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Mazda Miata vs Fiat 124 Spider - Which Is Faster

The Mazda Miata and Fiat 124 Spider share the same platform, but there are key differences.
Posted: July 11, 2017 - 4:18PM
Author: Tim Healey

For one thing, the Fiat uses a different engine – a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 164 horsepower, as compared to the Miata’s 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder that makes 155 horsepower.

Differences Between Cars

The Fiat also has a less-aggressive suspension and tire setup. The Fast Lane Car recently put the two to the test at the track to see if the more-powerful Fiat or more-aggressively tuned Miata would be the quickest to complete laps.

The comparison is obvious, of course, due to the shared overall platform. These cars aren’t only competing in the same class, they’re cut from the same metaphorical cloth.

So, what wins? Well, you can watch the video to find out. Or you can scroll down.

Watch the Video

First, the obligatory spoiler alert.

Again, spoilers below.

One last time, if you don’t want to know, go watch the video and comeback.

OK, ready?

According to TFL’s leaderboard, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata was clocked at 1:07.17 around their test track, while the Fiat 124 Spider was two slots below (the 2016 Volkswagen GTI was in between) with a time of 1:08.02.

In addition to the reasons above (less aggressive suspension and tires), the Fiat was also a little heavier. So that could account for the slower time.

Of course, the difference in time is still less than a second, so both cars are somewhat on par with each other.

For most folks, track time won’t be the deciding factor between the two, but if so, note that at least one outlet found the Miata to be faster, but not overwhelmingly so.