2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible

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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 MX-5 Miata Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 170 hp @ 6700 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata

  • The 2006 Mazda Miata is still the standard when it comes to delivering top-down thrills without breaking the bank.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Huge fun factor, precise steering and handling, low base price, economical to operate.

  • Cons

    A few questionable interior plastics, still snug for large adults.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, the MX-5 gets its first top-to-bottom redesign since its launch in 1989. The roadster gains a roomier cockpit but still tips the scales at under 2,500 pounds. Beneath the hood, the MX-5 benefits from an all-new 170-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine. Side-impact airbags and ABS are now standard across all trims.

Full 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, the MX-5 gets its first top-to-bottom redesign since its launch in 1989. The roadster gains a roomier cockpit but still tips the scales at under 2,500 pounds. Beneath the hood, the MX-5 benefits from an all-new 170-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine. Side-impact airbags and ABS are now standard across all trims.


When Mazda introduced the Miata roadster for the 1990 model year, this fetching drop top was the recipient of widespread critical acclaim and overwhelming consumer interest. Despite its Japanese origins, in many ways the roadster represented the revival of the traditional British sports car. It had styling derivative of the Lotus Elan and excellent reliability in the tradition of Japan's automakers. Buyers lined up at Mazda dealerships and paid more than sticker price for the svelte new Miata.

Over the years, the Mazda Miata gained power. It also gained weight, which served to make it safer than its progenitors without detracting from performance. A major redesign came in 1999. Although it shared its basic underpinnings with the original, the second-generation Miata offered more power, a larger interior, exposed headlamps and more aggressive styling. It also received a glass rear window with defogger, a stiffened chassis and sharpened reflexes. A turbocharged Mazdaspeed Miata joined the lineup for 2004.

For 2006, the MX-5 Miata receives its first top-to-bottom overhaul. True, the '06 is longer, wider, heavier and roomier inside than before, and it's packing more motor and more amenities. All of this could have deadened that characteristic Miata feel, but it hasn't. The Mazda roadster still changes direction like a roller skate, speaks to you clearly through the steering wheel and driver seat, accelerates adequately with a classic inline-four growl and writes the book on manual-shifter precision, effort and feel.

The original Mazda MX-5 offered one engine, one transmission and three colors: red, white and blue. There are, on the other hand, five degrees of the new MX-5 from the stripped-to-the-essentials Club Spec model to the loaded Limited edition. If you pay more, you get more: a six-speed manual gearbox (versus the standard five-speed), black or tan leather seats (versus black cloth), a cloth top (versus vinyl), a seven-speaker Bose audio system (that sounds wonderful, top up or down), and numerous options, including a six-speed automatic transmission. However, if you're adding a ton of extras to the Miata, you're missing the point: This Mazda roadster is about simplicity in design and operation. It's about having fun behind the wheel. It's about feeling free and young on warm summer nights. Not a serious car, the 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata, but that's part of its charm.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

vThe two-door Mazda Miata roadster is available in six trims: Club Spec, Base, Touring, Sport, Grand Touring and Limited. A low-cost model aimed at racing enthusiasts, the Club Spec offers a five-speed manual transmission, a black vinyl convertible top, 16-inch alloy wheels, ABS, side airbags, a tilt steering wheel, a CD player, and power windows and mirrors. The base model adds air conditioning and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Touring model additions include foglamps, cruise control, keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and power door locks. Step up to the Sport trim and you get a six-speed manual transmission, 17-inch wheels and a leather shift knob. The Grand Touring trim boasts a black or parchment cloth convertible top, leather-trimmed seats, a seven-speaker Bose audio system and silver interior trim. This year's special-edition Miata is called the 3rd Generation Limited, and offers an alarm system and distinctive chrome trim inside and out. Sport and Grand Touring models are eligible for run-flat tires and a sport suspension package with Bilstein shocks and a limited-slip differential.

Powertrains and Performance

The MX-5 Miata's 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine makes 170 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 140 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. A five-speed manual transmission drives the rear wheels on Club Spec, base and Touring trims, while the Sport, Grand Touring and Limited trims upgrade to a six-speed manual. Should you dislike shifting the car yourself, Touring, Sport and Grand Touring trims may be equipped with a six-speed automatic, though doing so drops horsepower to 166. Zero to 60 mph takes 7.5 seconds with the six-speed manual gearbox.


Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, as is ABS and side airbags. Stability control and HID headlights are also available but only as options on the Grand Touring model.

Interior Design and Special Features

Though bigger than before, the cockpit of the Mazda Miata remains a snug fit. Still, it is comfortable enough for two on a weekend getaway. If you pack sparingly, the 5-cubic-foot trunk can accommodate a few days' worth of luggage. Although simple in design, the cockpit offers richer furnishings than before along with more storage. The manual top can be raised or lowered from the driver seat in a matter of seconds, making the roadster an ideal companion for spontaneous adventures.

