Fiat clearly missed out all of Mazda's hard work.
A few days ago, Fiat teased us with an exhaust clip of the refreshed 2019 124 Abarth Spider. The exhaust sounded fantastic, which got us a bit excited for the reveal of the 2019 car. For 2019, Mazda went to great lengths to improve the MX-5 with a higher revving engine and a higher output, so we were holding out hope that Fiat might make the same improvements to the 124. Unfortunately, 2019 124 Spider has been revealed and the changes are minimal over the 2018 model.
For starters, the entry-level Classica trim now features a standard seven-inch infotainment system. Fiat has also introduced new center stripe options and a Technology Group package which includes a smart key and Sirius XM satellite radio.
The biggest changes come on the Abarth model, with a Monza exhaust that sounds extremely throaty. The Abarth will also have new badges on the front fenders and a new Veleno Appearance Group. This package adds red exterior accents on the front bumper, mirror caps, and tow hook cover, a different dead pedal, and branded floor mats.
Overall, this 2019 refresh is extremely disappointing compared to the Miata. Whereas the Mazda jumped from 155 to 181 horsepower, the Fiat's 1.4-liter turbocharged engine remains the same with 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque (or 164 hp in the Abarth). The Miata is now the more powerful of the two sister cars and it remains the one we'd recommend.