The Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda Miata are closely related to each other. This relationship is one that can be described as a sibling rivalry.
These two cars might wear different badges, but almost everything under the skin is the same. That’s not too surprising. When Fiat was ready to bring back its venerable roadster name, they turned to one of the best roadsters in the market to make that happen. Even though these two roadsters are extremely similar, there are also several differences to note. In fact, it might surprise you to learn one important fact, but we’ll save that for last.
Each Powertrain offers something special
The Fiat has a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that gives it more power than its sibling. This power is sent to the wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission to make it fun and easy to drive. Drivers searching for the engagement of a manual transmission or a naturally aspirated engine might be a little disappointed to find the Fiat doesn’t offer these things.
Turning to the Mazda, we find a naturally aspirated engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Driving enthusiasts can rejoice; this is the car for them. Of course, the Mazda offers less power than the Fiat, which could be a bit of a disappointment, but that power difference isn’t truly noticeable. You can push the Miata hard and let it rocket off the line to feel the true nature of the “zoom zoom” moniker.
Does the Fiat handle better than the Mazda?
It’s important that roadsters handle extremely well. These cars aren’t high-powered sports machines, but they’re typically tossable through the curves. Which roadster handles better, the Fiat 124 Spider or Mazda Miata?
The Fiat delivers a controlled, composed, and comfortable drive that feels great out on the highway. This car is solid and planted. If you’re looking for a roadster that should be used for a weekend cruise in the country, the 124 Spider is that car. This car is heavier than the Mazda.
The Miata is made to carve up the corners and throw shade through the turns. This Mazda roadster is 200 pounds lighter than its Fiat sibling, and it’s ideal for handling twists and turns at high speeds. The ride feeling is a bit harsher than the Fiat, but the handling is perfect, especially when you want your roadster to act like a small sports car.
Which style do you prefer?
Styling comes down to an individual’s taste. The Fiat 124 Spider offers an Italian flare to the mix. You’ll see dark-finish 17-inch wheels that look great, a large front, rounded headlights, and a short rear overhang.
On the other hand, the Mazda Miata was designed to be a tight and active sports car. You can see that in the styling. The Miata looks smaller than the 124 Spider, even though these two cars are about the same size. The Mazda is all business and ready to take on any road without any unnecessary styling elements that take away from its true purpose.
You’ll probably like the cabin of the Fiat 124 Spider more than the Mazda Miata
The stylish look of the exterior extends into the cabin of the Fiat 124 Spider to make this car one of the most attractive roadsters in the market. You’ll find a thick steering wheel wrapped in upscale leather, better seating materials, and a bit more storage space for road trips.
The no-nonsense feeling of the exterior transitions to the interior of the Mazda Miata to give you a car that means business. Everything is where you want it; the materials are nice, but not plus, and you’ll have an easy time enjoying the cabin area of the Miata. The Fiat has a more upscale cabin, which gives it a slight advantage.
The one important fact about these two roadsters
If you’re looking for a new sports car to drive and you’ve set your sights on a small two-seat roadster, you’ll learn something interesting very quickly. When looking at the Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda Miata, you’ll find that only one of these cars is offered for 2023. The final year of the Fiat 124 Spider in the United States was the 2020 model year. Although the Fiat disappeared after that, the Miata continues to be offered and is one of the most impressive roadsters you can buy. If you’re after a new car and it’s to be a roadster, you’ll only find the Mazda Miata offered.
What does a new 2023 Mazda Miata offer?
The 2023 version of the Miata adds a new paint color to the mix. This paint is called Zircon Sand Metallic. If you’re looking for something that sets the Miata apart from the 124 Spider, other than the availability of new models, you’ll find a retractable hardtop fastback version of the Miata. This hardtop gives the car a more stylish look. The Fiat was never offered with a hard roof, which puts another feather in the Miata’s cap.
KPC is a fantastic feature for you
The dynamic driving found in the Mazda Miata is better than ever. One of the top features is the Kinematic Posture Control (KPC) which allows much more exciting driving out on the road. This feature subtly applies braking to the inside wheels through fast turns to allow the car to cut the turn sharper and faster. This feature is exciting and makes it even more fun to take this little Mazda out on a winding mountain run.
Used Fiat or New Mazda?
If you find the Fiat 124 Spider and Mazda Miata cars from the same model year, you’ll find them to be much closer to each other than you might expect. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a new version of either, only one continues to be offered in the market. Not only is the Miata still part of the modern lineup, but it also continues to get better with features that make it look better and drive more actively on the road, which is exactly what you want when you’re ready to drive a compact two-seat roadster.
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