Jeremy Clarkson Reviews The Fiat 124 Spider And… It’s Not Looking Good

Things would have been much easier for Fiat if the 124 Spider was just a Mazda MX-5 in an Italian suit.

In order to set it apart from its Japanese counterpart, the Italians implemented a few changes, making it longer, wider and lower. They even made it more powerful by stuffing a 1.4-litre MultiAir turbo four, good for up to 168 HP.

Still not enough to please a certain ex-Top Gear motoring host. In his recent Sunday Times column, Clarkson explains how Mazda got the sports car recipe exactly right by making an analogy between the concept of a roadster and a poached egg on toast.

It might be confusing at first, but the little model gets praised by the motoring journalist, even though he says it isn’t the kind of car for the hairy chested Alpha male. That’s where the 124 Spider was supposed to come in, but it did not meet JC’s expectations and ended up being called the result of an amateur taxidermy. What’s more, the “Fiata” was described as quieter and less fun than the MX-5, especially as it doesn’t come with a limited-slip diff.

The Abarth variant, on the other hand, probably fixes some the 124 Spider’s issues, including its “soft and wobbly character”, but it’s also pricier. At the end of the day, the MX-5 remains the go-to roadster.


  • Six_Tymes

    the car that could have, should have been better. besides the mechanical issues, the rear of the fiat looks way better than the mx5, but both front ends don’t look all that great.

    LONG LIVE THE S2000!

  • Marco

    Fiat 124 originally wasn’t a sport car but a touristic spider and the 2016 version renew the concept

    • KareKakk

      Eyh…don’t ruin the thread with facts, please.

  • benT

    “Jeremy Clarkson Reviews The Fiat 124 Spider And… It’s Not Looking Good”

    He’s as ugly as a pile of horse ….
    Car looks great to me – much more so than the MG unit a few years back and please don’t mention the………..

    • Andrewthecarguy

      Clarkson is fast becoming irrelevant IMO.

  • Bash

    I don’t think Jeremy ever was into or liked such cars or anything that lacks (power or speed)… I think Hammond or May would have been a better ones to review this car..

  • XtremWize

    They did not pay enough to Jeremy Clarkson.

  • DMJ

    The european “regular” Fiat 124 has 140hp, and not 168hp.

  • Jor

    Jeremy Clarkson thrives on being negative and denigrating.

    • crag keeper

      That’s what I love about him. Everyone is so accepting of car deficiencies. I say tell the truth.
      Fiat’s 1.4 turbo is not a great engine. And anything with the Multiair system is junk.

  • Dennis James

    Looks 10 times better than the Mazda MX5 to me.

    • Matterafact

      Not to me though,
      its butt ugly and it only gets recognition because its Italian.

    • Emin Zeynali

      Because 124 have it’s history, style and roots. Italians simply modernized classic 124 Spider look. Japaneses copy/pasted classic English roadsters

  • Big Black Duck

    JC is the Trump equivalent of Motoring

    • crag keeper

      only, JC isn’t a closet queen.

  • Mark

    Who’s Jeremy Clarkson?

  • smartacus

    between the Miata and the Fiata;
    i’d take the Miata.

    i don’t expect that to change with the Abarth version either.

  • Sherdy

    I would worry more if Clarkson did give the 124 a good review.
    He thinks the only good cars are German.

    • crag keeper

      Agreed. Cars from Israel are much better.