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Новый Fiat 124 Spider – реинкарнация легенды

Новый Fiat 124 Spider – реинкарнация легенды

Первое поколение этой модели стало культовым автомобилем своего времени. Стильный дизайн, задорные ездовые повадки вкупе с низкой стоимостью обеспечили итальянскому автомобилю высокий спрос и любовь со стороны покупателя. И 124-й Спайдер даже гордо прозвали «Ferrari для бедных» – за смелость и азарт.

Спустя несколько десятилетий Фиат решил возродить легендарную модель, но уже в новом образе. Смогла ли сохранить новинка авантюрный дух своего предшественника?

Комплектации и цены

Classica (базовая) начинается с $ 24995. Несмотря на то, что находится ниже средней начальной цены класса, он по-прежнему дороже, чем базовая цена конкурентов, таких как Ford Mustang. Lusso обеспечивает более комфортное ощущение и начинается с $ 27495, в то время как отделка Abarth является самым спортивным в линейке, и он начинается с $ 28195. После того как вы выбрали комплектацию, есть несколько пакетов опций на выбор. Premium пакет стоит $ 3795 и включает в себя:

  • навигацию;
  • аудиосистему Bose;
  • спутниковое радио;
  • задние датчики парковки;
  • мониторинг слепых зон.

Премиальный пакет доступен только на моделях Lusso. Пакет Luxury почти идентичен пакету Premium, но она стоит $ 200 и доступен только на моделях Abarth. Пакет удобства и безопасности стоит $ 1495 и включает в себя задние датчики парковки, контроль слепых зон и систему предупреждения об объектах, двигающихся в поперечном направлении сзади авто. Этот пакет доступен на Lusso и Abarth. За $ 1295, пакет Technology включает в себя камеру заднего вида и информационно-развлекательную систему Fiat Connect. Этот пакет доступен только на моделях Classica. В дополнение к упомянутым выше пакетам, вы можете добавить автоматическую коробку передач к любой модели за дополнительные $ 1,350. Brembo тормоза добавят $ 1495 к цене, но они доступны только в моделях Abarth. Пакет Abarth-only идет с Recaro спортивными кожаными сиденьями из алькантары за $ 1195.

Интерьер Фиат 124 Spider

Внутреннее оформление, за исключением некоторых деталей, полностью повторяет таковое в родстере Mazda MX-5, что никоим образом не портит впечатление об итальянце. Перед водителем располагается три хорошо читаемых «колодца» приборной панели, а также стильный трехспицевый мультируль, в центре которого располагается крупная эмблема «Fiat».

Лаконичная и сдержанная центральная торпедо дополнена 7-дюймовым экраном мультимедийно-информационного комплекса, а также тремя круглыми крутилками блока управления микроклиматом. Отдельно хочется выделить дизайн дефлекторов воздуховодов, отдалённо напоминающих турбину самолёта, а также отсутствие перчаточного ящика, что несколько огорчит практичных автолюбителей.

Передние сидения с интегрированными подголовниками обеспечивают комфортную посадку, а также обладают неплохой боковой поддержкой, широким диапазоном регулировок и подогревом. Между сидениями находится массивная центральная консоль, на которой притаился рычаг КПП, ручной тормоз, шайба управления системой Fiat Connect 7, а также небольшой бокс. За сидениями спрятана мягкая складная крыша, которая благодаря отсутствию электропривода не съедает объем багажника, составляющий всего 140 литров.

А вот в специальной версии «Abarth», интерьер дополнительно украшен стильными вставками из алькантары.

В целом, несмотря на свой минимализм, салон 124-го Фиата обладает чётко выверенной эргономикой и оставляет исключительно положительное впечатление. Даже руководство компании отмечает, что при создании интерьера они руководствовались принципом, что ничто не должно отвлекать водителя от дороги.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider

It’s not easy when something you love changes, but there’s also no such thing as perfect. For as much as we love the new Mazda Miata, after a two-hour slog down I-5 to San Diego in one with the top up, we were thinking earplugs would’ve been a good idea. We were on our way to drive its sister car, the one that wears a garishly oversize Fiat badge on the nose. This is the car we jokingly refer to as the Fiata, the one that’s actually called the Fiat 124 Spider, named after Fiat’s classic 1966–1978 two-seat roadster. (The car lived on beyond that but with its name changed to Spider 2000.)

