Abarth 124 Spider review - Fun and character come at a price - Abarth 124 Spider interior and tech

Abarth's take on the Fiat 124 is probably the best 'MX-5' yet

Evo rating
Price
from £29,565
  • Lots of fun, accessible performance, engaging character
  • Quite expensive, steering lacks feedback

While Abarth has spent its money altering the MX-5’s styling and gracing the engine bay with a new power unit, it’s made only a token effort giving a latin feel to the Japanese car’s cabin.

That’s not automatically a bad thing, as the MX-5’s interior is generally well-designed. There is a shortage of cubby holes – in place of a glovebox you get a lockable bin between the seat backs, there are no door pockets and the centre console cubby is a bit pokey – but it has a sporty feel and uses materials of decent quality.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

From this base, Abarth changes are largely cosmetic. Door panels are no longer body-coloured, dashboard panels have a smattering of Alcantara trim (as does the scorpion-badged centre cubby/arm rest), and the standard Mazda three-spoke steering wheel gets detail changes, with a slightly thicker rim and the obligatory Abarth shield. Instruments are different too, the central rev counter highlighted in red. The gearlever is also a little shorter than the one found in the Mazda.

It’s hard to shake the feeling you’re not really in an Abarth product though. For all its failings, the Fiat 500-based Abarths feel genuinely unique inside, from their comically oversized metal pedals to their large bewinged bucket seats and cool-to-the-touch aluminium gearshift lever. The Abarth 124 feels very much like a Mazda with a few stylised scorpions dotted about.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/supercars/201980/maserati-confirms-future-plans-as-fcapsa-flagship
supercars

Maserati confirms future plans as FCA/PSA flagship

A new electric GranTurismo, Alfieri super sports car and revenue-grabbing SUV all detailed in Maserati’s grand plan
14 Feb 2020
Visit/toyota/202232/250bhp-toyota-gr-corolla-hot-hatch-in-the-pipeline
Toyota Corolla

250bhp Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch in the pipeline

Following in the footsteps of the GR Yaris homologation special, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing division is to launch a hot Corolla
13 Feb 2020
Visit/bmw/m2/202236/bmw-m2-competition-by-futura-2000-revealed-in-la
BMW M2

BMW M2 Competition by Futura 2000 revealed in LA

BMW’s latest art car expands into a series of limited-edition models by Futura 2000
14 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019