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Can You Guess What's Missing On This 2017 Fiat 124 Spider 6AT?

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Classica and Lusso trims with automatic transmission are missing a key feature.

Let’s be open minded. There are many people who prefer an automatic transmission to a manual stick shift. Even though a roadster cries out for a manual transmission, some prefer an automatic for their own reasons. Be it a physical limitation, fear of learning a new skill, or perhaps just for comfort, automatics are very popular, even in sporty cars. That said, Fiat not including paddle shifters on its Classica and Lusso trims has us dumbfounded.

We’ve tested sport-utes with paddle shifters. Economy cars with paddle shifters. Many, many cars and crossovers in which the paddle shifters were really not important and likely will never be used by the vehicle’s owner. However, having control over the engine’s speed is critical to a small, sporty roadster. How in the world could Fiat build any 124 Spider without paddle shifters?

Don’t pin this on Mazda. The MX-5 Miata has three trims, all of which have a six-speed automatic transmission optional. All three trims have paddle shifters. Fiat offers the 124 Spider Abarth with paddle shifters when it is equipped with the optional automatic transmission. Why would Fiat imagine that drivers who opt for the more affordable Classica and Lusso wouldn’t want the paddles?


Max (not verified)    August 26, 2016 - 4:18PM

Pleassseee drop the auto attitude!

If you drive in most congested urban areas where there's nowhere to track, a manual can be a pain. Sure its provides more involvement but an auto can free up some of your already overtaxed attention to other car duties. Have you seen GM's and BMW's autos in testing? They kick the manual's ass and get better fuel mileage.

Some car guys hold on to the myth of the magical manual like it was the last hair on their heads. Drive what you want and don't look down your nose at others.

Mo Baro (not verified)    August 26, 2016 - 5:31PM

I bought an automatic b/c no dealer had manual and I did not wish to wait. Ugggh - a sports car needs to be manual transmission. That being said, BFD the car does not have paddle shifters. Paddle shifters are not manual transmission. The Classica has the manumatic shifter if you really want to pretend you are driving a manual. You can use the manumatic on your way to spin class where you can pretend you are biking up a steep hill or peddling on a straight away. Nothing compares to the real thing.