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£25k Roadster And Hot Hatch Shootout



With how close the Roadster price points are, it’s no surprise that automotive publications are pitting the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat 124 Spider against each other. AutoCar decided to film a sports car shootout which includes both roadsters and three hot hatches.

In the lineup is of course the MX-5 Sport Recaro edition, 124 Spider (not Abarth), Ford Fiesta ST200, DS3 Performance, and a Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy. We won’t go into too much detail with the hot hatches and concentrate on the two roadsters.

Every car is tested thoroughly on the track and the driver does note that the 124 Spider is a fundamentally well balanced car and where the lighter MX-5 excels in straights, the Spider is slightly faster out of corner. The Spider may get a bit wheezy at the top end but its lap time is only 2 and a half second slower than the MX-5.

Both roadsters are fun to drive and they say that the MX-5 is more poised but, the fancy Recaro edition has the advantage of fancy Bilstein dampers and a strut tower bar. That’s why they said the Miata’s handling balance left a smile on their face more than the Spider.

Below is the shootout video, we’ll let you be the judge.

 

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Personally I put looks higher than outright performance and to be honest I'm unlikely ever to drive even close to its limits.

The Mazda is very "now" in looks and will date very quickly in my opinion. The 124 offers a spirited drive and looks far classier both inside & out. It will also be far less common. I own an Alfa Giulietta with the 1.4 multiair in 170hp guise and I love it!

Again if I followed the motoring press I would be driving a vw/Audi. I had 3 Audi A3's before I bought the Giulietta and in the 4 years I've owned it I haven't regretted my purchase for an instant.

The 124 in lusso plus spec ticks all the boxes for me & i'm in no rush to buy it with winter coming, I will take my time and see what the score is when the initial dust settles. The best time to snag a deal on a 124 maybe mid winter?
 

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2½ seconds is an eternity on the track, on which my 124 Spider will likely never be driven.

I was surprised that the Spider tested was lighter than the Miata tested and wonder what content was the culprit.
 

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The MX5 definitely looked the more composed through the bends.
 

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First, this is the Euro 124 engine, not the the US, so it lacks the 160 hp., and so not surprising that the MX 5 was faster on the straightaways.
Second, how can they compare the handling and balance of the MX 5 with Bilstein dampers and a strut tower bar against the stock Lusso? You would have to test it against the Abarth or test the Lusso against the MX 5 Sport or GT.
 

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Second, how can they compare the handling and balance of the MX 5 with Bilstein dampers and a strut tower bar against the stock Lusso? You would have to test it against the Abarth or test the Lusso against the MX 5 Sport or GT.
Would be a better comparison for sure.
 
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