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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I've been stalking for a while in hopes of learning more about the Fiat 124's and have learned some great things from this community!

But I went to test drive my first Fiat 124 (the manual Classica) and I was too tall in it! I have a decently long torso and shorter'ish legs, so I had to scoot the seat up pretty far to be able to reach the pedals. My head and face end up pretty close (way too close for comfort and safety) to the windshield. And when I have the top up, my head was just up against it. It was such a tight squeeze that I couldn't even wear my sunglasses on top of my head. I'm not as worried about the top since I would most likely be driving with the top down most of the time, but the proximity of my face to the windshield was unsettling.

So I hopped over across the street to the Mazda dealership and test drove the MX-5 Miata RF. I fit just fine in there, with maybe 2.5 inches between my head and the top when it was closed. And I was plenty far away from the windshield to not have to worry about safety issues.

I still have my heart set on the Fiat though! I prefer both its looks and the way it drives. Has anyone tested both and noticed a difference in the seats or seat placement? I've read here that the Abarth seats are different, would that make a difference if I tried that? Or I've seen that the seats eventually get broken in. Do you think they break in enough to make a difference in my case?

I'm attaching some photos too. In one you can see the top of my head above the windshield, and the other you can kind of see how far up my seat is compared to the third photo, where my boyfriend (who is the same height as me but with longer legs) has the seat all the way back.

Thanks everyone! I really want to find a way to make this car work for me.
 

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I am 6'5" and have an Abarth exactly like the car in your pics. We all come in different shapes and sizes but can say that I have driven mine across the country (Mass to Colorado) then turned around and did another trip from Denver to Spfd MO. I say this to show that I have put some time in the seat. The car got to my house the night before christmas and already has over 6500 miles. I have not had the same issues. I have leather seats (heated) and do have to go to the very back position but have been comfortable on both short and long trips. On long trips I do need to take my shoes off to all my feet the extra room under the pedals (I have a manual). I can say that I just got back from the dealers (getting the Abarth fender emblem) and for the first time sat in 'Recaro' seats. I looked about like you do in your pics, so those would not be recommended. I seem to remember the 'standard' seats being a bit higher but can't remember. I am not sure how long you played with the car but dealers will let you play to your hearts content if they want your business. You might want to try to leather seats. Maybe they will work better.
 

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I'd suggest that you need to adopt a driving position that is a bit different than you might otherwise in a sedan or SUV. Reclining the seat will give you some additional headroom with the added benefit of moving your upper body away from the steering wheel and windshield. If that is a non-starter or something you don't think you could adjust to such a position, then it is great that an RF might be a viable option for you.
 

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5'11 and plenty of headroom in the Abarth...but I actually have slightly LESS headroom in the RF. So this is curious. Our Abarth has the red leather seats and our RF has the standard seats in brown nappa. They are different seats. The Abarth's feel a bit more padded than the RF's. Wouldn't say one was more comfortable than the other. I would have had the Recaro seats on both cars if they'd been available at the time. And if you go Recaro on the Abarth, I do believe you gain a bit more headroom. But at 5'9", I'm surprised it's a problem.
 

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We own both...and there is significantly LESS space in RF. It must have been just the way you had the seats adjusted because the seat frames for ALL versions of the seats are precisely the same seat frame (even the Recaro is actually in the same frame and mounts ... it is just the foam shape that is unique). Interior of the cars is identical except for minor trim changes AND the fancy roof of the RF cuts a full half an inch off your headroom.

Thus, I think Di_Sinn should try the cars again. I am 6'2....and we have BOTH the RF and Fiat 124 Classica so I am jumping in and out of them daily....and I am far more tight in the RF. Mazda had to compromise the space in the RF a bit for the fancy top, they list half an inch less headroom and it feels at least that much more tight to me, my hair rubs the lower roof in RF regardless of seat position, and my head not rubbing roof in the Fiat.

The RF is my wife's daily driver, she just rolled out at 4:30 am for 400 mile road trip to visit her Mom. We have set the car up to fit what she wants, just the right amount of spring rate increase for less floppy in the turns, extra bracing for less flex of the body, a little more bling with wheels that are lighter than stock wheels, and highflow header/midpipe/muffler for more torque and more authoritative exhaust note, etc. She loves it, picture below. Anybody considering RF should drive it at speed in the targa mode, lots more wind noise around those upright B pillars than soft top Miata/Fiat, though less wind noise for those who drive top up most of the time (like my wife).
 

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I know it seems like it should be obvious, but there are still a few cars around where you can't adjust the back of the seat. Di-Sinn, It really sounds like maybe you sat in the car and adjusted seat placement without adjusting the angle of the back of the seat? I'm 6'2" and have no clearance problems and what Good-Win writes is spot on. Really worth the time to check and adjust the back angle because there is no way I can imagine you'd have more room in the Mazda.
 

