2017 FIAT 124 Spider Reviews and Ratings

Classica Convertible

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J.D. Power Verified Consumer Reviews (15)
Overall Rating
  4.5 / 5
Reliability
  4.1 / 5
Interior
  4.5 / 5
Exterior
  4.7 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  4.8 / 5

By Brenda 9/7/2017 6:51:41 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
  3 / 5
There is a rattle in the top when the convertible top is closed. I was told it was a factory defect that has not been corrected. Its embarrassing to invite anyone to ride because of the ratter (My God) in a brand new car. Dealarship offered no help with this problem. Can't wait to trade if off. Can someone help!!
Reliability
  3.5 / 5
Interior
  5 / 5
Exterior
  5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
  3.5 / 5

By Terry 9/7/2017 12:28:00 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   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
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   4 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4 / 5

By J 9/4/2017 4:57:57 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
I was given a Mazda MX-5 for 24 hrs to test drive. It was cramped and the truck was not acceptable to me. When the 2017 Fiat came out i test drove it and was amazed at the room, smooth ride and overall comfort the car had. With the package offered i purchased on the spot the day of the test drive.
Reliability
   5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Steve 9/2/2017 8:23:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 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
Interior
   3 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Stephan 9/1/2017 11:12:00 PM 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 Matthew 8/31/2017 8:10:52 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
I absolutely love this car. Better looking than the Miata, SLK and Z4. Less expensive than the SLK for sure. Fun to drive. Handles much better than the Miata. This car is a real head turner!
Reliability
   3.5 / 5
Interior
   3.5 / 5
Exterior
   4.5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   4.5 / 5

By Conor 8/30/2017 3:22:00 AM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 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
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Anonymous 8/28/2017 2:34:12 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Fun to drive; easy to retract roof and enjoy the weather; great handling on the road; very comfortable seating
Reliability
   4.5 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Tom 8/24/2017 5:25:34 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   4 / 5
"I bought the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider because I owned an older version (circa 1970s) long ago and it was a convertible and fun to drive. 2017 is the first year for the new 124. Mine had some manufacturing problems. A blown fuse near the battery caused a delayed delivery. The dealer could not start car to get it off trailer. Subsequently, an ABS sensor in the left front wheel failed causing a warning light - occasionally. Got that fixed and now it is no longer a problem. Now, I have a problem with starting the car and, very occasionally, having the trunk lid pop open - it is electrically operated - and, sometimes, the washer shooting a short blast of washer fluid on the wind screen. Despite these problems, which were minor annoyances, I love the car. I assume, these are new model problems. One should realize, while bigger inside than the Mazda Miata, on which it is based, it has a small interior. If you are over 6""3"" tall, as am I, you will have a problem fitting in the car. There is not much room in the interior for carrying things. You will need to use the trunk for that. The top goes down and comes up easily from the drivers seat so one can easily save one's self from a quick rain storm. On long road trips I get 36 mpg. A little less on driving in traffic, stop & go."
Reliability
   2 / 5
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Tom W 8/22/2017 3:37:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 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
Interior
   5 / 5
Exterior
   3 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Claude 8/21/2017 5:29:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 5
Beautiful car. Handles fantastic. Exterior is eye catching. Great fuel mileage. Great sound system.
Reliability
   4 / 5
Interior
   4 / 5
Exterior
   5 / 5
Driving Dynamics
   5 / 5

By Chris 8/20/2017 12:36:00 PM 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 Paul 8/19/2017 10:57:00 PM 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 Bryan R 8/19/2017 8:43:00 PM 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 Belvin 8/11/2017 10:08:00 PM J.D. POWER VERIFIED OWNER REVIEW
   5 / 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


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 roadster-Fiata-but 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.

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