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One Way the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Tops Mazda’s Miata

The Miata may have some advantages, but the Fiat 124 Spider has one advantage we think is under-reported.

Read any report from a journalist that drives a Miata, and they will always focus on the joy of driving the car. As a journalist I totally understand why they do that, the car is amazing, and if you don’t own one, all you can see is the fun on a test ride. However, as a former owner of an NC Miata Grand Touring, I can also shake my head when I read that lousy audio, no navigation, no spare, and no storage space were ignored in most reviews of the prior Miata generations.

-Wondering How the 124 Spider Abarth Handles a Racetrack?

This week I had the chance to test the 2017 Fiat Spider Abarth 6MT (manual transmission) and Mazda Miata Grand Touring back to back. My report on what aspects are better in the Miata may not make the Fiat 124 Spider owners happy. However, there was one way I found the Fiat better, and an important step in the right direction – Cargo Space.

One might assume that owners of these cars don’t care about cargo space, but that is far from the case. In fact, over at the Facebook Fiat 124 Spider 2017 fan club actual owners are posting up pictures of their Spiders packed to the gills for road trips. Member VBJ told Torque News that she was thrilled with the cargo capacity of her 124 Spider. That’s her image above. She and her husband not only fit all their clothes in a big duffel bag, but there was room for an ice chest and some leftover space in which to stuff hats. Hats are key to convertible ownership. We mean that with all sincerity.

So how much extra space does the Fiat 124 Spider have compared to the current Miata? 43 cubic feet more. No, we are joking, of course, the Fiat actually has just a fraction of a cubic foot more. However, when you start with the Miata’s 4.59 cubic feet, every little bit helps and when you see the cars side by side the Fiat seems to have the bigger trunk.

This extra space is great step in the right direction. Our only wish is that Fiat had taken one added step and managed to find room for a compact, inflatable spare. With no spare and no run-flats, the current plan for a damaged tire is a can of Fix-A-Flat or AAA. Good luck with that plan on a long holiday weekend in the back-country.

Image Note: Our thanks to Vicki Bradshaw Jamison for sharing her great picture.