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Road test: 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Don’t Name It a Fiata

Fiat takes Italian design, marries it to the Japanese engineering of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and out comes the 124 Spider. Taking it up a notch, and also you get the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. Probably the most vital distinction with the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth is it carries a special engine, some suspension tweaks and a few styling cues.

The Abarth lets everybody know you’re there

Solely out there within the 124 Spider is the Fiat 1.Four-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder delivering 160 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque. The horsepower isn’t considerably greater than the bottom engine, however what the Abarth engine will get is the Monza exhaust that lets everybody know you make the scene. The exhaust is raspy, to the purpose that making an attempt to sneak out of the home within the wee hours of the morning is just about unimaginable.

Automated vs. Guide

Clear Fleet Report has reviewed the MX-5 Miata and the bottom 124 Spider beforehand, however all the time with the six-speed guide. This transmission has brief throws, a buttery clean clutch and is geared to get probably the most from the bottom engine. This time round, we requested the 124 Spider Abarth with the six-speed automated transmission with paddle shifters. The curiosity stemmed from the truth that automatics are more and more out-performing manuals, and heck, we needed to attempt one thing totally different.

Driving Expertise: On the Street

The rear-wheel drive 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth’s turbocharged engine additionally powers the Jeep Renegade and Fiat 500 Abarth. The similarities with a really succesful off-road 4X4 and a compact coupe finish proper there.

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The gasoline financial system’s good, however difficult as a result of the 124 is a lot enjoyable to drive

The EPA charges the 124 Spider Abarth gasoline financial system at 25 metropolis/36 freeway/29 mixed. In 356 miles driving all through Southern California we averaged 28 mpg. Our incapability to satisfy the EPA mixed estimate principally

was as a result of our staying off the highways to find each again street, twisty and tight nook we might discover. The automated begged the paddle shifters to be put to make use of as a lot as potential, and we gladly obliged.

The engine likes to be run excessive within the rev band. Low-end torque is lacking, however don’t fear. As soon as above 1,500 rpm the 1.4L turbo needs to be taken to the 7,500 rpm redline. That is the place the paddle shifters are available. Fiat has finished an incredible job with the automated rev matching, permitting for throttle blip with the paddles to match the engine and wheel velocity.

The low middle of gravity, a curb weight of two,516 kilos and a 53/47 % front-to-rear weight distribution ship assured, constant and nimble dealing with. The chassis stability is superb with a Bilstein sport suspension that features double wishbone entrance, multi-link rear, electrical power-assisted rack & pinion steering and stabilizer bars at each ends. The 205/45VR Bridgestone Potenza three-season efficiency tires on 17-inch gun metallic aluminum alloy wheels didn’t fall-off after repeated exhausting cornering. There was a little bit of tire chattering when pushed extraordinarily exhausting, which was in all probability because of the suspension stiffness.

If you may be taking your 124 Spider Abarth out for monitor days, then go together with the optionally available Brembo brakes. In any other case, the usual ventilated entrance and strong rear discs are all you’ll need.

Driving Expertise: Exterior

The Fiat 124 Spider Abarth was designed at Centro Stile in Turin, Italy, house to the well-known Pininfarina design home. The Italian styling touches depart no mistaking the 124 Spider Abarth for its Miata MX-5 soulmate. Fiat stretched the entrance by three inches and the rear by two inches, leading to an extended visible look that’s accentuated by its low-slung Four.9-inch floor clearance.

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

It’s an aggressive look

Clear Fleet Report’s Abarth was painted in Chiaro Silver Metallic with distinctive purple accents on the decrease fascia and the outside mirrors. The almond-shaped LED projector headlights are set underneath what appear to be eyelids. The honeycomb grille is smaller than the grille on the Miata MX-5, and results in a hood characterised by two domes. The edges are clean, ending on the brief trunk deck, quad chrome exhaust ideas and downward/inward slanting LED taillights.

Badging on the automotive is stored to absolutely the minimal with the phrase “Fiat” nowhere to be discovered. The one insignias are the very distinctive Abarth scorpion badge on the entrance fenders, nostril, tail, and wheel middle hubs. The smooth convertible roof, with an acoustic headliner, is operated by hand and couldn’t be simpler to decrease and lift.

Driving Expertise: Inside

The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider inside’s supplies are a step-up from the sibling Miata, with some retro-inspired Italian aptitude. Fiat additionally added tender contact surfaces and extra sound insulation to scale back NVH (noise, vibration and harshness), leading to a extra refined and quiet journey. Nevertheless, even with the highest up and the acoustic windshield glass, there’s appreciable street and engine noise within the 124 Abarth. You need quiet, then this isn’t the automotive for you.

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Inside, a step up from Mazda

The 124 Spider Abarth’s heated leather-based sport seats have purple piping to match the outside pink accents. Recaro seats are optionally available. Extra backside cushioning and padding would have been good, and the seats lacked lumbar adjustment. These aren’t so necessary in case you are driving brief distances. Nevertheless, if considering of taking an extended street journey on open freeways, then investing in aftermarket seat cushions won’t be a nasty concept.

