2006 Mazda MPV Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mazda MPV Minivan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda MPV Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 200 hp @ 6200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Mazda MPV

  • A stylish and capable minivan if that's all you need, but compared to newer class leaders, the 2006 Mazda MPV lacks the size, features and refinement to compete for the top spot.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Manageable size, lots of interior storage, decidedly unminivan looks, roll-down windows in the sliding doors.

  • Cons

    Missing the power and room of its closest competitors, lacking the latest safety hardware, noisy engine, clunky transmission, too much body roll to feel as sporty as Mazda claims.

  • What's New for 2006

    Aside from a few new exterior colors, Mazda's MPV minivan is unchanged for 2006.

Full 2006 Mazda MPV Review

What's New for 2006

Aside from a few new exterior colors, Mazda's MPV minivan is unchanged for 2006.


Mazda's first attempt at a minivan appeared as a 1989 model. It distinguished itself from the burgeoning minivan field with features like a right-side swing-out door (as opposed to sliding) and optional four-wheel drive. Over the next 10 years, Mazda fitted its MPV with a left-side rear door (still hinged), standard ABS, a standard V6 engine and a removable third-row seat. In 1997, the company created an All-Sport model that included special body cladding, distinctive graphics and alloy wheels. Without an SUV of its own, this was Mazda's closest offering to the hot-selling Ford Explorer. By 1998, however, the MPV's "uniqueness" had worn thin, as the sales numbers confirmed. It was time to retire the original Mazda MPV and start over from scratch.

The current Mazda MPV arrived in 2000, and was notable for its fold-flat third-row seat and the roll-down windows within the now sliding doors. However, a weak 2.5-liter V6 and an equipment list that was lacking some basic safety features limited its popularity. In response, Mazda upgraded the powertrain to a 200-hp, 3.0-liter V6 and added some features in 2002, while the 2004 brought more standard features, including the all-important separate rear air conditioner. These incremental improvements made the MPV a much more viable choice, but roomier, competitively priced offerings from Honda, Kia, Nissan and Toyota offer better overall packages. Although the 2006 Mazda MPV may still hold appeal for small families who prize style and maneuverability above maximum space and cutting-edge features, the new Mazda 5 compact minivan also offers these virtues, albeit in a more refined package that costs less. Prospective buyers should try both before making a decision.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Mazda MPV is a four-door, seven-passenger minivan with three available trims: LX-SV, LX and ES. The base LX-SV comes with 15-inch steel wheels, dual manual-sliding doors with roll-down windows and a CD player. The LX adds 16-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel-mounted stereo controls. A power driver seat, side airbags for front occupants and traction control are options. Step up to the ES trim and you get 17-inch wheels, dual power-sliding doors, privacy glass, leather upholstery, an upgraded nine-speaker sound system with an in-dash CD changer and a separate rear air conditioner. Many of these features are optional on the LX. A DVD-based rear entertainment system and a sunroof are also available as options on both the LX and ES.

Powertrains and Performance

The MPV comes with a 200-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity is 3,000 pounds with the optional four-seasons driving package. EPA estimates are 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard on all models, while traction control and side airbags for front occupants are standard on the ES, optional on the LX and not available on the LX-SV. Full-length side curtain airbags and stability control are not available on any MPV. In government crash tests, the Mazda MPV earned a perfect five-star rating in all front- and side-impact categories. In frontal-offset crash testing conducted by the IIHS, the MPV received an "Acceptable" rating (the second highest out of four).

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior is equipped with three rows of seating for seven passengers. The second and third rows can be reconfigured for multiple seating arrangements. The second row features two comfortable captain's chairs that have their own flip-up armrests. The right-side second-row captain's chair can be released by a handle, allowing it to slide along tracks to meet up flush with the other seat, creating a bench. Both second-row seats are removable. For maximum convenience, the third-row seat easily folds flat into the floor.

Driving Impressions

Nicely weighted steering and a compact size makes the 2006 Mazda MPV easy to maneuver on tight city streets, but vans like the Odyssey, Caravan and the new Mazda 5 offer sportier handling. The 3.0-liter V6 provides adequate acceleration in most situations but is quite noisy under heavy acceleration. Those who plan to carry heavy passenger loads or tow a trailer should consider competing vans, all of which can be had with larger engines. Additionally, the MPV's five-speed automatic transmission is often indecisive, hampering acceleration efforts with early upshifts and late downshifts.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Very good but we needed

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MPV LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

Never had one repair done to this Mazda. We came from a fully loaded 99' Blazer LT we needed a car fast and we got this the V6 was nice the transmission was also good. the worst thing was the windows weren't tinted and the car was awful in the snow the 3rd row was like a board of wood with microfiber on it. the front windshield was huge and the dashboard glared off of it.traded for a mountaineer but that you can read about in my other review which was traded for a 2008 Subaru Tribeca Limited w/NAV

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Powertrain dies at 59k/6yrs

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MPV LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

Auto-transmission broke down at 59K, 6 yrs: back and forth between gear 1 and 2. Had to get a tow. Am the first owner. Was having hard-shift right after the purchase. Mazda's attitude: hard-shift not reproducible, cannot fix. Seeing so many other MPV owners' complaints on transmission problems, hard to believe Mazda not facing MPV transmission issue honestly. Transmission breaking down is estimated to cost $4K to fix/replace.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

More than satisfied

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MPV LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

Bought this car private party, 2 years old with 9500 miles. Two and a half years later we have 43K miles with absolutely no repairs. Replaced the factory tires with 90K Goodyears and they are fantastic. This car has met or exceeded my expectations in every way.

Was not happy

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MPV LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

Well my mom had purchased this van a year prior with a new kid on the way I was excited to be a minivan owner. It was a really late night when they do those crazy specials at midnight!? I didn't test drive it because I've been driving my moms for quite some time, got it home to notice that our van had NO REAR AIR!!! I couldn't believe they made vans without it! My moms came standard with it, didn't realize it was missing til the next morning when it was freezing cold taking our 2 young kids out!! I've had to put fans in the back to just get by in the summer. It is brutal. I was very upset that the sales people sold it they had to know!! will never go back again!!!

Family utilitarian

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MPV LX-SV 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

We have two young daughters with a child on the way and our MPV has been great. It drives like a sedan. The window sills are low, which allows great visibility from the driver's seat. It has more than enough power, but gets better than expected gas mileage. The third row seat folds down into the floor to provide exceptional storage capacity. It has served our family well.

Stands out from the crowd

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MPV LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)

I've only owned this vehicle for 4 months but so far, it's been great. I love the size. It's not a tank (aka Odyssey/Sienna). I also like having a vehicle that isn't on every corner. The MPV really stands out from the crowd. Took it on a long trip this summer and it performed flawlessly. The interior doesn't have that cheap quality feel that some cars have. It feels solid.

Talk About The 2006 MPV

2006 Mazda MPV Discussions See all Started By

My 2006 MPV was running fine, stopped at the store came back out, started fine, put in reverse but had to stop for pedestrian & the car died & won't restart. Scan tool shows no trouble codes. ...

I am an MPV owner -- a reasonably happy one. My 2001 MPV LX ran well with few repairs...until this year. But now it is 10 years old, 103K on the odometer, and has had some predictable problems -- rust...

I have a 2006 MPV with the tow package, the towing capacity is 3000lb but as far as I can tell that isn't the only set of numbers that I need to know about. We are looking at a tent trailer and what w...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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