2018 FIAT 124 Spider

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MSRP: $24,995 - 28,295

2018 FIAT 124 Spider Review

The 2018 Fiat 124 Spider is a refined two-seat convertible sports car with modest power. This fun-to-drive vehicle is nimble when cornering, but it's short on passenger and cargo space. 

8.5

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.9
Interior: 7.7
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Cushy seats
  • Convertible top folds in seconds
  • Class-leading fuel economy
  • Nimble handling
  • Tall travelers may feel cramped
  • Few available options

Is the Fiat 124 Spider a Good Car?

The 124 Spider is a pretty good sports car. Its lively engine and agile handling make it a blast to drive, and the easy-folding top is convenient when you want the wind in your face. On the flip side, the 124 Spider doesn't have nearly as much power as some class rivals.

Should I Buy the Fiat 124 Spider?

The 124 Spider sticks to the basics; it doesn't have the latest infotainment system, an extravagant cabin, or brutish performance. Yet, that's what makes it most appealing. If you're looking for a svelte, low-slung, nimble roadster, the 124 Fiat Spider is a great option. However, those looking for a muscular sports car will find this Fiat underwhelming. If you’d like to look at other options, consider the Mazda MX-5 Miata. It was designed in conjunction with the 124 Spider, so they have a strong resemblance. Just note: the Mazda is a little more spirited, while the Fiat is a more comfortable touring car. Additionally, the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 are fraternal twins worth your consideration.

Compare the 124 Spider, MX-5 Miata and BRZ »

Should I Buy a New or Used Fiat 124 Spider?

Fiat introduced the Spider for the 2017 model year. The 2018 model is virtually identical to the debut model, meaning that 124 Spider shoppers may want to consider buying used to potentially save some money. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overview of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2017 and 2018 124 Spider »

We Did the Research for You: 13 Reviews Analyzed

For our comprehensive 2018 Fiat 124 Spider review, we evaluated 13 professional reviews and combined those evaluations with details such as performance specs, fuel economy ratings, and cargo space.

This overview includes applicable data and reviews from the 2017 and 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been a trusted news source for more than 80 years. Since 2007, we've also been a reliable resource for car shoppers, ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs. Each year, we also issue our annual Best Cars for the Money and Best Cars for Families awards.

How Much Does the Fiat 124 Spider Cost?

With a sticker price that falls just under $25,000, the Fiat 124 Spider is one of the least expensive sports cars you can buy. Pricing for the base Classica convertible starts at $24,995. The 124 Spider is also available as the swankier Lusso ($27,595) and the sportier Abarth ($28,295). For great savings at your local Fiat deal, check out our U.S. News Best Price Program.

Fiat 124 Spider Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Fiat 124 Spider or Mazda MX-5 Miata?

The Fiat 124 Spider and the Mazda MX-5 Miata are based on the same platform, so there are many similarities between these two vehicles. That said, the 124 Spider has a slightly larger trunk, and its turbocharged engine gets 5 more horsepower. The Miata, however, has a larger standard infotainment screen and a better predicted reliability rating. You'll want the 124 Spider if you're looking for a touring sports car with comfortable seats and a quiet ride. Those looking for more spirited performance will prefer the MX-5 Miata.

Which Is Better: Fiat 124 Spider or Subaru BRZ?

The Subaru BRZ is another sports car that favors agility over power. Unlike the 124 Spider, this two-door sports coupe has seating for four, a fixed roof, and a larger trunk. The BRZ also has a larger standard infotainment screen, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available (both are unavailable in the 124 Spider). The Fiat does, however, have safety technology that you can't get in the Subaru, including blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. Choosing between these two cars comes down to whether you want the BRZ’s extra space or the 124 Spider’s convertible style.

Compare the 124 Spider, MX-5 Miata, and BRZ »

124 Spider Interior

How Many People Does the 124 Spider Seat?

The 124 Spider has seating for two people. Passenger space is in short supply, with the car's low stance and engine placement leaving little room for tall people to lean back and stretch out. Alongside a Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Fiat is quieter, and its seats have more cushioning, making it the better of the two for all-day driving.

124 Spider and Car Seats

No LATCH hardware comes in the 124 Spider. There is enough room in the solitary passenger seat for a child safety seat, and you can turn off the passenger-side airbag. However, safety experts don't recommend installing a car seat in the front of any vehicle.

124 Spider Interior Quality

The 124 Spider’s cabin has a lot in common with the MX-5 Miata’s, including a similar infotainment system and identical buttons and knobs. Between the two, the Fiat feels more upscale inside. Its enhanced sound insulation means the 124 Spider also offers a quieter ride.

124 Spider Cargo Space

On paper, the 124 Spider's 4.9-cubic-foot trunk may not seem like much of a gain over the Mazda MX-5 Miata's 4.6-cubic-foot trunk. In reality, though, this extra real estate means you can pack just a little more for your road trip.

124 Spider Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

If you've recently spent time in a Mazda MX-5 Miata, you'll feel right at home in the 124 Spider. Fiat uses the same layout for its redundant physical controls, with buttons and knobs that are clearly marked but not always easy to reach. One difference inside is that the Fiat comes with a smaller standard 3-inch display screen; a 7-inch display is optional. The standard sound system (which includes Bluetooth) and its accompanying speakers are rudimentary. The available nine-speaker Bose sound system has better sound (and is worth the extra cost), but the optional navigation system is only fair. Even with the upgraded infotainment system, goodies like Apple CarPlay are not available.

