2020 FIAT 124 Spider Concept, Specs, Prices, and Release date. With almost no change for the new model year, the Fiat 124 still sends a thrill up the enthusiast pant leg. The honeycomb grille and pert rear end remind onlookers of classic Fiats and of the new Miata, which means the stylists did their job well.
With no crash-test data, the 124 Spider is a safety unknown. It’s equipped with a decent features list, but automatic emergency braking’s nowhere to be found. We ‘d opt for the Lusso and its reasonable set of gear, which includes leather and a bigger infotainment screen, but enthusiasts will demand the Abarth’s tighter tuning and more raucous exhaust.
2020 FIAT 124 Spider Performance
The 2020 Fiat 124 Spider spins driving joy from a turbo-4 and sweet handling.
The Fiat 124 Spider doesn’t come about its lively performance in quite the same way as the related Mazda MX-5 Miata. Fiat relies on turbocharging, for one, and that gives it less a boost than expected.
Both Mazda and Fiat put 4-cylinder engines to work under the hood of their related sports cars. The Mazda’s engine has been updated this year, but remains naturally aspirated, with 2.0 liters of displacement and 168 hp.
In the 124 Spider, Fiat turns to a single-overhead cam, turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder. Fired up with as much as 22 pounds of turbo boost, it can belt out 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque in base cars, or 164 hp in the Abarth model, thanks to a less restrictive exhaust system.
The Miata’s been the stronger of the pair, and it’s become stronger this year with significant revision to its engine. The Fiat’s unchanged, and though it takes just 6.8 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill it flinches for a moment off the line, until its turbo lag dissolves in a flurry of spooling action.
The lack of low-end power grows more noticeable on automatic-transmission Spiders. Shift paddles help– but only the Abarth model has them. The 6-speed manual helps cut through some of the lag, and it switches gears with smart, clean action.
On the highway, the 124’s blessed with strong passing response, thanks to the turbo.
The Fiat 124 Spider dabbles in history, but doesn’t let it get in the way of a good time.
Fiat and Mazda deserve credit for the different style applied to the related 124 Spider and MX-5 Miata.
The Miata ends up the victor in this battle for looks, but the Fiat sports a handsome shape, too.
Fiat riffed on roadsters past to bring the 124 Spider into a new era. Some of the cues echo those from its various roadsters from the ’60s, and it doesn’t share anything with the Miata, in terms of sheet metal.
The Fiat 124 even sits 5 inches longer than the MX-5 and has longer front and rear overhangs.
The Miata’s scowl turns into a high-set honeycomb grille on the 124 Spider. It’s an homage to the classic 124 Spider, down to the concave stamping in the hood that inverts the power-dome bulges from the vintage classic.
The differences get more pronounced toward the rear. Where the Miata sags and tapers, the Fiat stands upright and calls attention to the width of its rear end. It’s pretty, but not quite as in-your-face as the Mazda despite touches that distinguish different models: the Classica’s body-color-and-black trim, the silver Lusso touches, and the gunmetal gray on Abarths, sometimes paired with a black hood.
Comfort & Quality
Short trips for two people put the Fiat 124 Spider in its best light.
Sports cars don’t fare well in comfort and utility, as a rule. The Fiat 124 Spider does just fine when only two people are involved, and if they’re not very attached to material possessions.
The 124 Spider has just two seats and they’re formed from netting and urethane instead of springs, as firmer seats might be. They can be comfortable for a few hours, but over long distances the support isn’t enough.
In terms of human space, this generation of Miata/Spider does better by passengers than previous ones. The seats sit lower and offer more stretch-out leg room, with just enough head room under the convertible top for 6-footer comfort.
In the cockpit, the Fiat’s controls and storage bins come up short. A small bin behind the driver’s right elbow offers some of what little storage the Spider has.
Fiat upgrades interior materials for the 124, versus what you’ll find in the Miata. There’s more sound insulation around the cockpit and under the car.
Fuel economy is the small car’s forte, and the 2020 Fiat 124 Spider doesn’t disappoint.
With a smaller-displacement engine than the similar Mazda MX-5 Miata, the 2020 Fiat 124 Spider has delivered no better fuel economy.
The EPA rates the 2020 Fiat 124 Spider at 26 mpg city, 35 highway, 30 combined.
That’s how we ‘d order it; with the available 6-speed automatic, it’s rated slightly lower, at 25/36/29 mpg.
Fiat says it ‘d like drivers to fill the 124 with 91-octane fuel for top performance. It’s advice well taken; we’ll just put back some of these gas-station snacks.
2020 FIAT 124 Spider Price, Release date
The 2020 FIAT 124 Spider costs around $26,000, while Abarths sticker at more than $30,000. Fiat sells the 124 Spider in Classica, Lusso, and Abarth editions. In all, the 124 Spider has a moderate amount of features, with a relatively lean options list that now includes a sport exhaust and new stripe kits for 2020.