Fiat 124 Spider Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, after so many days spent considering, I decided to get a 124.

Now, I have some questions that I hope to clear, before pull the trigger. I am in CA

First of all, I am going for an Abarth; although; is the performances and drive feeling much different from a Lusso for example? Of course the latter has softer suspension, but I am trying to figure out if the whole Abarth thing is mostly a look thing. I like both of them, and the price is mostly similar for both the Lusso and the Abarth, so I was wondering if there is "value", kinda like you get when you buy a standard car and a AMG version, to make an example.

Second: is the automatic on par of the manual? I drive manual, and it is quite hard to find cars with manual transmission nowadays; so I was wondering if the extra cost of an auto transmission is worth for a person that drive manual in traffic and open roads, and has no problem with it. Selection is my main issue here; and I doubt that I can find a dealer that has both the auto and manual to try; so I would rely on your experience.

Third: is there any advantage in getting the lot car, versus order one online? I know that there is a 900 dollars destination fee to pay, when you order online, but should I go for the car exactly as I want it, and order online, or go to a dealer and grab the one that they have (I heard that the only easy thing that they can install is the nav, the other extras can't be installed easily, unless the car has it from the start). Also is there a price difference? I imagine the dealer want to sell the cars on his lot, so they may give a discount ?

Last thing: is there any Nor-Cal user that could give me an idea of the cost of the "extras" (taxes, registration, fees), on top of the cost of the car? Say the car is 31K, how much more do I have to put on top of it, to drive off the lot with the car? I did find some info on the DMV website, that calculate some of the costs, but I heard that there is more than just that, so I want to be prepared and not end up being fooled by the dealer, which may add extras that should not be on the bill.

Thanks in advance, I am really excited for this car! My father used to have one; I only saw the pictures, and it was gorgeus.:crying:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
For the destination fee you'll have to pay that no matter if you order one or get one off the lot. That's a set fee by the manufacturer. I've never heard of someone in the USA getting out of that fee.


As far as other charges I'm in northern Calif, but went down to southern Calif to get the car I wanted. Numbers should be the same as things like sales tax are based on where you live not where you buy the car. The list was 35,995 that included the dest charge, there was a total of 2,000 in various rebates from Fiat. There's a $80 fee for document processing. that's for the dealer to do the paperwork. There was sales tax of $3182, $29 in electronic vehicle registration, license and reg for the first year was $354.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
The Abarth has some performance benefits over the Lusso. The Abarth has a limited-slip diff. I think that is the big one. The Abarth has a few more HP, I think, but not a significant step up in power. The Abarth also has "sport mode." I have seen some mixed information on what exactly "sport mode" does. Word is that it gives you peak torque a little bit sooner in revs, and sharpends the throttle response, and stiffens the steering a little. I assume the Lusso is basically in "non-sport mode" all the time, but I haven't driven a Lusso. Also, in the US, the Abarth comes with a free day of performance driver training at the Bondurant racing school in AZ.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,210 Posts
Abarth's suspension is more disciplined with Bilstein dampers too...and Brembos and Recaros are an option. Manual or Auto? Seriously? If you have two working legs you know what the answer is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,160 Posts
For me, it was a no brainer: having it and not using it is better than not having it and wanting it.

The Limited Slip Differential is probably the biggest thing. Apart from the look (slightly different body panels) that would be the only thing at the moment that would be a problem bringing the Classica or Lusso up to Abarth level. Everything else can be added, or upgraded. (Not sure about the sport mode thing - I now feel like it's a pointless switch, as there doesn't seem to be an advantage of running without sport mode).

Manual vs Auto...well, I won't comment because it might offend those who purchased an Automatic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,283 Posts
I have tested the Lusso and the Abarth manual, I say there's a noticable difference in the handling and power and let's say the looks I upgraded to the ABarth from the Lusso, and Sales Manager made me offer I coudn't refuse on the deLux package.
Personally if you could afford the $1k, go for the Abarth manual and choose your packages if you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
I went to the dealer thinking I would get the manual transmission. I tested both and found the automatic to be so good that it was really a toss up for me. Weighing the added cost versus the added convenience, convenience won out. I have put over 12,000 miles on the car and love the transmission.

The only real advantages to the Abarth are the Bondurant school and the differential. I personally don't car for the styling of the Abarth and the suspension and brakes are not as good as you can get in the aftermarket. If you really want performance, a Classica with aftermarket suspension, brakes and wheels is the way to go. (Stock Abarth wheels are heavy.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you all for the info! I think that I have at least to try the Lusso and Abarth at this point.

Sporty is important for me but not at the price of having a comfortable ride; so I want to see how different they are in fact on the road. LSD sound like a big thing; more than the extra HP (NOt sure why in USA, they sell the Abarth without the heritage strip and the extra HP...meh)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
Honestly, I'm not sure what the advantage of the LSD is in this car unless you plan on racing it. LSD in my Hemis? No brainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
LSD helps when the road conditions are not exceptional...here in CA rarely used, but in places where the road is snowy/icy or very slippery, may help. Depends also from your driving style...I've been driving a vintage 911, with basically nothing on it (ABS maybe?), and never had issues even on snowy roads.

