Manageable size, lots of interior storage, decidedly unminivan looks, roll-down windows in the sliding doors.
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.
Aside from a few new exterior colors, Mazda's MPV minivan is unchanged for 2006.
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.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2006 Mazda MPV LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.35 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
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.
Performance & mpg
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).
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.
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.
2006 Mazda MPV models
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.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2006 Mazda MPV.
I have driven my Mazda MPV since I bought it new. It is now 2019 and it has 220,000 (yes, you read that right!) I have replaced tires, wiper blades, changed the oil and that is ALL. ‘She just took me to the beach this weekend, in 95 degree weather without a problem.
5 out of 5 stars
The Mazda Gray Lady
The Mazda Gray Lady,08/21/2018
LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
I purchased my MPV from the original owner with 118,000 miles. I am up to 148,000 miles without any major problems. Replaced the coil packs and spark plugs. No other major engine issues. Wish Mazda would have introduce a newer model of this Van. I use it for hauling and traveling. Great amount of room with third row seat down. Only con is the rear passenger seats are heavy to move back … and forth.
4.63 out of 5 stars
More than satisfied
more than satisfied,06/10/2010
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.
4.88 out of 5 stars
You Can Get Em Cheap
LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A)
My wife needed a minivan and didn't want the minivan looks. We rented a MPV and liked it. We test drove the Quest and Sedona. Both of those had interior parts fall off during our test drives. Saw a new MPV in an ad at a local dealer for $15,488. Heavy rebates and dealer took off another $1K for Mazda financing. Can't beat the price and runs great. The dealers want to get rid of … these so you can get them for a steal if you can find them.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
Front SeatNot Rated
Back SeatNot Rated
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
Moderate Overlap Front Test
More about the 2006 Mazda MPV
Used 2006 Mazda MPV Overview
The Used 2006 Mazda MPV is offered in the following submodels: MPV Minivan. Available styles include LX 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A), ES 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A), and LX-SV 4dr Minivan (3.0L 6cyl 5A).
Pre-owned Mazda MPV models are available with a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 200 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 2006 Mazda MPV comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.
The Used 2006 Mazda MPV comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
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