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Fiat 124 Spider
The Top Gear car review:Fiat 124 Spider
Running costs and reliability
You can read more about our six months with a 124 Spider here, but it was refreshingly easy for a rear-drive sports car. Our only reliability ‘issue’ was that the interior courtesy light needed a new bulb by the time it went back. Cars get no simpler to run, really.
Its fuel economy wasn’t as good as an MX-5’s, but that’s largely down to how clever Mazda’s latest petrol engines are. The 124 Spider will do mpg in the high 40s on a motorway run, low 30s in town, and somewhere in between in typical everyday driving. Fiat claims 44.1mpg, and this is probably achievable if you’re light footed.
Maintenance is costlier than the MX-5; services are pricier and more frequent, with a visit to the dealer needed every 9,000 miles. That’s probably not too much of an issue on a car like this, where average mileage is likely lower than a hatchback. And they do come and pick the car up from you.
Buy one now and Fiat will offer you a very good lease deal: £199 a month regardless of spec, with the deposit tweaked to match which level of equipment you want. While the entry-level Classica is temptingly cheap, we’d upgrade one step to Lusso, which brings a bigger media screen, sat nav, DAB, heated leather seats, 17in alloys, climate control, a parking camera and sensors and keyless entry. Its extra £2,750 seems like good value, all things considered. Lusso Plus is another £1,250 but is less essential, bringing fancier lights and a Bose stereo.