Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 MX-5 Miata Club Vs. 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

Photos courtesy of: Car and Driver

If you've read Car Crazy blog before you know I'm a big fan of the Mazda Miata. I even want to buy one at some point in the (hopefully near) future. In a nut shell it's all that a sports car driver wants in a compact package and affordable as a Costco membership. Well when news came out that Fiat was introducing a convertible roadster I was intrigued but also a little nauseous. I mean what ever Fiat makes seems to fall to pieces and ruin your driving experience. (Don't get me started with Fiat Chrysler making the Jeep!) It turns out that the new 2017 124 Fiat roadster shares a lot of common ground with the Miata. In fact, it's so similar that they are even made in the same factory as the Miata in Hiroshima, Japan. They are similar under the hood but do have some differences. While they both employ an in line 4 cylinder engine the Fiat 124's is turbocharged and inter cooled while the Miata is not. The horsepower their respective engines produce are also similar: Fiat produces 164 Hp at 5,500 rpm while the Miata pushes out 155 at 6,000 rpm. These twins also share a 6 speed manuel transmission and rear wheel drive. Car and Driver has a wonderful write up on these two cousin roadsters including all the technical specs you care to read. Basically, while much is shared between these two seaters the real difference comes in the road test. The Miata is boss on the road and remains the champ of the battle of "cousin convertibles". As Tony Quiroga writes in his article in Car and Driver "It didn’t take us long to pick a winner. The Miata might be louder and jumpier than the 124 Spider, but it’s also more charming and honest than the Fiat. And that means the Miata is a better sports car where it really counts." Tony puts the nail in the coffin when you realize that despite the 124 having turbo the Miata still beats the Fiat in acceleration! Not to mention the fact that the Fiat weights more and is quieter, more refined but also more boring. The Miata is just plain fun to drive and that's why I still have "Miata on my mind." 

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