Battle of the Roadsters: Mazda MX-5 Miata vs Fiat 124 Spider vs Alfa Romeo 4C

When you’re thinking of driving a small two-seat roadster, which one is the right choice? The options might come down to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Fiat 124 Spider, and Alfa Romeo 4C.

What do these three cars have in common? They are all convertible two-seat roadsters that don’t cost too much. The Alfa Romeo 4C is the most expensive, but it still doesn’t reach the price range of a Porsche Boxster or BMW Z4. Could one of these three models be right for you to take home and enjoy today?

One of These Things Doesn’t Belong Here

If you’ve got your list down to these three cars, you’ll notice one of them has something entirely different from the other two. The Fiat and Alfa Romeo are both from European names, while the Mazda is a Japanese car. If this is part of your consideration, you’ll want to lean one way or the other. When you favor JDM models, the Miata could be the fun and active car you drive for fun, but if you’re looking for the classic style of a European sports car, the 124 Spider and 4C are waiting for you.

You Can Only Buy One of These Cars New

Are you searching for a new or used roadster for some driving fun? If you’re searching for the right pre-owned model, all three of these cars should be on your list. On the other hand, when you want to drive a new model, only the Miata is still in production. This could put your lean toward the Mazda, but it could also mean that you’ll find the ideal roadster in the pre-owned market where you could pay a lot less for it.

What Do Each of These Impressive Roadsters Offer?

When your list has been dwindled down to the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Fiat 124 Spider, and Alfa Romeo 4C, you’ve got three great options. All three of these cars are lightweight, quick, active, and impressive sports cars that turn heads and offer the fun you desire. None of them will blow away the likes of a Porsche or Ferrari, but you don’t need them to. What you want is a car that looks great, drives fun, and gives you the feeling you’ve been missing. Let’s dive into each model.

Alfa Romeo 4C (Spider)

The Alfa Romeo 4C brought Alfa back to America in 2013, and starting in 2015, this car was exclusively offered as an open-top Spider model. This Alfa is a lightweight sports car with incredible acceleration and precise handling. This is one of the most hardcore sports cars that does without creature comforts in favor of weight savings. Only some of the later modes have the benefits of a rearview camera, and that was only added because it became a requirement starting in 2019. The final model year for the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider was 2020, making this a roadster you’ll have to buy as a pre-owned model.

When you step into the 4C, you’ll find a carbon-fiber monocoque which helps to make this car even lighter and stronger than you might expect. Of course, this feature also increases the price of this car. The total weight of this Alfa Romeo is less than 2,500 pounds. This gives you a 10.4 power-to-weight ratio, which is pretty impressive. Speaking of power, every version of the 4C uses a 1.7-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This powertrain gives you 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque for the drive. The Alfa Romeo 4C can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds on the way to a top speed of 160 mph.

Fiat 124 Spider

One of the cars we lament leaving the market is certainly the Fiat 124 Spider. This little roadster is fun, active, and filled with high-quality Italian features to give you the desired drive. The classic Fiat 124 Spider styling themes are present, but the powertrain is based on the Miata, which makes them directly related in some way. In 2020, there were four different trims offered to give you the right package of fun and driving desire. If you want maximum roadster performance, the Abarth is the model for you.

The Fiat 124 Spider is much more luxurious than you might expect. This car is a convertible, but it has plenty of sound-deadening technology to bring a hushed and quiet interior to the mix. This gives you a great way to enjoy the drive without hearing all of the road noises. The convertible top of this car is engineered to be easy to raise or lower from the driver’s seat. Power for this fun and active car comes from a small 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The total power is 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque unless you choose the Abarth model, which has 164 horsepower.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a brilliant roadster that’s still offered. Of these three cars we’re comparing, this is the only one that offers either a soft top or retractable hardtop convertible for your driving pleasure. The Miata is an affordable little sports car that blends handling, power, and price together to leave room for lots of fun. There are seven different versions of this car, and it’s one of the only remaining cars in the market with a manual transmission.

In the past couple of years, the handling of the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been improved. This car now includes Kinematic Posture Control, which applies the brakes subtly to aid with quicker turns. The Miata also includes standard Bilstein shocks and a set of Brembo brakes, BBS wheels, and Recaro sports seats. Power for the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata comes from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. You’ll find 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft o torque for this impressive little roadster.

Will you drive the Mazda MX-5Miata, Fiat 124 Spider, or Alfa Romeo 4C? One of these roadsters is right for you to have the driving pleasure that’s been missing from your life.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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