First Drive: Fiat 124 Spider

Fiat-124-Spider-_mainAlong comes a spider! We say ciao to the new FIAT 124 Spider  writes Geraldine Herbert

What is it? Its 50 years since the original  124 Spider was unveiled at the Turin motor show. It was a car that captured the very essence of pure driving enjoyment and now its back with a modern twist to shake things up in the two-seater market.

First impressions of the new Fiat 124 Spider? With perfect sportscar proportions the exterior pays homage to the original, touches such as the style and position of the LED headlamps, and the hexagonal upper grille, both draw heavily from the details of the classic roadster.

What about the interior?  Inside there is little to distinguish it from Mazda’s MX-5, the car it is based on, but the 124 does have new instrument panels, steering wheel and gauge design. The dash looks good and all the fittings seem good quality.

Under the bonnet? Powering this diminutive sports car is 1.4-litre  petrol engine that will launch the 124 from 0 to 60 in just 7.5 seconds and has a top speed of 134 mph. But the 124 spider is not about  power or speed, but rather it reminds you that life is a journey and not a destination.

Fiat 124 Spider on road?  A low-slung driving position makes it very comfortable and the small steering wheel feels sporty. Out on the open road it delivers  perfect grip and control plus you get a super slick six-speed manual gearbox. A wind deflector and well-positioned heaters will keep you nice and snug with the roof down and that engine sound will be music to your ears.

How much? Three trim levels are offered: Classica, Lusso and Lusso Plus.  Classica starts at £19,545 OTR for the Classica version, with the Lusso model prised at £22,295 and the top Lusso Plus trim £1,000 more at £23,295. Standard equipment is good and includes  four airbags, air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls, a leather-trimmed gear knob, cruise control with speed limiter, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless engine start and a powerful infotainment system with USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with DAB, WiFi, two USB ports and a multimedia control knob is available as a £500 option.

How safe? The Fiat 124 Spider is as safe as any car its size can be. There are a range of active and passive safety devices, plus because this it is a roadster the body is  designed specifically to absorb energy and lessen the impact in the event of an accident .

 

3 words to describe the Fiat 124 Spider?  Pure; Balanced; Gorgeous

 

For more information check out Fiat.co.uk or the Fiat UK Facebook page

 

Geraldine Herbert

6th December, 2016                    

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert is the founder of wheelsforwomen. A jury member for the International Women’s World Car of the Year, she has been a motoring journalist for over ten years and is the motoring expert for Good Housekeeping Magazine and their “Women at the Wheel” section of goodhousekeeing.co.uk. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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