2017 Fiat 124 Spider
It would be easy to call the Fiat 124 Spider a badge-engineered Mazda MX-5 Miata and call it a day. But the truth is, that would also be unfair. And we grabbed our QuickSpin in sunny San Diego, California to detail the differences.
And they’re actually quite apparent when you see it on the street. Despite sharing a traditional sports car long hood, short deck profile with the MX5, and sitting on the same wheelbase, the 124 is some 5 inches longer, with much of that going into a bigger trunk. The 124 also sports oversized headlights for a classic ‘60s, slick Italian roadster look.
The Interior, however, carries over almost directly from the MX5, with Fiat adding unique trim to spice things up.
The big difference on the mechanical side is where it counts. Under the hood is Fiat’s own turbocharged engine! Grabbing 160 horsepower from a 1.4 liter turbo 4, the same one found in the 500 Abarth.
But, despite a bit more power than the Miata, with the added weight of the 124 we found the differences in acceleration to be minimal. Transmission choices are the same, a six speed manual or auto.
GREG CARLOSS: “So what are the big differences between the Fiat 124 and Miata? Well, there’s a lot of different sounds in here because of the turbocharged engine. You get that turbo whistle. Yea, you get a little bit of turbo lag, but you also get a raspier exhaust note, which I always felt was missing from the Miata…”
JOHN DAVIS: Most other mechanical bits are direct descendants of the MX-5. Fiat did retune the dampers and spring rates, and the result is a tamer albeit still sensorial ride.
On sale now, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider starts around $26,000.
Engine: 1.4 liter turbo 4
Price: Starts around $26,000