Read more about interior »

124 Spider Performance

124 Spider Engine: Exciting, but Not Beastly

It's not really fair to compare a 124 Spider with sports car rivals like the Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro (two other models in our sports car rankings). These two relish delivering raw power, while the Fiat leans toward the energy and litheness of a bantamweight boxer. The 124 Spider's turbocharged four-cylinder engine takes a moment to get going, but it's plenty peppy once it does. There's no risk of waking the neighbors with its quiet exhaust. If you want a more satisfying exhaust note, go with the Spider Abarth, which emits a nice rumble from its quad chrome tips. The optional six-speed automatic transmission is a good pick if you don't like shifting, though most driving enthusiasts will want to stick with the enjoyable six-speed manual transmission.

124 Spider Gas Mileage: Sporty Fuel Sipper

One advantage to the 124 Spider's elfin engine is fuel economy. It's rating of 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway is better than what you get with most other sports cars, thanks to the Fiat's four-cylinder engine and low curb weight.

124 Spider Ride and Handling: Nimble and Light

Much of the thrill of driving a 124 Spider comes from its agile handling and lightweight platform. It has a smoother ride and less body roll than a MX-5 Miata, though its suspension still produces some lean. Abarth models have a sport suspension system that enhances handling, and options like Brembo performance brakes can be added.

Read more about performance »

124 Spider Reliability

Is the 124 Spider Reliable?

The 2018 Fiat 124 Spider has a three out of five predicted reliability score from J.D. Power, which is average among all vehicles. Rivals like the Ford Mustang and Toyota 86 get higher scores of four and 3.5, respectively.

Fiat 124 Spider Warranty

Fiat covers the 124 Spider with a four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and a four-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

124 Spider Safety

124 Spider Crash Test Results

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration performs crash tests on the 124 Spider, which is typical for low-volume vehicles.

124 Spider Safety Features

No advanced safety features come standard in the 124 Spider, which is normal for a sports car. Driver assistance features such as a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic monitoring are available.

Read more about safety »

Which Fiat 124 Spider Model Is Right for Me?

The 124 Spider is a front-engine convertible sports car with two seats and a manually folding soft top. Choose from three trim levels – Classica, Lusso, and Abarth – and one or two available packages. All editions come with a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine (though Abarth models have a higher horsepower rating) and a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is available.

Most shoppers will find the extra amenities in the Spider Lusso appealing and worth the $2,600 increase over the base Spider Classica. The Lusso trim steps up the luxury (the leather upholstery and heated front seats also make your ride more comfortable) and the technology (a 7-inch infotainment display and a rearview camera are among the additions).

Fiat 124 Spider Classica

The Spider Classica starts at $24,995 and comes with cloth upholstery, manually adjustable seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, and push-button start. Its infotainment system includes a 3-inch display and Bluetooth.

Fiat 124 Spider Lusso

Leather upholstery, heated seats, automatic climate control, and a proximity key are added to the $27,595 Spider Lusso. Its upgraded technology includes a 7-inch infotainment display, a rearview camera, and rear parking sensors.

Fiat 124 Spider Abarth

The Spider Abarth has a more athletic flair, as evidenced by its sport seats, performance-tuned suspension with Sport mode selector, and higher horsepower rating. A few options – including a Brembo brake package and Recaro leather-trimmed seats – are exclusive to this $28,295 trim.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Fiat dealer.

See 2018 Fiat 124 Spider specs and trims »

The Final Call

Much of the beauty of the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider is its simplicity. Its elegant and clean styling is European-like, and its technology falls on the minimalistic side; the soft top even opens by hand, lowering in seconds. In short, everything gets out of your way so you can become one with the road and sky. You get a tad more comfort and refinement than you would with a Mazda MX-5 Miata. You don't get the brute power that cars like the Ford Mustang bring to the table, but if you prefer lithe handling to off-the-line acceleration, you'll find plenty of joy driving the 124 Spider.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Other convertibles on the market come with fewer compromises. The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro convertibles offer more interior space, more usable trunks and back seats (small as they are), and they are available with significantly more power. The VW Beetle convertible and Mini Cooper convertible have small-car aesthetics and are easy to drive while asking for fewer sacrifices than the 124. But as generations of Miata owners (and owners of the old 124 Spider) will tell you, driving is more about the connection you feel with your car rather than how much you can fit in the trunk. And in that way, there's simply no substitute for the 2018 Fiat 124 Spider." -- Edmunds
  • "Whether or not it's to your style, the Fiat 124 Spider looks different, it drives different, it sounds different. Thanks to its looks and Euro-marque badging, we could see this being more appealing to a would-be Mini or VW Beetle convertible buyer than its platform-mate, but the lack of rear seats narrows its audience from the get-go. At the same time, the range of hop-up parts in the expanding Mopar catalog makes it easy to tailor it to your taste, and that's before third-party suppliers get in on the action. We're curious about how many MX-5 aftermarket parts will work here, too. Either way, we think the world's a better, happier place with another earnest and affordable convertible in it." -- Autoweek (2017)
  • "Despite their similar underpinnings a rich day spent blissfully baking in the Spider's cabin revealed a personality distinct from the Miata's. For some drivers the utterly undiluted handling and sharp style of Mazda's roadster make it the superior choice. But for others the slightly softer, light-hearted spirit of the Fiat better align with their top-down fantasies. In the world of roadsters emotion trumps all. The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider hits the right emotional notes with just enough rationality to justify the fun." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
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