Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

Zoom, Zoom

A side view of a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata

In short: A cute, road-hugging little sports car.

A view looking down on the 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata
A three-quarter front view of a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata
A rear view of a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata

If you are in the market for a comfortable, spacey cruise, skip this review. If you are looking for a fun, sporty open-top zippy car, please continue. Mazdas always seem to deliver value, and the restyled MX-5 Miata is no exception. Why? First of all, the car looks great. Our galaxy grey one with the orange saddle tan leather was totally cool. The design overall is impeccable, and the car is much better looking than previous editions. Interior space had been rethought and everything is well placed and spaced unless you belong to a basketball club. Trunk space is okay at best, and there is no space behind the seats; no large golf bags in this ride unless you are teeing off solo.

You want this car on a winding road and not in your driveway. Road travel will be discouraged on long highway jaunts but city driving is effortless and the MPG is right. Once you get used to wrestling with the extremely tight 6-speed manual transmission, this grown-up go-kart will become the ultimate tool for your sport driving moments. Accelerations are brisk and quickly become noisy, but power is transmitted with good dosage to the rear wheels.

Basic cruise and audio controls are repeated on the steering wheel. An aluminum hood and trunk have been mounted to lessen the weight, and there are seat back bars for added safety. From the back the MX-5 looks much pricier than it is, due to the roadster-type design and dual exhaust outlets. Best enjoyed with the (manual) top down, but where is the seat heat?

Read a review of the 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Grand Touring
and the 2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata

A three-quarter rear view of a 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with 24-hour roadside assistance and loaner car program.

Price as tested: $25,495

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible

Engine: 2.0-liter inline-4
Horsepower: 170 bhp @ 6,700 rpm
Torque: 140 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed manual

Curb weight: 2,498 lbs
Wheelbase: 91.7 in
Length/Width/Height: 157.3/67.7/49 in
Turning circle: 30.8 ft

Brakes: 4-wheel disc with ABS
independent front and rear

Traction: optional traction control; optional vehicle stability control; optional limited slip differential

Safety: front airbags; side airbags

0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
Top Speed: 131 mph

EPA City: 24 mpg
EPA Highway: 30 mpg

Check out other Mazda models
See all of our Automobile Reviews
Visit the Mazda website

Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 04/27/09 SV)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

We taste-tested several brands to help you find the best kombuchas on the market and the results are delicious. Bottoms up!