Convertible roadsters are brilliant for those who want the aggressive performance of a sports car, but don’t like the overly angular styling that sports cars often have. The problem with most roadsters, though, is the price tag. Roadsters are a premium product with an asking price to match.
That is until Mazda and FIAT decided that there should be roadsters didn’t need a $60,000+ barrier to entry. For just around $30,000, you can buy a fully loaded and upmarket convertible roadster. In this head-to-head comparison, we’ll look at the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring and the 2019 FIAT 124 Spider Abarth to figure out which is better.
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
2019 FIAT 124 Spider Abarth
|2.0L inline 4-cyl||Engine||1.4L inline 4-cyl|
|181 hp / 151 ft-lbs||Horsepower / Torque||164 hp / 184 ft-lbs|
|6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic||Transmission||6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic|
|26 / 34 / 29 mpg||Fuel Economy||26 / 35 /30 mpg|
The turbocharged Miata engine has more horsepower than the FIAT. However, even though the turbocharged FIAT has more torque, the transmissions—particularly the 6-speed automatic—squander that advantage, making the FIAT feel sluggish at lower RPM and low speeds alike. The Miata does 0-60 MPH in 6 seconds flat, where the 124 Spider takes an extra half second, with a 0-60 MPH of 6.6 seconds.
The Miata has long been a ‘driver’s car’ and the 2019 showing is no different. It still boasts one of the best driving experiences of any car, period. Unfortunately for FIAT, the 124 Spider doesn’t compare favorably to the Miata. Where the Miata is always responsive and smooth, the FIAT can feel jittery at highway speeds, with somewhat finicky and sticky steering and that engine/transmission miscommunication issue that we mentioned earlier.
Want to experience the legendary Miata drivability for yourself? Feel free to contact us at Hall Cars in Brookfield, Wisconsin to schedule a test drive or talk financing with one of our knowledgeable and friendly sales team members.