When Fiat chose to bring back the famous Spider 124 last year, the company chose a partner that has been known for making great roadsters: Mazda. True, most of the Spider 124 structure comes from Mazda MX-5 Miata. But it’s more than just Mazda MX-5. Fiat brings its own engine, transmission and tuning suspension, which gives the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth a distinctive characters.
Just like the Miata, the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth small figures are part its appeal and the cause of its shortcomings. Likewise, the small turbocharged engine is characteristic of its own charm and trap. It’s punchy and eager high in the rev range, but somewhat less powerful at low and medium rpm.
Compared to Lusso and Classica trim, the Abarth is hot. The handling is remarkable with a ride that closes on harsh. Knowing what you want from Spider 124 is important in choosing the right trim.
Most other convertibles on the market ask for much less. The Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang convertibles offer more interior space, more useful rear seats and trunks, and available with more powerful engines. The Mini Cooper convertible offers a small car that is easier to drive. There is also Mazda Miata, which is the best roadster for almost 30 years.
But anyway, none of these competitors offer the same experience as the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. The right buyers, people who know their goals, may decide that there are no other options for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.
Trim and Features
Standard features for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth includes 17-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, a performance-tuned suspension, cruise control, air-conditioning, automatic climate control, a manual tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, selectable drive modes, leather and microfiber-trimmed seats, a rearview camera, a 7-inch screen, voice controls, satellite radio, GPS capability (GPS navigation is a separate dealer add-on), streaming music app integration, a four-speaker stereo system with a 3-inch display screen and two USB ports.
There are several optional packages for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. The Comfort and Convenience Group includes a security alarm, rear parking sensors, universal garage door opener, heated auto-dimming mirrors, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring. The Navigation and Sound Group adds navigation and a nine-speaker Bose stereo system. The Visibility Group adds headlight washers and turn-adaptive LED headlights.
A hand-painted racing stripe and Brembo brakes are exclusive options for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth.
The rear-wheel-drive 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is backed by a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces at 164 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters is optional.
In performance testing, the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with manual transmission accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds. EPA fuel economy stands at 29 mpg combined (25 city/36 highway) with the automatic, while the manual rated at 30 mpg combined (26 city/35 highway).
The 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth cabin designed is simple, but it does not feel cheap. The soft touch plastic covers most of the interior and feels good to the touch, especially when compared to the hard, body-colored plastic panels found in the Miata. The air-conditioning button is simple and easy to use, as does the Mazda touch screen which is the center of dashboard. This interface has an intuitive menu and takes a bit of attention to operate it. Keep in mind that the touch screen is locked when the car is moving. Otherwise, it controlled by a knob under the shifter, which can get in the way if you are shifting your own gears.
Considering its compact form, it is not surprising that the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth cabin is quite comfortable. As low-to-ground sports car, in and out is easy thanks to a narrow sill and a shallow seat. But headroom and leg room may be a problem for people over the 6-foot. Drivers and passengers tend to bump elbows, and the cabin feels narrow if removable cupholders are stay in their slots on the back of the center console. The seats themselves are very comfortable, and the seating material is high quality.
The Spider Abarth roof is very easy to use. Simply unlatch the locking mechanism and the top passes over your shoulder. Raising it is just as easy. And although the trunk space is slightly larger than the Miata, it measures only 4.9 cubic feet, small even for a standard roadster.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Spider Abarth is available for order now. Pricing for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth will start at $28,295.