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Apologies if this has been posted before, search did not turn up anything. Charming short write-up from 5 Convertibles of 2020 You Can Afford | MotorBiscuit

4 – Fiat 124 Spider
Not much bigger than a Mazda Miata comes the Fiat 124 Spider, a spunky looking coupe convertible. Promising only 160hp, the 124 Spider may not be the fastest car on the road, but it’s small chassis and lightweight will make you feel like a big kid driving your favorite go-kart – just with more luxury and creature comfort. The Fiat 124 Spider is different enough to turn heads, and they are uncommon enough that you aren’t likely to pull up next to another one in traffic.
 

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It's honestly depressing how the piss poor marketing and franchise engagement killed Fiat in NA, especially the 124. Every day I get in my car and go for a drive I'm happier and happier with my decision to own this amazing car.
 

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I saw one UK post recently giving the 124 Spider very poor reliability score and thought "You What!!!" so I read it only to find that it was a predicted score based on it being a Fiat ! Fiat run last as manufacturers in the UK so the writer, obviously ignorant to the fact that we have Mazda underpinnings and electrics just lumped us with failure........Cheers
ron
 
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Agree the almost complete lack of marketing for all things Fiat and especially the 124 was lamentable. As a lover of all things car related the124 almost passed me by, so the average person in the street will not know it exists. To cut Fiat marketing some slack, in the UK at least, they are saddled with a reputation for poor reliability and rust that dates back to the 70s, but since the advent of the Fiat Uno in the early 80's a believe every Fiat has been fully galvanised (ironic as I don't believe the 124 is ?). There best USP in the UK would be the fact that the car is built by Mazda and is mechanically a Mazda (excluding engine of course) but this would understandably be rejected out of hand in Turin. Tough gig working in Fiat's marketing dept. which is a shame as they have a history of make some great cars (and the odd not so great!) together with the outstanding 124
 

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The Multiair 1.4 is a really solid engine as long as you change the oil, the Mazda parts are solid. The funny to me thing is the 124 has the better transmission than the ND Miata, which has been suffering from MT reliability issues with their newer MT. Fiat didn't even need to push the car to the mainstream, all they needed to do was tweak the tune a tad top deal with the low end issues, and then market the car to the enthusiast. It didn't need to be the fastest, it needed to be the most fun. The GT also needed to be available in the USA. I'd LOVE a hardtop winter option for my 124 that's factory and has defrost.

I've had my 124 for just less than two months now and I'm sitting here thinking I'd rather be driving somewhere random than typing garbage message to all of you :p
 

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Spider is a great little car. Sure, it may be affordable, but it is difficult to find.

Unfortunately, Fiat’s undoing comes straight from its poor quality reputation.

I make a living in automotive consumer research: the number-one driver of consumer demand is product quality. This is true in the US, in Canada, in Mexico, in Brazil, in Argentina and everywhere else. And has been always true. The puzzling part is that Fiat still hasn’t figure it out.

Fiat’s complete indifference towards quality became crystal clear to me when it returned to North America in 2012. Fiat had left the market in infamy 30 years prior; so it had a responsibility to reshape consumer perceptions. Americans were open to hear that Fiat had mended its ways. Instead, Fiat ignored the elephant in the room, its marketing showed hot Italian women —and men, as if we were still living in the 1950s. It did not use the words quality, reliable or durable even once. The fact that Fiat sat at the bottom of the quality rankings year in and year, sealed its fate.

Fiat sales in N.A. have been plummeting by 50% every year since 2014. So far, 2020 is right on track to be 50% below 2019.

What a sorely missed opportunity. Very sad.
 

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I buy only new cars, and I sell them at the point where, for any variety of reasons, I can no longer trust them. I'm not a mechanic, pro or shade tree. With Fiat doing everything they can to commit product and market suicide, I don't see that I will be an indefinite Spider owner. My car, in 4 summers of driving, has been dead reliable. But at some point it is going to break, and as we are witnessing, the dealer support network (an oxymoron) is going away, the parts will be difficult to find, knowledgeable independent mechanics will be as rare as hen's teeth, and I'll be stranded.

That leaves me with this list of 5 affordable convertibles- German convertibles need not apply $$$. I can't see myself going from a classically inspired 2-seat roadster to a Mini. And I don't see myself going to the Miata (sub-par to the Spider), and anything coming from America is nothing but a caricature of its 50-year old former greatness and I'd never buy one. They are overpowered, oversized, underwhelming pigs and the designers missed the target completely.

It took over 30 years to realize my boyhood dream of owning a 2-seat ragtop Euro-esque roadster, and I'm very, very happy I could. When the time comes to part with it, if there's not something similar to replace it, it'll be just me and my pickup truck.

Steve.
 

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Spider is a great little car. Sure, it may be affordable, but it is difficult to find.

Unfortunately, Fiat’s undoing comes straight from its poor quality reputation.

I make a living in automotive consumer research: the number-one driver of consumer demand is product quality. This is true in the US, in Canada, in Mexico, in Brazil, in Argentina and everywhere else. And has been always true. The puzzling part is that Fiat still hasn’t figure it out.

Fiat’s complete indifference towards quality became crystal clear to me when it returned to North America in 2012. Fiat had left the market in infamy 30 years prior; so it had a responsibility to reshape consumer perceptions. Americans were open to hear that Fiat had mended its ways. Instead, Fiat ignored the elephant in the room, its marketing showed hot Italian women —and men, as if we were still living in the 1950s. It did not use the words quality, reliable or durable even once. The fact that Fiat sat at the bottom of the quality rankings year in and year, sealed its fate.

Fiat sales in N.A. have been plummeting by 50% every year since 2014. So far, 2020 is right on track to be 50% below 2019.

What a sorely missed opportunity. Very sad.
Sadly true. While not rocket science, it's still surprisingly elusive. Lucky you in the biz getting to live where you do.
 
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I buy only new cars, and I sell them at the point where, for any variety of reasons, I can no longer trust them. I'm not a mechanic, pro or shade tree. With Fiat doing everything they can to commit product and market suicide, I don't see that I will be an indefinite Spider owner. My car, in 4 summers of driving, has been dead reliable. But at some point it is going to break, and as we are witnessing, the dealer support network (an oxymoron) is going away, the parts will be difficult to find, knowledgeable independent mechanics will be as rare as hen's teeth, and I'll be stranded.

That leaves me with this list of 5 affordable convertibles- German convertibles need not apply $$$. I can't see myself going from a classically inspired 2-seat roadster to a Mini. And I don't see myself going to the Miata (sub-par to the Spider), and anything coming from America is nothing but a caricature of its 50-year old former greatness and I'd never buy one. They are overpowered, oversized, underwhelming pigs and the designers missed the target completely.

It took over 30 years to realize my boyhood dream of owning a 2-seat ragtop Euro-esque roadster, and I'm very, very happy I could. When the time comes to part with it, if there's not something similar to replace it, it'll be just me and my pickup truck.

Steve.
I appreciate and can rationalize the mind set you are conveying. For me, I have enough confidence in the aftermarket (EC primarily.with their expressed continued support for Fiat, but of course there's several others, like Auto Ricambi, 500 Madness, etc), and my local independent performance shop, that I am in for the long haul with li'l Itsy Bitsy. YMMV.

Cheers, SL
 
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