Driving Impressions

With 170 horsepower from 2.0 liters, the 2006 Mazda Miata nearly matches the peak output of the previous turbocharged Mazdaspeed engine, and does so with newfound low-to-mid-rpm flexibility. Though hardly a torque monster, the new engine pulls willingly and revs freely. It's a delightful instrument to play, especially in combination with the optional six-speed manual gearbox. Although tuned for a smoother ride than before, the MX-5 Miata still changes direction like a roller skate and speaks to you clearly through the steering wheel and driver seat. With a lowered top and an open road, Mazda's roadster has few equals when it comes to sheer entertainment.

Read our Mazda Miata Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

My 5th miata

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I currently own a 2006 Miata Sport and it is my 5th one. I bought first year model they came out and they are unbeatable for the money.All the ones I've had average close to 30mpg and I have spent $0 dollars on any of them. They're the most reliable and dependable cars I've ever owned. I've had the Honda S2000 and it's expensive to upkeep..preminum gas,tires are staggered so you can't rotate and insurance is outrageous.. the shear fun factor alone this these Miata's is priceless.i've owned every convertible on the market ( or pretty close) and I always come back to the Miata.Only issue I've ever had with these cars is the rain drains clogging up and water standing in the passenger floorboard

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Harley davidson replacement

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

Traded an '04 Ultra Classic and haven't looked back. The MX5 is a 2-dr/4wh replacement. It has all of the thrill of driving with the wind without having to worry about the weather. Top up/top down takes a few seconds. I have the Gr Touring with 7-spkr Bose system. Sound is great all the time. Cloth brown top with 6-spd manual. This car is by far the most fun vehicle i have driven. Past vehicles include Audi A6 & A4 Cab. I do wish there was some better answer for spare than Fix a Flat and run flat tires. Mileage has been 28 MPG combined. All in all it is hard to imagine a replacement for the HD but this car is IT. Decide on the top up/down when you get in the car. Simple

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best fun factor on 4

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

These cars are so awesome. Fun, fun, fun, and reliable as can be. Cheap to fill up (small tank). Don't buy one of these if envious stares annoy you. Don't buy one of these if you'd much prefer to spend a lot of money on a true roadster. Don't buy one of these if you are on a first name basis with you auto mechanic and prefer to stay that way. I don't have the top of the line 'leather' version of the car, but slapped on some upgraded 17" alloy wheels, and great tires ( Michelin Pilot Super Sport), and handling actually improves dramatically - didn't think that was possible.

Bad computer

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I love the car, but, my wife will not ride with me any more, the damn car (computer) takes a crap if you park next to or close to overhead power lines. do not trust the car any more, last week we went for a ride to view fall leaves and stopped at a road side tavern for a brew, went to car , it would not allow the "key" to start, after much frustration and calling a tow truck operator, my wife looked at the manual and found that overhead power lines could cause a problem, enlisted some cowboys from tavern and pushed the car about 6' away from the overhead powerline, walah, it started. now will not venture any further than to town 2 miles do not trust the SOB

Better than a sky or

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

I just bought my used 2006 GT a few weeks ago with only 22K miles on it. I've driven a number of two-seater convertibles, mostly Honda del Sols and one Toyota MR2 Spyder. The Miata definitely feels like more car -- the leather seats seem solid and luxurious, and I love the dashboard layout, redundant layout controls, remote entry, carpeting and cloth top. The trunk is practical, although not as large as the del Sol's. The only real drawback so far has been the gas mileage. My del Sol averaged 32-33 mpg in mostly city driving; first two fill-ups with the Miata have shown 24.9 and 25.9 (the second with about 50% freeway driving). That's in line with published figures, but is still not great.

Wish i would've bought one

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

Much cheaper than a therapist...Excellent value in an automobile. Surprisingly comfortable; went for 3 hour ride and didn't feel "beat up" as expected. 6 speed manual gearbox easy to shift but ratios could be spaced a little farther apart. Build quality superb: No squeaks and rattles; much quieter than the Corvette I used to own. I prefer the Miata to the Corvette hands down; much better value for the dollar. Biggest complaint: Had to purchase a used donut spare tire as car originally fitted with run-flat tires that have subsequently been replaced with "regular" tires. Overall an excellent value and the top raises and lowers in seconds.

Talk About The 2006 MX-5 Miata

2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Discussions See all Started By

This is a new forum to discuss the (confirmed) rumor about the new MX-5 Hard Top, due to be release late this year as a 2007 model. There is little information at this stage. Please feel free to po?...

it if buyers want a sports car Mazda with the MX-5 Miata Mazda gets buyers right in the showroom and Mazda also has a heavy following in the compact car segement with the last generation Protege and ...

*EXCLUDING 2007 MazdaSpeed3 and 2007 MX-5 Miata Retractable Hardtop....

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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