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2017 Fiat 124: Does the world need a Miata in drag? (CNET On Cars, Ep. 97)

The Fiat 124 is a nice re-imagining of the legendary Miata, but is that enough find it a niche within a niche? We'll also explain over-the-air updates for cars and answer your email about sketchy crash tests.

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In this episode:

  • The Fiat 124 looks great and has a different heart, but it's playing for market share in a very small segment of the market. And, really, who wants to go up against the Miata? I think you'll find my discoveries about the 124's very different drive feel and styling to be at odds with its completely look-alike interior. If I had to buy one of these, I would be hard-pressed to choose and might go for the 124 -- but I have a feeling I'm in the minority.
  • OTA or Over-the-Air updates are common on our phones, but still exotic in our cars. That's changing, however, so it's time to get everyone caught up on the basics of what these are and how they can be used to make cars better for all parties involved -- as long as they don't brick our rides!
  • A lot of your emails are about crash tests, both the ratings they deliver as well as the appearances of the actual crashes themselves -- who doesn't find an odd, gaping delight at watching exquisite video of unoccupied cars hitting immovable objects at speed? But appearances can be deceiving, so we'll explain the reality of what makes a car safe.

As always, keep those emails coming; I read every one.