In the world of SUVs, achieving winning combination of luxury, utility, and passenger space can prove very tricky. Creating the right balance is essential in making it a best seller in such a competitive market. The 2006 Lexus RX330 is one of the few to succeed. Although it has been around for ages, it is still one of the best-made SUVs on the market.
A recent redesign improves the exterior, making it look sleeker and more modern. The interior also sees an improvement of materials and is roomier than its previous incarnation. The powerful drive train and forgiving suspension have a bit to do with this.
Several new standard features improve upon the wheel. Unfortunately, the climate and audio controls are all part of the navigation touchscreen. That aside, the 2006 Lexus RX330 is one of the best SUVs on the market and is still a good choice for those who want sportiness, reliability, utility, and comfort all in one vehicle.
Body Styles: Luxury SUV
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Very few changes are made to the RX330 in the 2006 model year. A few interior revisions like a modified trim, as well as the addition of lumbar support to the front passenger seat, are the only real significant changes made. The horsepower rating has also dropped due to new SAE regulations.
The exterior of the 2006 Lexus RX330 is a bit different from your usual SUV. The design is very smart with a sloping hatchback. The vehicle is fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels sporting all-season tires. Other exterior features include auto delay head lamps, dusk sensing headlamps, power and heated mirrors, and more. Eighteen-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension are included in a special package.
The 2006 Lexus RX330’s interior makes it a pleasure to own. A center console houses the touch-screen navigation unit, while surrounding it are three large chrome covered control knobs. The metallic flavor is offset with deep wood trim and supple leather covering the seats, steering wheel, and shift knob.
The cabin is big and spacious, but also a bit sporty due to the slant of the hatchback. The rear seat has a 40/20/40 split. Behind the third seat is a massive 35.3 cubic feet of space with 85 cubic feet available when the seats are folded. The liftgate is power lifted.
Other standard features include door and seat pockets, an overhead console, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, steering wheel controls, power accessories, bucket front seats, an eight-way adjustable passenger seat and 10-way adjustable driver’s seat, air filtration, memory settings, and a 132-watt stereo with a CD player and eight speakers.
Performance & Handling
The Lexus RX330 has a 3.3-liter, V-6 engine that puts out 223 horsepower with 238 lb-ft of torque. The engine is wed to a five-speed automatic transmission that controls front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The RX330 delivers a smooth and confident ride. The engine has a lot of power, which is controlled well by the five-speed automatic transmission. Sometimes, however, the five-speed seems to slip or forget what gear the vehicle is in, but this is rarely a cause for concern or power loss. Handling is a bit soft for this to be considered a sport vehicle, but it is fun all the same. For the thrill seeking type, the 18-inch wheels and the optional, sportier suspension should be considered.
Overall, the 2006 Lexus RX330 is well worth the money for its equal balance of comfort, sportiness, and utility.
The 2006 Lexus RX330 is equipped with a bevy of safety equipment. Standard features include front and side airbags, side curtains, head airbags, and knee bolsters. The vehicle is equipped with standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, an engine immobilizer, child seat anchors, and emergency brake assist.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2006 Lexus RX330 four stars for passenger safety, and five stars for driver safety, front-side, and front-rear impact. The 2006 Lexus RX330 was not tested for rollover.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety gave the 2006 Lexus RX330 a rating of ""good"" for frontal offset tests, but did not test side impact. It received the worst score possible of ""poor"" for rear and head crash protection.
EPA Fuel Economy
RX330: 17/23 mpg city/highway
- Luxurious interior
- Riding style
- High-tech features
You Won't Like
- Lower power than competitors
- Ho-hum handling
- No third-row seat
An SUV that has all the boxes checked off.
If You Like This Vehicle