Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Change News
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory

Bookmark and Share

2006 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Mazda Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2006 Mazda New Car Model GuideThe line of Mazda, that "Zoom-Zoom" brand from Japan, expands in 2006 with more sport-tuned vehicles added. Mazda's MX-5 Miata roadster evolves in a new design with more power below the hood, while new Mazda5 emerges as a multi-activity vehicle with ride traits of a sporty car but the cabin of a SUV with three rows of seats for six riders.

Mazda RX-8
2006 Mazda RX-8

The RX-8 is a high-revving sports car with perfect weight balance and a high-tech vehicle packing a modern version of Felix Wankel's rotary engine. It's a two-door sports coupe that cleverly conceals a four-door design with the practicality of a sedan and two rows of seats. Heart of RX-8 is its powerful rotary engine. The twin-rotor plant generates 238 hp with a six-speed manual gearbox or 197 hp with the optional four-speed automatic.

Mazda loads RX-8 with equipment but clusters optional items in packages. The Sport Package includes xenon headlights, foglamps and a vehicle skid controller; a Touring Package brings a moonroof and Bose audio system, while the Grand Touring Package adds leather seats and heat elements in front buckets and exterior mirrors.

2006 Mazda5

The new multi-activity vehicle from Mazda features a wedge-shaped body and a big cabin with room for six. There's a broad sliding door on each flank and a low floor deck for easy entry to rear quarters, plus a one-touch mechanism for second-tier seats to move away when accessing the third row. Powertrain is Mazda's aluminum 2.3-liter four-cylinder plant with sequential valve timing (S-VT) to generate 157 hp. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual or four-speed Sport automatic with manual shift mode.

Mazda5 trims out in Sport and Touring editions. The Sport stocks power controls and a stereo AM/FM/CD, an anti-lock brake system (ABS) and side air bags as well as curtain-style air bags above all three rows of seats. Mazda5 Touring adds front foglamps, a rear spoiler, side skirts, a moonroof in the roof and a six-disc CD changer in the dashboard.

2006 Mazda6

A new shape for the exterior package applies to Mazda's sporty mid-size cars in three variations -- Mazda6 the four-door sedan, Mazda6 5-Door as a five-door hatchback and Mazda6 Sport Wagon with five doors. Power for the series stems from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter V6. On four-cylinder models, Mazda upgrades the optional automatic transmission from a four-speed to a five-speed design to enhance fuel economy ratings. On V6 models, modifications in the engine improve exhaust emissions and boost output to 215 hp.

The sleek package displays styling hints borrowed from European touring cars. A spacious cabin shows two front buckets and a rear bench for three with split folding seatbacks. Gear on Mazda6i with the four-pack includes ABS and a traction control system (TCS). Mazda6s with the V6 gets side air bags plus curtain-style air bags.

2006 Mazda6

Consider this new model the quickest and most agile sports sedan ever made by Mazda. It's based on a Mazda6 four-door sedan but features a turbo-charged and inter-cooled engine with all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction plus standard dynamic stability control (DSC) program. A 2.3-liter DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) turbo four-pack screams with 264 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.

The AWD device divides all of that torque and routes half to the front wheels and half to the rear. Styling of the body varies from Mazda6 with the addition of unique fascias front and rear, revamped forward fenders, curvy side sills and a spoiler on the tail. The cabin earns bolstered sport buckets, sill scuff plates with stainless-steel inserts and aluminum pedals, and a cool Bose audio system.

Mazda Miata
2006 Mazda Miata

Mazda's two-seat and open-top roadster grows in size due to a bumper-to-bumper re-do for 2006. Styling for the exterior projects a bold face with prominent oval air scoop, low shoulders and smooth body panels wrapping prow and tail. The cockpit is larger and wider with more room for two passengers.

Centerpiece of MX-5's new design is the stronger powerplant, a 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder with dual cams and variable intake valve timing. It produces 170 hp and combines with three different transmission choices -- a five-speed manual, six-speed manual or six-speed Sport automatic with shifter paddles on the steering wheel. The convertible top works manually with a single latch handle, although MX-5 adds the option of a removable hardtop with curvaceous rear window. A responsive suspension is familiar with Miata's double wishbone design deployed in front and a multi-link kit in back.

Mazda Tribute
2006 Mazda Tribute

Even the sport-utility vehicle from Mazda is fun to drive. Built on the chassis of a front-wheel-drive (FWD) car, Tribute has a tightly tuned suspension and a forceful engine that set up sporty driving traits. Tribute first appeared in Mazda's line of 2001 but last year it gained a new 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine worth 153 hp for the base trim, Tribute i. Tribute s edition continues in 2006 stocking a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 200 hp. Safety gear like ABS with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) comes with either trim, and a full-time four-wheel drive (4WD) system with active torque control coupling (ATCC) is optional.

Mazda MPV
2006 Mazda MPV

Mazda's compact-size minivan goes by the name of MPV, which means Multi-Purpose Vehicle. It scored a face-lift and fresh cabin fixtures in 2004 and moves into Mazda's 2006 line with additional hues on the color palette like Bronze Metal and Strato Blue. MPV's cabin contains two tall bucket seats in front flanking consoles on floor and ceiling. On the second row, seats split and slide laterally to form either a continuous bench for two or two stand-alone chairs. The third-row bench, sized for three but more comfortable for two, folds down and disappears into a flat floor to increase rear cargo space. Power sliding rear side doors are optional on MPV, with side-impact air bags plus TCS available in a package. MPV feels enthusiastic because it carries a 3.0-liter V6 that generates 200 hp.

Mazda B-Series Truck
2006 Mazda B-Series

Compact trucks from Mazda repeat in 2006 with three cab configurations and three powertrain choices. The two-door Regular Cab works for all B2300 and several B3000 issues, with a four-door extended CabPlus for B3000, and CabPlus4 for some B3000 and all B4000 models with twin rear-hinged back doors. Top truck B4000 with 4WD also has a husky six-pack that ripples with 207 hp. This optional engine caps Mazda's B-Series truck line and bumps its trailer-towing ability to 5900 pounds. Two other powertrains are offered -- B2300 with a 2.3-liter four-in-line worth 140 hp and B3000 with a 3.0-liter V6 at 150 hp.

Special edition Dual Sport carries the raised suspension of a 4WD truck but retains rear-wheel-drive (RWD) format. It has plush equipment like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and power windows, door locks and mirrors, and bed liner in back.

2006 Mazda3

Compact-class cars from Mazda look muscular in the promise of spirited performance and dynamic handling traits. They bring optimal space in a five seat cabin plus lively throttle action from two different four-cylinder engines. Mazda3 4-Door skews as a four-door notchback sedan with two trims packing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder plant (Mazda3i) or a 2.3-liter upgrade (Mazda3s). Mazda3s 5-Door is a five-door hatchback variation.

For 2006 issues Mazda adds variable valve timing (VVT) to the 2.0-liter engine and boosts power to 150 hp. The 2.3-liter version hits 160 hp and has an optional new five-speed automatic. Mazda3 5-Door wears foglamps, low side skirts and 17-inch alloy wheels. All models offer an optional audio kit rigged for Sirius satellite radio service.