2017 FIAT 124 Spider Reviews and Ratings

Classica Convertible

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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (22)
Overall Rating
  4.6 / 5
Reliability
  4.5 / 5
Interior
  4.5 / 5
Exterior
  4.7 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4.7 / 5

By Tom W Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 8:37am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  4.2 / 5
The only thing I would change would be the width of the tires and the quality of clear coat, the car is a ""pocket rocket!""
Reliability
  3.5 / 5
Interior
  5 / 5
Exterior
  3.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  5 / 5

By Conor Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 8:22pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.9 / 5
This car is extremely fun to drive. A convertible top and a manual transmission is the recipe for a perfect roadster. Not to mention it looks awesome putting this way above the its Miata sister. The only downside is the infotainment system, the message reply feature is very generic and the voice controls are minimal.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Bryan R Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 1:43pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
The Fiat 124 spider is a blast to drive. I got the manual transmission model and although it is my first manual car that I've ever owned it has been very easy to learn on. I get a lot of compliments from people. It is very exotic because there aren't many of its kind out there. Gas milage is average. The bumper to bumper warranty is 4 years instead of 3 like most brands.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Anonymous Friday, August 18, 2017 - 9:16pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.1 / 5
Live the first convertible. My favorite car. Best Features - Styling. Worst Features - Cup holders
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5

By Anonymous Monday, August 21, 2017 - 12:39pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3.2 / 5
Love the vehicle, only complaint is the exterior pant seems to be soft. Dropping from tree has stained the finish.
Reliability
   3 / 5
Interior
   3.5 / 5
Exterior
   3 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   3.5 / 5

