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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
TOP-DOWN MOTORING IS FUN IN FIAT SPIDER 124

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
THE RIDE: Two-door, two-passenger 2017 Fiat Spider 124 roadster.
DOWN THE ROAD: Based on the popular Mazda Miata, this all-new vehicle is probably the finest Fiat we have driven. Punch it lightly and the car takes off smooth and easy assuming occupants of a safe drive down the road. And opening/closing the manual top is a breeze.
TECH & PERFORMANCE: Power is routed via a 1.4-liter inline-4 turbocharged engine, which cranks out 160 hp @ 5500 rpm and 184 pounds-feet of torque @ 3200 rpm. The optional but seamless 6-speed auto gearbox is up to the job. Keeping the Fiat stable enough to soak bumps is an independent suspension of front double wishbone and a multilink rear. The electric power rack-and-pinion steering is swift, accurate and direct.
LOOK & FEEL: Sitting on the monocoque unibody of the rear-wheel drive car are auto bi-functional projector headlights flanking a mesh grille with the familiar Fiat insignia. The instrument panel of the centered and round tachometer, speedometer and fuel/water temp gauges is similar to the one in the Miata. Piano black accents boost the tastefully decorated cabin. Other comforts include leather upholstery, auto a/c, six-way manual driver and four-way passenger heated seats and tilt steering column. The only handicap is the miniscule trunk area of just 4.9 cubic feet.
SAFETY FIRST: Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, active head restraints, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, electronic stability and traction control, rearview camera, blind spot monitor, rear-park assist, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.
OUT THE DOOR: $27,495, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges.
WHY DIG IT: The lively Spider 124 is an enjoyable, sporty roadster to drive. Top-down motoring enthusiasts will be in awe of its snappy acceleration, notable handling and admirable fuel economy.

SPIDER 124 (LUSSO TRIM)
Tires: P205/45R17
Wheelbase: 90.9 inches
Length: 159.6 inches
Weight: 2,476 pounds
City: 25 mpg
Highway: 36 mpg
Fuel capacity: 11.9 gallons
Web site: www.fiatusa.com

CALLING ALL FIAT DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com