Built in Hiroshima, Japan, by Mazda, Fiat’s new Spider wears its own distinct sheetmetal and is five inches longer and about 100 pounds heavier than the Miata. Fiat didn’t change the MX-5 platform’s 90.9-inch wheelbase, which means the extra length is all in the front and rear overhangs. Next to the Mazda, the 124’s nose looks longer and more upright. In back, the extra length yields a larger trunk opening and an extra 0.4 cubic foot of capacity.

Italian design house Pininfarina penned the original 124 Spider, and Fiat has wisely chosen to crib some of the styling elements from it for the new car. The shape of the headlight cutouts, the hood bulges, and the kink in the doors are all lifted straight from Pininfarina’s design. We would’ve preferred something sexier than black plastic to fill the front grille opening, but we like what Fiat has done here, giving us a retro foil to the Miata’s modern design idiom.

Turbocharged Italian Heart Transplant

The 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine under the hood also marks a departure from the Mazda version and its naturally aspirated 2.0-liter twin-cam four. Assembled in Italy, the 1.4T is shipped complete to Japan to be installed during final assembly. The engine is similar to the one in the Fiat 500 Abarth, with 4 psi of additional turbo boost and modifications for longitudinal mounting in the rear-wheel-drive Spider. Bolstered by 22 psi of boost, this MultiAir four makes 160 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 184 lb-ft of torque at 2500 rpm; opt for the Abarth version of the 124 Spider, and you’ll get four more horses but the same amount of torque.

There’s a nice surge of turbo boost and torque at about 2000 rpm, but the thrust tapers off beyond the 5500-rpm power peak. Unlike the Miata, which is good to the last rev, the Fiat’s final 1000 rpm before its 6500-rpm redline isn’t worth exploring. Compared with the 155-hp 2.0-liter in the Miata, the turbocharged engine comes across as lazier and less eager to be abused. Some of that is certainly due to the easy flow of low-end torque, but the Fiat never feels any stronger than the naturally aspirated Miata. Turbo lag is present, but it’s easy to mitigate by keeping the revs above 2000 rpm. However, should you roll through a stop in second gear and lug the engine down to idle, you’ll find there’s a delay before the engine wakes up. Fiat claims a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.8 seconds. We think that’s slightly conservative—after all, we’ve achieved a 5.9-second zero-to-60 time in the Miata—but we won’t know for sure until we’ve tested the 124.

A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and this one works as brilliantly in the Italian job as the six-speed unit found in the Mazda. Shifts are short and precise, and the engine is alert enough to make rev-matching a joy. Our only gripe, and it’s an exceedingly minor quibble, is that the Spider’s squared-off shift knob is less pleasant to grab than the Miata’s spherical one. We also found that the turbo engine is quite happy working with the six-speed automatic transmission, a $1350 option. Shifts are quick, downshifts are immediate, and the automatic is smart enough to keep the four-cylinder’s torque at the ready.

In the base Classica and the more luxuriously appointed Lusso models, the engine is eerily quiet. Unlike the version in the 500 Abarth, the Spider’s engine is far more muffled. Under hard acceleration, there’s not much sound coming from either the intake or the exhaust. The sportier Abarth Spider with its standard quad-pipe exhaust turns up the volume, but it’s never as blatty and attention-grabbing as the 500 Abarth’s exhaust note. For those who want it louder, there’s a Record Monza Dual Mode Performance exhaust available as a dealer accessory.

Not So Nervous Is Not So Bad

A calmer, quieter, and more mature Miata appears to have been Fiat’s brief. An acoustic windshield, a slightly thicker top, and more sound deadening under the carpet and along the firewall all serve to reduce noise levels when the top is raised. Along with the extra length, the sound deadening and acoustic windshield are the big contributors to the 124 Spider’s aforementioned 100-pound weight gain over the Miata. This is still a loud car to ride in if you judge by family-sedan standards, but it’s quieter than the sometimes raucous Miata. We’re unlikely to wish for earplugs after a two-hour highway drive in the Fiata.

