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Today I checked the 124 at a dealership again. Unfortunately, it would definitely be a tight fit for me.
I seem to recall some folks going from a 500 Abarth to a 124. I realize they're different vehicles, with different driving experiences, but how far apart are they in fun factor?

:confused:
 

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In terms of fun, they are pretty close. I think the 124 is more fun because it has a far better suspension, plus it's rear wheel drive. However, in terms of sound (when stock) the 500 is better. The 500 is also a lot more practical, which means you can have the fun more often. If you need to pick up a lot of stuff at the store, or take a third person, the 500 can do it, and the 124 can't.

Regarding performance, stock vs stock, they are pretty close in a straight line, and although the 500 Abarth handles really well for what is really a souped up economy car chassis with 67/33 weight distribution, the 124 simply has higher limits in the corners. However I would rate them both very closely in the fun category. I really love both, and can't choose between the two. Maybe that's why I own both :)

Greg
 

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Both are so much fun and I can't say I have more fun in my 124 than I did my 500. Both are going to put a smile on your face.
 

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I don't yet own a 124. However I do own an Abarth C plus an Audi TT roadster. I can tell you the C is a great deal of fun plus you get the added feature of the folding top, more room, less investment (until the mod bug bites that is). Generally the best deal in a hot hatch or C you can get at the moment. All that said any true roadster is going to be MORE smiles/mile if in fact you enjoy that type of car. I have owned at least one roadster all my adult life including MGs, TRs, Jags, Miatas, Audi's and there is no replacement in the 4 seater category. But, at 68 I'm finding that getting in/out and being comfortable during the drive MAY be more of enjoyment factor than the fun one.....
 

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In terms of fun, they are pretty close. I think the 124 is more fun because it has a far better suspension, plus it's rear wheel drive. However, in terms of sound (when stock) the 500 is better. The 500 is also a lot more practical, which means you can have the fun more often. If you need to pick up a lot of stuff at the store, or take a third person, the 500 can do it, and the 124 can't.

Regarding performance, stock vs stock, they are pretty close in a straight line, and although the 500 Abarth handles really well for what is really a souped up economy car chassis with 67/33 weight distribution, the 124 simply has higher limits in the corners. However I would rate them both very closely in the fun category. I really love both, and can't choose between the two. Maybe that's why I own both :)

Greg
100% agree with Greg here. I love both cars. Sometimes I feel like I can drive my Abarth 500 faster simply because I am more comfortable with it. The Spider is a better car and has much better handling but will require more skill (read RWD here) to go fast. This being said, there is nothing like drifting a light, fairly low horsepower car into a turn and experiencing the neutral handling that the Spider has. Pure fun.

So yes, different tools, different jobs. Both fun.
 

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I had a chance to drive the Abarth 500 at the Bondurant school and enjoyed it a lot. If I wanted a hot hatch, this would be my choice. The 124 is way beyond it on the track, and has much more potential. And it's so pretty. . .
So it's an apples to oranges comparison.
Best regards
Pete
 

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Today I checked the 124 at a dealership again. Unfortunately, it would definitely be a tight fit for me.
I seem to recall some folks going from a 500 Abarth to a 124. I realize they're different vehicles, with different driving experiences, but how far apart are they in fun factor?

:confused:
Tight fit for height or width?? I'm 6' 5", and although at first it felt like a squeeze I got used to it on about my second ride. I now move the seat FORWARD when driving other cars!
 

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The 500 Abarth is a remarkable little gokart considering its roots as a cheap economy car. Versatile, lots of fun, easy to live with. The C-model was even more enjoyable as it gives you a sort of 3/4 convertible feel, especially since the top can be moved at moderate speeds without stopping.

As Greg said, despite the FWD and weight distribution, the 500C Abarth is a joy on backroads and does a good job communicating with the driver. You can quickly find and exploit its steering and handling limits without much drama. It's very easy to control both understeer and oversteer with a bit of throttle. At higher speeds, the short wheelbase and tall stature made for some vulnerability to strong crosswinds or uneven highway surfaces, but nothing major.

Ultimately, I missed having RWD and a true convertible top. The 124 also won me over with better apparent build quality and interior materials. (I also fell in love with the Classica's low-tech, no-touchscreen, basic interior)

Interestingly, I feel like the 500s are better set up on delivery. My 124's steering and alignment was a bit vague from the factory. Really sharpened up with a good alignment and caster angle adjust (thankfully, that's part of the Mazda chassis)

Have you tried multiple trim levels? The 124's seats seem remarkably different among each trim despite being the same basic structure. Since the cars themselves are practically identical (LSD excepted), it's pretty cheap and easy to firm up a Lusso or Classica if you find they are a better fit.
 

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So took my Ruby, my A5oo, for a bit of run on Sunday, first time in over 4 weeks ever since that "other" Abarth arrived in the household (you know you should never neglect these Italians – they are prone to throw a hissy fit !!) and............

