Fiat is in a sorry state in the United States.
Through the first five months of 2016, sales of the Fiat 500, the first Fiat launched in Fiat’s return to the U.S. market, are down 48%. The Fiat 500L, panned from the get-go, may not find 5000 U.S. buyers in 2016. The Fiat 500X, a close relative of the Jeep Renegade, sells but once for every seven Renegades.
But there’s a new Fiat incoming. Like the 500X, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is a close relative of another brand’s very differently styled car. But while the 124 Spider shares the Mazda MX-5 Miata’s underpinnings, there’s a different powertrain and a different personality.
Early reviews of the 124 Spider – which we at GCBC believe isn’t nearly as attractive as the MX-5 Miata, for the record – are very positive. “Some will miss the Mazda version’s nervous energy, but we appreciate that the Fiata skipped that last shot of espresso,” wrote Car & Driver’s Tony Quiroga. “The Abarth is just brilliant,” according to TTAC’s Jack Baruth.
Alex Dykes’ video review of the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider is the most detailed and thorough on YouTube. Here’s the next 20 minutes of your Sunday.