2019 Fiat 124 Spider Eschews MX-5 Upgrades, Bows With Minor Updates

Fiat has unveiled the 2019 124 Spider which promises to provide the “ultimate Italian roadster experience.”

While last week’s teaser video suggested the car was going to receive some significant upgrades, the changes are minor and appear far less substantial than those given to the 2019 Mazda MX-5.

Starting with the entry-level model, the 2019 124 Spider Classica features a newly standard seven-inch infotainment system and an available Ceramic Gray paint job. The model can also be equipped with an assortment of new center stripe designs and a revised Technology Group package which now includes a proximity entry system and Sirius XM satellite radio.

The 124 Spider Lusso carries over, but bigger changes occur on the range-topping Abarth variant. As teased last week, the model receives a new Monza exhaust which provides an “unmistakable voice.” The car also has new Abarth badges on the front fenders.

Lastly, the 124 Spider Abarth can be equipped with a new Veleno Appearance Group. It includes red exterior accents on the front bumper, mirror caps and tow hook cover. The package also adds a bright dead pedal and an Abarth branded floor mats.

Under the hood, the turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine carries over untouched. As a result, it continues to produce 160 hp (119 kW / 162 PS) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque in the Classica and Lusso variants. The Abarth uses the same engine, but it has been tuned to produce 164 hp (123 kW / 166 PS). Regardless of which model is selected, the engine can be paired to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Since the 2019 124 Spider continues to use the same engine as it predecessor, buyers looking for more power will have to opt for the 2019 Mazda MX-5 which features a significantly improved 2.0-liter four-cylinder that develops 181 hp (135 kW / 183 PS) and 151 lb-ft (204 Nm) of torque.


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  • ▶️ ProtectOurHeritage ◀️

    Shame about the unsurprisingly low-grade engine choice. #FixItAgainTony

    • Jason Loyer

      And I suppose it should have something stupid and expensive to fix like the engine in the Giulia?

      • ▶️ ProtectOurHeritage ◀️

        More Fiat Group trash? No way!

  • Mr. EP9

    What a dumb move by Fiat.

  • Evo45

    Wait a second, US version of 124 uses same engine as Abarth? That’s interesting (kinda)

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      No it isn’t, trust me.

      When these came out, I drove both of them back to back. Literally within 15 minutes of eachother. The midrange punch of the turbo motor is nice, but the lag makes it awful. The Miata was far and away the better vehicle.

      • Jason Loyer

        I fail to understand what lag you’re talking about. The turbo is the size of a hair dryer, there’s no real lag to speak of. To say nothing of the fact that I’ve never seen a Miata driver get any respect from someone driving a BMW.

        Could it be possible that you’re just biased towards the Mazda and feel like the Fiat’s an intruder? Because that’s what it comes across as to me.

        • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

          “To say nothing of the fact that I’ve never seen a Miata driver get any respect from someone driving a BMW.”

          Respect from a BMW driver?

          Do you think any self respecting ADULT gives a shit about what others think of what they’re driving? What a childish, self-absorbed, pathetic and incredibly vain comment.

  • Adilos Nave

    I like the color but it’s visually a complete mess. What happened to pure Italian style?

    • Bo Hanan

      You look and wonder who in the Focus Groups is encouraging this car in those colors.
      And why is Fiat listening to them?

      • Matt

        They’re historical Abarth colours…

  • Donald Ducko

    Calling this a Fiat is like calling Caitlin Jenner a woman. Sorry, but under all that makeup and putty is a biological MAN…errr I mean Miata.

    • Jason Loyer

      Comparing the 124 Spider to Caitlin Jenner is nowhere near fair. The beating heart of the car is a Fiat engine, and the Abarth is completed in Turin. Italian blood is in the Fiat, even if it’s got a Japanese body.

      And you are attempting to imply that being related to one of the best roadsters in history is somehow a flaw to be mocked. Try driving one. Unlike a transgender woman, experiencing it might change your mind.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Very Fiat style strategy. They make interesting cars and then do their best to hasten their obsolescence due to lack of proper upgrades. Fiat GT, Coupè, Barchetta. All in the same group. And i did own two of those models. When i found myself looking for more i had nothing to pick. It wasn’t so bad….i ended up upgrading with an Alfa Romeo but the shortcoming still exists at Fiat (and AlfaFiat as well..although they are improving there).

    • Bob

      It’s like the organisation has an undiagnosed ADD problem.

