Fiat 124 Spider Takes on Mazda MX-5, MINI Cooper and VW Beetle Convertible

Fiat 124 Spider Takes on Mazda MX-5, MINI Cooper and VW Beetle Convertible 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
For whatever reason, Fiat organized a four-way battle between its brand new 124 Spider and all three of its main rivals. We are talking about its sister car from Mazda, a new MINI Cooper Convertible and the zombie Beetle that just refuses to die.
This review from The Fast Lane Car is interesting on all levels. For example, not one of these cars is old. The Beetle Convertible is featured in the Denim Edition version, which we haven't even seen in real life before. The MINI, meanwhile, just made its debut, but is at a clear disadvantage.

Due to all the expensive features the British convertible throws at you, you can only get a Cooper with a 1.5-liter turbo engine making around 130 hp for the same money as the other three.

And it's not like you are going to be put at a technological advantage. The Beetle has a bigger 1.8 turbo with 40 extra horsepower and a superior twin-clutch gearbox. Sure, the Cooper is lighter, but there's more room in the Beetle.

But let's be serious for a second and admit nobody cares about those two, not after driving a foot in either of the rear-wheel-drive twins. The newer Fiat is placed at an immediate disadvantage because it weighs 100 pounds more. The small 1.4-liter engine Fiat uses is heavier than its 2-liter Skyactiv equivalent. Apparently, the gearbox in the 124 is from the NC (old) Miata and also heavier.

The TFL Car journalist says the seats in the Fiat feel even smaller and tighter than in the MX-5. Let me tell you, I was one of the few people in the office that fit normally in the 2016 Miata, so Fiat may have screwed up big time.

Conclusion? Obviously, there are differences in the engine and the suspension of the two cars. But choosing which one to buy is like picking between similar Chevy and Buick cars: you go with your gut and the best dealer package.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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