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I'm 5' 9" and just fit for the proper driving position in the Spider, with the seat all the way back and tilted back. Just call me "Legs." ;) I know I'm OK, when the top is up but couldn't tell you the actual head clearance. I have a general rule to try, try to never drive Li'l Spidee with the top up. It just seems so wrong. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'd suggest that you need to adopt a driving position that is a bit different than you might otherwise in a sedan or SUV. Reclining the seat will give you some additional headroom with the added benefit of moving your upper body away from the steering wheel and windshield. If that is a non-starter or something you don't think you could adjust to such a position, then it is great that an RF might be a viable option for you.
I think this might be the ticket. I got in my current sedan this morning after reading your comment and realized that I do tend to sit in the driver's seat like my grandma used to (hah!). I'm pretty close to the steering wheel and sitting up straight. This gives me hope that I am just not cool enough to know how to drive in a sports car, rather than the car not fitting me correctly. I'll definitely be going back to the dealership this weekend! Thanks!
 

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I think this might be the ticket. I got in my current sedan this morning after reading your comment and realized that I do tend to sit in the driver's seat like my grandma used to (hah!). I'm pretty close to the steering wheel and sitting up straight. This gives me hope that I am just not cool enough to know how to drive in a sports car, rather than the car not fitting me correctly. I'll definitely be going back to the dealership this weekend! Thanks!
Good luck! I hope you can make it work.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
We own both...and there is significantly LESS space in RF. It must have been just the way you had the seats adjusted because the seat frames for ALL versions of the seats are precisely the same seat frame (even the Recaro is actually in the same frame and mounts ... it is just the foam shape that is unique). Interior of the cars is identical except for minor trim changes AND the fancy roof of the RF cuts a full half an inch off your headroom.

Thus, I think Di_Sinn should try the cars again. I am 6'2....and we have BOTH the RF and Fiat 124 Classica so I am jumping in and out of them daily....and I am far more tight in the RF. Mazda had to compromise the space in the RF a bit for the fancy top, they list half an inch less headroom and it feels at least that much more tight to me, my hair rubs the lower roof in RF regardless of seat position, and my head not rubbing roof in the Fiat.

The RF is my wife's daily driver, she just rolled out at 4:30 am for 400 mile road trip to visit her Mom. We have set the car up to fit what she wants, just the right amount of spring rate increase for less floppy in the turns, extra bracing for less flex of the body, a little more bling with wheels that are lighter than stock wheels, and highflow header/midpipe/muffler for more torque and more authoritative exhaust note, etc. She loves it, picture below. Anybody considering RF should drive it at speed in the targa mode, lots more wind noise around those upright B pillars than soft top Miata/Fiat, though less wind noise for those who drive top up most of the time (like my wife).
I've gotta start by saying that I love that you've got both. Awesome!

And hearing you say that there's less room in the RF makes me agree that I must just have adjusted my seat awkwardly in the Fiat when I got in. The seat in the RF was already far enough forward that I could reach the pedals, so I didn't change the seat position whatsoever. I am going to chalk this up to user-error and try again! I'll take the RF out for another spin too while I'm at it. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
5'11 and plenty of headroom in the Abarth...but I actually have slightly LESS headroom in the RF. So this is curious. Our Abarth has the red leather seats and our RF has the standard seats in brown nappa. They are different seats. The Abarth's feel a bit more padded than the RF's. Wouldn't say one was more comfortable than the other. I would have had the Recaro seats on both cars if they'd been available at the time. And if you go Recaro on the Abarth, I do believe you gain a bit more headroom. But at 5'9", I'm surprised it's a problem.

Okay, yeah I think I just didn't adjust the seat back properly. Going to try again this weekend and will definitely check out the Recaro seats! I'm hopeful that with either seat though I'll fit better once I lean back more.
 

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I read all of your awesome comments and it absolutely looks like I had an entry-level test drive and didn't know how to lean back in the seat enough. So I'll be back at the dealership either this weekend or next and take some time to learn how to sit in a car properly, haha. It was surprising that the dealer just kind of agreed with me that my torso was too tall and my legs were too short, and that he didn't point out any of the things you guys have mentioned, so thanks so much for all your help!

I'll take and share some more photos once I go out. Totally pumped now that the possibility of buying is on again! Thanks again!
 

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Hmmm... just looking at the photos you posted. Yes, I would definitely see if you can get a combination of adjusting the back-forward AND the back tilt to work for you. And try the leather seats to see if there's a difference, if need be. A major reason I went with the Lusso was to get the saddle leather. They're just gorgeous and very classy looking! Once I saw that black and tan interior, I knew THAT was it.

