Realizing that a two seat roadster isn't for everyone, if you enjoy driving, or would like to enjoy it and have the luxury of being able to get by with just two seats, the FIAT 124 Spider is a great choice. Unless you just don't like driving, the FIAT Spider is sure to put a smile on your face and make you want to take the long way to wherever you're going. This car isn't a super-powered muscle car, but is light weight, nimble, peppy, and handles superbly. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, for me, this car is gorgeous. Many sports cars are known for their harsh ride - not the FIAT. While providing great sporting performance, it also has a very comfortable and enjoyable ride with the top up or down. I'm 5'-8" and the car fits me very well. I can imagine that someone over six-foot would feel a bit tight. I test drove both the automatic and the manual and concluded that, while both are really great, the manual provides an edge higher level of driver engagement and driving pleasure. But, upon the insistence of my wife, I purchased the auto. While I enjoyed the manual, I'm very pleased with the auto. It's great cruising on the open road where you're not shifting a lot anyway, and it's also less of a hassle in city traffic. I couldn't be more satisfied.
When looking for two seater, drop top roadsters, that capture the fun of driving a curvy, technical back road for a low price, you have a choice of a Miata (Mazda MX-5) or a ?. And Mazda does it well with a light weight, quick, well made and reliable car. But it's styling, for me, was like the rest of the car, superbly functional. All it needed, was some passion to make it perfect and a little tuning by a culture with a rich road racing history. Along comes Fiat, to bring it both. The beautiful throw back looks of the 124 Sport Abarth, added to the MX-5 would have made a great car inspiring, and the looks distinctive, but it would still not be a Italian sports car but rather a better looking Mazda. But Fiat ripped the heart out of the Miata by replacing its engine with the soul of an Italian. Now it has it own looks and the totally different driving experience that a turbo charged motor brings to a car. But what about that tuning? That is where the Abarth model's unique features come in . The Bilstein shocks added to the front and rear, revised roll stabilizers, limited slip differential, 17 inch wheels with 205 low profile tires, the revised more throaty exhaust that adds four horsepower, - combine to allow the engine, suspension, and even the steering to be dialed in with the sport mode button to transform the 124 from a gentleman's sporting vehicle into a superbly controlled, feisty, canyon carver expert that blows the top off the fun driving chart. This car feels like it is nailed to the pavement no matter the road surface or the severity of the curves. Add the Brembo brake option as I did, and you can bring down your boiling cup of espresso to a standstill in a heart beat. Put it all together, as Fiat has, and this is the most fun you can have for a $25 tank of gas that will take you 350 fun (did I mention it was fun?) filled miles.. I have only known her for 1000 miles so far, but I can tell you already that if it were possible to marry this car, I would.
Until August 2, 2016 I was ready to buy a 2017 Mercedes SLC300 via European delivery. Then I realized that I'd be paying $55K in advance for a car that wouldn't be in my home driveway for 6 months or more. Just to be sure I was making the right choice, i googled "2017 convertibles" and suddenly saw a pic of a car I'd never seen before. Having done a test drive in a Mercedes, I was impressed with the quiet ride at 70mph on a freeway with top down. I was able to converse with the salesman at normal volume. One thing that totally UN-impressed me was that to start the newest Mercedes you MUST put a key in the ignition! Within 48 hours of my Mercedes test drive, I was cruising in a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider which seemed just as quiet on the highway and has push-button start. When I started comparing the overall specs of both cars, the new body styling of the 124 Spider and at HALF the price of the Mercedes, it became a VERY easy decision. As the former owner of 2 Porsche, Lotus Esprit, 3 Mercedes SL convertibles and a Rolls, after a month driving my new 2017 Spider I am VERY happy with my choice! 3 MONTHS LATER ... I now have just over 1,000 miles on my FERRARI 124. FIAT owns Ferrari which gave me an idea. I removed or covered ALL the FIAT emblems and now drive the ONE and ONLY car that passes for a Ferrari (yes people believe the emblems they see) but costs about 1/8 the price! I even got a Nevada vanity license plate that says NICECAR so if I pass you in a flash and you see the tag, good luck catching me! BOTTOM LINE: Not since my Porsche racing days have I had so much fun behind the wheel of ANY car, regardless of the price !!!
MANY Cars in my life.. But THIS CAR.. Is my Sweetest One Yet !!.... Many Loud Fast V8 Sticks... At 54, they've started to get on my nerves.. Selling my Mustang GT now since I bought this Car... Old Roommate in the 80's had a 124 Spider that I borrowed ALL THE TIME, Cuz I LOVED IT !!... When they announced the Partnership of Fiat / Mazda actually producing a NEW 124.. I Immediately Thought ... "THAT'S MY NEXT CAR !!!! .... Italian Looks / Japanese Build Quality, TURBO !!, Best of Both Worlds... NO REGRETS !!!.... I had to wait 2 months for the Dealer to find my car, since ALL of the Lusso's had Auto's.. In a Roadster??... NO WAY.... Mine is a Lusso, Meteor Gray / Black, Every Factory Option, with a 6 speed Stick... The BOSE Stereo System blows me away ... Almost 900 Miles now.. and STILL... THEE BEST Most FUNNEST Car I've EVER OWNED !!!! EVER !!!... I'd actually Laugh in your face if you wanted to trade me your new Corvette Z06... =)
My previous sports cars include a Porsche Boxster, a BMW M235, an RX-8, and three editions of the Mazda Miata from 2006, 2010 and 2013. I mention that history because the 124 Spider from Fiat is the least expensive ( i paid right at $28K) and in my opinion, the best looking of them all. You might know that Fiat and Mazda joined forces to build this car and the Fiat style and Mazda reliability are a winning combination for me. None of the Mazda Miata cars required more than oil changes and standard maintenance. Nothing ever went wrong with those cars. I hope the Fiat does that well. If you are a six footer the car might not be as comfortable and the attractive interior is close at hand. The car is very drivable and steers, brakes and handles well. When most cars slow for turns, i speed up (a little) and the Spider really shows its moxie in corners. Gas prices may not stay this low but i can fill up with premium fuel for about $25. I think people who live in warmer climates or want a fun weekend ride will love this car. The more you like to drive, the more it will appeal to you. Its about as much fun as you can have for not a lot of cash.