2017 Fiat 124 Spider Manual Review, We’re not shy in our affection for Mazda’s newest MX-5 Miata, a 10Best Cars-winning roadster that embodies all of the driving joy we wish in a small, entertaining sports car. That Fiat’s new 124 Spider is basically precisely the same car underneath makes it quite excellent also, an observation as we’ve noted in various evaluations, such as a comparison test involving the two in which the sportiest Club version with the Miata bested the 124 Spider Abarth.
2017 Fiat 124 Spider Manual Review
When the Fiat’s most basic configuration reviewed here sits at the different finish of the lineup in the zesty Abarth, it’s nonetheless wonderfully elemental if somewhat more relaxed than its Mazda, cousin. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider variety begins in the $25,990 Classica trim using the six-speed manual transmission, which costs a scant $240 more than the base 2016 Miata Sport (Mazda has but to release 2017 pricing). Although the overall execution of Fiat’s retro design is a subjective matter, it is mostly classy once you appear past the comically oversize Fiat badge around the nose.
Our test car’s modest 16-inch wheels, nonetheless, combined with all the 124’s extra five.five inches in length versus the Mazda, lent it a gawkier appearance than the smooth and toned MX-5. Granted, the taller sidewalls of our car’s Yokohama Advan Sports tires (sized 195/50 versus the optional 205/45R-17s) afford a slightly much more compliant ride more than rough roads. However, the smaller rollers leave altogether also much empty space within the wheel wells. Those all-season tires also returned the least quantity of lateral stick we’ve recorded for any “Fiesta” (0.85 g), as well as a so-so 171-foot, cease from 70 mph.
Our 2429-pound test vehicle was about 100 pounds lighter than the last 124 we tested using the optional six-speed automatic transmission yet in regards to the same amount heavier than our long-term Miata Club model with all the manual. The final Abarth version on our scales was 80 pounds porkier still. The greater mass manifests in the Fiat’s driving behavior, with the Spider feeling a touch larger and duller, albeit much less nervous than its Mazda sibling.
2017 Fiat 124 Spider Manual Review:
Fiat’s regular suspension tuning dials out much with the physique roll Mazda baked into the MX-5, plus the 124’s electrically assisted steering is actually a bit less eager to initiate a turn. The Spider remains an extremely agile and tactile two-seater and can be conveniently coaxed into drifts about corners, it’s just not as crisp or as entertaining close to the limit. Although our measurements do not reveal a great deal difference, the 124 Spider’s added sound insulation and thicker glass do slightly lessen the cacophony of road and wind noise located within the Miata, particularly on the highway.
Quieter each in sound high quality and character may be the turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir inline-four under the Fiat’s double-vented hood; it is as laggy and unexciting as the Miata’s naturally aspirated two.0-liter Four-Cylinder is effervescent. There's extra power on a hand a total of 160 horses within this car’s non-Abarth trim along with a stout 184 lb-ft of torque, and it delivers solid midrange punch. However the turbo increase builds slowly below 2500 rpm, plus the fun promptly tapers off above 5500 revs, necessitating additional footwork in the driver to help keep the engine in its sweet spot. To handle the higher amount of torque, Spiders also employ a chunkier shifter attached to the manual gearbox from the previous-generation MX-5. Though it operates efficiently, with active engagements of each ratio, the newest Mazda’s stick is even sweeter in its action. Driven extra as an open-top cruiser than as a back-road charger, the 124 is pleasant and adequately potent, using a good growl from its dual exhaust pipes that will not put on on you like the Abarth’s significantly less muffled burble.
2017 Fiat 124 Spider Manual Review - Interior:
Our test car dashed to 60 mph in 6.three seconds, which can be 0.five second slower than our long-term MX-5 yet 0.5 second faster than the automatic 124 Spider. Those margins shrink slightly in the quarter-mile mark, but our manual Fiat still split the two fairly closely with a 14.9-second pass at 95 mph. We averaged a decent 27 mpg over greater than 1000 miles, a considerable improvement more than the 21 mpg we observed with all the electronic version. Moreover, the Fiat turned in 39 mpg in our 200-mile, 75-mph road test.
The 124’s cabin is quickly familiar from the Miata’s, and it is fairly good for such a little automobile, right down to Mazda’s console-mounted control knob for managing the central infotainment screen. In conjunction with the requisite Fiat badges, notable changes incorporate some more soft-touch surfaces and slightly revised seats and upholstery that really stand out only if you have put quite a bit of mile on a new MX-5. Our Classica instance came with halogen headlights and cloth seating as well as power windows, locks, and mirrors; an infotainment system having a 3.0-inch central display, Bluetooth, air conditioning, and 12-volt and USB outlets; along with other simple amenities.
The only alternative to our car or truck was the $1295 Technologies package, which added a 7.0-inch central touchscreen show, keyless entry, along with a rearview camera for a grand total of $27,285. Taking into consideration you’d have to devote greater than $30K for an MX-5 Grand Touring model to have the quieter, insulated soft top that’s standard around the Fiat, the 124 Spider is usually regarded as something of value. Also, it has the Italian connection going for it, if reliving past memories with an original 124 Spider is your thing. What is not readily available at the FCA shop for any value may be the purity on the Mazda’s driving behavior that unabashed playfulness we count on within a modest roadster. We’re confident plenty of people today could possibly be pleased with this car or truck; we’re just not positive they wouldn’t be happier inside a Miata.