You need to make it work for you! Your boyfriend should be telling you you're too cute NOT to be cruising in a Spidee! :)
 

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We own both...and there is significantly LESS space in RF. It must have been just the way you had the seats adjusted because the seat frames for ALL versions of the seats are precisely the same seat frame (even the Recaro is actually in the same frame and mounts ... it is just the foam shape that is unique). Interior of the cars is identical except for minor trim changes AND the fancy roof of the RF cuts a full half an inch off your headroom.

Thus, I think Di_Sinn should try the cars again. I am 6'2....and we have BOTH the RF and Fiat 124 Classica so I am jumping in and out of them daily....and I am far more tight in the RF. Mazda had to compromise the space in the RF a bit for the fancy top, they list half an inch less headroom and it feels at least that much more tight to me, my hair rubs the lower roof in RF regardless of seat position, and my head not rubbing roof in the Fiat.

The RF is my wife's daily driver, she just rolled out at 4:30 am for 400 mile road trip to visit her Mom. We have set the car up to fit what she wants, just the right amount of spring rate increase for less floppy in the turns, extra bracing for less flex of the body, a little more bling with wheels that are lighter than stock wheels, and highflow header/midpipe/muffler for more torque and more authoritative exhaust note, etc. She loves it, picture below. Anybody considering RF should drive it at speed in the targa mode, lots more wind noise around those upright B pillars than soft top Miata/Fiat, though less wind noise for those who drive top up most of the time (like my wife).



Wow, I am confused on this Recaro thing!! Others have measured and said they give more headroom (1.5cm) than the standard seats. I get my car in two weeks and bought it with with Recaros for this reason, as I am already a tight fit for headroom. Now with how they have a ramp design platform to raise it as people move the sit forward it is an issue for them as well!!

So what I am getting at is that Brian hinted that they are working on a lower seat bracket. Is this true Brian? Sounds like I will HAVE TO HAVE IT. Or, take things into my own hands and figure out a way even if it means no seat adjustments fore and aft.

So please Brian, give us the 411
 

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There is a sweet spot at the back of the roof wherein you head really needs to sit if you're torso is tall for the interior. Best I can tell, there is only canvas for an ~8" section in front of the rear roof reinforcement.
If you move the seat forward, the seatback angle will need to flatten to have the head in the same place where there is an inch more space.

Though in a reclined angle, if your head is still in this space, there should be ample sight lines.
 

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Hi everyone,

I've been stalking for a while in hopes of learning more about the Fiat 124's and have learned some great things from this community!

But I went to test drive my first Fiat 124 (the manual Classica) and I was too tall in it! I have a decently long torso and shorter'ish legs, so I had to scoot the seat up pretty far to be able to reach the pedals. My head and face end up pretty close (way too close for comfort and safety) to the windshield. And when I have the top up, my head was just up against it. It was such a tight squeeze that I couldn't even wear my sunglasses on top of my head. I'm not as worried about the top since I would most likely be driving with the top down most of the time, but the proximity of my face to the windshield was unsettling.

So I hopped over across the street to the Mazda dealership and test drove the MX-5 Miata RF. I fit just fine in there, with maybe 2.5 inches between my head and the top when it was closed. And I was plenty far away from the windshield to not have to worry about safety issues.

I still have my heart set on the Fiat though! I prefer both its looks and the way it drives. Has anyone tested both and noticed a difference in the seats or seat placement? I've read here that the Abarth seats are different, would that make a difference if I tried that? Or I've seen that the seats eventually get broken in. Do you think they break in enough to make a difference in my case?

I'm attaching some photos too. In one you can see the top of my head above the windshield, and the other you can kind of see how far up my seat is compared to the third photo, where my boyfriend (who is the same height as me but with longer legs) has the seat all the way back.

Thanks everyone! I really want to find a way to make this car work for me.
The Spider looks really good on you! I hope it works out once you've had the chance to try again with the adjustment of the seat.
 

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I think this might be the ticket. I got in my current sedan this morning after reading your comment and realized that I do tend to sit in the driver's seat like my grandma used to (hah!). I'm pretty close to the steering wheel and sitting up straight. This gives me hope that I am just not cool enough to know how to drive in a sports car, rather than the car not fitting me correctly. I'll definitely be going back to the dealership this weekend! Thanks!

When you get a chance try to catch a race on TV and see how the driver's are positioned. I always adjust myself so that when my shoulders are against the seat my wrist sits on top of the steering wheel, which should give you the ability to maneuver correctly. I learned this a long time ago at my first driving school and while many find it uncomfortable it works, unless you prefer to look cool instead.
 
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