Don’t dismiss the 124 Spider simply because other Fiats have not done well in our tests. Underneath the car’s bodywork - inspired by the Pininfarina-designed 124 Spider from the 1960s and ‘70s - is essentially a Mazda MX-5 Miata. As such it retains the Miata’s nimble, fun-to-drive essence, while bringing a turbocharged engine and decent seats.
Fiat 124 Road Test

Don’t dismiss the 124 Spider simply because other Fiats have not done well in our tests. Underneath the car’s bodywork - inspired by the Pininfarina-designed 124 Spider from the 1960s and ‘70s - is essentially a Mazda MX-5 Miata. As such it retains the Miata’s nimble, fun-to-drive essence, while bringing a turbocharged engine and decent seats. It also retains the Miata’s tight accommodations and elevated noise levels, making it more of a weekend toy than a daily commuter.

All 124 Spiders come with Fiat/Chrysler’s widely used 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 160 horsepower, as opposed to the Miata’s bigger 2.0-liter four-cylinder. But like the Mazda, you have a choice of a six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic.

The 124’s turbo engine is fairly hearty and revs willingly, delivering noticeably good punch at mid-range revs. That engine sound is uninspiring, however, getting rattly the more you wind it out. A baby Ferrari with a stirring exhaust, this is not.

Best Version to Get
If you’re looking for a sports car that behaves and sounds like a classic roadster, go for the Abarth. If you’re attracted to the Fiat styling and the open top motoring, choose the Lusso with an automatic transmission. Starting with the 2019 model year, even entry-level 124s come with a 7-inch info...
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