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So currently I'm driving a 2014 Honda Accord ( but it gets better ) Coupe V6 with a 6 speed manual 12,500 miles that I own. Yea, I'm getting older & the point is I've always wanted a Ferrari in my garage ! With that said I don't want to spend the retirement funds I've been saving. So TODAY I went & test drove a 2017 Fiat 124 Abarth 3x White after work today. Rush hour traffic In Naperville , IL is not the greatest way to test a 124 but maybe it gave me a glimpse of what life will be like at 50 degrees, top down but looking for that little opening to enjoy the low end torque. I miss shifted 3 times & stalled ( face palm ) as I was in 3rd NOT 1st. I felt like I was getting the 124 education I needed.

I noticed the tach does have a gear selector showing when moving ! Not when stopped even with the clutch engaged & in gear ! OK its something I don't like about the 124 but its not a deal breaker. Drove back to dealership & asked a lot more questions about the trunk / cubby holes / gas cap door ( hello 1980 ) / keyless button entry . Ok so thats the gear indicator / fuel door so far I have issues with. But looking over the car again after the test ride makes me appreciate the Italian designers for the overall look of this car ! I think its way over the Mazda Miata especially the front & side profile ... the 124 is BEAUTIFUL For Every angle ! Bellisimo !!!!
BELLA !!!

The Dilema ---- Can I make the 124 Abarth a daily driver in Northern Illinois ? Snow tires in winter. ANYBODY HAVE EXPERIENCE ?

On the test ride a certain portion of 4 lane road the 124 shuddered ... noticeable bumps. I drove my Accord Coupe over the same road on the way out it was smooth ! Dam you you Accord Coupe !!! I realize they are 2 different vehicles the 124 is meant to FEEL the road while my Accord Coupe is meant to ... & here is the tricky part ... be smooth over almost all roads ! The Accord Coupe is light feeling steering, has blistering acceleration 5.6 seconds 0 to 60, has so much more utility aka space, trusted reliability, great drivetrain shifter/ clutch. I already plan a Saturday test drive to see highway / no traffic pushing the limit type test drive & make the FINAL Decision !!!! I've read the specs / I've seen the 2 You Tube Videos of the Miata Vs The Fiata that go thru these cars ... OWNERS Have you had any problems that would lead you to Regret The BUYING Decision ?
 

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So currently I'm driving a 2014 Honda Accord ( but it gets better ) Coupe V6 with a 6 speed manual 12,500 miles that I own. Yea, I'm getting older & the point is I've always wanted a Ferrari in my garage ! With that said I don't want to spend the retirement funds I've been saving. So TODAY I went & test drove a 2017 Fiat 124 Abarth 3x White after work today. Rush hour traffic In Naperville , IL is not the greatest way to test a 124 but maybe it gave me a glimpse of what life will be like at 50 degrees, top down but looking for that little opening to enjoy the low end torque. I miss shifted 3 times & stalled ( face palm ) as I was in 3rd NOT 1st. I felt like I was getting the 124 education I needed.

I noticed the tach does have a gear selector showing when moving ! Not when stopped even with the clutch engaged & in gear ! OK its something I don't like about the 124 but its not a deal breaker. Drove back to dealership & asked a lot more questions about the trunk / cubby holes / gas cap door ( hello 1980 ) / keyless button entry . Ok so thats the gear indicator / fuel door so far I have issues with. But looking over the car again after the test ride makes me appreciate the Italian designers for the overall look of this car ! I think its way over the Mazda Miata especially the front & side profile ... the 124 is BEAUTIFUL For Every angle ! Bellisimo !!!!
BELLA !!!

The Dilema ---- Can I make the 124 Abarth a daily driver in Northern Illinois ? Snow tires in winter. ANYBODY HAVE EXPERIENCE ?

On the test ride a certain portion of 4 lane road the 124 shuddered ... noticeable bumps. I drove my Accord Coupe over the same road on the way out it was smooth ! Dam you you Accord Coupe !!! I realize they are 2 different vehicles the 124 is meant to FEEL the road while my Accord Coupe is meant to ... & here is the tricky part ... be smooth over almost all roads ! The Accord Coupe is light feeling steering, has blistering acceleration 5.6 seconds 0 to 60, has so much more utility aka space, trusted reliability, great drivetrain shifter/ clutch. I already plan a Saturday test drive to see highway / no traffic pushing the limit type test drive & make the FINAL Decision !!!! I've read the specs / I've seen the 2 You Tube Videos of the Miata Vs The Fiata that go thru these cars ... OWNERS Have you had any problems that would lead you to Regret The BUYING Decision ?
I traded in my Honda Accord for the 124 and I'm so glad I did! Naperville Italian Motorworks is my local dealer too, but I bought mine at a different dealer to get the color I wanted. Anyways, before you go on your next test drive, bring a tire gauge with you, because dealers in general are known to not deflate the tires down to 29 psi. You may find the tires still at 50 psi, which is the way they are shipped from Japan and that results in a rough ride!

