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Fiat 124 Spider

Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Fiat 124 Spider


On the inside

Layout, finish and space

The interior is also much as per the Mazda, but the Fiat and especially Abarth do have some plusher trims and nice sporty flourishes. Otherwise it’s the same comfortable but quite cramped space. Those under six foot will fit in fine; those over will have the seat all the way back on its runners and might even have the top of their head exposed as the air flows over the windscreen. Worth a test drive to make sure you’ll fit, and not just round the block. Drive as far as you can to make sure you stay comfy.

If you fit, though, it’s a cool place to be. The materials aren’t especially pricey, but then nor is the car. Everything’s ergonomically simple and easy to use. Without being funny, borrowing the interior of a Mazda means the 124 Spider works far better than its Fiat stablemates. The media screen is ace, too; easy to use and with decent graphics. We ran a 124 Spider for six months and after 13,000 miles, the interior hadn’t developed a single rattle.

Airflow with the roof down is very smooth, so you can travel hood-off even on cold winter days if you use the (optional, but essential) heated seats and the strong heater. And the roof can be dropped and re-erected in about five seconds, one-handed from the driver’s seat. Thanks to the longer rear overhang, there’s slightly more boot space than the Mazda, but even so, you’ll have to pack relatively light. But the same’s true of anything in this area of the market.

Our only bugbear is that it’s a weeny bit dull. The MX-5 gets exposed metal on the doors, so providing you’ve picked a snazzy paint option, it gets a flash of colour the Fiat lacks. You can have tan leather as an option, and providing it matches what colour you want outside, we’d recommend it just for brightening things up inside. Fiat’s last roadster – the Barchetta – was far more stylish, if considerably worse built inside.

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