With the reintroduction of the new Fiat 124 taking cues from its predecessor, its clear that its goals of a fun, nimble, and entertaining coupe were not to be met short. However, with a redesigned platform following the classic convertible recipe,
the 124 balances the fundamentals of a classic sports car with the comfort of modern amenities. This is seen clearly in the cloth top, as it is available as the only roof option for all 124 trims. While most modern convertibles opt for folding metals roofs, the simplicity and speed of being able to pull a single lever and have the top down is unmatched, and personally, preferred. The 124 also uses a brand new 1.4 liter turbocharged engine, pumping out 164 hp and 184 pound feet of torque. Although it may not sound like much, this propels the roughly 2,500 pound Fiat at a steady pace. The 124 also comes with two gearbox options, either a 6 speed manual or a 6 speed automatic. However, with the 1.4 relying heavily on the turbo charger to produce power, the manual transmission is almost a necessity. Because of the turbo dependency, the lower rev ranges struggle to make power, creating turbo lag. This can easily be overcome by lowering a gear, and you’ll be on your way. Despite the long chassis and soft top, the Fiat 124 does feel rigid, hugging the ground in both the corners and at highway speeds. This is done also with the help of skinny, yet grippy tires providing traction to the rear. On the inside, the 124 shares many ques with the Miata, considering they both are made in the same factory using the same parts. However, this raises the question. Although the Fiat brings the pinnace of an Italian cruiser with a more dramatic styling, the Mazda Miata also presents a strong competitor in this class. With Fiat being on the fine line of withdrawing its vehicles in North America, the options become simple. Although both the Miata and 124 offer similar driving experiences, the rarity of the 124 is a one up, giving it the upper hand in my book. Overall, the 124 accomplishes the same thing its predecessor did, and it does it well. Hitting all the bases for a reliable car, the 124 is bound to leave you smiling, on or off the track.