By Chris Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 5:36am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
The Fiat 124 Spider is a true drivers' car. Sharing chassis, interior and technology found in the new MX-5 Miata, it has all the fun of a true roadster. Sharp handling, technology that is easy to interact with and exceptional performance make the 124 Spider a joy to drive. Adding in great fuel economy makes this car hard not to love. I have been stopped by many to ask questions about it because most have never seen on in person. When asked the cost a 124 Spider, many are shocked by how affordable it is. If you are looking for a convertible that offers great fuel economy, performance and style, the Fiat 124 Spider is one to strongly consider.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Claude Monday, August 21, 2017 - 10:29am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.8 / 5
Beautiful car. Handles fantastic. Exterior is eye catching. Great fuel mileage. Great sound system.
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Terry Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 5:28pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.4 / 5
I purchased this vehicle because I'm closing in on retirement and wanted a reliable vehicle my husband and I could take on short trips. We love to put the top down and head down the road. The vehicle gets good gas mileage and is a pleasure to drive. My husband owns a 55 Chevy and loves to go to local car shows. A few times this summer, I've taken my Fiat Spider to the shows with him and have received lots of attention and great comments. Most are surprised it's a Fiat. I took a friend for a ride recently and she was very impressed. Her comment to me was ""Wow you do get lots of looks in this vehicle"". It is a beautiful vehicle.
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Paul Saturday, August 19, 2017 - 3:57pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Having read multiple reviews on the Fiat Spider, my wife and I jumped at the chance to own one. The excitement of ownership has not faded with time. Each drive is a thrill as we cruise over country roads. The top down is the first step in beginning a road trip. The interior is comfortable. Instrument panel and information are easy to read and understand. Driving with the manual 6 speed is fun, fun, fun. The engine wants to go, go, go. Handling is a dream.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Tom Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 11:07am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
My new Fiat 124 Spider has the style, performance and comfort that makes driving a pleasure. But it's not for everyone. The trunk is relatively small (although slightly larger than the Mazda MX5) even though it's built on the same platform. The exterior styling is something you would expect from a much more expensive car. The 1.4 liter turbo puts out 160 HP, and combined with the tuned suspension this car grips the road and handles sharp corners with ease. I purchased a Lusso model which gives the interior a more upscale look with leather seats and steering wheel. The interior noise level at highway speed is low, and the convertible top is simple and quick to operate with one hand. I don't think you can have more fun for the money as it's priced very competitively with other cars in this segment. This car provides everything you expect from a small roadster, and the quality and reliability has been outstanding.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Steve Saturday, September 2, 2017 - 1:23pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.1 / 5
I love this car! the handling is exceptional, would like it if the North American model got all the Abarth goodies, disappointed in the watered down version we got here in the US, but the car is gorgeous, really fun and surprisingly usable as a daily driver.
Reliability
   3.5 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Stephan Friday, September 1, 2017 - 4:12pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Great car. Looks good and handles everything well. Sporty, powerful. Likes the 2 seaters. Easy to drive top down. Excellent gas mileage.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Stan Friday, July 28, 2017 - 10:39am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
A true car enthusiast knows that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best selling sports car in the world and has been for years. And for good reason- It's an excellent car. But like the Volkswagen Beetle it suffers from gender-bias and has found its way into the hearts of the fairer gender in large numbers.... enough for it to be referred to as ""a girly car."" So if any of the fellas out there would love to have a vehicle with Mazda's proven and excellent track record of building a wonderful roaster I would highly recommend the Fiat 124 Spider because it is essentially a Mazda MX-5 Miata that has shed all of the feminine attributes and is quite handsome both it's interior and exterior. Plus the Fiat Spider is powered by an Alfa Romero-made turbo charged engine that produces impressive torque figures at a much lower RPM than the higher revving Mazda engine. And then there's the Abarth Edition for those who really want to take performance and automotive prowess to the next level.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Joe D Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 3:12pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Beautifully designed. Has lots of room on the inside. Fun to drive easy to use functions can take the top up and down with one hand
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Jeremiah Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 12:42pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.8 / 5
The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is a fun two-seat convertible with an exterior design that turns heads. I am probably the outside limit of interior comfort at six feet; another inch and I'd have to leave the top down permanently. And while the fit and finish is exacting the choice to put two removable cupholders at shoulder level on the center console is simply bizarre. Take them out it's not like you're going to want people eating and drinking in this rolling piece of art anyway.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Joseph Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 12:38pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
This vehicle is a very fun and cool vehicle to drive I love this vehicle although its only a summer car and can't be used in winter is a drawback. The styling of this vehicle is one of my favorites with the double bubble long hood and its size being so small makes it very easy to drive and good looking! It can for sure be used as a daily driver during summer which is how I use it but it could also be a great weekend car to take just for fun! The 6-speed manual transmission feels great and is easy to learn and can make the drive a lot of fun if you enjoy driving a manual transmission vehicle. I would for sure recommend this vehicle!
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Karen Monday, July 31, 2017 - 4:37am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.9 / 5
My Fiat Spider is a sleek-looking fun car to drive. It gets great gas mileage for city driving and highway driving. it handles exceptionally well and I love driving with the top down feeling the freedom of the road. Because it is so small it turns easily and I can park it anywhere.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By George Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 8:30am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   3.9 / 5
Fun car for those who like the top down. Dashboard technology is slow to load. Once loaded the navigation option is easy to use. Bluetooth phone connection and ease of use is not consistent. The Pandora dashboard app doesn't work correctly. You have to select your phone's media connection to get Pandora to play. Not something you want to 'mess with' while driving down the road. No satellite radio option available even though there's a 'grayed out' logo on the dashboard screen. The car is easy to drive and has a good engine sound. The car is designed to be a convertible so you can have a conversation with your passenger when the top is down. It's a sporty car so you feel every bump in the road. Takes corners great; it is a real pleasure cruising through traffic circles. The turbo hesitates for a moment when you hit the gas pedal but when it kicks in this car can really go. You will attract smiles and compliments driving this car just don't try to carry your golf clubs in the trunk.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Stoney Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 10:41am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
This car is when equipped with all the options is fun and exciting to drive and the fuel mileage is as advertised
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By John Monday, July 31, 2017 - 5:01pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.5 / 5
The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is a beautiful car with great performance. The interior is the same as an MX-5 but the exterior styling is truly exceptional and unique. The steering and handling is good. The engine could be larger; the turbo is essential in creating the true performance package. There are some interior features lighting cup holders and glove box which could be improved. Overall a fantastic vehicle with few negatives.
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By Belvin Friday, August 11, 2017 - 3:08pm J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.2 / 5
The Spider 124 is beautiful, powerful, solid, and nimble. The interior is well appointed, controls and visuals well placed, and electronics are intuitive - the kind and quality of features one might expect in a far more expensive vehicle. True, there may be some aspects which do not present as one might expect in, say, a $100,000 vehicle. But at less than a third that amount, it has to be considered among the very best new car values on the planet.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Michael Friday, July 28, 2017 - 10:58am J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4.5 / 5
If you are looking for a car that is not all over the road this is it!! Nicely appointed for a very reasonable price. Gets heads turned everywhere I go and most don't believe it is a FIAT!! Great handling and technology in a small convertible that is roomy for a big guy (6"" 280 lbs)
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   4.5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5