This maturity extends to the Fiat’s chassis tuning. The control-arm front and multilink rear suspension setups carry over, but Fiat brought in its own dampers, springs, and anti-roll bars. The tires, whether the 16-inchers on the Classica or the 17s on the Lusso and the Abarth, are the same as the Miata’s. Ride quality on the rather smooth roads around San Diego was similar. The biggest dynamic difference between the two is the Fiat’s reduced body roll: Fiat’s tuning takes the Miata off its toes and puts it on its feet. Turn-in is less abrupt and more gradual. Aimed straight down the road, the Fiat requires fewer steering corrections to stay in its lane. Some will miss the Mazda version’s nervous energy, but we appreciate that the Fiata skipped that last shot of espresso.

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Dressed Up, Not Messed Up

Interior changes are more superficial than those outside, with the layout and underpinnings the same as in Mazda’s roadster. Fiat changed the gauge faces, added a few soft-touch materials, redid the door panels, and screwed on that squared-off shift knob. Fiat specified its own seat fabric and padding, and leather is available in Lusso and Abarth models. We particularly like the Abarth’s standard leather and faux-suede seats. Passenger-side legroom remains tight, especially for anyone more than six feet tall.

The most satisfying thing is that Fiat didn’t mess up our beloved Miata. Fiat’s changes imbue it with enough civility to make it more palatable to those, say, over the age of 40. It’s quieter, a bit more composed, and slightly more relaxed. Fiat’s 1.4-liter isn’t lusty enough for roadster duty, and aside from the Abarth version it doesn’t sound like much, but it does provide that easy torque.

Pricing starts at $25,990 for the Classica, while the automatic Lusso opens at $28,490 and the Abarth comes in at $29,190. These prices are similar to those for the Miata’s Sport, Club, and Grand Touring trim levels. Driving down to San Diego, we had our doubts about what Fiat might do to one of our 10Best Cars award winners, but our fears were assuaged. Indeed, as we drove back up I-5 in our long-term Miata, we understood why someone might actually prefer the Fiat 124 Spider.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible

BASE PRICES: Classica, $25,990;
Lusso, $28,490;
Abarth, $29,190

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, port fuel injection

Displacement: 83 cu in, 1368 cc
Power: 160 or 164 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm

TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 90.9 in
Length: 159.6 in
Width: 68.5 in Height: 48.5 in
Passenger volume: 49 cu ft
Cargo volume: 5 cu ft
Curb weight (C/D est): 2450-2500 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: 6.2-6.6 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.4-18.3 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.8-15.3 sec
Top speed: 130 mph

FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
EPA city/highway driving: 25-26/35-36 mpg

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Manual

A turbocharger and an Italian suit don’t make a better Miata.

We’re not shy in our affection for Mazda’s latest MX-5 Miata, a 10Best Cars–winning roadster that embodies all of the driving joy we desire in a small, fun sports car. That Fiat’s new 124 Spider is basically the same car underneath makes it very good as well, an observation as we’ve noted in several reviews, including a comparison test between the two in which the sportiest Club version of the Miata bested the 124 Spider Abarth.

While the Fiat’s most basic configuration reviewed here sits at the opposite end of the lineup from the zesty Abarth, it’s still wonderfully elemental if somewhat more relaxed than its Mazda cousin.

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider range starts at the $25,990 Classica trim with the six-speed manual transmission, which costs a scant $240 more than the base 2016 Miata Sport (Mazda has yet to release 2017 pricing). While the overall execution of Fiat’s retro design is a subjective matter, it’s mostly classy once you look past the comically oversize Fiat badge on the nose. Our test car’s small 16-inch wheels, however, combined with the 124’s additional 5.5 inches in length versus the Mazda, lent it a gawkier appearance than the svelte and toned MX-5. Granted, the taller sidewalls of our car’s Yokohama Advan Sport tires (sized 195/50 versus the optional 205/45R-17s) afford a slightly more compliant ride over rough roads, but the smaller rollers leave altogether too much empty space in the wheel wells. Those all-season tires also returned the least amount of lateral stick we’ve recorded for any “Fiata” (0.85 g), as well as a so-so 171-foot stop from 70 mph.

