2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica (1174)

This is the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica. Personally I thank Fiat for returning this jewel to the US Market. I owned a new 1970 124 Spider and it was one of my favorite little sport cars. It came at a time when there were no kids we needed to transport, but even if you did, in those days there were no government mandated seats for kids. As a two seater mom would hold the kid just as if you had a dog. Gee I wonder when the animal police will require a seat for the dog? “…oops there goes another L-I-B-E-R-T-Y …… Ker plop” – remember the song High Hopes by Frank Sinatra?

You’ll note its assembly point – “say what?” Japan? Yep, and I guess that is a good thing. Me, I would have chosen Korea where quality is among the top rated in the world. That’s what has launched Hyundai and Kia to the hottest auto line today. The good news – Japan has taken note and you can bet your bippy they will work hard to regain their position in the market, instead of leading from behind.

General Information: It is assembled in Hiroshima, Japan; Parts – US/Canadian 0%, Italy 20%; Japan 75%; Engine – Italy and transmission – Japan; Classification is Small SUV. Cars from Fiat: 124 Spider, 500, 500c, 500e, 500L and 500 X.

Handling & Performance:
Outstanding………. Really fabulous on the Crest Test as it hugged the road and had more than I was willing to push it. Literally left a BMW Z4 in the dust; way in the dust. Gotta love Turbo power. Keep in mind this is a 1.4 liter 4-cylinder engine that develops 160 horsepower. Europe was the leader in getting 100 HP per liter – the rest of the world has followed.

All competitors are two door cars and get similar average fuel economy, with BMW on the bottom of the list.

Classic Fiat.

Fit and Finish:

Consider it as ½ the price of the BMW. Fiat is at the top of the list of largest auto makers in the world. . . and its big brother is the fabulous Ferrari – great genes.

Conveniences and comfort:
Definitely a young person’s sport car in large part because it is low to the ground and entry and exit is a challenge for over 50s. Small cars do not sport all the technology conveniences necessarily due to size. But it is as comfortable as you would expect for a performance sport car. Thus you do feel the road which is a good thing in this segment.

Consumer Recommendations:
June 2015 “Hyundai and Kia’s achievement was made official: Korean cars had eclipsed Japanese autos in quality according to J.D. Powers who states Korean made is tops in initial quality of the mass-market auto brands.

For this 124 Spider, Fiat devoted buyers will definitely agree it is a welcomed return to America. I believe you will be impressed, so be sure to include it on your test drives. Let me know what you think when you drive it.

Recognized Competition:
Fiat 124 Spider $26,000, Mazda MX5 $32,000, MINI Convertible $27,000, VW Beetle $26,000, BMW Z4 $51,000. (ok so I know it isn’t recognized competition but since it couldn’t keep up with me over a tough course I’m including it here).

Good News:
Affordable sport car, great performance that is a turbocharged thrill to drive, good fuel economy.

Bad News:
None noted other than difficult entry / exit for seniors.

Standard Equipment:
1.4 liter 160 HP 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, 6-speed manual transmission, rear wheel drive, front and side seat mounted airbags, enhanced accident response system, stability control, cruise control, 4-wheel ABS brakes, Tire pressure warning lamp, Remote keyless entry, AM/FM Bluetooth radio with 3” display and 4-speakers, auxiliary power outlet, air conditioning, tilt steering column with leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio controls, roll bar, manual seat adjustment, power windows, convertible roof with acoustic headliner, 16” silver aluminum wheels, power mirrors.

Gas Stats:
$2.69/ Gal avg. January 1, 2017
for more information.
26 City and 35 Highway MPG
MSRP $25,000.

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