2006 Mazda Miata
2006 Mazda MiataEnlarge Photo
Redesigned for 2006, this small and tight-handling two-seater remains the modern-day embodiment of the European roadsters that were popularized in the 1950s and '60s. The third generation MX-5 Miata evolves only slightly in terms of its overall appearance, though more significant changes can be found under the sheetmetal, as the new version rides on a revised chassis. A new 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine utilizes variable-intake valve timing, electronically controlled fuel injection, and coil-on-plug ignition to generate a pleasing 170 horsepower, which is 28 more than last year's 1.8-liter version. As before, a five-speed manual comes standard, with a six-speed automatic also available. A new short-throw, six-speed manual is also offered that includes triple-cone synchronizers for reduced shift effort with low-friction bushings and a lever guide for quicker and more precise shifts. The car's already stellar handling abilities are enhanced by a longer wheelbase and wider track, with a double-wishbone suspension up front and a multi-link array at the rear. As before, the convertible top is manually operated. Standard equipment includes side airbags, CD stereo, and power windows. Options are once again minimal and include anti-lock brakes and a removable hard top for four-season utility. A special Limited edition offers an exclusive color - Velocity Red Mica - and includes unique trim items, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a Bose audio system.