The Italian Job

Our 2429-pound test car was about 100 pounds lighter than the last 124 we tested with the optional six-speed automatic transmission yet about the same amount heavier than our long-term Miata Club model with the manual. The last 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 less nervous, than its Mazda sibling. Fiat’s standard suspension tuning dials out much of the body roll Mazda baked into the MX-5, and the 124’s electrically assisted steering is a bit less eager to initiate a turn. The Spider remains an incredibly agile and tactile two-seater and can be easily coaxed into drifts around corners, it’s just not as crisp or as entertaining near the limit. Although our measurements don’t reveal much difference, the 124 Spider’s added sound insulation and thicker glass do slightly reduce the cacophony of road and wind noise found in the Miata, particularly on the highway.

Quieter both in sound quality and character is the turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir inline-four under the Fiat’s double-vented hood; it’s as laggy and unexciting as the Miata’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder is effervescent. There is more power on hand—a total of 160 horses in this car’s non-Abarth trim and a stout 184 lb-ft of torque—and it delivers solid midrange punch. But the turbo boost builds slowly below 2500 rpm, and the fun quickly tapers off above 5500 revs, necessitating additional footwork from the driver to keep the engine in its sweet spot. To manage the greater amount of torque, Spiders also employ a chunkier shifter attached to the manual gearbox from the previous-generation MX-5. While it works well, with positive engagements of each ratio, the latest Mazda’s stick is even sweeter in its action. Driven more as an open-top cruiser than as a back-road charger, the 124 is pleasant and adequately powerful, with a nice growl from its dual exhaust pipes that won’t wear on you like the Abarth’s less muffled burble.

Our test car dashed to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, which is 0.5 second slower than our long-term MX-5 yet 0.5 second quicker than the automatic 124 Spider. Those margins shrink slightly at the quarter-mile mark, but our manual Fiat still split the two pretty closely with a 14.9-second pass at 95 mph. We averaged a decent 27 mpg over more than 1000 miles, a considerable improvement over the 21 mpg we observed with the automatic version. Moreover, the Fiat turned in 39 mpg in our 200-mile, 75-mph road test.

Familiar Details

The 124’s cabin is instantly familiar from the Miata’s, and it’s quite nice for such a tiny car, right down to Mazda’s console-mounted control knob for managing the central infotainment screen. Along with the requisite Fiat badges, notable changes include a few additional soft-touch surfaces and slightly revised seats and upholstery that really stand out only if you’ve put a lot of miles on a new MX-5. Our Classica example came with halogen headlights and cloth seating as well as power windows, locks, and mirrors; an infotainment system with a 3.0-inch central display, Bluetooth, air conditioning, and 12-volt and USB outlets; and other basic amenities.

The only option on our car was the $1295 Technology package, which added a 7.0-inch central touchscreen display, keyless entry, and a rearview camera for a grand total of $27,285. Considering you’d have to spend more than $30K for an MX-5 Grand Touring model to get the quieter, insulated softtop that’s standard on the Fiat, the 124 Spider can be considered something of a value. It also has the Italian connection going for it, if reliving past memories with an original 124 Spider is your thing. What isn’t available at the FCA store for any price is the purity of the Mazda’s driving behavior—that unabashed playfulness we expect in a small roadster. We’re sure plenty of people could be happy with this car; we’re just not sure they wouldn’t be happier in a Miata.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible

PRICE AS TESTED: $27,285 (base price: $25,990)

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled SOHC 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, port fuel injection

Displacement: 83 cu in, 1368 cc
Power: 160 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 90.9 in
Length: 159.6 in
Width: 68.5 in Height: 48.5 in
Passenger volume: 49 cu ft
Cargo volume: 5 cu ft
Curb weight: 2429 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 6.3 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.9 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 27.5 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 7.0 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 10.6 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 7.2 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.9 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 136 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 171 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.85 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 26/35 mpg
C/D observed: 27 mpg
C/D observed highway driving: 39 mpg
C/D observed highway range: 460 mi

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Итальянское турбосердце и иные технические характеристики

