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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi -

My fiancee had a Miata in the 90's (5 speed) and she loved it. We are getting married Valentines Day 2018 and we're both retiring 30 June 2018. We're looking at selling her Acura SUV (since I have a Rubicon) and getting her/us either a Spider or Miata. I've been an active WranglerForum member for 3 years and it's an invaluable tool to gain knowledge/exchange ideas/give advice. Thus, I'm reading the 124Spider forum as well as the Miata forum. Since we're not in a rush to buy, I'm trying to gain as much knowledge as possible to help us make a wise (in our eyes) decision. We most likely will pull the trigger the end of the year. I test drove a Miata Halloween day and the dealer practically begged me to buy that day (end of the month) and dropped the price $5K and I hadn't even started to talk $ yet. It was a lunch hour test drive and I had to get back to the office.

I'm leaning towards the Spider the more I'm reading your reviews and the mods that you all are talking about. One thing I noticed reading here is that it seems the dealer lots don't have that many manual transmissions to chose from. I'm teaching my fiancee how to drive my six speed Rubicon (totally different than a short throw sports car that she is used to) and she's catching on like a pro.

Any advice that you all would like to share - I look forward to it. Thanks again in advance.
 

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First read this ....

Hi -

My fiancee had a Miata in the 90's (5 speed) and she loved it. We are getting married Valentines Day 2018 and we're both retiring 30 June 2018. We're looking at selling her Acura SUV (since I have a Rubicon) and getting her/us either a Spider or Miata. I've been an active WranglerForum member for 3 years and it's an invaluable tool to gain knowledge/exchange ideas/give advice. Thus, I'm reading the 124Spider forum as well as the Miata forum. Since we're not in a rush to buy, I'm trying to gain as much knowledge as possible to help us make a wise (in our eyes) decision. We most likely will pull the trigger the end of the year. I test drove a Miata Halloween day and the dealer practically begged me to buy that day (end of the month) and dropped the price $5K and I hadn't even started to talk $ yet. It was a lunch hour test drive and I had to get back to the office.

I'm leaning towards the Spider the more I'm reading your reviews and the mods that you all are talking about. One thing I noticed reading here is that it seems the dealer lots don't have that many manual transmissions to chose from. I'm teaching my fiancee how to drive my six speed Rubicon (totally different than a short throw sports car that she is used to) and she's catching on like a pro.

Any advice that you all would like to share - I look forward to it. Thanks again in advance.
https://21stcenturyfiat124spider.wordpress.com/specs/#oil

Then remember you get a 4 year 50,000 bumper to bumper warranty, which is ****
Good.
Not Sure. Austin, Tx:)
 

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I think you will really like the Fiat. My only advice is that you get the one you want, meaning the color, transmission, and options you desire. Usually you won't find exactly what you want at the local dealer, you will have to shop around, and possibly have it shipped to you. Benson Fiat in Greer S.C. will ship you whatever you want at a fair price. That's who I used.

Greg
 

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My advise is to have a couple drinks and find here a big level field to drive on. That's they way I learned to drive back in the stone age....without the drinks, though.
 

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In reference to FSpidie's catfish photo above, the Fiat 124 Spider is 20 times more attractive than the Miata.
 

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Nice to see you want the manual...drove the auto a long time ago and if that is all they offered I would not have one now.
 

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Nice to see you want the manual...drove the auto a long time ago and if that is all they offered I would not have one now.
I really wanted a manual shift but had to compromise with my wife who can't drive a manual and doesn't want to learn. Having said that, I am impressed with the auto and the car is a joy to drive. I look forward to every chance to get in and go.

Bill B.
 

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For me, it was the modern take on the classic European roadster that grabbed my attention toward the Fiat. I've always liked the Miata, even the ND version, but once I saw the Fiat rendition... that's all it took, yeah, just one look... Those couple extra inches at each end, and Fiat's styling vs. the sleek modern lines (copying the BMW Z ragtops?) of the newest Miata, that made the difference for me.

Okay, there is the Miata's face. That catfish then gets turned into a beaver once a license plate is installed.

Although I'm not an engine performance guy, I appreciated the broader, more useful powerband of the Fiat 1.4 turbo as explained in various reviews. The turbo lag the reviewers pounce on, what a non-issue that is for us unwashed masses. Sure, the GFB diverter valve I installed solves (helps prevent?) a portion of that concern, but still, after a hundred miles of getting used to how the machine reacts to your inputs, turbo lag is something only auto reviewers (needlessly) and auto racers (maybe rightfully) think about. For the 99.99% of the rest of us, teaching your right foot to hold the rpm's (above 22-2300rpm anyway) while your left foot works the clutch, even from a standstill in first gear, shoots a big, gaping hole in the whole turbo lag... "controversy". Non-issue in my book.

