Fiat 124 Spider review – The MX-5’s classier cousin? - Interior and tech

The drop-top Italian posses a distinctly calmer persona than the Mazda that it shares its underpinnings with

Evo rating
Price
from £21,050
  • A characterful cruiser
  • Lacks finesse when driven enthusiastically

Interior and tech

The Fiat’s cabin shares its design with the Mazda MX-5 – the two are almost identical, and were it not for the badges on the steering wheel you might struggle to tell the difference. That means there is room for two people, though they’ll have to be fairly friendly and tall drivers might struggle to get comfortable behind the wheel.

There’s not a lot of space for clutter either, as the 124 Spider shares the MX-5’s total lack of cabin storage. There’s no glovebox and only the bare minimum of storage cubbies in the dashboard. Even the cupholders are absent at first, replaced by flimsy clip-in units which can slot into a few different places around the cabin. Don’t expect to carry big bottles, though they’re perfectly suited to a cheeky Italian espresso. The only meaningful cabin storage is a lockable bin between the seats.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

The dashboard layout is identical to the MX-5, so it’s very effective – big, clear instruments sit behind the steering wheel and in the centre of the dash is a large, 7.0-inch infotainment screen on all but entry-level models. This can be operated by touch or via a dial in between the seats.

Fiat uses Mazda’s own infotainment software, which is easier to use and more intuitive than the Uconnect system on other Fiat models.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The 124 Spider also shares the MX-5’s roof mechanism. That’s another plus, as it’s simplicity itself. With just one catch and manual operation, raising or lowering the roof can be accomplished with one hand without even moving from the driver’s seat.

The Fiat scores in two areas over the MX-5. First is the boot, which has a useful 140-litres of storage – ten more than the Mazda. The second is the cabin materials, which are more upmarket than in the MX-5. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/ford/mustang/201952/ford-mustang-mach-e-uncovered-as-all-electric-suv
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E uncovered as all-electric SUV

The Mustang has been hit with the all-electric, SUV treatment
20 Nov 2019
Visit/porsche/911/201958/porsche-911-gt3-vs-gt3-rs-vs-gt2-rs-track-battle
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT3 vs GT3 RS vs GT2 RS - track battle

Porsche’s GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS are the most hardcore of the 911 breed, but pitched head‑to‑head which will we crown champion?
15 Nov 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
15 Nov 2019
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