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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone noticed the amount of bad press out there seemingly against Fiat Spiders? (Yet another conspiracy?) I can certainly get over them comparing Spiders to the Miata because of the genetics, and I had a MX5 before my Spider, so know the facts. Miatas have problems like any other car and it drove me nuts to have to pay out the yen-yang to replace the timing belt every 60,000 miles. This review from Motor Trend really got me riled up.....http://www.motortrend.com/cars/fiat/124-spider/2017/
They pointed out one of the dislikes about the Spider was because it's "not a Miata"! Some take away because it has a small trunk and a small "glove box". (Actually much deeper than they ever point out). How absurd! Many of these lame reviews were with automatics. They never fail to point out the "lag" but seldom point out the benefits of the turbo. Give me a break! Maybe I'm a bit touchy, but I absolutely love my Spider, and if I can do anything to promote them, I will. It's about time Fiat gets some respect. I read if Fiat and Mazda hadn't gone together we might not have had the Spider and Mazda would not have developed the "new-improved" MX5. Of course, I do wish they'd spent another buck and put in decent sun-visors, that flip sideways....Peas and love....maybe I had too much tea this morning....:(
 

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Has anyone noticed the amount of bad press out there seemingly against Fiat Spiders? (Yet another conspiracy?) I can certainly get over them comparing Spiders to the Miata because of the genetics, and I had a MX5 before my Spider, so know the facts. Miatas have problems like any other car and it drove me nuts to have to pay out the yen-yang to replace the timing belt every 60,000 miles. This review from Motor Trend really got me riled up.....http://www.motortrend.com/cars/fiat/124-spider/2017/
They pointed out one of the dislikes about the Spider was because it's "not a Miata"! Some take away because it has a small trunk and a small "glove box". (Actually much deeper than they ever point out). How absurd! Many of these lame reviews were with automatics. They never fail to point out the "lag" but seldom point out the benefits of the turbo. Give me a break! Maybe I'm a bit touchy, but I absolutely love my Spider, and if I can do anything to promote them, I will. It's about time Fiat gets some respect. I read if Fiat and Mazda hadn't gone together we might not have had the Spider and Mazda would not have developed the "new-improved" MX5. Of course, I do wish they'd spent another buck and put in decent sun-visors, that flip sideways....Peas and love....maybe I had too much tea this morning....:(
Funny I get your sensitivity, but those guys are removed from reality, a lot of these reviews put the spider at a much higher price point than any of us actually paid and they equate it with much more expensive cars. I am daily reminded of my car purchasing prowess every time I go for a spin.
 

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You have to remember that the ND Miata received many rave reviews when it first came out, and the challenge for reviewers was often to differentiate the 124 from the Miata. This means that the reviews often came across as negative because they focused on how the added weight and the 1.4t affected the driving dynamics of the Fiat. After having driven both, I don't think any of these reviews are inaccurate or biased. Many owners in this group have in fact been modifying their 124s to address some of the these criticisms (in particular handling dynamics and power delivery).

What reviewers can't tell you is that the design of the 124 is so much better than the design of the Miata, and that the driving dynamics are essentially the same. They also can't mention that the 1.4t is a highly tunable engine, which makes the power delivery more engaging than the stock Miata for not much more money. I'm sure many of us cross-shopped with the Miata and chose the 124.

I don't know about you, but a car like this is an emotional choice and the 124 is just a much prettier car.
 

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I opened the link and laughed out loud. No joke.

You'll like:
engine pulls well at highway speeds,
nice shifter,
less body roll than the Miata

You won't like:
Not a Miata

Seriously, that tells you all you need to know about MotorTrend. They have a fanboy fascination with the Miata which, while deserved, shouldn't cause them to write negatively about a car because it's not one. It screams of blatant subjectivity. The second point regarding boost lag is valid, albeit over-emphasized, and I don't mind it one bit. The last point tells us they'll nitpick at anything to try to make the 124 Spider sound worse than the Miata. Very few people will notice a 100 pound weight difference, especially when the heavier car is flatter in the corners and has more torque.
 

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I too notice Fiat vs Mazda tests which discuss the technical differences, in order to suggest which is "better."

What seems to be ignored by reviewers is (I think) the VERY BIGGEST difference - the difference that'll determine whether you walk out of the showroom with an MX-5 key or a 124 key.

It's the STYLING.

Surely no buyer is ever going to think:
"Well, I hate the 124 retro styling, but it's got slightly less body roll than the Mazda, so I'll buy the Fiat."
or
"The 124 looks gorgeous, but it's important I have a slightly lighter car, so I'll buy the slashy-looking Mazda."

I'm willing to stick my neck out to suggest that 124 buyers are in it for the looks, and everything else is a bit secondary?

I'd also guess that MX-5 buyers are in it for the looks: they've LOOKED at the 124 and thought "nope".

As Texas said above, it's an emotional choice - this preference for looks can't be rationalised. Buyers have different tastes and journalists struggle to address this - which leaves them clutching at the less important technical differences.

By the way, does anyone see parallels with the BMW Z8 from around 15 years ago - heavily criticised on launch for looking to the past for it's styling cues, and slow to sell? There aren't many journalists knocking it now ...

