Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Huge fun factor, precise steering and handling, low base price, economical to operate.
- A few questionable interior plastics, still snug for large adults.
The 2006 Mazda Miata is still the standard when it comes to delivering top-down thrills without breaking the bank.
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.
2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata models
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
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Features & Specs
More About This Model
The 2006 Mazda MX-5, "Miata" to its American family, was born in Hawaii. 1989. A different sort of Bush was in the White House and the No. 1 song on the radio was forgettable. But it was a great time for new cars. The original Miata launch in Honolulu was a lulu. A fresh take on a classic, organic driver's theme: the inexpensive, lightweight, fun-to-drive, front-engine/rear-drive roadster. Pure and simple.
Sixteen years later — a few weeks ago — Mazda returned to Hawaii to launch the third-generation MX-5 on the perfect, manicured roads across the lava landscape of Kona. It feels good to report that the gen-3 MX-5 does a superb job of reclaiming its birthright as a car with no purpose, other than pure fun, to exist. It's still an inexpensive (relatively), lightweight (moderately), fun-to-drive (unquestionably), front-engine/rear-drive roadster. But simple, it ain't.
The original MX-5 Miata cost $13,800 offering 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 $20,435 Club Spec model to the $26,700 Limited edition — and 13,800 colors. I'm not going to live long enough to break down each of the MX-5 packages for you, so let's just say that if you pay more, you can 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 killer, top up or down), and a ton of options, including a six-speed automatic transmission.
From the Outside In
Neither scowling nor cute, the 2006 MX-5's exterior is a blend of Mazda styling cues. It's got the clean surfacing of Miatas past, blended with the RX-8's overdone front fender flares (and tastefully sculpted rears). The signature hood bulge is creased neatly into the car's aluminum bonnet.
Slightly longer, taller and wider than before, the new roadster maintains the proper human-to-car perspective that head-shrinking, oversized-for-safety convertibles like the Porsche Boxster lost long ago. There's decent legroom, and you sit lower than in the second generation (in which the sightline of tall-torsoed drivers smashes into the windshield header), so you feel integrated into the cockpit. No, the interior's not plains-of-Kansas roomy, but it is easily livable. It's still got a minimalist trunk, too. You'll live.
Taking the top down is a cinch: Undo one latch (always been two before), and ease the frame back to its latching station behind the seats, heated glass rear window and all. At highway speeds, there's a share of wind buffeting (eased significantly by a pop-up center diffuser behind the seats), but if you're the type that complains about wind in your hair, then I don't want to know you.
Top up, the outside world stays pretty well outside, but headroom is compromised. So just drive with the top down because if you're the type that drives a roadster with the top up, then I really don't want to know you.
From the Inside Out
One thing all the 2006 MX-5s do have in common — besides limitless top-down headroom — is a 16-valve, 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine. Short low gears and quick, clean clutch take-up give the MX-5 spirit off the line, and the engine's 170 horsepower (peaking just 300 rpm shy of the 7,000 redline) and 140 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm work especially well with the six-speed manual for passing performance. The exhaust note, although a little less throaty than the original, still sounds like heaven. And the short-throw MX-5 manual transmission still feels like perfection.
Hoop-skirted with the six-speed automatic transmission (oh, now of all times, would you just please learn to drive a stick!), the MX-5's horsepower drops to 166. And the "chick car" factor erupts to 100 percent.
A slightly bigger car usually means a slightly heavier car. Not as much as we would have guessed, though, thanks to the extensive use of aluminum, especially in chassis and suspension pieces. Fitted with easy-riding 16-inch or sporty, low-profile 17-inch wheel-tire combos, the MX-5 feels very light and the suspension is a hoot to play with. The five-link rear setup — lifted elegantly from the RX-8 — keeps the car steady in corners, allowing the tires to ease away from grip — a.k.a. "start to drift" — without any unexpected drama. A 2.5-inch-longer wheelbase contributes to the MX-5's superb ride.
Consistent with the rest of the MX-5's performance inputs, the steering and brake feel are exemplary. The immediate, positive response of the brakes — from the pedal to the pads — was especially memorable, and let's face it memorable brake feel doesn't come along often. Mark my words, this car plans to put down some terrific stopping numbers during testing.
Sixteen-year-olds can be so adorably fickle. Hence, we'll respect Mazda's wish that we not call the 2006 MX-5 a "Miata." I suppose that the nicknames of youth should never really be carried into young adulthood — just ask my Uncle Skipper. But it seems that many cars, like people, let the best of themselves slip away as they grow up. I dug the first-generation MX-5 Miata but, frankly, the second generation didn't do much for me — it was a poser and a business proposition, kind of like every generation of post-'60s Ford Mustang. But the new Mazda MX-5, like the new Mustang, has taken a long look in the mirror and remembered itself and how much fun it used to be. A little older, a little more mature, a lot more seasoned, and still a blast.
Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Overview
The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible is offered in the following styles: 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Grand Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Sport 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M), Club Spec 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Touring 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and 3rd Generation Limited 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 6M). Pre-owned Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 170 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual. The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible?
Price comparisons for Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible trim styles:
- The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Base is priced between $10,995 and$12,890 with odometer readings between 43218 and101088 miles.
- The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Sport is priced between $10,900 and$11,994 with odometer readings between 48624 and77052 miles.
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Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible Listings and Inventory
There are currently 6 used and CPO 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertibles listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,900 and mileage as low as 43218 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Convertible.
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.