Today in our review we will talk about the new Fiat 124 Spider: a little roadster with real wheel drive and engine at the front born in collaboration with the Japanese brand Mazda. For this road test our choice are the roads in the Chianti’s area in Tuscany (Italy), what a fantastic scenario for this car!
In the 1966 Fiat decided to replace the Fiat 1300 with an all new car: the 124. The car had a great success and Fiat decided to unveil two other cars based on the 124: the Coupé and the Spider. The Fiat 124 Spider marks a turning point for Fiat and this car becomes an icon of the 1960s and 1970s, with a great success in the USA as well. Thanks to the right mix of design, price and performances offered by the Fiat 124 Spider, it soon becomes a dream for lots of italian petrolheads with also appearances in some movies.
The style of the first Fiat 124 Spider was entrusted to the hands of Pininfarina and the recently disappeared Tom Tjaarda. Returning to our days, the Fiat 124 Spider make its return in collaboration with Mazda but with engine and body totally made by Fiat. The body lines recall very much its predecessor: rounded headlights, long hood with hexagonal calender ending with a back that recalls the lust of a time.
The color of the test car is a “Grigio Moda” (Meteor Gray). The Fiat 124 Spider in this coloring is really pleasant to see. The front headlights are Full LED with beautiful DRL. We are testing the Fiat 124 Spider in the “Lusso” version, which include 17-inch wheels, silver rollbar and double chrome exhausts.
Compared to its Japanese counterpart the interiors of the Fiat 124 Spider appears more refined with higher quality plastics. In this “Lusso” version we can also find the leather seats that add a luxury touch to the car. Very appreciated is the roof opening mechanism that allows you to manually open the roof in a blink of a eye.
The infotainment offers a good overall quality as well as the BOSE Audio System. We know very well this infotainment system thanks to the previews Mazda’s reviews.
The Fiat 124 Spider is equipped with the 1.4 Turbo Petrol Multaiar engine, that fits many cars of the company, this version delivers 140 hp and it’s suitable for those who want to have fun without going “maximum attack”. Unfortunately you may sometimes miss the linearity of the aspirated engine but when the turbo is engaged this little engine will give you lots of satisfaction even in terms of sound.
We are driving through the roads of the Chianti hills and the behavior of the Fiat 124 Spider is extremely comfortable, One of the big differences with the Abarth version is the stiffness of the suspensions, with the Fiat 124 Spider you get a more comfortable ride. Of course you will have body roll with this suspensions configuration but who decide to buy the Fiat 124 Spider instead the Abarth version is not interested in driving really close to the limit.
Another big difference with the Abarth version is the absence of the LSD that in a real wheel drive car penalize a bit the driving behavior. The Fiat 124 Spider anyway has all you may need if you are looking for a car that is fun to drive, comfortable and affordable. With these features, it’s able to please a very large audience, from young people to adults that have always dreamed about owning the legendary Fiat 124 Spider one day.
A big thanks to Villa Sant’Andrea that allowed us to shoot some pictures into their beautiful villas.
Text: Federico Schipani
Photos: Edoardo Mascalchi, Marco Dellisanti