The Fiat 124 Spider

Read why USA Today gives the new model high praise...

This article, written by , appears on USA Today.

Review: Fiat 124 Spider has Italian style, Japanese quality

As a kid, one of the nicest bonding experiences I had with my father was going car shopping. I’ll never forget the time we visited a Fiat dealership and saw a gleaming Fiat 124 Spider in the showroom. Between the British racing green paint job and wood-accented dashboard, it was the most breathtaking car I had ever seen.

“My son is silently screaming for me to buy it,” my father told the salesman. He didn’t — and it’s probably for the best, because beyond the car’s flawless appearance, Fiat’s were known for less-than-stellar reliability.

Now comes a new Fiat 124 Spider, a two-seat sports car that is not only sexy in appearance and breathtaking when it comes to performance, but holds out the hope of the kind of reliability that usually comes with Japanese-built cars. It is built at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant on the chassis that underpins the highly-regarded Mazda’s MX-5 Miata.

The model’s reintroduction comes just ahead of the last Fiat 124’s 50th anniversary. There are still 8,000 of the little buggers registered in the U.S., Fiat says. Some 170,000 were built between 1968 and 1983.

The 124 Spider is as appealing as they come, with its long hood and short rear deck that emphasize its zippy performance. Read more at USA Today…

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