    • Nick099

      Funny thing. It’s a real simple fix; more power.

      • Wandering_Spirit

        I am not sure what the problem is with Fiat. When they made crappy cars it was because they had unique opportunities to make crappy cars and even get government money and subsidies for a lot of things. From there the myth of Fix It Again Tony. Later on they restarted making decent cars and finally they got back to standard quality levels. They insist with sad designs (Multipla, some new models), lacking upgradings and updating to model ranges. Fiat models stay on the market for decade when all others make new models every 4 or 5 years and many iterations of current models in between. Then, every now and then they jump into niche sectors with very good ideas, normally badly implemented or well implemented by without following suit. 124 is like the Barchetta. Could be a hit but it’s doomed by brand policies that are not in tune with reality. Lancia ended up in the same way for the same reason. My Punto GT 1.8 came out with 130/133 HP when all other competitors (Peugeot and Renault) were in the range of 160. You could easily fix it with a turbo and a few other things but why didn’t Fiat do it? The Peugeot was really damn fast, not to speak about the Clio 16 V first generation. Punto GT (second generation, with a 1.8 non turbo engine) became a rarity. And i can confirm it was well done. I drove it for over 100k kms with no issues at all…no assembly noises and a very nice engine. Just underpowered and not updated. I gave up on them and went for Alfa Romeo, with a 147 and others later on. I wasn’t disappointed.

      • Jason Loyer

        The 1.4L MultiAir makes more torque than the 2.0L in the Mazda. The last time I checked, that IS more power.

        • Nick099

          Umm. .. meaning 300hp. Not futzing around with these miniscule numbers.

  • Six_Tymes

    “far less substantial than those given to the 2019 Mazda MX-5.”

    that is dumb, this is a let down. if anything they should have at least Matched the MX-5’s upgrades, or exceeded. i was honestly going to consider this if it had all the upgrades that the miata is getting

    • Jason Loyer

      So the fact that the Fiat engine makes 13lbs/ft of torque more than the Mazda’s does counts for nothing, then? More horsepower or bust?

      If you were going to buy one, you’d already have one because it was already more powerful than the Mazda. Mazda caught up, Fiat doesn’t need to do anything.

  • ▶️ ProtectOurHeritage ◀️

    Racist? 😂

  • ColdWarrior

    Never mind the fact that the Fiat STILL has more torque than the upgraded Miata… And the fact that the 124 hit the market a full year after the ND Miata and is not on the same refresh schedule…

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      Nevermind the fact that the Fiat with more torque was STILL slower 0-100/0-60 than the old ND Miata with the 2.0.

      No one cares about the 124, it doesn’t sell.

      • Jason Loyer

        Speak for yourself. The Miata would be dead without the 124 to bolster it’s sales. Mazda themselves admitted it.

        Lots of people buy the 124 because it’s nicer to look at than the Miata’s massive grinning face. Enough people are buying them that there’s a worldwide owner’s club and dedicated tuning development for them.

        I bet you’re the kind of person who thinks the crossover is an abomination that should be erased from the planet because it’s fat, ugly and slow. Not everyone buys a car because it’s the fastest one by a fraction of a second, and those who do buy cars worth a lot more than these two.

        • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

          “The Miata would be dead without the 124 to bolster it’s sales. Mazda themselves admitted it.”

          Post your source.

          The 124 doesn’t sell a fraction of what the Miata does in the US.

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    Racist? Italian is a race?

    People have no idea what racist really means….

  • Jason Loyer

    What everyone keeps missing here is that the Fiat’s 1.4L turbo engine STILL makes more torque than the MX5’s 2.0L.

    Everyone gets so wrapped up in horsepower that they completely miss the fact that these cars are about acceleration and nimbleness, not speed. And Abarth is working on getting the car up over 200hp with an upgrade similar to what’s available for the 500, so it IS coming. Fiat isn’t stupid, you lot are impatient.

    To all the Mazda fanatics out there; the two cars have very different approaches to driving them. Trying to drive the Fiat like you’d drive the Mazda will never get the most out of it because it’s got a turbocharger. And while there’s a hint of low-end lag, it picks up just fine if you let it really rev before shifting.

    I love my Abarth. Looking at it and driving it makes me smile in a way the MX5 can’t. Say what you want about “true sport” or whatever; the Miata doesn’t do it for me. Enjoy your car, I’ll enjoy mine. And I’ll see you in the curves where we can both humiliate the competition.

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