Fiat are saying that the 124 Spider is, “the best value roadster in America…and the most powerful four-cylinder in its class”.
Car and driver names it the Fiata after its sister car the Mazda Miata. They are both built in the same plant in Hiroshima Japan, however, the Fiat is slightly longer, and weighs about 100 pounds more. How is this an advantage? Well, the Fiat has a larger trunk so if you were considering a Miata but can’t fit it in that extra pair of pants, the Fiat is for you! The Fiat has a different engine to the Miata, despite being made in the same factory. The Fiat has a four-cylinder 1.4 turbo engine which is assembled in Italy, then shipped to Japan. The Miata has a 2.0 naturally aspirated engine (non-turbo).
The original 1960s Fiat 124 Spider was designed by legendary Italien designers Pininforina. Pininforina were hired by car manufacturers to design vehicles for them. They were responsible for designing vehicles such as Ferrari’s, Alfa Romeo’s, even some Cadillacs. Some of the original Pininfarina design features in the 1960 Fiat 124 Spider are present in today’s version.
- 160hp 184 lb-ft Torque
- Up to 36mpg
- 6 Speed manual transmission with Short-Throw shifter available/6 Speed Aisin Auto Transmission
- Paddle mounted shifters available on the Abarth with Auto trans
- Bilstein suspension with front strut tower brace and rear stabilizer bar
- Nearly 50/50 weight distribution
- Adaptive headlamps with automatic levelling
- LED headlamps (with headlamp washers available)
- SiriusXM® radio/ Bose® sound system/GPS available
Although the Arbarth version comes with Bilstein suspension for a stiffer ride, the standard suspension is still pretty good with very little body roll. You’d have to be cornering particularly hard to notice any. Of course with the car having a short body and riding fairly low to the ground, this also helps with the handling. The handling is superb. As far as straight line speed goes, the turbo gives enough power to charge through the corners, although you may run out of revs if you were straight line drag racing but that’s not what the car is designed for anyway.
Space is pretty limited in the cabin, this car is definitely little people friendly. It took a second or so to find the volume control for the stereo. It is a round knob located on the center console between the driver and passenger seats, which makes it a little cozy if you want your passenger to be the DJ. With it being such a small car, the idea of a backup camera seemed rather ridiculous, however, it was needed to see beyond the blind spots created by the convertible hood.
Overall, this roadster is very impressive and a super fun car, esecially for the price.
What are adaptive headlamps with automatic leveling?
Based on steering and speed calculations, the headlamps adapt to the road ahead by pointing in the direction of travel so you’ll always be able to see the road ahead. The headlamps are always adjusting to point downwards no matter what position the car is in and this is the the automatic leveling. This feature is available in the Premium and Luxury Collections.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to: