I've owned a '96, '99 and now an '06 MX-5. This is without a doubt the best of the three. Traded in my year-young Mazda 6s after just one test drive. The most marked improvements are the increased power, more muscular exterior and superb interior quality. Flicking through the short-throw 6-speed MT is addicting. The engine is much more willing with the increased HP. It now actually feels fast. The previous MX-5 always sounded like it was working really hard, but not producing much in the way of acceleration. That has changed with this model. Hopefully reliability will be as good as the previous models. A fantastic car.
Increased HP and torque create a perfect balance between handling and power. Suspension package a great option. HID headlights. 6-speed MT. Easy to operate cloth top. Top-notch interior and exterior build quality. Every change made to the '06 is an improvement over previous MX-5 iterations.
Bose stereo - muddy bass, terrible midrange and tinny highs. Not the most supportive seats.