2020 Jaguar F-Type vs. 2019 Fiat 124 Spider

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The F-Type has standard Autonomous Emergency Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 124 Spider doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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

The F-Type’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The F-Type has standard Parking Aid to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The F-Type’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The F-Type has standard InControl, 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 F-Type 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Jaguar F-Type weighs 844 to 1411 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 F-Type comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 124 Spider’s 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 10,000 miles sooner.

The F-Type’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the 124 Spider’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Jaguar pays for scheduled maintenance on the F-Type for 5 years and 60,000 miles. Jaguar will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Fiat doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 124 Spider.

Reliability

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Jaguar vehicles are more reliable than Fiat vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Jaguar 25th in reliability. With 81 more problems per 100 vehicles, Fiat is ranked 31st.

Engine

The F-Type has more powerful engines than the 124 Spider:

Horsepower

Torque

F-Type P300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

296 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

F-Type P340 3.0 supercharged V6

340 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

F-Type P380 3.0 supercharged V6

380 HP

339 lbs.-ft.

F-Type R 5.0 supercharged V8

550 HP

502 lbs.-ft.

F-Type SVR 5.0 supercharged V8

575 HP

516 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.

As tested in Car and Driver the F-Type P380 is faster than the 124 Spider Abarth (manual transmissions tested):

F-Type

124 Spider

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

6.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.2 sec

11.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12 sec

18.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

15.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

105 MPH

91 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the F-Type’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The F-Type 2.0-liter’s standard fuel tank has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 124 Spider (16.6 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The F-Type V6/V8’s standard fuel tank has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 124 Spider (18.5 vs. 11.9 gallons).

Transmission and Drivetrain

The Jaguar F-Type comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 124 Spider.

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Jaguar F-Type, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 124 Spider.

All wheel drive, available in the F-Type, 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 F-Type’s 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 F-Type’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 124 Spider:

F-Type

F-Type R-Dynamic

F-Type R/SVR

F-Type opt.

124 Spider

Front Rotors

14 inches

15 inches

15 inches

15.7 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

12.8 inches

14.8 inches

15 inches

11 inches

The F-Type’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 F-Type 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 F-Type stops much shorter than the 124 Spider:

F-Type

124 Spider

70 to 0 MPH

137 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

101 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the F-Type has larger standard tires than the 124 Spider (F:245/45R18 & R:275/40R18 vs. 195/50R16). The F-Type SVR’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 124 Spider (F:265/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. 205/45R17).

The F-Type’s standard 245/45R18 front and 275/40R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series front and 40 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 124 Spider Classica’s standard 50 series tires. The F-Type’s optional 255/35R20 front and 295/30R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the 124 Spider Lusso/Abarth’s 45 series tires.

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

The Jaguar F-Type’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.

The F-Type offers an optional space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 124 Spider; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The F-Type 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 F-Type 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.

The F-Type’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the F-Type’s wheelbase is 12.3 inches longer than on the 124 Spider (103.2 inches vs. 90.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the F-Type is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 5.1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 124 Spider.

The F-Type R Convertible handles at .98 G’s, while the 124 Spider Classica pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The F-Type R Convertible executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.8 seconds quicker than the 124 Spider Classica (24 seconds @ .83 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis

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

Cargo Capacity

The F-Type Convertible has a much larger trunk than the 124 Spider (7.3 vs. 4.9 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

The F-Type 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.

Ergonomics

The F-Type Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the F-Type offers 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.

When three different drivers share the F-Type, the memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a memory system.

The F-Type’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The F-Type’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The 124 Spider has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The F-Type’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 F-Type’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.

The F-Type has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. When the ignition turns off, the headlights turn off after a delay timed to allow you to securely get to your front door. The 124 Spider has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Lusso/Abarth.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the F-Type detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The F-Type’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.

When the F-Type is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The 124 Spider’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the F-Type keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the F-Type’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The F-Type’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the F-Type’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.

The F-Type R-Dynamic/R/SVR’s optional Park Assist can parallel park by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The 124 Spider doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Jaguar F-Type comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Fiat 124 Spider isn’t available as a coupe.

Recommendations

The F-Type was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The 124 Spider has never been an “All Star.”

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

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