The car has an ESP I believe, so it is an extra added measure of safety in my eyes. To be honest; I am not getting this car for a track purpose; I didn't hear much love about bringing the 124 on a track, compared to the usual imports that you see everywhere :( I just wish the Abarth had something like the engine on the Giulia, prepped to be zippier, but then the weight would go up considerably.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
298 Posts
I enjoyed driving the Abarth moreso than the Lusso. Re ordering vs purchasing at a dealer, I'd say it depends on how badly you want a car with certain features vs. how much you want to pay. We flew from No. Cal to So. Cal to buy our car as it saved us 2k. I searched the Fiat website and looked at the dealers' inventories and then found the best deal I could on what we wanted. This is the second car we've done this with as the dealers there seem more aggressive with their pricing. YMMV. (Btw, we did give our local dealer a chance to price match, and they declined...didn't even try to come close to it.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I had the luck to try few today; and between the manual Abart, manual lusso and Automatic Abarth, I did like the manual Abarth the most.

The abarth felt quicker; I know it is just a mind trick because it is the same exact specs and engine, but felt more responsive. The "sport" mode from what I can tell, did absolutely nothing noticeable; there was not even a light on the dash to indicate if it was on or off; and the car overall felt the same.

Engine-wise; it is incredibly sluggish below 2000RPM; but if you keep it above 2K. it is a joy to drive. Manual was much more responsive; although sport mode on auto did feel somehow similar, but it didn't give me the same joy. I am probably biased toward manual, I drive mostly manual, so there is a good chance that I suck with paddles and auto tranny :)

The dealer did point out that they can get what you want, with the specs that you want, but it take months; so I just decided to grab what they have available; most likely next week I will get it :)

Thanks again for your comments, it was really a big help to get some opinion, especially because the car is so new, and nobody knows it better than a owner :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
288 Posts
The abarth felt quicker; I know it is just a mind trick because it is the same exact specs and engine, but felt more responsive. The "sport" mode from what I can tell, did absolutely nothing noticeable; there was not even a light on the dash to indicate if it was on or off; and the car overall felt the same.

Uh, you missed the indicator; its under the Gear Number (that you're in). "Sport" will appear when its on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Uh, you missed the indicator; its under the Gear Number (that you're in). "Sport" will appear when its on.
Would you believe me, if I would tell you that I was driving and I did not even notice that there is a gear indicator? :) I thought that it was supposed to be somewhere, but maybe the light was off.

BTW, is there a table somewhere, that show the settings for the normal and sport mode? Just curious to figure out exactly what does change, and when to use it :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
You have to hold the sport button down for a second or two to engage sport mode. If you just flip the switch quickly it won't engage. If you didn't hold down the button then you might not have actually been in sport mode, which would explain why it didn't seem to do anything. I have found that sport mode makes a significant different at slow speeds and low revs, such as in a parking lot. Sometime I forget to engage sport mode when I first start driving, and the car feels very lazy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I see; so that's why I was not noticing it! I never enabled it!

I did flick it up, thinking that it would engage sport mode; instead you have to hold it until the light in the dash show it in sport mode.

The car indeed was incredibly lazy; the engine below 2K is basically like a moped; I could not even use second gear while I was rolling slowly; had to go back in first gear. I thought that's how the engine is; and it is a "cons" of the car; but if this is fixed in sport mode; makes more sense to keep it in that sport mode all the time :) Thanks for the hint! This weekend when I go get it, I will try it with the sport mode finally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
BTW, is there a table somewhere, that show the settings for the normal and sport mode?
Here is a thread discussing more details about sport mode.
http://www.124spider.org/forum/9-2017-fiat-124-spider-general-discussion-forum/5977-sport-mode.html
I haven't seen a dyno chart showing sport vs. non-sport, but that would interesting to see if someone has one...

BTW, is there a table somewhere, that show the settings for the normal and sport mode? Just curious to figure out exactly what does change, and when to use it
I put the car in sport mode everytime I drive. I have heard several others make the same comment. I wish you could set that as the default.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
230 Posts
For me, Lusso vs. Abarth was simple. I much prefer the looks of the Lusso. It really looks elegant and classy in the Bianca Gelato with saddle leather to my eyes. The smoother ride is more to my liking, as well. I also knew it had to be a manual. I can keep Little Spidee at the RPMs I want and she's very sporting in this mode, at least for me.

Just know what YOU want and enjoy. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,353 Posts
LSD helps when the road conditions are not exceptional...here in CA rarely used, but in places where the road is snowy/icy or very slippery, may help. Depends also from your driving style...I've been driving a vintage 911, with basically nothing on it (ABS maybe?), and never had issues even on snowy roads.

The car has an ESP I believe, so it is an extra added measure of safety in my eyes. To be honest; I am not getting this car for a track purpose; I didn't hear much love about bringing the 124 on a track, compared to the usual imports that you see everywhere :( I just wish the Abarth had something like the engine on the Giulia, prepped to be zippier, but then the weight would go up considerably.
The Eurocompulsion tune will wake it up.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top