Should You Buy The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Instead Of The Mazda MX-5?

Kind of hard to go wrong with either.

So here’s the deal: The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is, for the most part, a rebadged and slightly restyled fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata. Does that mean you should pick one over the other simply for styling purposes? Yes, but there’s another factor that must be considered: engines. While the US-spec MX-5 Miata comes powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four with 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, the 124 Spider runs on a slightly different tune. Under its hood lies Fiat’s turbocharged 1.4-liter four banger with 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.

More powerful than the Mazda, yes, but is it really better? That’s one of the things we wanted to find out in our latest review. Our tester 2017 Fiat 124 Spider was the mid-level Lusso trim, and it came very nicely equipped. One fairly big complaint, however, is its optional six-speed automatic.

First off, save a bit of cash and stick with the stick, a six-speed manual. But if you must have the slushbox, be aware that there aren’t any paddle shifters, which is weird. In terms of overall styling, the 124 Spider has unique front and rear ends and is a bit longer than its Mazda counterpart. So, which of these two roadsters is right for you (if you’re in the market)? Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong with either. Special thanks to for letting us film the car.

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