spending $1,350 for an automatic. It’s a decent adequate automatic, yet a primer will assistance we get a many out of a engine in any energetic driving.
You can skip a Comfort and Convenience organisation since a automobile is so tiny that we don’t unequivocally need blind-spot monitoring. An additional $1,295 gets we navigation and a reward Bose stereo, that are both must-haves.
All in, that’ll cost we $29,685.
If you’re a lane rodent looking for a automobile to abuse on a highway course, I’d approach we toward a Miata. It’s still crook and a naturally-aspirated engine is some-more suitable for postulated abuse. But chances are, you’re not.
For many of us, sacrificing a bit of pushing sharpness to make a automobile quieter and some-more serviceable around city is a estimable trade off. The Fiat 124 Spider delivers that, along with a mature extraneous pattern and nothing of a boy-racer container that comes with a Miata name.
Perhaps some-more importantly, Fiat is many some-more assertive in charity incentives and franchise deals to assistance cut a cost of a car. So while it competence not be a better-driving twin, it’s still a great-looking and great-driving automobile during a reasonable price.
Exterior: 4 stars
Interior: 3 stars
Driving Experience: 4 stars
Value: 5 stars
Overall: 4 stars
Price as tested: $32,435