New 2019 FIAT 124 Spider Convertible
FIAT 124 Spider Convertible
In the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider, you’ll get Miata-like moves in a classically styled Italian roadster as affordable as it is handsome.
2019 FIAT 124 Spider Pricing
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2019 FIAT 124 Spider KBB Expert Review
Sharing a platform with the Japanese Mazda MX-5, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider adds a big dose of Italian design, horsepower and handling, creating a worthy successor to the legendary 124 name. In place of the normally aspirated Mazda engine, the Fiat 124 Spider borrows the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine from the 500 Abarth, giving the Spider a bit more bite without sacrificing the near-perfect 50:50 weight distribution that makes the MX-5 such a joy to drive. Inside, the cabin is steeped in high-grade materials a step above what Mazda offers. Best of all, while priced in line with the Mini Cooper Convertible, the 124 Spider offers a look and attitude more commonly associated with expensive roadsters like the Porsche Boxster and Audi TT.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you’re looking for a fun, affordable small convertible with styling and attitude that far exceed its humble price, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider tops a very short list. Fiat’s turbocharged 4-cylinder delivers a different driving experience than in a Mazda MX-5, as does the reworked cabin.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider isn’t as fast or nimble as the more expensive Porsche Boxster, nor can it match the lighter, more nimble performance of the car upon which it is based, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Taller drivers will find the cockpit a bit cramped for long-term comfort.
What's New for 2019
For 2019, the Fiat 124 Spider adds a rearview camera and 7-inch touch screen with Fiat Connect 7.0 software. The 124 Abarth now offers a Record Monza exhaust, while the Technology Group adds SiriusXM and proximity entry. Some new exterior styling options and colors round out the changes.
In the world of enthusiast drivers, weight is the natural enemy of fun and performance. While it is true the Fiat 124 Spider adds an additional 100 pounds over its Miata twin, there is no great detriment to the car’s overall handling prowess. Precise steering requiring only the slightest input gives the driver a feeling of total control and confidence, growing more playful as speeds climb and asphalt twists. The turbocharged 1.4-liter engine produces a healthy 160 horsepower (164 in the Abarth) versus the Mazda MX-5's 181 horsepower. Unfortunately, the Fiat engine is haunted by bouts of turbo lag and surge, attributes that make us long for the smooth and linear acceleration demonstrated by the MX-5. Top-down driving is a joy in this car, with minimal wind buffeting and an excellent sound system. With the top in place, the interior is surprisingly quiet, enough to make Bluetooth conversations as easy as in the average compact car.
No need for a heavy and complicated power top here. The 2019 Fiat 124’s top is so well engineered it can be raised and lowered with just one hand while sitting in either the driver or passenger seat.
Fiat engineers added extra sound-deadening material to the 124 Spider, creating a more hushed interior at highway speeds. Accompanying the added insulation is thicker side glass and an acoustic windshield.
The base 2019 Fiat 124 Spider isn’t much different from its MX-5 counterpart, but moving to the Lusso trim brings a number of upgrades including leather seats, piano-black accents and Leatherette trim. The Spider’s cabin is snug, with tight-fitting seats and limited legroom, even on the passenger side. The seats sit low causing one’s legs to remain in a constant outstretched position that can quickly become tiring. Headroom with the top up is surprisingly generous although taller drivers may still find themselves at eye level with the windshield’s top edge. The absence of a telescopic steering wheel seems a glaring omission.
The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider has been meticulously sculpted to recall the classic 124 Spider of the 1960s. To achieve that look Fiat’s design team overlaid thoroughly massaged bodywork, square taillights and round headlights onto the Spider’s Mazda-derived platform, culminating in a 4-inch-longer roadster. Helping drive home the Spider’s Italian heritage are Italian paint names including Brillante White and Magnetico Bronze Metallic. Drivers who relish visual aggression will find plenty of it in the 124 Spider Abarth, whose unique fascias, 17-inch gunmetal wheels, and optional red-painted mirror caps and lower fascia lip deliver a menacing appearance.
