2019 Audi TT vs. 2019 Fiat 124 Spider

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The TT has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The TT has all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The TT has standard Parking System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The TT offers an optional Audi Connect CARE, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the TT and the 124 Spider have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

The Audi TT weighs 692 to 959 pounds more than the Fiat 124 Spider. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

The TT’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the 124 Spider’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the TT’s engine. A rubber belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 124 Spider’s camshaft. If the 124 Spider’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the TT’s reliability 60 points higher than the 124 Spider.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 51 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 29th.

Engine

The TT has more powerful engines than the 124 Spider:

 

Horsepower

Torque

TT 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

228 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

TTS 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

288 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

TT RS Coupe 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

400 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

124 Spider 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

160 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

124 Spider Abarth 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

164 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

The TT has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 124 Spider (14.5 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Audi TT comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 124 Spider.

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Audi TT, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 124 Spider.

The TT offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an SMG.

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the TT has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

All wheel drive, available in the TT, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Fiat 124 Spider is not available with all wheel drive.

The TT RS’ launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the TT’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 124 Spider:

 

TT 45 TSFI

TTS

TT RS

124

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.3 inches

14.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

11 inches

The TTS Coupe’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the 124 Spider are solid, not vented.

The TT RS offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The TT stops much shorter than the 124 Spider:

 

TT

124

 

70 to 0 MPH

140 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

100 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

122 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the TT has larger standard tires than the 124 Spider (245/40R18 vs. 195/50R16). The TTS/RS’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 124 Spider (255/30R20 vs. 205/45R17).

The TT 45 TSFI’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 124 Spider Classica’s standard 50 series tires. The TTS/RS’ optional tires have a lower 30 series profile than the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the TT 45 TSFI has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the 124 Spider Classica. The TTS/RS’ optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 17-inch wheels on the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth.

The Audi TT’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Fiat 124 Spider only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The TT has standard front gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The 124 Spider’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The TT offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 124 Spider’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The TT has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the TT’s wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the 124 Spider (98.6 inches vs. 90.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the TT is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 124 Spider.

The TT 2.0 TSFI Roadster handles at .99 G’s, while the 124 Spider Classica pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The TT 2.0 TSFI Roadster executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the 124 Spider Classica (24.7 seconds @ .77 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis

For excellent aerodynamics, the TT has standard flush composite headlights. The 124 Spider has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space

The TT Coupe has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 124 Spider can only carry 2.

Cargo Capacity

The TT Roadster has a much larger trunk than the 124 Spider (7.5 vs. 4.9 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The TT uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 124 Spider uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Fiat. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 127% lower rating, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Ergonomics

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the TT has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The TT’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The 124 Spider’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The TT’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 124 Spider Classica’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the TT to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The TT has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 124 Spider has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Lusso/Abarth.

The TT’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Fiat offers heated mirrors for extra charge, but only on the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the TT’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a filtration system.

Model Availability

The Audi TT comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Fiat 124 Spider isn’t available as a coupe.

Economic Advantages

The TT will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the TT will retain 45.93% to 49.67% of its original price after five years, while the 124 Spider only retains 38.93% to 40.43%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi TT, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Fiat 124 Spider isn't recommended.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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