Based on the Mazda MX-5, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider adds a large dose of Italian design, power and handling. Under the hood, the Fiat 124 Spider borrows the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine from the 500 Abarth, giving Spider a little more power without sacrificing a nearly perfect 50:50 weight distribution that makes the MX-5 very enjoyable to drive. Inside, the cabin is filled with high-quality materials better than what Mazda offers. Finally, while priced in line with the Mini Cooper Convertible, the Spider 124 offers a more common look and attitudes like expensive roadsters from Porsche and Audi.
The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider roadster is offered in three trim levels: Classica, Lusso and Abarth. Notable standard equipment for the base Spider Classica includes 16-inch wheels, four airbags, push-button engine start, air conditioning, cloth seats, rearview camera, and a 4-speaker audio system with Bluetooth. The Lusso trim adds 17-inch wheels, keyless entry, automatic climate control, Leatherette dash trim, and heated leather-trimmed seats. The Abarth gets aggressive exterior tweaks, a sport suspension and limited-slip differential.
Under the hood, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider has the same 1.4-liter turbocharged engine (160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque) used in the 500 Abarth. This is the first use of Fiat’s MultiAir 4-cylinder with a rear-drive configuration. As this engine delivers more power than the engine used in the Mazda MX-5, it gives the Fiat 124 an edge in the areas of horsepower and torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, while a 6-speed automatic is available as an option. With short shifter and the ability to slip the clutch, it much quicker acceleration than the automatic, we definitely prefer the manual gearbox. In track testing, the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth manual went from 0 to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, isn’t bad for such a small engine.
1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 6-speed manual/automatic
160 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (164 horsepower in Abarth)
184 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA fuel economy city/highway: 25/36 mpg (automatic) and 26/35 mpg (manual)
The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. A manual-equipped Spider Classica has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting from $26,290 (including destination fee). The Lusso trim starts just over $29,000, while the performance-focused Spider Abarth starts just over $31,000.