Skip advert
Advertisement
In-depth reviews

Fiat 124 Spider convertible (2016-2019) - Engines, drive & performance

The Fiat 124 Spider is only available with one engine, but it’s powerful enough and suits the car well

Carbuyer Rating

4.0 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.5 out of 5

Buyers of the standard Fiat 124 Spider only have one engine option (there's also an Abarth version with more power). It's the same turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol currently used in the Alfa Romeo MiTo, so it’s been tried and tested.

The Mazda MX-5 on which the 124 Spider is based is an excellent car to drive, but Fiat’s engineers have tinkered with the 124’s suspension and steering so it has a character all of its own, and is slightly sportier on the road. On longer drives the 124 Spider is a pleasure to drive thanks to its powerful engine and feels comfortable, despite some wind noise from its fabric roof.

Fiat 124 Spider petrol engine

Offering only one engine with the 124 Spider might seem mean of Fiat, but the 138bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol suits the car perfectly and produces plenty of power. While 138bhp doesn’t seem like much these days, the Spider never feels underpowered. Because it makes its power low down in the rev range, the engine doesn’t need to be worked hard to propel the Spider quickly – plus it has sporty exhaust note when revved.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In keeping with these driver-focussed credentials, the 124 Spider is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, and this is a joy to use. The short gearlever shifts smoothly and accurately from gear to gear, requiring just the right amount of pressure to do so. Thanks to the way the 124 Spider’s engine delivers its power though, you won’t need to change gear that often to keep the car moving at a decent speed.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
17 Apr 2024

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body
Citroen C3 Aircross front quarter
News
18 Apr 2024

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Apr 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
best electric cars
Best cars
28 Mar 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024