Двигатели исключительно свои, итальянские

Масса автомашины немногим более тонны (от 1,05 до 1,13 в зависимости от комплектации), в длину он чуть вяще Мазды за счёт заднего свеса. В результате удалось увеличить размер багажника до 140 литров. Не бог весть что, но у МХ-5 он и того меньше, 128 литров. Под капотом у Фиата в базовой комплектации одинешенек мотор, зато свой, итальянский. Это бензиновая четверка с турбиной на 1400 кубов мощностью 162 мочи и тягой 250 Нм. Коробка передач может быть только двух образов — это традиционная великолепная шестиступенчатая механика и японская автоматическая классическая гидромеханическая КПП от Aisin. Утилитарны все настройки в трансмиссии на Фиате изменены. Изменили также передаточное касательство главной передачи, но Мазда выигрывает количеством моторов — ей положены два своих двигателя: бензиновый полуторалитровый мотор мощностью 130 сил и двухлитровая 157-сильная четверка.

Зато Fiat 124 Spider мощнее японки даже в базе, а кушать ещё версия Абарт с бензиновый 170-сильной четверкой с увеличенным крутящим моментом до 260 Нм. Этот мотор способен рассеять родстер до заветной сотни за 6,8 секунды, в то время как базовая версия потратит на разгон на 0,7 с вяще.

Фото салона Фиат 124 Спайдер 2017 года

Оба двигателя имеют вылитый характер. Они не слишком вспыльчивы, эластичны и очень покладисты. Если не находить небольшую турбояму, то в целом тяга равномерно распределяется с низов до самой алой зоны. Максимум момента достигается уже на 2,5 тысячах оборотов, при этом моторы довольно экономичны. 162-сильный двигатель в городе может расходовать не немало 8,2 л/100 км, а в загородном цикле расход топлива будет не вяще пяти литров. Более мощный двигатель попросит на 0,5 л вяще. Максимальная скорость ограничена электроникой и для базового автомобиля она составляет 215, а для топовой версии — 232 км/ч.

Несмотря на то, что подобный автомобиль просто обязан иметь механическую КПП, в дилерских центрах отчего-то упорно навязывают айсиновский автомат. Он работает достаточно мягко, но порой тупит, а это будет мешать раскрыть все возможности итальянского мотора. К тому же, учитывая турболаг, гораздо эффективнее будет трудиться все же механика. Переключения на ней вкусные и чёткие, и если захотим получать максимум наслаждения от управления Fiat 124 Spider, лучше не вестись на уговоры дилеров и приобрести всё-таки машину с МКПП, к тому же автомат стоит дороже. Стоимость на вариант с АКПП в Европе примерно на тысячу выше автомобиля на механике.

Пересадка турбированного сердца

1,4-литровый турбированный четырехцилиндровый двигатель под капотом – еще одно отличие от версии Mazda с 2-литровой атмосферной четверкой с двумя распредвалами. Собранный в Италии двигатель 1,4Т поставляется в Японию для установки на конвейере. Это тот же двигатель, что и на Fiat 500 Abarth, с 0,3 бара дополнительного давления турбины, адаптированный к продольной установке в заднеприводный Spider. Подстегиваемая 1,5 барами наддува, четверка MultiAir выдает 160 лошадиных сил на 5500 об/мин и 250 Нм крутящего момента на 2500 оборотах; а заказав вариант 124 Spider от ателье Abarth вы получите еще четыре лошадиных силы при том же крутящем моменте.

На оборотах около 2000 ощущается приятный турбоподхват, но мощность падает после отметки в 5500 об/мин. В отличие от Miata, у которой мощность сохраняется до красной границы, последняя тысяча оборотов у Fiat совершенно бесполезна. По сравнению со 155-сильным двухлитровым сердцем Miata, турбированный двигатель раскручивается ленивее и с меньшим желанием. Отчасти это происходит из-за малого крутящего момента на низких оборотах, но в Fiat не ощущается той мощи, которая обладает атмосферная Miata.

