Griff's Unnecessarily Long Fiata Review

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D Griff
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Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:27 pm

Last week I spent four days in a Fiat 124 Spider six speed manual in Los Angeles. Usually, because I have a truck for work, I don’t get to rent cars while on the road, but currently, the truck is parked in Pacoima, CA and being rebuilt by us with new equipment. I’ll be renting/commuting from North Hollywood to Pacoima this month to work on the project.

I rented the Fiata on Turo for about $70/day. The car was in really nice shape other than weirdly mismatched/pretty bald tars, 185 on the rear, 195 on the front, all seasons with different brands. Otherwise, this thing was really clean with less than 15k miles.

The overall take away from this is that I’m considering pursuing a purchase of one of these cars. Will I get one? In the short term, likely no, as it’s tough to swallow the size as an only car, plus they’re kind of pricey currently. Also, after tracking the C5 recently and loving it, and even having a few other track days planned, I’m not sure about a ‘vert. I need to do some research on this though. Perhaps down the line if/when I change jobs and move to two cars, I really might grab one up (or maybe the power increased Miata RF to avoid the ‘vert issues).

The size is absolutely perfect as a fun car. I fit in it comfortably and my head didn’t touch the ceiling with top up, although it’s close (I’m all torso and 6’2”). It is tiny for hauling things, but the trunk can fit a couple of carry-ons, the cabin works well for two, there are a couple of usable bins inside and two usable cup holders which is nice since most sports cars suck in that regard. The interior is great, I actually didn’t mind the “stick on” screen, the infotainment is simple and works well, I don’t think it will age as poorly as many systems because it doesn’t do too much. For Bluetooth, it was great, it actually makes top down calls on the freeway possible, my gf had no idea I even had the windows/top down. HVAC is simple three knob setup which I love. I really love the simplicity of the interior. The top is also epic, totally mechanical but it’s under 10 seconds up or down with only one hand required, not a heavy thing to pull over like an NA. The seats were comfy on my three hour Angeles Crest Highway trip, and I liked that they’re poverty cloth, they’re way grippier than leather. Bolstering was pretty good, it held me in well around my ass/lower torso/back, upper back was a little tight on me due to large shoulders.

The drive on this thing is just fantastic. It’s super compliant and yet very balanced. I didn’t notice the body roll, likely due to shit tires, but the thing handles great, it can rotate if you really try, but it’s setup to neither over nor understeer, just point the car and it goes there, which was awesome on Angeles Crest. Acceleration was surprisingly quick in feel, but when looking down at the speedo, unimpressive but adequate. It really brings the Miata “wind it out on every shift” feel without being “dangerously slow” which is pretty ideal. The shifter is great, clutch is really easy, I drove it on the 405 at rush hour and didn’t mind it being manual, it’s effortless. The size of the car is super for city driving too, it fits in any parking space, scrapes on nothing (you really don’t even need to think about scrape), and can make super tight turns. I love driving this car and want one.

I have only two complaints. One is that the first to second shift seems like too big a dropoff in RPMs. It pulls well but kind of drops out of the powah with that shift. 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th, it feels good. 5th and especially 6th don’t have a ton of pull, but that’s to be expected. Fun things happen in 1-4 anyway. The other is the sound of the car. I’m really phoping the Abarf version sounds like a 500 Abarf, this would be solved. We’ll see.

TL;DR, I love the Fiata, I need to drive the MX-5 and the Abarf, I want one of these. Also, Angeles Crest Highway is fucking epic. It was so beautiful and fun. I went out really early (arrived by 6 AM) on a weekday and had it to myself totally for over an hour, then got bogged down by a douche saddlebagger, a shithead redmister in a lifted F150. I also saw some camoed Mercedes manufacturer vehicles out these, which was neat.

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D Griff
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Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:30 pm

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Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:35 pm

Interested to see how the ND compares and what the differences are.

I would much rather own (maintain) a Mazda than a Fiat.

Maybe test drive a ND with me this weekend?


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D Griff
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Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:39 pm

Slowbro9001 wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:35 pm
Interested to see how the ND compares and what the differences are.

I would much rather own (maintain) a Mazda than a Fiat.

Maybe test drive a ND with me this weekend?


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That would be cool. I'd definitely like to check one out. I think the Fiat would be fine though, it's mostly just a Mazda with a motor that seems reliable enough. I mean... even the worst manufacturers seem to make motors that last a couple hundred thousand miles.

The ND with added power seems really awesome though, and RF could still be taken to the track which is badass. I don't know if I'd fit in it with a helmet though. Probably not.

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Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:44 pm

Dammit Griff. I want an ND so bad. The Abarf apparently doesn’t sound like an Abarf but there is a factory exhaust available to make it roar.

Interested to hear what you think of a Mazda compared to it. But these are epic cars either way.

Totally agreed about the size. It was one of very few cars that made me giddy at the auto show.
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Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:57 pm

G8 review
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Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:11 pm

Johnny_P wrote:Dammit Griff. I want an ND so bad. The Abarf apparently doesn’t sound like an Abarf but there is a factory exhaust available to make it roar.

