2019 Fiat 124 Spider vs. 2019 Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

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 C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 124 Spider and the C-Class Cabriolet 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, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 10 percent more Fiat dealers than there are Mercedes 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 C-Class Cabriolet’s engines use 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 C-Class Cabriolet have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 124 Spider Auto with its standard engine gets better fuel mileage than the C 300 Cabriolet RWD (25 city/36 hwy vs. 21 city/29 hwy).

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

Transmission

The 124 Spider offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the 124 Spider’s turning circle is 6 feet tighter than the C 300 Cabriolet’s (30.8 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The 124 Spider’s turning circle is 8.9 feet tighter than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet’s (30.8 feet vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis

The Fiat 124 Spider may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1400 to 1700 pounds less than the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet.

The 124 Spider is 2 feet shorter than the AMG C 43 Cabriolet, making the 124 Spider easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

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 C-Class Cabriolet doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 C-Class Cabriolet isn’t in the top three.

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

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