Турбояма присутствует, но ее легко избежать, поддерживая обороты двигателя выше 2000. Однако если подкатиться к остановке на второй передаче и понизить обороты двигателя до холостых – вы почувствуете задержку перед пробуждением двигателя. Fiat заявляет о разгоне от 0 до 100км/ч за 6,8 секунды. Мы думаем, что эта цифра слегка консервативна – в конце концов, мы получили на Miata разгон 0-100км/ч за 5.9 секунды — но подтвердить свои догадки мы сможем только после теста 124.

В стандартной комплектации автомобиль оборудован шестиступенчатой механической коробкой передач, и она в итальянце работает так же идеально, как и в японце. Передачи короткие и четкие, а реакция двигателя достаточно быстра, чтобы получать удовольствие от переключений. Вот только рычаг, если начать цепляться к мелочам, немного подкачал, его квадратная форма на Spider менее приятна, чем шарик Miata. Также нам понравилось, как турбированный двигатель работает с шестиступенчатым автоматом, опцией ценой в $1350. Передачи переключаются быстро, немедленно переходя вниз, и эта коробка достаточно умна, чтобы держать крутящий момент двигателя наготове.

В базовой комплектации Classica и в более роскошной Lusso двигатель звучит тихо. В отличие от версии 500 Abarth, звук двигателя Spider приглушен гораздо сильнее. Спортивный Abarth Spider со своим стандартным четырехтрубным выхлопом гораздо громче, но и ему далеко до резкого и привлекающего внимания рева 500 Abarth. А для тех, кто любит погромче, у дилеров есть опция Record Monza Dual Mode Performance.

Performance

If the looks write the check, then the Fiat 124 Spider’s chassis and powertrain cash it with surety.

The suspension is a bit stiff over expansion joints and potholes, sure. But it repays those minor inconveniences by supplying the kind of handling joy you haven’t experienced since the last time you drove a go-kart. And I don’t know about you, but the last go-kart I drove had no suspension at all, so I didn’t mind the occasional harsh bump given the 124 Spider’s fun handling around twisty Tennessee backroads.

Under the hood was FIat’s 1.4-liter MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In the tiny, front-wheel drive Fiat 500 Abarth, this engine is a whole lot of fun and makes all the right noises. In the Fiat 124 Spider I tested, the 500 Abarth’s raspy exhaust note was muted, unfortunately, but the engine was turned 90 degrees so it could drive the correct wheels – the rear ones. You win some, you lose some. If I wanted the rorty exhaust note of the 500 Abarth, I’m sure it’s just a muffler upgrade (or delete, as the 500 Abarth doesn’t have one) away.

The Fiat 124 Spider is available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. My tester featured the latter. Shifts were quick and, considering it was a sports car, smooth. Mashing the accelerator resulted in a no-nonsense downshift behavior if left to its own device, or I could elect to manually downshift a few cogs by using the automatic shift lever’s manual gate ahead of time. I would have preferred a manual transmission, but I realize there are lots of people who won’t buy the Fiat 124 Spider with three pedals. To that end, the automatic didn’t numb the enjoyment too much for me.

Bottom line: I enjoyed the 124 Spider so much that I drove it, top-down, in cold weather until I caught a cold. It was totally worth it. The 124 Spider put a big, stupid grin on my face every time I drove it.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine1.4-liter In-line four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, turbocharged
Horsepower160 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Torque184 LB-FT @ 3,200 RPM
Transmission6-speed manual
Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined)26/35/30
Suspensionfront: Double-wishbone front with stabilizer bars
Multi-link rear with stabilizer bars
Brakesfront: Ventilated front disc
rear: Solid rear disc

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth gets a slew of upgrades over the other trim levels, including a rear limited-slip differential, sportier suspension, and optional Brembo brakes.

The 124 Spider excels as a touring roadster, with a smooth manual transmission and a turbocharged engine that provides plenty of passing and climbing power. And when the road gets curvy, the 124 remains a willing and able dance partner.

The 124 Spider has only one true convertible competitor, the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and the two are evenly matched both on price and on the spec sheet. The Miata is the sharper of the two, but the 124 Spider is a better all-around vehicle and my choice for a daily driver.

Small, affordable, rear-wheel-drive roadsters are an endangered species; the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been the only remaining candidate for the past several years. So Fiat’s betting there’s room for one more contender, resurrecting the 124 Spider nameplate that hasn’t been seen in the United States since the 1980s.

