Built in Japan by Mazda, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso is a modern recreation of the 124 roadster that was sold between 1966 and 1985. It has an exterior and dimensions that remind you of a sports car – you cannot help but admit that it looks pretty good.
EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR
With the Grigio Moda Meteor Grey color, the 2017 Fiat 124 Lusso looks striking. The exterior has some impressive features, including a double bubble hood that is an obvious homage to the original 124 Spider, 17-inch premium silver aluminum wheels and a convertible roof, which needs to be taken out manually.
Inside, the Saddle color gives the new Fiat 124 an elegant look. You will like the features that have been included in the vehicle. The piano black interior accents work super-well with the interior color, making it look classy and comfortable. The leather-wrapped steering wheel looks and feels amazing.
The Fiat 124 also comes with an acoustic headliner which is majestically integrated into the seats, soft-touch upper instrument panel as well as a rear console lockable storage in which you can keep important documents, your wallet, or whatever you think needs safeguarding. No, do not put any fruit in there. That is not necessary and if you forget about the fruit, you may notice the smell after a bit and you do not want to spoil that new car smell.
The new Fiat 124 Spider Lusso does quite well when it comes to fuel efficiency. It is rated at 25 mpg city, 36 highway, and 29 combined with the automatic transmission, while with the manual, it is 26/35/30 mpg. Its compact size, light weight, and small turbo-charged engine means its fuel efficiency is suitable.
With its 1.4-liter multi-air turbo engine, the 2017 Fiat 124 provides 160 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and goes 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. We must say that this is somewhat quick but not as quick as the Mazda MX-5 Miata which does this in 5.8 seconds. At full throttle, the uninterrupted torque delivery of the automatic seemed to keep the vehicle’s turbo spooled while accelerating.
If you keep the Fiat boosted, the car will soon drift and you can then learn how to drift with the best of them. The steering is marvelous and responds properly. The car’s ride is smooth while its dampers and springs are tuned differently compared to the MX-5. From short, medium, or long drives, the Fiat will come through for you with charm.
The convertible’s tranquil highway cruising, fantastic ride, and roomy trunk perhaps make this one of the best vehicle’s we’ve tested. It also has some strong brakes, stopping the car from 70 mph after only 165 feet had been covered. This is pretty impressive. It may not be as impressive as if it could turn into a Transformer but it is pretty amazing nonetheless.
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso comes with a few poignant options that you can consider adding to make your convertible even more luxurious. You can select the Premium Collection which is available at a price of $3,795. The collection includes 9 Bose speakers which consists of a subwoofer and the collection then goes on to include GPS navigation, heated exterior mirror, auto-dimming rear view mirror and a universal garage door opener – all for your comfort and convenience.
The Premium Collection also has some useful features such as a ParkSense rear park assist system, blind spot and cross path detection, LED headlamps, automatic headlamp leveling system, adaptive front headlamps, headlamp washer, and security alarm. Last but not least, you get the SiriusXM satellite radio with 1-year radio subscription. Now you can listen to Bloomberg Radio, The Howard Stern Show, outstanding music, and so on no matter where you are.
You get all that for $3,795; not a bad deal if you have the extra money.
The base price of the 2017 Fiat 214 Spider Lusso is $27,495. When you add up all the available options, the grand total comes to $33,635. And unlike the Affordable Care Act, you know what you are getting when you make this purchase.
What we liked: Classier looks compared to the Miata, the freedom that the convertible roof provides, a light and extremely comfortable ride.
What we didn’t like: Disappointing when driving this car at lower speeds, no paddle shifters, and overall less sporty than the Miata. Driving a convertible can be aggravating at times and when covered, you will not receive the same level of security when this car is parked compared to a hard top car.
The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is the main competitor for the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso, and the Miata certainly offers a lot more immediate power. However, when it comes to interior materials, it does not match up to the premium materials of the Fiat 124.
Other competitors are the Subaru BRZ and 2017 Toyota 86 which are sporty and dynamic, certainly the latter, but because they are coupes, they do not give the top-down experience which can make your ride exhilarating. The Nissan 370Z is another close rival and it is fabulous to look at, but it is larger, heavier and more expensive, making the Fiat 124 Spider a more economical and better choice.
All in all, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso is packed with some golden features and looks decent. However, after comparing it to other vehicles in its class, we are a little more partial to the sportier Miata and BRZ.
Photo Credit: Chrysler