2018 FIAT 124 Spider Review

124 Spider

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2018 FIAT 124 Spider Overview

Fiat reintroduced the 124 Spider in 2017, 50 years after the original hit the roads. The new 124 Spider’s proud Italian heritage is evident in its distinctive styling and exhaust note, though it’s actually built at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan. Because the model only just debuted, it goes into the 2018 model year largely unchanged.

The major addition for 2018 is a new “Red Top Edition” for the Lusso model that features – you guessed it – a red convertible top in addition to a few extra convenience features. The 2018 Fiat 124 Spider is available in Classica, Lusso and Abarth trims, with the base Classica model starting at just $25,000. Drivers can now also choose from three new exterior colors: Puro Bianco Perla, Grigio Chiaro, and Blu Scuro.

Under the hood, the Fiat spices things up with one of the company’s 1.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder that produces 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

In the Abarth version, the engine gets a slight bump to 164 hp thanks to an improved exhaust, which, by the way, sounds fantastic. Drivers can choose to shift gears on the Spider with a proper 6-speed manual, getting 26 mpg city, 35 highway, 30 combined, or let the car do the work with a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters, getting 25, 36, 29 while sipping 91-octane gas.

Tipping the scales at just 2,400 pounds, the fiat is a featherweight compared to most other cars on the 2018 market, and while it may be 100 pounds heavier than its Mazda counterpart, it also boasts more horsepower. Any version of the Fiat is going to be an endlessly fun little car on either back roads or highway, but more serious enthusiasts will be tempted by the Abarth model, which boasts a limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, stiffer suspension, a strut tower brace, and better Brembo brakes, plus the performance exhaust that gets you a few extra horses. It adds over $6,000 to the base price of a 124 Spider, but considering the goodies added both in the cockpit and under the bodywork, the pluses are worth the price.

Being a small two-seater, the 124 Spider’s luxuries are more streamlined than expansive. The Fiat offers a leather-wrapped steering wheel with silver interior accents. Because any soft top is going to be louder on the road than the average car, it also features extra sound deadening to make for a quieter ride. And although the Fiat’s extra length translates to extra trunk space, 4.94 cubic feet compared to 4.59 isn’t really worth celebrating.

The 124 Classica base model comes somewhat sparsely equipped with manual adjustment for the cloth seats, but does feature power mirrors, air conditioning, cruise control, a USB port, and an auxiliary jack. The Lusso (Italian for “luxury”) version includes leather seats, automatic climate control, fog lights and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The Abarth further adds microfiber inserts to its leather seats, a special instrument cluster, aluminum-trimmed pedals, and a unique Abarth steering wheel and shifter. Abarth models also feature a blacked-out hood. Finally, the new-for-2018 Red Top Edition adds a navigation system, adaptive LED headlights and a nine-speaker stereo from Bose. While the 124 Spider has not been crash tested and safety is clearly not its main function, available options include a rearview camera, rear park assist and blind-spot monitors.


Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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FIAT 124 Spider Questions

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