The sprint format is straightforward and clear with the 124 Spider getting its personal instrument cluster design. Three spherical gauges have been deep set underneath a hood to assist scale back glare as a result of, as you quickly discover out with the highest down, all the things is fairly brilliant. As a result of efficiency is vital, the tachometer is within the middle of the three gauges, and the most important of the three. The HVAC spherical knobs have been center-placed, simply above the leather-wrapped gearshift lever.

The Mazda-designed infotainment system continues to be among the many most difficult to function, so the 124 Spider suffers in consequence. Our check automotive had the optionally available Navigation & Sound Group package deal that included the highest/middle dash-mounted 7.Zero-inch colour touch-screen show. With out quantity and channel knobs on the sprint, we discovered it cumbersome to make band and channel modifications. It required a number of steps to regulate a single perform, and the necessity to use the middle console-mounted selector knob resulted in diverting the driving force’s eyes from the street. The controls mounted on the leather-wrapped steering wheel helped some, however have been restricted of their vary of performance. Perhaps in time it turns into a simple operation that may be completed all by contact, however after every week and tons of of miles we by no means have been snug with the system.

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

A getaway automotive, for those who’re not planning on taking a lot alongside

Operational challenges however, this isn’t to remove from sound high quality of the Bose nine-speaker (together with one in every of the seat headrests) sound system, for the AM/FM/CD/MP3/AUX radio with a USB enter. SiriusXM is included with a one-year subscription.

Options embrace cruise management, distant keyless door locks, energy home windows with one-touch down, energy aspect mirrors, rain delicate windshield wipers, push button ignition, tilt steering column, carpeted flooring mats, small however appreciated storage areas, and two inconveniently positioned cup holders. The trunk is more-than-adequate for 2 individuals on a weekend street journey, however bringing golf golf equipment, visiting wineries and lugging house instances of wine, or antiquing, ought to be left to the Fiat 500L or 500X.


The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider comes with an in depth record of ordinary and non-compulsory security options together with 4 airbags, four-wheel energy disc ABS braking, rearview back-up digital camera, digital stability management, traction management, tire strain monitoring system, blind spot monitoring, rear cross visitors alert, and an anti-theft alarm and engine immobilizer. There’s a tire service package, however no spare.

The 2019 124 Abarth has not been rated by the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security (IIHS).

Pricing and Warranties

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The Abarth badge

Clear Fleet Report’s 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, with elective gear totaling $Four,735, had a MSRP of $33,030. All costs exclude the $995 vacation spot cost.

The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider comes with these warranties:

  • Primary                              4 years/50,000 miles
  • Powertrain                    4 years/50,000 miles
  • Roadside Help   4 years/limitless miles
  • Corrosion                      12 years/limitless miles

Observations: 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Fiat added Italian aptitude to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, with a redesigned exterior, upped the posh degree with modifications to the inside and noise discount insulation. So, what’s the distinction between the 2?

2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Italian aptitude on a Japanese chassis–it really works!

Those that just like the 2019 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth truly adore it. After spending every week on corners, twisty mountain roads and on the open freeway, my take is the Bilstein sport suspension within the 124 Spider Abarth doesn’t add something to the already wonderful dealing with and experience of the MX-5 Miata, particularly the Membership model. The Fiat turbocharged engine is not any extra highly effective than the Mazda engine, and even suffers from turbo lag. The Monza exhaust is, nicely, exhaustingly loud. Some will prefer it, however after awhile, a little bit of quiet driving can be good.  You might go for the Fiat 124 Spider Classica or Lusso fashions, and get the identical efficiency and nice dealing with for a number of dollars much less. However do these look as cool because the Abarth?

Is the 124 Spider Abarth a enjoyable automotive? Sure! Do you have to contemplate it when buying two-passenger convertible sports activities automobiles? Sure! You see, it comes right down to styling, uniqueness and picture of shopping for the 124 Spider Abarth over the MX-5 Miata. There are usually not many 124 Spiders on the street, and even fewer Abarth fashions. Subsequently, in case you purchase one, anticipate to get the identical reactions we did of: “What’s that?” and “I didn’t know Fiat made a sports activities automotive.”

Affordable feedback. We all the time took the time to inform individuals what they have been taking a look at. To an individual, after a fast dialog, all of them thought the 124 Spider Abarth was a reasonably cool automotive.

We expect you’ll too.

No matter you purchase, Comfortable Driving!

Photographs by Lex Adams

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Clear Fleet Report is loaned free check automobiles from automakers to guage, sometimes for every week at a time. Our street exams are based mostly on this one-week drive of a brand new car. Due to this we don’t handle points comparable to long-term reliability or complete value of possession. As well as, we are sometimes invited to producer occasions highlighting new automobiles or know-how. As a part of these occasions we could also be provided free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our unvarnished evaluations of automobiles and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our focus is on automobiles that provide the most effective gasoline financial system of their class, which leads us to emphasise electrical automobiles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered automobiles which might be among the many prime mpg automobiles of their class. As well as, we purpose to supply critiques and information on superior know-how and the choice gasoline car market. We welcome any suggestions from car house owners and are devoted to offering a discussion board for various viewpoints. Please tell us your views at writer@cleanfleetreport.com.

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