I must say .....fokkin ‘el, it reminded me on how much I adore my A5oo – I just find her so much more feisty than the 124. (code for the 124 seriously needs some work). OK my 124 is stock standard, and only has 400 kms on the clock. But as it currently stands the 124 runs out of puff a lot quicker compared to my A5oo. My Ruby is mildly tuned – she has a freer exhaust and a mild tune – deliberately tuned for drivability and just not top end power. I am not 100% sure but would hazard a guess at probably about 170 bhp, maybe. Remember mine is an Euro model

And a few other things I found surprising. The steering feel I find better in the A5oo – I find the 124 way too light and TBH a bit disappointing for a RWD car. That is probably due to the fact that 500 is weightier rather actual feel, but still !! And I also find that the gear shift feels “snappier” in the A5oo – which I do a bit of a disappointment after years, nay decades, of reading countless car reviewers bangin’ on about the sublime nature of MX5 gearshifts

That drive did convince me that CiCi needs some work, but will wait on getting a few kms under the bonnet just to see if everything is fine before undergoing any modifications. Nothing extreme – probably limited to exhaust, intake and tune. (hint ……..waiting for a 200 cell downpipe !!)

Sayin all that I would imagine that at the extremes the A124 will out handle the A5oo - thing is that is the sort of driving I rarely do
 

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I've had an A500 and an A500C, both mildly tuned (as is my current F124). The 500 and 124 are completely different to drive, only power delivery is similar. I occasionally drive to Luxembourg from London (about 7 hrs door to door) and the 124 is easily the more relaxing and far more compliant in the suspension department than the 500. You can enjoy a 124 even when cruising which you can't really do in the 500. But if you're in the mood, the A500 is huge fun to drive flat out, to enjoy a 124 in the same way would require skills that I don't possess. If you don't do very long journeys and the roads in your area relatively smooth, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend an A500C (there is no real downside from the hatchback outside of access to the boot space).
 

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In terms of fun, they are pretty close. I think the 124 is more fun because it has a far better suspension, plus it's rear wheel drive. However, in terms of sound (when stock) the 500 is better. The 500 is also a lot more practical, which means you can have the fun more often. If you need to pick up a lot of stuff at the store, or take a third person, the 500 can do it, and the 124 can't.

Regarding performance, stock vs stock, they are pretty close in a straight line, and although the 500 Abarth handles really well for what is really a souped up economy car chassis with 67/33 weight distribution, the 124 simply has higher limits in the corners. However I would rate them both very closely in the fun category. I really love both, and can't choose between the two. Maybe that's why I own both :)

Greg
i own both as well. of course i purchased the spider abarth after the 500. wouldn't trade the spider for the 500 because of the handling and cornering and suspension and the convertible top.. yet, i won't sell the 500 abarth either because it's such a great little car and so much fun to drive. let it come down to do you want to haul things in the hatch or do you want to be noticed more and be able to throw that convertible back?
 

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I know there are a lot of Fiat lovers on this Forum and I don't want to offend anyone but if it were not for the 124 I would not consider them. There are too many other better choices than the 500, unless you really love the way it looks.
 

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I know there are a lot of Fiat lovers on this Forum and I don't want to offend anyone but if it were not for the 124 I would not consider them. There are too many other better choices than the 500, unless you really love the way it looks.

What performance car is better with an MSRP under 20K? Add in about 2k in upgrades and it outperforms most of the sub 30k performance cars. I think that even objectively, it's a pretty good car and a great deal.

Greg
 

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There are too many other better choices than the 500, unless you really love the way it looks.
I'm curious what's on your list... not an A500 apologist, but I did a lot of test driving of cars in that segment and wasn't able to find much that compares. The Fiesta ST (a little more room and a little more money, similar power/weight ratio) was a decent competitor, and maybe the Veloster Turbo (a little more peak power but not much handling prowess). Otherwise Mini Coopers, GTIs, etc are all significantly more money, and V6 Camaros and Mustangs are all lumbering behemoths comparatively.

Maybe the initially-inflated MSRP is muddying things, but most A500's usually sell in the $17-20k range. It's an economy car platform, but the enjoyment factor was better than cars I've owned costing twice that... really reminded me of the bygone days of '80s and '90s hot hatches.
 

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The steering feel I find better in the A5oo – I find the 124 way too light and TBH a bit disappointing for a RWD car.
On the initial recommendation of Greg from Eurocompulsion, I emphatically encourage 124 owners to adjust their caster angle (God bless Mazda for making the MX5 platform fully adjustable).

Coming from the A500, I was really disappointed with my 124's steering and handling... never had any idea what the front wheels were up to or where the car's weight was going. Between very slight (20mm) lowering springs and additional front caster angle, the 124 is fully transformed - much more engaging and communicative... even better than the A500, I hate to say. :)
 

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On the initial recommendation of Greg from Eurocompulsion, I emphatically encourage 124 owners to adjust their caster angle (God bless Mazda for making the MX5 platform fully adjustable).
I'm listening !! And where would one find out what sort of angle achieves this steering transformation ??

And IMVHO the few of current lot of "hot hatches" I have yet experienced one that is any more "fun" than an A5oo (the previous gen Clio come close as does the Alfa 147 GTA). Those German uber hatches, while on paper very capable, I found boring
 
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