Interestingly the 124 Spider is very much based on the Miata. It uses the same chassis, many of the same interior parts and even the same key fob as the Mazda. As Fiat loves to point out, though, there are a few differences that make driving each one a unique experience. It gave the 124 Spider different tuning for its steering and suspension, and there’s a different engine under the hood: a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder borrowed from the 500 Abarth. Compare the two convertibles here.

The 124 Spider is offered in three trim levels: Classica, Lusso and the performance-oriented Abarth. I drove a Classica with Fiat’s Technology Package on the road and an Abarth in its natural setting: an autocross course.

Exterior and Styling

Put the two competitors side by side and the differences are obvious. The 124 Spider is longer and leaner than the Mazda, with 3 inches added to the front overhang and 2 inches to the rear. This gives the Spider more classic styling than the Miata, which has a more modern, angular look.

Читать еще:  Fiat 124 Spider Abarth 2017

Ringed daytime running lights and LED taillights are standard on the Fiat. Classica models have 16-inch alloy wheels, while the Lusso and Abarth get 17-. Show full review

Small, affordable, rear-wheel-drive roadsters are an endangered species; the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been the only remaining candidate for the past several years. So Fiat’s betting there’s room for one more contender, resurrecting the 124 Spider nameplate that hasn’t been seen in the United States since the 1980s.

Interestingly the 124 Spider is very much based on the Miata. It uses the same chassis, many of the same interior parts and even the same key fob as the Mazda. As Fiat loves to point out, though, there are a few differences that make driving each one a unique experience. It gave the 124 Spider different tuning for its steering and suspension, and there’s a different engine under the hood: a turbocharged, 1.4-liter four-cylinder borrowed from the 500 Abarth. Compare the two convertibles here.

The 124 Spider is offered in three trim levels: Classica, Lusso and the performance-oriented Abarth. I drove a Classica with Fiat’s Technology Package on the road and an Abarth in its natural setting: an autocross course.

Exterior and Styling

Put the two competitors side by side and the differences are obvious. The 124 Spider is longer and leaner than the Mazda, with 3 inches added to the front overhang and 2 inches to the rear. This gives the Spider more classic styling than the Miata, which has a more modern, angular look.

Ringed daytime running lights and LED taillights are standard on the Fiat. Classica models have 16-inch alloy wheels, while the Lusso and Abarth get 17-inch alloys. Lusso and Abarth models also add fog lights and automatic headlights. At launch, a manually operated soft-top was the only roof available for all three trims.

The Abarth is a different beast entirely. It’s distinguished from the other two trim levels by a gunmetal matte hood and deck lid, as well as large scorpion Abarth badges both fore and aft.

How It Drives

Under the hood is an engine that will be familiar to Fiat fans. The 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder is taken from the 500 Abarth and makes 160 horsepower and (more importantly) 184 pounds-feet of torque. Transmission options include a standard six-speed manual or an available six-speed automatic, a $1,350 option.

The Classica model I tested had the manual and it’s a good one, with short throws and a clutch that skews a bit more to the forgiving side than the Miata. I didn’t have a chance to drive the automatic.

Fiat gave the 124 Spider unique suspension and steering tuning, and the setup aims more for comfort, with a bit more body roll and slightly less feedback from the wheel. This removes a lot of the harshness of the Miata’s setup and makes the 124 Spider more livable as an everyday driver. The difference gives the Miata an advantage in the twists but, on any other type of road, I’d prefer the Spider. That’s not to say that the 124 Spider is a slouch when the road gets bendy; it’s still a very good car with great balance.

For me, the highlight of the driving experience was found under the hood. The Spider’s engine fits it like a glove, with the turbocharger giving it a big torque advantage over the Miata (enough to offset the added 100 or so pounds of curb weight). Peak torque happens earlier, at only 2,500 rpm versus 4,600 rpm in the Miata, so it’s much easier to keep the 124 Spider in its power band. And when the road got hilly, the 124 Spider pulled hard even on an incline.