Interested to hear what you think of a Mazda compared to it. But these are epic cars either way.

Totally agreed about the size. It was one of very few cars that made me giddy at the auto show.
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:27 am

Careful that it's not the epic roads you're taking it on skewing your perception. You're driving on some of the best driving roads IN THE WORLD.

Still, I could totally see the Fiata being a 5/7 machine. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts vs the Mazduh. I suspect the Fiat might win.
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D Griff
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:43 am

Detroit wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:27 am
Careful that it's not the epic roads you're taking it on skewing your perception. You're driving on some of the best driving roads IN THE WORLD.

Still, I could totally see the Fiata being a 5/7 machine. I'd be curious to hear your thoughts vs the Mazduh. I suspect the Fiat might win.
I honestly thought it was awesome the first day when all I did was cruise around Los Angeles :doe: .

That was what was so great about it. I think strictly on CA 2 I would've enjoyed the :poorvette: just a tad more, but the Fiata was actually fun everywhere else, which is where most driving occurs.

The epic weather did have a bit to do with it though. These cars are so small that top up I don't like them quite as much.

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D Griff
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:47 am

Man, I need to get more creative with my photo angles...

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Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:50 am

D Griff wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:47 am
Man, I need to get more creative with my photo angles...
To be fair they look pretty good when the light was there and your options were limited by being on the side of the road

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Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:14 am

D Griff wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:47 am
Man, I need to get more creative with my photo angles...
Only critique I have is that your cropping is bad on the last 2 photos. Otherwise decent for potato photos.

But rule of thumb is don't shoot from eye level. Shoot higher, shoot lower. And be careful with your cropping.
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:19 am

Anyways, having driven the ND, I love it. I can only imagine the Fiata is similar.

This is interesting, though:



ND Club - 7.65s
ND GT - 7.76s
Abarth 124 - 8.48s
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Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:44 am

D Griff wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:47 am
Man, I need to get more creative with my photo angles...
Do you have any interior shots, or any shots with the top up?
:wap: Where are these mangos?

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D Griff
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Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:02 pm

wap wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:44 am
D Griff wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:47 am
Man, I need to get more creative with my photo angles...
Do you have any interior shots, or any shots with the top up?
Nah... Didn't really think I'd capture anything the mags don't interior-wise. Top up doesn't look as good as down on these and I was in CA so I never really had it up.

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Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:55 pm

Through the magic of Italian depreciation: a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with 5k miles for $22k.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... FIAT124SPI

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Maxxx wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Through the magic of Italian depreciation: a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with 5k miles for $22k.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... FIAT124SPI
They really look great. I wish I could trust it long term.
:wap: Where are these mangos?

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D Griff
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:08 am

Maxxx wrote:Through the magic of Italian depreciation: a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with 5k miles for $22k.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... FIAT124SPI
Don't tempt me.

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D Griff
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:08 am

Zillon wrote:
D Griff wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:47 am
Man, I need to get more creative with my photo angles...
Only critique I have is that your cropping is bad on the last 2 photos. Otherwise decent for potato photos.

But rule of thumb is don't shoot from eye level. Shoot higher, shoot lower. And be careful with your cropping.
What would you have done differently with the cropping? Sometimes I know the potential is there but it's tough to get it just right.

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Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:16 am

Maxxx wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Through the magic of Italian depreciation: a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with 5k miles for $22k.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... FIAT124SPI
why you show me dis
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:39 am

D Griff wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:08 am
Zillon wrote:
Only critique I have is that your cropping is bad on the last 2 photos. Otherwise decent for potato photos.

But rule of thumb is don't shoot from eye level. Shoot higher, shoot lower. And be careful with your cropping.
What would you have done differently with the cropping? Sometimes I know the potential is there but it's tough to get it just right.
First shot the car is not centered but not off center enough to make sense.

Last shot you started cutting off the tire of the car.
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D Griff
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:16 pm

Zillon wrote:
D Griff wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:08 am
What would you have done differently with the cropping? Sometimes I know the potential is there but it's tough to get it just right.
First shot the car is not centered but not off center enough to make sense.

Last shot you started cutting off the tire of the car.
:word:

Meant to get the tire in fully but just missed slightly :lolol:

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D Griff
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:17 pm

golftdibrad wrote:
Maxxx wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Through the magic of Italian depreciation: a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with 5k miles for $22k.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... FIAT124SPI
why you show me dis
I told him you like black, highly depreciating roadsters.

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Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:05 pm

D Griff wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:17 pm
golftdibrad wrote:
why you show me dis
I told him you like black, highly depreciating roadsters.
:iswydt:
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Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:12 pm

Maxxx wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:55 pm
Through the magic of Italian depreciation: a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth with 5k miles for $22k.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sal ... FIAT124SPI
10k off in 1 year. gasp.

Thats actually worse than my 500 abarth. Let that puppy hit $15k and its on!!
Hello from the other side.

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