Lastly, I've not driven the ND (latest generation) MX5 Miata, but nearly all the reviews give the nod to the Fiat's suspension spec's, both Abarth and Lusso/Classica, for open road, back highway, twisty rural road driving (that's me!). "They" state the Miata might be the better handler in city traffic (not sure why), but body roll is better handled in the stock Fiat. The Miata has a tendency to find it bump stops in the curves, becoming skittish, where the Fiat still has suspension action available to keep the car flatter and more behaved in the curves. My Classica is a HOOT to drive in the twisty stuff, the Abarth, firmer still for hotter speeds through the knarly stuff.

Hey, in regard to either car, gentlemen, let's be honest- the best thing we can do is shut our pie holes, step aside, and let HER make the decision between the two versions of the car that SHE will be driving most of the time- the one with the Mazda label, or the one with the Fiat. You're leaning toward the Fiat, but I didn't read where she is leaning. She will like one over the other, for whatever reason, and ya darn well better respect that notion. Coming up on 25 years of marriage has taught me that! My wife wants empathy from me in life's conundrums, not solutions. (Ladies, am I mostly right here?) Hey, maybe she'll end up wanting her own soft top Jeep!

I hope this helps with your (her) decision process.

Steve.
 
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SNIP....

Hey, in regard to either car, gentlemen, let's be honest- the best thing we can do is shut our pie holes, step aside, and let HER make the decision between the two versions of the car that SHE will be driving most of the time- the one with the Mazda label, or the one with the Fiat. You're leaning toward the Fiat, but I didn't read where she is leaning. She will like one over the other, for whatever reason, and ya darn well better respect that notion. Coming up on 25 years of marriage has taught me that! My wife wants empathy from me in life's conundrums, not solutions. (Ladies, am I mostly right here?) Hey, maybe she'll end up wanting her own soft top Jeep!

I hope this helps with your (her) decision process.

Steve.
I whole heartily agree, and the same should be for the type of transmission. My Abarth is my car and my wife hasn't driven it yet, nor even asked to, still I got mine in AT in case she ever wanted to. I've been married for 45 years, happy wife, happy life. While your fiancee may be learning to drive stick, if this is an everyday driver, working a shift, especially in traffic can be a bear. I find the AT in the Abarth quite responsive when you want to control it manually with the paddle shifters. Add the EC phase 1 tune and you'll be having the time of your life with the little demon when in sport mode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you all for the kind words/advice. We test drove a 2018 Abarth (right off of the boat) with a manual stick. It was like riding a bike for her - within a mile she was tearing up the pavement. Well, I'm proud to say that we are one of the first owners of a 2018 Spider and we named her Bella. I'll post pics/details in a brand new thread.

Steve
 

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Thank you all for the kind words/advice. We test drove a 2018 Abarth (right off of the boat) with a manual stick. It was like riding a bike for her - within a mile she was tearing up the pavement. Well, I'm proud to say that we are one of the first owners of a 2018 Spider and we named her Bella. I'll post pics/details in a brand new thread.

Steve
sweet!
congrats
 

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Yes, sweet!

Steve.
 

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Thank you all for the kind words/advice. We test drove a 2018 Abarth (right off of the boat) with a manual stick. It was like riding a bike for her - within a mile she was tearing up the pavement. Well, I'm proud to say that we are one of the first owners of a 2018 Spider and we named her Bella. I'll post pics/details in a brand new thread.

Steve
Please post pics ASAP... would like to see an Abarth in Blue Scuro! :nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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When the MX-5 ND first came out, I thought that I was really going to like the look of the car until it rotated around and I saw the rear-end. It really doesn't appeal to me at all. I was really excited to see what FIAT would do with the Spider and wasn't disappointed. I love the look of the Spider so much more than the Miata. To me the Spider looks more grown up - a much classier sophisticated look. My wife, who initially didn't want to consider a sports car, really liked the ride and how it handles. She wasn't hard to convert, except that she insisted on an automatic - if not for that I would have purchased and recommend the standard. I've never driven a Miata hard and can't make a direct comparison, but I love the way the Spider is firm enough to stay flat in the corners and yet doesn't feel hard when driving over a rough road. We've taken several long road trips and the Spider is fun and comfortable all day long. We've owned our Spider Lusso 16 months and it's performed flawlessly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Congratulations Steve!

She's beautiful! I'm so jelly right now!
Thanks BillaVista -

I like your ride and I browsed your site too. Thanks for your service and See Ya On The Trail!!! I'm usually JEEPing in Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.
 

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I owned a Miata and now own a 124 Abarth. That should be all I have to say, however, to each his/her own. The Fiat is sexy, aggressive, and fun to drive and the sport mode in the Abarth is awesome.
 
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