124 vs MX-5?
Time will tell.
And it will probably come down to the looks.
 

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I agree that the press is biased against the 124. The press is biased against anything and everything FCA, especially Fiat. Consumer Reports also Hates Fiat...

I am a Fiat guy who owns a 500 and a 500L, as well as the 124 Abarth. I was getting ready to purchase the first "fun" car I have ever bought in my life, and I had settled on a 500 Abarth Cabriolet. Before I bought it, they announced the 124 Spider. I decided to wait for the Spider. (turned out to be about 2 years!)

I will admit that some of the bad press may be deserved. I had to replace the rear wheel bearings and the alternator in the 500 at 60,000 miles, which was disappointing and speaks to quality and reliability. The criticism of the turbo lag in the 124 is fair, it was horrible until I installed the Gfb diverter valve. If fiat had used a better diverter valve, it would have given the press one less thing to complain about.

I read every review, and early on they were all about the Miata. I have noticed recently, many of the reviews are not so much Miata, but about what Fiat has done with the platform.

I am still a Fiat guy and I still like them. I never even considered a Miata. I did consider a Alfa 4C, but at the time they were hard to get, the nearest dealer was 2 hours away, and they are a little expensive.

I am planning to replace the 500 with a 500 Abarth next year...
 

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I say FAKE NEWS!!!!

Sure the styling is different then the MX-5, so is the suspension and the motor, both are great driving machines but a different experience. What's not to like??

Paul
 

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I agree that the press is biased against the 124. The press is biased against anything and everything FCA, especially Fiat. Consumer Reports also Hates Fiat...

. The criticism of the turbo lag in the 124 is fair, it was horrible until I installed the Gfb diverter valve. If fiat had used a better diverter valve, it would have given the press one less thing to complain about.
Adding the GFB DV+ makes all the difference in the world. When I've gotten into discussions with others about the Miata, I tell them, "IMHO the Miata looks like a Marshmallow with wheels." ;)
 

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Automotive magazines are known to shun the FIAT brand. I have a feeling that this may be due to the amount of ad dollars spent by other brands. For me, being a FIAT nut has always been a little on the underground side of things, not much has changed since they returned to North America.
 

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Well, FCA did something right because my wife wouldn't even look at a Miata. When she saw the 124 at an Italian car show, she said "that thing is beautiful" and the ball started rolling.

I have pointed out new Miatas all summer to her and told her that her car is basically the same underneath and she has a hard time visualizing that.

As for the reviews, I think a good review from a woman is in order. These Mazda "fanboys" just cannot get over that someone skinned a better looking car over that chassis.
 

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Since we bought 124s already, this is just another review. Don't let it worry you. You made the right choice.

I've got both in the garage - the original still looks great after 51 years. I'm not sure I'll be around for another 51 but since we will all be travelling in autonomous electric steam irons by that time, I think people will look back and say what a looker the new 124 was too.

My son will be 72 then - he says he'll keep the new Spider as his classic car - he wouldn't do that if it was the ND MX5....
 

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It is Remarkable

I am a Car and Driver reader of long standing. I like the magazine but, let's face it, the entire magazine is an advertisement. I mean that is its purpose. It serves best people who are at least open to buying a new car. Now I have never seen a Fiat ad in the magazine and, after a pre-production fluff piece, they have done nothing but pan it. Coincidence? Maybe it is. Really. But the striking thing is that they do consistently say that the car is more powerful, corners better, and is quieter at highway speeds. As to being a Mazda clone, first of all every Mazda out there is one of a massive series of clones going back many years. The Spider has a different engine and a stronger gear box than the current Mazda. It looks different (and much better, imho). How, exactly is it a clone? Bah! I still like C/D but I think they are all wet where the Spider is concerned. I love mine and [in more than a year] have had no troubles with it whatsoever. It is a beautiful, authentic, sports car and a great ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looks like I hit a sweet/bitter spot with a few others. I'm looking forward to getting and installing a new GFB DV+ valve because everyone says it smooths things out. As it is, it's not bad, and the split-second the turbo takes to kick in is like an injection of adrenaline, but anything that will improve the feel is worth the small cost in my opinion. I have installed a new K&N air filter, and after the DV valve, I think that's it for now. There's NO better car to be driving on HALLOWEEN!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Depreciation...

Also, did you get a load of that BS depreciation chart on the review? Well, my VW Jetta dropped in value 75% in only 5 years, so I'll consider this most recent purchase a great one!
 

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Yes, it's NOT going to have the Miata MT6 problems, lack of roll stiffness, and numb steering.
Best regards
Pete
 

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Car and Driver is a LA based magazine. Mazda US headquarters are just down the road from them in Irvine. Could there be cosy relationship there...?
 

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Ill tell you this, I never considered a Miata, in fact my biggest issue with the 124 was it's relationship to the Miata. But the 124 just looked so damned good! plus its a turbo so more power is easily attainable. And another thing I can guarantee you can park a Miata, drive in traffic, ect.. and not get asked about it. I can't go anywhere without folks asking about it and complimenting how attractive it is. I've had several folks actually take pics at stop lights, an issue i sincerely doubt Miata owners have.
 
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