Notable Standard Equipment
Nab a basic 124 Spider Classica and you’ll enjoy push-button engine start, cloth seats, 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, a 4-speaker audio system with Bluetooth, rearview camera and four airbags. The Lusso trim adds 17-inch wheels, heated leather-trimmed seats, Leatherette dash trim, automatic climate control and keyless vehicle access. Despite being the raciest Spider in the lineup the Abarth trim produces only four horsepower more than the Classica and Lusso, but it does include a sport suspension, limited-slip differential and charmingly aggressive exterior tweaks. Missing from all trims is a spare tire. The included tire-repair kit helps maximize trunk space.
Notable Optional Equipment
Optional on the least expensive Classica trim is the Technology Group that adds SiriusXM and keyless vehicle access. Go with the more expensive Lusso or Abarth trims and you’re free to select handy add-ons like rear parking sensors, navigation, adaptive headlights, rear cross-path detection, blind-spot warning, and a 9-speaker Bose audio system with a sub-woofer and speakers in the headrests. Reserved for Abarth buyers are optional Recaro seats shod in leather and Alcantara, high-performance Brembo brakes and a performance exhaust.
Under the Hood
Powering the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider is the same 160-horsepower 1.4-liter turbocharged engine used in the 500 Abarth. This is the first use of Fiat’s MultiAir 4-cylinder with a rear-drive platform, but as this engine delivers more power than the normally aspirated engine used in the Mazda MX-5, it gives the Fiat 124 a bit of an edge in the areas of horsepower and, more important, torque. A 6-speed manual is standard, with a 6-speed automatic optional. With a wonderfully short shifter and the ability to slip the clutch, enabling much quicker off-the-line acceleration than the automatic, we definitely prefer the manual gearbox.
1.4-liter turbocharged inline-4
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (164 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm in Abarth)
184 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (manual), 25/36 mpg (automatic)
View the Fiat 124 Spider as a fancied-up Mazda Miata and you might expect a premium price but that’s not the case. A manual-equipped Spider Classica glides in with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $26,290 including destination. Meanwhile, the Lusso trim starts just over $29,000 and offers leather seating at a much lower price than the Miata Grand Touring, while the performance-focused Spider Abarth starts just north of $31,000. If seating for more than two sounds like a good idea, both the Mini Cooper Convertible and Final Edition Volkswagen Beetle Convertible can be had for just around $27,000 and $28,000, respectively. Before you buy, be sure to check the KBB Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying for the Fiat 124 Spider in your area. It’s also worth noting that resale values for the Fiat brand have historically skewed lower than average, which could affect the 124 Spider’s long-term cost to own.
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FIAT 124 Spider Consumer Reviews
May 25, 2018
I Love my Spider124!!! Found one in silver w tan leather, sooo much more fun than my 2006 Miata!!
May 08, 2018
Drives like a dream!
I really love my new Classica. Thankfully, my 61 frame can squeeze in and out without a problem. However, another inch or two would have...
February 21, 2018
Fun for less--this is a great car
I wanted a convertible to drive around in the summer without making it a daily driver or spending a lot of money. What a great car. ...
top down Jim
July 10, 2017
Traded 2012 Mustang convertible on my black 6 speed Classica and made a 4,000 mile road the 1st month I had my 124. Cruised easily at...
July 10, 2017
Tons Of Fun At A Great Price!
Ive owned a couple of 2-seat roadsters...a 2004 Porsche Boxster, and my 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. The Boxster, at close to 60,000 was...
May 20, 2017
Fantastic car !!!
Always wanted a Cayman S or used 911. Instead bought a new 2017 Fiat Spider 124 Abarth with Brembo brake package. Black on black,...
January 19, 2017
I love my new spider
I bought my manual transmission Lusso (Bianco gelato) in july and could not be happier. I smile every time I go to drive it. I left a...
December 30, 2016
What a BLAST to drive!
I got my 124 Spider in July 2016, so the car had just been released. I settled for an automatic transmission because manuals were hard...
November 21, 2016
Love this car. It's fun to drive, plenty of power.
I had this car for about a month and have driven it on the freeway, top down or up and it's comfortable. The wind does not bother much...
September 07, 2016
What a Blast to Drive
I was looking for a 2nd car that was fun to drive and looks great. The Spider is all that and more!! It also gets great gas mileage,...