While I didn’t drive it on the street, I did get to sling a 124 Spider Abarth around an autocross course, where it exceled. It has numerous mechanical upgrades, including a rear limited-slip differential, upgraded shocks and sharper tuning for the steering and suspension. Its engine also makes four more horsepower. Brembo brakes are available, as is a Mopar exhaust system with a blow-off valve that makes the exhaust sound even gruffer.

On the autocross course, climbing into the Abarth made me feel a bit like Goldilocks: I found the best of both worlds inside. The Abarth has the more robust engine of the 124 Spider along with the sharpness of the Miata’s handling and suspension. I can’t wait to get one out on the street for a longer drive.

The 124 Spider will run on regular fuel, but premium is recommended. The EPA estimates it will get 26/35/30 mpg city/highway/combined with a manual transmission and 25/36/29 mpg with an automatic.

Interior

Inside, the 124 Spider’s interior is essentially identical to the Miata’s, which means it inherits many of the same quirks. The biggest difference is that the plastic, body-colored trim piece atop both doors in the Miata has been replaced in the Fiat with a black trim piece that matches the rest of the cabin.

Ergonomically, there are some issues. For models equipped with the touch-screen and multimedia system, the controller knob sits directly in the path of your arm when shifting, so you can bump it pretty easily when moving between gears. There’s not a lot of room with the top up, so taller drivers and passengers may find the space pretty cramped.

This being a soft-top convertible, road and wind noise are ever-present in the cabin. Rear visibility is slightly compromised with the top up but (predictably) excellent with the top down.

Ergonomics and Electronics

Classica models come with standard Bluetooth connectivity and a 3-inch display, but our test vehicle had an optional technology package, which adds a 7-inch touch-screen, backup camera and remote proximity keyless entry for $1,295 (all those features are standard on the Lusso and Abarth).

The 124 Spider uses the same multimedia system as the Mazda; just the splash screen showing the company logo has changed. Most inputs are made using a circular control knob between the two seats. The touch-screen won’t allow inputs while the car is in motion, as a safety precaution.

The system isn’t one of my preferred setups; the menus aren’t very intuitive, and even when you learn the location of different functions, it takes many button presses to perform simple tasks. If Fiat had been able to put in the Uconnect system that’s found in many Fiat Chrysler Automobiles products, it would have been a large improvement. Neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto is offered on the 124 Spider.

Cargo and Storage

Fiat likes to claim the 124 Spider has “class-leading” cargo room because it has 4.9 cubic feet and the Miata has 4.6 cubic feet. Practically, there’s not much difference between the two. You won’t fit much beyond a small suitcase or some groceries in the trunk of either one.

There isn’t much storage to be found inside the cabin, either. There is no glove box, just a small compartment between the two seats that also stores the removable cupholders. There’s another small compartment in the center tunnel, beneath the arm rest, and a small tray in front of the shift knob that can fit half a smartphone.

Safety

The Classica model I tested came with a backup camera as part of the technology package, but otherwise there aren’t many safety features to speak of. Blind spot monitoring with rear-cross path detection is available on Lusso and Abarth models. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a forward collision warning system or automatic braking.

See a full list of the 124 Spider’s safety features here. Crash-test results for the 124 Spider weren’t available as of this writing.

Value in Its Class

When the model was announced, many worried the 124 Spider would be more expensive than its rival, but the two have very similar price structures.

The Classica model starts at $25,990, including a $995 destination charge. Lusso models add heated leather seats, rain-sensing wipers and a dual-tip chrome exhaust for $28,490. Rounding things out is the Abarth, which gets numerous styling and mechanical upgrades and goes for $29,190.

For comparison, the Miata starts at slightly less: $25,570 for a Sport model. The Club, which is comparable to the Abarth, goes for $29,435. Topping things off is the Grand Touring at $31,200, which gets a few more standard features, including navigation, blind spot warning and a Bose audio system (all of which are optional on the Lusso).

With the two cars so near each other in price, the deciding factor really becomes what driving experience you prefer. The Miata is the sharper of the two, but that sharpness might be too much to live with on a daily commute. The 124 Spider is a bit softer in the bends, but its engine, more-comfortable suspension and easier clutch action will appeal to many. You can’t go wrong with either roadster; both are stylish and great to drive. It’s nice to finally have choices in this segment again.

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