2019 Fiat 124 Spider vs. 2019 Audi TT

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 124 Spider has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The TT doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To help make backing safer, the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The TT doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the 124 Spider and the TT 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.

Warranty

There are over 39 percent more Fiat dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 124 Spider’s warranty.

Reliability

The Fiat 124 Spider’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the TT’s 2.5 turbo 5 cyl. engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The engines in the 124 Spider have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the TT have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 124 Spider has a standard 150-amp alternator. The TT’s 140-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Fiat 124 Spider uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The TT requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling

The 124 Spider’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (53.5% to 46.5%) than the TT’s (60.7% to 39.3%). This gives the 124 Spider more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 124 Spider’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the TT’s (30.8 feet vs. 34.8 feet). The 124 Spider’s turning circle is 5.2 feet tighter than the TT RS Coupe’s (30.8 feet vs. 36 feet).

Chassis

The Fiat 124 Spider may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 900 pounds less than the Audi TT.

The 124 Spider is 5.4 inches shorter than the TT, making the 124 Spider easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

The 124 Spider’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Audi does not offer a locking feature on the TT’s power windows.

Consumer Reports rated the 124 Spider’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the TT’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The TT doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The TT doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 124 Spider owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 124 Spider will cost $2370 to $6930 less than the TT over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Fiat 124 Spider will be $16272 to $32995 less than for the Audi TT.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 124 Spider third among compact sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The TT isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Fiat 124 Spider outsold the Audi TT by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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