The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider is a stylish and fast roadster that drives great. It’s feeling the golden age of Italian convertibles but adds a dash of modern usability and safety. But the new Fiat 124 Spider was warmly anticipated as it had all the ingredients on paper to be stylish but also usable and reliable. This mostly comes down to the fact that it is based on the Mazda MX-5, which means it has the same solid underpinnings. The result is a good looking car that is both fun to drive and well built.
Ironically, the Mazda MX-5 is the most obvious main rival of the Fiat 124 Spider. Although the Lotus Elise is better for driving, it is also much more expensive and less comfortable. Similarly, the BMW Z4 is fun to drive and is less uncompromising than the Lotus, but it also costs significantly more to buy than the Fiat and should be replaced in 2017. Another option to consider is the MINI convertible; it has similar prices and offers some small rear seats but it is not that good to drive and is a much more common sight on British roads.
2019 Fiat 124 Interior
Inside, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider will be known to the owners of the Mazda MX-5. Sit low in comfortable seats, with perfectly positioned pedals and gear lever. It is a pleasure to look and look at the carved lid. Because the 124 Spider is a relatively small car, larger drivers are likely to feel a bit cramped: anyone over six feet may find the roof too low and struggle to get comfortable. Despite this, the 124 Spider is light enough to get in and out, and it feels muffled rather than crowded. It’s a pleasant place to spend time, even on longer trips.
The interior of the 124 Spider 2019 is well made, with the supportive seats and swivel controllers for heating and air conditioning feeling very solid to work with. The instruments are dominated by a large central rev counter, which emphasizes the driver-focused Spider design. The seven-inch touch screen entertainment system is easy to operate and can also be operated with a button between the front seats, which means you don’t have to peek and run to the touch screen to change radio stations on the go. The quality of the material used inside the 124’s is good, with a soft-touch plastic covering most surfaces. Although a hard scratch made of plastic comes downstairs, it’s not something that is unique to Spider, and the dashboard feels generally good and designed.
2019 Fiat 124 Equipment
The Fiat 124 Spider comes in three trim levels called Classica, Lusso and Lusso Plus. The Classica standard kit includes 16-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, leather steering wheel and gear lever, a three-inch infotainment system with Bluetooth, air conditioning, cruise control, and keyless entry. Spend a little more on Lusso and Fiat adds 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust pipes, leather heated seats, seven-inch entertainment system, sat-nav touchscreen, DAB radio, air conditioning, rear parking sensors, and rear camera.
The premium Lusso Plus model has LED headlights and a dipped beam, BOSE sound system, rain sensors, and dusk. The special edition, called S-Design, was introduced in spring 2018. It’s about style, not mechanical changes, so the main accessories are dark alloy wheels that go with white paint, touch body belts and red stripes on the sides.
2019 Fiat 124 Engine
The standard Fiat 124 Spider has only one engine option. It is the same 1.4-liter petrol turbo engine currently used in the Alfa Romeo MiTo, so it has been tried and tested. The Mazda MX-5 on which the 124 Spider is based is a great car to drive, but the Fiat engineers have pushed along with the 124 suspensions and steering to make it character and a bit more sporty on the road. On longer drives, the 124 Spider is a pleasure to drive thanks to its powerful engine and feels comfortable, despite some wind interference from the sunroof.
2019 Fiat 124 Safety
Italian design and Japanese reliability should make the Fiat 124 Spider a safe and reliable car. While there is limited data on how reliable the 124 Spider will be, if history is not to pass, it should be reliable. The previous generation Mazda MX-5 has built a reputation for being a reliable car that is economical to repair if it went wrong, and it is likely that the 124 Spider is based on the new MX-5, and should share the features. Although Fiat’s 23rd place out of 26 manufacturers in Driver Power’s 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey was growing weaker, Mazda’s ninth-place finish was more convincing. The new MX-5, on which the 124 Spider is based, also came in 13th out of 75 cars, placing it well in the reliability and build quality category.