The ECU calculates which gear the car is in based on speed and engine rpm, which is why you have to be moving. There are no sensors in the shifter to actually determine what gear you are in for the manual trans.

You might enjoy my article on the subject of dealer prep.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Common ground

I traded in my Honda Accord for the 124 and I'm so glad I did! Naperville Italian Motorworks is my local dealer too. Anyways, before you go on your next test drive, bring a tire gauge with you, because dealers in general are known to not deflate the tires down to 29 psi. You may find the tires still at 50 psi, which is the way they are shipped from Japan and that results in a rough ride!

The ECU guesses at what gear the car is in based on speed and engine rpm, which is why you have to be moving. There are no sensors to actually determine what gear you are in for the manual trans.

You might enjoy my article on the subject of dealer prep.
Sounds like we have some things in common ! Thanks for the advice about the tire guage, have a digital one in the Accord glove box so I'll be ready tomorrow >:) !

I'm sure they could make the gear show up without movement just by putting a position sensor in the transmission if they wanted. I just want to find out " Can this 124 Abarth be my DD ? Or will I be shifting into 3rd thinking its 1st regularly :( !

Have you made this mistake before ?
 

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I'm not sure what the purpose is of the gear indicator in the instrument display. There's a big knobby leaver thing in the middle of the car between the passenger and driver seat, just in front of the heater controls which tells you...

(Just kidding, but only a bit).

On the rough ride: it will be a bit rougher than a sedan or other 'box on wheels'. But rough ride is relative. It is possible to build a sedan, put a reasonable engine in it that is both economical and powerful, carry 3-4 people plus luggage and still perform to 99% of what the vast majority of people want a car to do, and perform as well as a 2 seater roadster.

On a practical, evaluative, mathematical level, the Fiat 124 does nothing (or very little) better than any other car you can get for about the same money - I'm sure that people may argue this point.

A 2 seater roadster is not about math.

(I've, also, owned multiple cars a dozen or more? I can't recall. There does seem to be an older gen-set which seem to buy this car. I can't say that's true or not, just a feeling).
 

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Sounds like we have some things in common ! Thanks for the advice about the tire guage, have a digital one in the Accord glove box so I'll be ready tomorrow >:) !

I'm sure they could make the gear show up without movement just by putting a position sensor in the transmission if they wanted. I just want to find out " Can this 124 Abarth be my DD ? Or will I be shifting into 3rd thinking its 1st regularly :( !

Have you made this mistake before ?
No I get the gear right every time ;) (it's an automatic as that's all they had last July)
 

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No. Best car I've ever owned.
I've only had Little Spidee for a short while but it impresses me, compared to the fleet of cars I've had in the past, a Mercedes SL500, several Accords and Civics, a Miata, Toyotas, including a Spyder, Mustangs...

I've got a Lusso and for such a small car that handles great out-the-door, it has a nice ride and is quite quiet, until I hit the throttle. I'm older so I'm getting to the point where I appreciate a smooth ride. I know the Spider, at least as a Lusso, has a nice ride because I don't catch myself thinking about it when I'm driving. And this is on the crappy roads in the Houston area.

Little Spidee is the best of all worlds for me. As my 124spider.org signature says, "Cuore Italiano, sensibilità Giapponese!" :cool:
 

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I think that if space isn't an issue, the 124 is just fine as a daily driver. For winter time I would want a second set of wheels for some winter tires, but that's about it. There should be plenty of used wheels on the second hand market soon.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So a test drive happened Saturday but ....

I read the forum comments here & thank you for the responses. After sleeping on it I just couldn't go back to the Fiat dealer without a Mazda MX-5 test drive to compare.

Remember I stalled out 2 times on the 124 Spyder Abarth test drive because I thought the shifter was in 1st when really in 3rd. Many decades driving nothing but manual transmission
cars & I have a difficult time finding 1st ?

