Car Reviews

Fiat Spider Review

Not your usual option for a business traveller’s car, but perhaps this characterful roadster could offer a tempting alternative to those Executive Saloons. Nippy and low to the ground this would make an ideal car for someone of average height or below looking to enjoy either a nippy jaunt in the countryside of taking advantage of city roads.

You may be familiar with the MX-5 (or Miata) I, in fact, had a mark 1 for a while. The Fiat Spider 124 is based on the MX-5 design, but only smaller. This smaller frame does give it its own character, so perhaps you are looking to allow your personality to shine through in a car park, alongside a black sports saloon, or perhaps you drive around twisty roads a lot. Either way, perhaps this car can offer you something a little different.

The Car

Fiat 124 Spider 1.4 MultiAir 140hp Lusso Plus

Fiat Spider 124 Lusso
Fiat Spider 124 Lusso

The car looks great, actually, it is far better looking in the flesh, than in pictures. It has a low “I mean business” profile, its contouring has been carefully edged to give that speedy, “cut like a knife” feel to it… but it could do with sounding a little better. The lack of a growl of acceleration left me feeling a little disappointed and mildly embarrassed when what I heard was a high pitched whine.

Because of the sound, it is not suitable for any kind of conversations or hands-free calls as the engine noise is deafening and in winter it definitely needs winter tyres. It’s acceleration definitely has a short burst bite lending itself to more of a city car for a city driver.

The journey

We drove from Norwich to Kidderminster, mixing a little motorway, country roads and city driving.

Comfort

Size is a major consideration for this car. I’m 6ft and was only just able to drive the car safely with my leg mostly wedged between the steering wheel and the central console. It was manual too which made this tricky. Donnie, who joined me on the journey, is 6.6 (201 cm) and found it impossible to even get into the driver’s seat comfortably, let along drive it.  Even on the passenger side, he required a background in origami to be able to fold himself into position!

This is definitely a car for those shorter than 6ft (183cm) with a slender frame. For anyone else, there are better recommendations. So if you are of the prescribed height you’ll find that this car is a lot of fun, accelerating very fast and taking corners beautifully. It is not suited to long hours of driving and 7 hours in it was more than enough but where it shines is on A and B roads where it can chow down on those twists and turns and really show up much larger and stronger vehicles.

Storage

Well, you can fit two cabin bags inside the boot, though it would be a squeeze. Briefcases and suit bags would be fine too.

Fiat 124 Spider 1.4 MultiAir 140hp Lusso Plus Storage

The Lost Executive final word

This is a car perfect for daily city driving. It’s designed to be able to pull off fast at the lights and avoid big white vans. Its manoeuvrability is perfectly suited to close quarters city driving but it is also great for weekend runabouts in the countryside.

If you’re interested in something a little more suited to long distance driving, check out our review of the Volvo XC60


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