Advice for buyers
What should I look for in a used Fiat 124 Spider sports?
Being an open-top, you should check the interior for water damage. The 124, like the Mazda MX-5, has a simple manual roof that’s easy to use and should be leak free. To test it, head to a local automatic car wash, sit in the car while it's being washed and have a close look at all the seals for any water seeping through.
Check the alloy wheels for kerb damage because 124s in mid-range Lusso spec and above get bigger 17in wheels that are more susceptible to kerb strike than Classica variants.
Look for bodywork damage, too. The 124 comes with stability control to help prevent drivers from losing control, but it’s still a sports car that owners may want to drive enthusiastically. So pay attention to poor panel fit, and if there has been any previous accident damage, make sure it was all repaired according to the manufacturer’s specification because poor-quality repair work could lead to future rust problems. The 124 also uses some lightweight aluminium panels – like in the MX-5 – that might not be as cheap to repair if they are damaged.
What are the most common problems with a used Fiat 124 Spider sports?
The 124 wasn’t featured in our latest What Car? reliability survey, but the Mazda MX-5 (a car with which the 124 shares its chassis and electronics) was, coming last in the coupé and convertible class. Owners of MX-5s cited issues with the bodywork, non-engine electrics and interior trim, and not all of them were covered under warranty.
Fiat as a brand didn’t do particularly well in our study, either, ranking 19th out of 31 manufacturers.
If you would like to see the full reliability list for coupés and convertibles, head to the reliability survey pages for more information.