Lexus RX330

The Lexus RX330 is a midsize luxury crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV) manufactured by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Japan. The car made its debut at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. Based heavily on the Camry platform, the Lexus RX330 was sold as the Toyota Harrier in Japan. The Lexus version was not launched in Japan until the introduction of the Lexus RX350, the third-generation SUV. The RX model, which was the only crossover model in the Lexus lineup, was positioned below the GX and LX models.

More on the Lexus RX330
Lexus RX330 Origins

The sale of the RX330 started in March 2003. The models for the North American market were produced in Japan until mid-2003. The production of the RX330 was initiated at Toyota’s Canada plant in September 2003. The model sold in the U.S. in 2003 was codenamed, ""MCU33"" and ""MCU38.""

About the Lexus RX330

The RX was the best-selling luxury crossover SUV by Lexus. The RX330, its predecessors, and its successors inspired its competitors to launch similar cars in the market. The RX330 benefitted by sharing the Camry platform and was equipped with a 3.3-liter V-6 engine that delivered 230 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque, which is 20 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque more than its predecessor, the RX300. The car was an ideal choice for people who wanted a comfortable and trouble-free experience for all kinds of travelling, which included shuttling kids, daily commuting, and weekend trips. The RX330 was also known for its bevy of entertainment options offered as luxury components.

The Lexus RX330 featured a 3.3-liter 3MZ-FE V-6 engine that generated 223 hp and 238 lb-ft of torque. The car was available in two variants: a front-wheel drive and a four-wheel drive. The air suspension was optional for the four-wheel drive model.

Lexus added some luxury features to the RX330 to make the ride more comfortable. The standard luxury components included a power moonroof, leather seating, automatic climate control, a navigation system, adaptive headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The company also made an attempt to revamp the entertainment features of the car by adding a DVD entertainment system and a Mark Levinson audio system. An adaptive cruise control and a back-up camera were also added to the standard features. Lexus designers also tried to refurbish the RX330 interiors with a walnut wood trim and sliding multi-level center storage. It also had dual-zone climate control and a tilting steering column.

Lexus RX330 Features

The Lexus RX330 has the same front-wheel multi-model platform and unibody front engine of the ES models. The RX design combined the ES luxury sedan features and functional characteristics of an SUV. The acceleration of the RX330 was better than that of its predecessor. In fact, the car was able to go from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, which was a second quicker than the RX300.

The second generation RX330, known as the Toyota Harrier, was launched in Japan in February 2003. It was available in two models: the front-wheel drive, code named ""ACU30"" and ""MCU30,"" and the all-wheel drive model, code named ""ACU35"" and ""MCU35."" There was not much of a mechanical difference between the first and second generation of the Toyota Harrier. The only difference was that the second-generation Harrier was equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission. Another addition was the availability of the air suspension in the model, with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine. The second generation Toyota Harrier also had an optional pre-collision system.

Lexus also tried to improve the safety aspect of the Lexus RX330 by adding large side airbags, a driver knee bag, stability control, side-curtain airbags, and a tire-pressure monitor. The RX330 cars that were produced in late-2005 also had some good entertainment options such as rear-seat DVD players with wireless headphones, DVD-based navigation systems, and an 11-speaker, 210-watt Mark Levinson premium sound system.

Lexus RX330 Evolution

The Lexus RX330 model went through very few changes during its production term that started from 2003. After 2006, Lexus upgraded the engine of the RX330 to a 3.3-liter 3MZ-FE V-6 variant and also changed the vehicle’s name to RX350.

Select a Lexus RX330 Year

2006 Lexus RX330

SUV, Utility/Offroad

In the world of SUVs, achieving winning combination of luxury, utility, and passenger space can prove very tricky.

2005 Lexus RX330

SUV, Utility/Offroad

The 2005 Lexus RX330 comes with a few new features this year in the form of seating and trim.

2004 Lexus RX330

SUV, Utility/Offroad

A brand new Lexus RX330 sport utility vehicle (SUV) was introduced in 2004.