2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review
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Used MX-5 Miata for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Huge fun factor, precise steering and handling, low base price, economical to operate.
- A few questionable interior plastics, still snug for large adults.
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.
The 2006 Mazda Miata is still the standard when it comes to delivering top-down thrills without breaking the bank.
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Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M) 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 $4.16 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
MX-5 Miata Base
Avg. Compact Car
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.
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.
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.
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Spec 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
New or old this cars are for basically young people. You have to be I think in good shape because getting in and out requires twisting your back. Not fun on long trips, but great for every weekend to bring youth into your life. That said, I am 70 and this has been the most joyful car I have ever owned. Lots of fun driving it. Yes , this is one of my bucket list items. Enjoy life, you … only get one each.
4.88 out of 5 stars
My 5th Miata
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
5 out of 5 stars
Best Fun Factor on 4 wheels - 2006 Miata
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.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Harley Davidson Replacement
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
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 22 City / 27 Hwy / 24 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.7 gal. capacity
- 2 seats
- Type: rear wheel drive
- Transmission: 5-speed manual
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 170 hp @ 6700 rpm
- Torque: 140 lb-ft @ 5000 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 157.3 in. / Height: 49.0 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 67.7 in.
- Curb Weight: 2441 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 5.3 cu.ft.
More about the 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata
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 Overview
The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata is offered in the following submodels: MX-5 Miata Convertible. Available styles include 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 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 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual. The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata 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?
Price comparisons for Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata trim styles:
- The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring is priced between $12,691 and$12,691 with odometer readings between 91928 and91928 miles.
- The Used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport is priced between $11,794 and$11,794 with odometer readings between 77954 and77954 miles.
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Which used 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miatas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata for sale near. There are currently 2 used and CPO 2006 MX-5 Miatas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,794 and mileage as low as 77954 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used 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.
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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.