For those that love the driving experience, there's no substitute for a small, two-seat roadster. With their low profile, nimble handling, and zippy feel, these cars excel at transforming driving from a chore into a thrilling experience. While the Mazda Miata has long been one of the only current models to offer this desirable configuration, the FIAT 124 Spider is here to challenge for the throne. So today we're doing a head-to-head comparison of the 2019 FIAT 124 Spider vs the Mazda Miata.

If you're in the market for a sporty two-seater with a pure driving experience, you'll want to read on to see who comes out on top.


Benson FIAT

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Driving Experience

This is what sports car buyers are here for. Both the 124 Spider and the Miata offer that low, engaged driving position that enthusiasts crave. And while they share some of the same DNA, these are certainly two different vehicles.

Both the Spider and the Miata come standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For 2019, the Miata has upped its horsepower, but still doesn't match the torque of the 124 Spider. Combined with its best-in-class manual transmission, the FIAT's lively engine provides exciting acceleration across the range.

When it comes to handling, both of these vehicles truly excel. As the trend has moved toward bigger vehicles with softer suspensions, it's a rare vehicle that provides the cornering precision you get from a smaller vehicle like the Spider or Miata. Both the Miata and FIAT 124 Spider offer suspension tuning and specialty brake options, but with the Miata they come with a catch. Only manual Miata vehicles get suspension tuning and upgraded components, unless you go with the top trim with an added package. Meanwhile, the less expensive Spider Abarth trim gets special suspension tuning and limited slip differential as standard, whether you go manual or automatic.

Features & Pricing

Both the 2019 FIAT 124 Spider and Mazda Miata offer a lot more features than previous generations of two-seat roadsters. Both vehicles offer impressive features even with their base trims, but the Spider offers more options for the base model, including leather trimmed interior. Full leather interior is standard on the mid-range Lusso trim for the FIAT, while you have to upgrade to the top Grand Touring trim on the Mazda to get leather seats.

This is a trend throughout the range when comparing the 2019 FIAT 124 Spider vs Mazda Miata. When seeking out features, you're often required to move up in trim level and spend more with the Mazda to get the same features. The Miata tops out over $2,500 more expensive than the 124 Spider, despite offering similar features. And, let's face it, the 124 Spider is the more attractive vehicle, from its interior to its exterior lines. It has a classic profile with modern touches that will certainly turn heads, while there's not much to differentiate the looks of the 2019 Miata from previous generations.


Both the 2019 FIAT 124 Spider and the 2019 Mazda Miata occupy a unique space in the automotive world, and excel at offering a fun, responsive driving experience. One area where the Mazda is the clear winner is when it comes to horsepower. With its increased horsepower, it goes from 0-60 in 6.0 seconds, compared to 6.6 for the 124 Spider. However, comparisons are not as favorable to the Miata when looking at style, features, and price. Specifically their decision to limit their sport-tuned suspension to the manual transmission seems to negate what should be a key feature.

So which vehicle is right for you? We think the 124 Spider offers better value, and brings a unique style to the road that most buyers will find more appealing. But the best way to find out for yourself is to take it for a test drive. You can check out our current inventory of 2019 FIAT 124 Spider models below, and set up a test drive. If you've felt the need for a sporty driving experience in your life, the 124 Spider should be right up your alley.

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