Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
670 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
BBC Magazine Review 124 Abarth, by Chris Harris

November Issue

Wow, not super pleased with his review. I have liked him on Top Gear, but clearly a spoiled child.

First thing: “Shares colour scheme with a penguin”. The other little intros were positive.

Goes on longer about how he hates the design than anything else, after saying “It isn’t for me to tell you what is or isn’t good-looking” Then compares it to a 1998 MX-5 and how it was not its finest hour.

Calls to owners as “passing enthusiasts” …sounds pretty insulting. Guess you have to spend $200K+ to be an enthusiast.

Being and industrial designer I feel they did a good job blending old and new. Not an easy task frankly. There will always stronger emotions going both directions when you do this approach. Maybe he should not be critiquing ID, it just makes him sound ignorant.

Came away feeling pretty insulted.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
I usually like Chris Harris as a reviewer, he's one of the best in the business. But he is always reviewing cars from the perspective of driving the t*ts off them, and where the 124 shines over the MX5 is the 99% of the time that you are not. I think he missed the point of the 124.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
This is Chris Harris, not Evans...and he's a very influential reviewer. And I usually agree with him...but I think he's missing the point with the Abarth 124. It's meant to be a fun car...and it's meant to be a bit over the top. I think it's very much in keeping with the spirit of the Abarth brand. Sure, it's not as pure for purpose as an MX-5, but it's not meant to be either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GuidoVeloce

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
You also need to consider that the Abarth 124 is expensive (for some reason) in the UK. In Aus, the Abarth and MX5 GT 2.0 are about line ball for driveaway pricing. So I can sort of understand why the UK press are a little bit more luke warm on it that the rather enthusiastic reception it's had here in Aus. If it were AUD$60+k here in Aus, would we be being a bit more critical?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,086 Posts
Here is something that Mr Harris is ignorant of. Mazda has built about 145,000 MX5 cars and the MT6 has a problem with 2nd gear and catastrophic transmission failures. They were finally able to put a fix in place as of September 16. The 124 has a bulletproof MT.
There is a very lengthy thread in miata.net on this.
That problem and the lack of steering feel and the not-quite-there tuning on the Club suspension all pushed me into the Abarth.

Pete
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
I strongly disagree with being called a passing enthusiast. I consider myself pretty hard core. Furthermore, at the Fiat on the Dragon event I have found that the Fiat and Abarth owners are the most hard core enthusiasts out there.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
never really taken much notice of any commercial reviewer/reporter as they usually have a vested interest in keeping certain companies/makers 'on their side' or being purposely obnoxious to garner air time. Personal taste is what counts, don't follow the fools who buy into all the hype. Drive it yourself and make the judgment against your own list of requirements. If all you like is the noise the indicator makes then that's fine.
My own reason for purchase of a 124? Liked the look of old 124, never fancied a rusty LHD for daily use, saw pre-photos of new 124, thought 'that looks nice effort at retro styling', daughter has 500 so Fiat historical (un)-reliability shouldn't be an issue (+MX-5 link). Test drive confirmed it suited my requirements (daily commute and weekend jaunts with Mrs J). Fast enough, small/big enough where needed and individual enough (only seen one other in 4 months!). Numbers came out ok so put pen to paper and 2 wks later off into sunset (well grey cloud actually but in my minds eye .... still had top down though!).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Wasn't he the presenter who did a MX5 review with a paperbag over his head because of the hairdresser car jokes, this was a early MX5 not the current one.
Second the above, take no notice they are not in the real world when it comes to reviewing non supercars imho, been too spoilt by driving cars worth tens of thousand more and think we do too
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Wasn't he the presenter who did a MX5 review with a paperbag over his head because of the hairdresser car jokes, this was a early MX5 not the current one.
Second the above, take no notice they are not in the real world when it comes to reviewing non supercars imho, been too spoilt by driving cars worth tens of thousand more and think we do too
Possibly true....but he is a fan of the GT86/BRZ, and he's a huge fan of the Renaultsport Megane....which are affordable cars. He doesn't seem to care much for MX5s or 124s.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
676 Posts
I really could care less what Chris Harris says about my car...it's not going to change my opinion of my car or the enjoyment I have with my car...my only concern is that some potential buyers who respect him and I guess there are some...could be swayed away from buying these cars because of his inadequate review...that would truly be a shame...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
Chris Harris is a great reviewer. He actually races professionally. He is huge on Porsche anything but has never seemed to like Miata anything stock. He actually had talked about this before. The key word being stock. He actually appreciates the Miata as a track car. A lot of his antics are intentionally over the top. I did watch his review and purchased an abarth 124 anyway. Because it's just his personal taste.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
3,334 Posts
I have known some automotive journalists. These guys spend so much time driving very expensive demo cars that they forget about what real cars are like. When you have a new Porsche, BMW M car, GTR, every week, it can through off your perception of reality. The Fiat 124 is a sports car a regular person can buy and enjoy. The irony is that few of these journalists can afford the cars they constantly rave about. If they had to buy the car they review, it would be quite a bit different.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
571 Posts
To Greg's point, cost is everything. I could afford something more expensive (I'm sure many here can) but I still find this car more fun and less serious than my other options. I get to drive a lot of interesting cars regularly and I still prefer the 124, especially for the money.

To his credit, Chris has done rather well and owns a lot of interesting and varied cars.

https://www.wheelsmag.com.au/features/1502/chris-harris-car-collection

Keep in mind Ferrari once banned him from reviewing their cars for things he has said. Yet he owns a Ferrari. Something else I've noticed about Chris is he tends to go for coupes more than convertibles.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top