Expert Reviews ( 1 )

2017 FIAT 124 Spider
Tony Swan

Introduction

The proportions are classic and so is the name, which conjures up memories of the sweet little roadster that graced Fiat showrooms from 1966 to 1982, and later reappeared as the Pininfarina Spider from 1983 to 1985.

Although the 2017 Fiat 124 owes as much to Japan as it does to Italy, it’s true to the spirit of the original, a two-seater with equal measures of style and sports car purity. Make that affordable sports car purity.

The Japanese part of the story comes from Mazda, the engineering source for the Fiat 124’s chassis, which is shared with the MX-5 Miata. The cooperative engineering makes all kinds of financial sense for Fiat, which was saved the expense of developing its own sports car architecture from scratch.

From the point of view of the finished product, this is a very good thing. The Miata has been exemplary in terms of structure through its first three generations, and the latest chassis is not only far more rigid, it’s also substantially lighter. Underway, the handling is beautifully balanced. Thus Fiat engineers were able to skip directly to suspension tuning.

The shared engineering has led some to adopt an invidious nickname for the new roadsterΓÇöFiataΓÇöbut this is too glib by half. Although the platform, convertible top, and some interior elements are shared with the Miata, the sheetmetal is all Fiat, and the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine comes from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) inventory.

Mazda Miata and Fiat 124 Spider share the same 90.9-inch wheelbase, but the Fiat is 5.5 inches longer overall than the Mazda, and fractionally wider. That shows at the scales, adding about 100 pounds to the Fiat version. A little of the added weight can be attributed to sound deadening and the Fiat’s turbocharged engine, but most of it can be written down to style.

The Miata’s skin fits like Spandex, while the Fiat’s exhibits character lines on the side panels, a higher decklid (sheltering a slightly bigger trunk), a longer hood, with a hexagonal upper grille reminiscent of the original 124.

It adds up to a striking Italianate design, with no exterior resemblance to the Miata. Add competitive dynamics and surprisingly attractive pricing and you have a very tempting sports car proposition.

Model Lineup

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is available in three trim levels: Classico ($24,995); the more luxurious Lusso ($27,495); and the performance-oriented Abarth ($28,195). There is also a launch version, the Prima Edizione, consisting of the first 124 cars, collectable and probably sold out ($35,000).

As the pricing suggests, the Classico is the base model, the Lusso (automatic only) is more lavishly equipped including handsome leather seats, and the Abarth that includes Bilstein shock absorbers, limited-slip differential, sport mode that alters the engine controls for added punch, and other performance enhancements. There will also be several Mopar chassis enhancements available in the fall, as well as a high performance exhaust and turbo bypass air valve. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge ($995).

Walkaround

The Fiat 124 strikes an attractive balance between its revered predecessor, combining classic sports car proportions and contemporary styling trends. The hexagonal grille, headlight scoops, and hood details recall the original 124, while the strong bodyside character line, high rear deck, rear spoiler, and modern alloy wheels (16 inches on the Classico, 17 on the higher trims) are from today’s design playbook.

Mazda’s convertible top, easy to operate with one hand, easily secured with a single windshield header latch, transfers to the Italian job almost unchanged, which is good, since it is beyond reproach in terms of operational simplicity. However, fabric of the Fiat top is more substantial, for additional sound insulation. Also, the 124 does not adopt the Miata’s new hard top option, at least not yet.

