FIAT
124 Spider
2017
Go
Patrick Frawley
Automotive Editor - July 26, 2016

2017 FIAT 124 Spider OVERVIEW

The world needs more Italian roadsters. At the same time, Italian roadsters have usually needed better build integrity and reliability. Thankfully, Fiat has addressed both sides of this matter by introducing the 124 Spider, a classically influenced two-seat convertible that combines traditional droptop wonderfulness with traditional Japanese quality thanks to a partnership with Mazda.

What's New for 2017

Depending on your sense of perspective the 124 Spider is either an entirely new model or an end-to-end updating of Fiat's previous rear-wheel-drive Spider—which was introduced back in late 1966 and last sold here in 1985.

Choosing Your 124 Spider

The 124 Spider is the happy result of an engineering and production arrangement between Fiat and Mazda. At its core the 124 Spider is a Mazda MX-5 Miata wearing sheet metal heavily influenced by Fiat's classic 1960s Spider. The two use the same chassis design, suspension geometry and interior layout.

Even with the shared basis there are meaningful differences between the two. Instead of the Miata's naturally-aspirated motor, the 124 Spider features Fiat's own turbocharged 1.4-liter inline-4 MultiAir powerplant. The suspension has been retuned to Fiat's own preferences. And although the interior uses the same structure, the 124 Spider dresses it in more attractive materials.

Standard equipment for the 124 Spider includes features that would have absolutely amazed the engineers who worked on the original Spider, including pushbutton ignition and Bluetooth connectivity. They would have likely understood and appreciated the four-wheel disc brakes and the easy-to-use cloth convertible top, though. Fuel economy estimates are the same regardless of trim package: 26 city/35 highway estimates for the manual transmission, 25 city/36 highway for the automatic.

Option lists are extremely short: each trim level has one or two available technology packages, and the automatic transmission is available across the board for $1350.

The 124 Spider is available in three trim levels:

Classica

The Classica provides the essential roadster experience, riding on sixteen-inch alloy wheels and starting at an MSRP of $24,995 plus delivery. The Technology Collection package upgrades the dashtop display to a 7-inch touchscreen and adds a backup camera and keyless entry for $1295.

Lusso

The Lusso borrows an old Ferrari term for a dressed-up luxury model. Wheels are now seventeen inches in diameter, the seats are upholstered in either black or tan leather and the air conditioning system is upgraded to full automatic temperature control. The touchscreen and backup camera are standard. Sticker price for the Lusso is $27,495 plus delivery. The Premium Collection package adds adaptive headlights, Blind Spot and Cross Path detection systems, parking sonar, navigation, satellite radio, and an armful of Bose speakers for $3795, while the Safety and Comfort Collection package brings the Blind Spot, Cross Sense, and parking assistant for $1495.

Abarth

The Abarth trades on another legendary nameplate—the tuning house which successfully raced Fiats in the 1960s—and adopts the more intense attitude of its 500 Abarth sister. The look is more focused and power is up slightly to 164 horsepower. Bilstein shocks provide a stiffer ride. MSRP for the Abarth is $28,195 plus delivery. The Luxury Collection package adds the features from the Lusso's Premium Collection and trades in leather seats for the standard Abarth's high-performance cloth chairs for $3995, and the Safety and Comfort package is also available here at the same price.



CarsDirect Tip

The old Spider was always more about la dolce vita than high-strung performance, and the new 124 Spider shares that charming character. In being more lighthearted and less of a purist sports car than its Miata fraternal twin (save, maybe, the racy Abarth) the 124 Spider is able to be more things to more people and can be more an individualistic expression. Find the version that most closely matches your personality, then find a romantic destination at the end of a winding two-lane road.

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