Local Mazda dealer had a 2016 MX-5 Club in Artic White / Brembo Package with the BBS black rims. Similar look as far as paint / interior color although I still think the 124 Abarth has more classic better exterior design / some interior features I liked on the Fiat better also. Jumped in the MX-5 & the clutch / shifter felt better to me. No mis-shifts. No stalls. No trouble finding 1st. E-mailed the Fiat dealers I contacted, hope those comments today find their way to the Fiat 124 Product Manager. I'm thinking a more refined shifter / clutch combo will improve on the 124 Spyder. After having some doubts about doing the deal the Mazda dealer gave me the keys to the MX-5 & said drive it for the weekend. Come back Monday & if you want to rescind the deal then fine. That was 15 minutes past closing time when I pulled out of the dealership.

After forgetting my way home 3.5 hours later I'm home. The garage just got much bigger after leaving my Accord Coupe / title at the dealer. Paper work is done looks like I write a check on Monday to Mazda because I want the keep the grin. Well you guys know how fun these 2 cars are !
 

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I read the forum comments here & thank you for the responses. After sleeping on it I just couldn't go back to the Fiat dealer without a Mazda MX-5 test drive to compare.

Remember I stalled out 2 times on the 124 Spyder Abarth test drive because I thought the shifter was in 1st when really in 3rd. Many decades driving nothing but manual transmission
cars & I have a difficult time finding 1st ?

Local Mazda dealer had a 2016 MX-5 Club in Artic White / Brembo Package with the BBS black rims. Similar look as far as paint / interior color although I still think the 124 Abarth has more classic better exterior design / some interior features I liked on the Fiat better also. Jumped in the MX-5 & the clutch / shifter felt better to me. No mis-shifts. No stalls. No trouble finding 1st. E-mailed the Fiat dealers I contacted, hope those comments today find their way to the Fiat 124 Product Manager. I'm thinking a more refined shifter / clutch combo will improve on the 124 Spyder. After having some doubts about doing the deal the Mazda dealer gave me the keys to the MX-5 & said drive it for the weekend. Come back Monday & if you want to rescind the deal then fine. That was 15 minutes past closing time when I pulled out of the dealership.

After forgetting my way home 3.5 hours later I'm home. The garage just got much bigger after leaving my Accord Coupe / title at the dealer. Paper work is done looks like I write a check on Monday to Mazda because I want the keep the grin. Well you guys know how fun these 2 cars are !
I had no issues driving the FIAT Manual, as I drive a Mazda RX-8, as due to lack or torque and heavy clutch is tough to drive. However, you are correct, when driving back to back I found the MX-5 easier and more futfilling tranny-wise. That said I still plan on ordering 2018 Abarth Manual as it has significantly more appeal in other areas.
 

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...Jumped in the MX-5 & the clutch / shifter felt better to me. No mis-shifts. No stalls. No trouble finding 1st. ...
It has a different gearbox. The Fiat one is from the previous generation of Miata. Both are good gearboxes; although many believe the new one is improved over the one in the Fiat/previous Miata 'box.

Some people do have minor quibbles with the previous/Fiat gearbox, but nothing major. Perhaps the new gearbox suits you better?
 

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I read the forum comments here & thank you for the responses. After sleeping on it I just couldn't go back to the Fiat dealer without a Mazda MX-5 test drive to compare.

Remember I stalled out 2 times on the 124 Spyder Abarth test drive because I thought the shifter was in 1st when really in 3rd. Many decades driving nothing but manual transmission
cars & I have a difficult time finding 1st ?

Local Mazda dealer had a 2016 MX-5 Club in Artic White / Brembo Package with the BBS black rims. Similar look as far as paint / interior color although I still think the 124 Abarth has more classic better exterior design / some interior features I liked on the Fiat better also. Jumped in the MX-5 & the clutch / shifter felt better to me. No mis-shifts. No stalls. No trouble finding 1st. E-mailed the Fiat dealers I contacted, hope those comments today find their way to the Fiat 124 Product Manager. I'm thinking a more refined shifter / clutch combo will improve on the 124 Spyder. After having some doubts about doing the deal the Mazda dealer gave me the keys to the MX-5 & said drive it for the weekend. Come back Monday & if you want to rescind the deal then fine. That was 15 minutes past closing time when I pulled out of the dealership.

After forgetting my way home 3.5 hours later I'm home. The garage just got much bigger after leaving my Accord Coupe / title at the dealer. Paper work is done looks like I write a check on Monday to Mazda because I want the keep the grin. Well you guys know how fun these 2 cars are !

To each their own...lots of Miata forums out there so have a nice life.
 
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