Fiat 124 Spider Vs. Ford Fiesta ST: Which of These Cheap Speed Machines Would You Buy for $20,000?

Two of our favorite fun sports cars are available with huge discounts.

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It’s a chaotic time for carmakers — and not just because of 2020’s wild ride. With SUV and truck sales booming and conventional sedan, coupe and hatchback sales falling, Ford is phasing out all regular cars (except the  Mustang) from its U.S. lineup. Italian automaker Fiat, which returned to the States roughly a decade ago, has struggled to sell cars to Americans.

As a result, two super fun driver’s cars with manual transmissions — the Ford Fiesta ST hatchback and the Fiat 124 Spider convertible — are leaving America’s showrooms. But there’s an upshot to this: brand-new copies of both cars are available at dealers, right now, at incredible discounts. Fiesta STs are going for a couple grand off sticker; Fiat 124s are going for as much as $10,000 off. As a result, you can now buy either one brand-new for roughly $20,000.

The only question — beyond whether your lifestyle can accommodate a tiny sports car — is which one you should buy.

2019 Fiat 124 Spider

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The Fiat 124 Spider is a solid, affordable sports car. It’s effectively a Mazda MX-5 Miata that has been restyled by Italians and outfitted with a punchy turbocharged engine. But for whatever reason — possibly practicality-related — Americans haven’t been buying it, leading to a massive dealer backlog. As a result, Fiat dealers are offering absurd discounts to try to move them.

Here’s a 2019 124 Spider from a dealer in Spokane, Washington. It’s a black Lusso (Luxury) trim edition. It has a six-speed manual transmission. A $4,590 dealer discount and a $3,000 Fiat 124 Spider discount bring the price down from a $30,585 MSRP to $22,995 — and that’s before you start haggling.

Wanna see more? Check out other Fiat 124 Spiders listed across the land on Cars.com.

2019 Ford Fiesta ST

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The Fiesta ST is a dated model; we reviewed it allllll the way back in 2013. But it packs a lot of punch for its size; it weighs well south of 3,000 pounds, packs nearly 200 horsepower and a six-speed manual, and is as agile as a go-kart. Best of all, you can find new ones for well below MSRP.

This white 2019 Fiesta ST is for sale in Fargo, North Dakota. Options include a moonroof and red brake calipers that aren’t Brembos but sorta look like them. The dealer is selling it for $20,885, $3,295 below MSRP. (If you want to see more, check out other Fiesta STs on sale across America here.)

In addition, Ford, as part of its COVID-19 response, is also offering 0% APR financing on all 2019 models for up to 84 months, which means you should be able to buy this Fiesta for less than the cost of most cars’ lease payments.

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