Interior

The Fiat 124 cockpit is distinguished by a Fiat instrument package, Fiat-designed inner door panels, soft touch materials, Fiat-specified cloth upholstery in the Classico version, and elegantly stitched Italian leather in higher trim levels.

And of course there is the availability of navigation and connectivity, with readouts on the little screen jutting from the top of the center dash, a la Miata. The Miata’s twin rollover hoops, set behind the seats, also persist.

Although the 124 is longer than the Miata, that extra dimension doesn’t affect the cockpit. It’s snug, particularly on the passenger side, exactly like the Miata. FCA development engineers claim abundant room for occupants of generous vertical dimensions, but we suspect folks exceeding six feet could find themselves challenged, particularly with the top up.

On the other hand, with the top up, the 124 seems to be quieter than the Miata. Fiat’s noise suppression efforts pay off quite well.

Driving Impressions

What do you expect of sports car? Level cornering? Feline reflexes? Eager responses? Quick steering with laser accuracy? The car as an extension of the driver’s will?

The 124 checks all the boxes, and scores a few bonus points. For example, with the top down the cockpit is fairly free of turbulence up to 80-plus miles per hour. Baseball hats stay on. Conversation is possible, albeit at voice levels well above living room decibels. With the top up, the interior is surprisingly quiet; wind noise doesn’t become a real issue until speeds advance beyond legal limits.

And for all its athleticism, the 124 is reasonably supple in the ride department, at least in Classico and Lusso versions. The Abarth version was available only for an autocross, set up in a stadium parking lot, where it performed impressively but provided no real sense of what it would be like to live with day to day.

The Lusso version, our main ride during our Southern California preview, was pleasant enough, although the 6-speed automatic transmission leaves something to be desired for this sports car application. Shifting is smooth, but leisurely, and the manual function, achieved by moving the shift lever fore and aft, yields similar unhurried responses.

The 6-speed manual, which is from the Miata inventory, is far more satisfying, with crisp engagements and a sweet clutch.

Thrust from the 1.4-liter turbo, 160 horsepower (164 in the Abarth version), 184 pound-feet of torque, is respectable, and there’s enough of it, particularly torque, to offset the 124’s extra mass. It’s the first application of this Fiat engine in a rear-wheel-drive chassis, and if it doesn’t rev as enthusiastically as the Miata’s naturally aspirated 1.5-liter four, there’s enough low-end punch to deliver sprints that should be pretty similar to those posted by its counterpart from Hiroshima. Let’s say 0-to-60 in about 6 seconds.

The bottom line: sports car fun with a welcome overlay of refinement.

Summary

The Fiat 124 Spider is a delightful sports car that will be a welcome addition to Fiat showrooms when it arrives this summer. The Miata may be a little more of an athlete, although the jury is still out on that score. But the 124 holds the edge in comfort and style. What’s more important to you? Nice to have a choice, isn’t it?

New Car Test Drive founding editor Tony Swan filed this report after his test drive of the Fiat 124 in Southern California.


J.D. Power Rating
Overall Quality 3 / 5
Overall Quality - Mechanical
2 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Mechanical
3 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Mechanical
2 / 5
Overall Quality - Design
3 / 5
Powertrain Quality - Design
5 / 5
Body & Interior Quality - Design
2 / 5
Features & Accessories Quality - Design
5 / 5

Overall Dependability Not Available
Powertrain Dependability
Not Available
Body & Interior Dependability
Not Available
Feature & Accessory Dependability
Not Available

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J.D. Power Rating Legend
Among the Best
5 / 5
Better than Most
4 / 5
About Average
3 / 5
The Rest
2 / 5

* The J.D. Power Ratings are calculated based on the range between the car manufacturer or car model with the highest score and the car manufacturer or car model with the lowest score. J.D. Power generates a rating of a five, four, three, or two. If there is insufficient data to calculate a rating, “Not Available” is used in its place.

J.D. Power Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards, visit the Car Ratings page to learn more about awards and ratings.