2006 Lexus RX 330 SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Lexus RX 330 SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lexus RX 330 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 223 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 16/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Lexus RX 330

  • The 2006 Lexus RX 330 is a luxurious SUV that effectively combines sport, utility, comfort and technology in a stylish package with a strong reputation for reliability.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Well-appointed interior, rides more like a sedan than an SUV, loaded with high-tech features, solid reputation for reliability, excellent dealer service.

  • Cons

    Less powerful than some of its competitors, soft ride makes for merely adequate handling in corners, no third-row seat option.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, not much changes on the Lexus RX 330 other than some interior lighting revisions and the addition of a two-way power lumbar for the front-passenger seat. New SAE testing procedures drop the RX 330's horsepower rating from 230 to 223.

Full 2006 Lexus RX 330 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, not much changes on the Lexus RX 330 other than some interior lighting revisions and the addition of a two-way power lumbar for the front-passenger seat. New SAE testing procedures drop the RX 330's horsepower rating from 230 to 223.


You've heard the expression "don't mess with success." That adage could well have been applied to Lexus' best-selling RX 300. As the best-selling model in the Lexus lineup, the RX 300 was showing no signs of slowing down despite its advancing age. So it must have been with great caution that Lexus undertook the redesign of the RX in 2004 -- messing it up could have had dire financial consequences.

If ever there was a textbook definition of "improvement," the RX 330 has to be it. The latest Lexus RX 330 is sleeker, more powerful, roomier and has an even more luxurious interior than its well-regarded predecessor. Of course, the RX 330 still offers everything that made the previous Lexus SUV a sales success. The elevated seating position, forgiving ride and smooth drivetrain are still there, only more so.

While the original Lexus RX 300 offered plenty of luxury in an SUV package, the RX 330 ups the ante in terms of both luxury and performance. A full set of auto-dimming mirrors is standard on the RX 330 as are memory seats, a power front-passenger seat, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, four one-touch power windows, heated sideview mirrors and fore-and-aft-adjustable rear seat. A refined suspension and steering system return a comfortable ride while providing reasonable road feel and a tight turning radius. A major sticking point on the old RX 300 was the curious manner in which all the climate control and audio system functions were housed in one screen in vehicles equipped with a navigation system. The RX 330 has a much improved design as the stereo controls are now separate.

The RX 330 is a great example of what a luxury crossover utility can be. Excellent performance, a large interior and plenty of unique features make the Lexus SUV stand out in an already competitive segment. Even with new competitors cropping up at every turn, the 2006 Lexus RX 330 remains one of the best luxury SUVs on the market.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Lexus RX 330 is available in a single trim with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The standard equipment list includes items such as power-adjustable front seats, stability and traction control, second-row seats that slide and recline, dual-zone automatic climate control and a power rear hatch. The options list is extensive, with most major components bundled together into packages. One package adds a navigation system along with a Mark Levinson audio system, while another adds 18-inch wheels and tires, a sport-tuned air suspension and leather upholstery. Notable options include HID headlights that swivel when you turn, a rear-mounted camera for seeing what's behind you while backing up, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with wireless headphones.

Powertrains and Performance

The Lexus RX 330 is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 rated at 223 horsepower and 238 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic is standard, and Lexus sells the RX 330 as either a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive model.


The Lexus RX 330 features standard front, side, head and even driver knee airbags. Standard stability and traction control systems also lend an added measure of active safety to the RX's considerable repertoire of safety devices. Frontal-impact crash testing conducted by the NHTSA resulted in a five-star rating (out of five) for the driver and four stars for the front passenger. The Lexus SUV also earned five stars for side-impact safety. The RX 330 received a "Good" rating in IIHS frontal-offset crash testing and was named a "Best Pick" for its class.

Interior Design and Special Features

Inside the RX 330, three round, chrome-rimmed gauges house the vital information, while an angular center pod tapering into an attractive center console houses the audio/nav system and climate control functions. Metallic-looking surfaces combined with rich wood really drive the RX's luxury theme home. Along with its sleek exterior, the RX 330's cabin presents a sporty, youthful look. There's also a 40/20/40-split rear seat that slides and reclines for maximum passenger comfort. In back, the RX offers 38.3 cubic feet of luggage space (85 cubes with the seats folded), as well as a standard power-operated liftgate.

Driving Impressions

As expected, the 2006 Lexus RX 330 delivers all the smoothness and sophistication one would expect from Lexus. The V6 offers plenty of power and refinement, and the five-speed transmission handles it well. Occasionally, the five-speed seems to get confused, but its overall performance is solid. Due to the luxurious intent of the RX 330, handling is a little on the soft side with plenty of body lean when cornering; although, the vehicle never feels floaty or uncontrollable. Those seeking firmer handling should opt for the 18-inch wheels and air suspension.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2004 rx330 awd

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus RX 330 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

This RX is my wife's but I drive it on trips or when we are both in the car. Purchased ours in Nov 2008 with 35K miles. Had the condensation in right headlight when we bought it. While outside warranty, Lexus agreed to replace it and I paid $500 off $1800 bill!!!!! Radiator leaked. I replaced it myself but found out lexus had extended warranty that would have replaced it free. The same side hedalight had condensation again. Fixed it this time by applying silicone around the lens. It has worked perfectly. Very comfortable seats/driving position on long trips, quiet, roomy. It has aged very well. leather in seating area is top notch. Currently at 95K miles and ready to sell it.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Vehicle sway

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus RX 330 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

Our 2066 RX330 has 60K miles and has just recently started swaying slightly on straight roads. The wheels do not move but the body feels like it is swaying on the chassis. has anyone else experienced this?

Average looks, above average reliability

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus RX 330 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

I have had my rx for almost 3 years it has been relatively maintenance free, yet is not that comfortable, very noisy road noise and does not feel that safe as far as handling. Going back to a German car. Not for me

Luv my lex

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus RX 330 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

From the time I test drove the RX330 I instantly knew this was the vehicle I wanted. So luxurious. Seats are comfortable. Smooth ride, feels safe and is best looking SUV in its class.

Hesitation and squealing of belts

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus RX 330 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

My car rides and looks the part... but hesitates shifting on highway and in town. I had to have the drive shaft replaced luckily under warranty. It recently started squealing like a bad belt. I have had to replace the brakes at only 55k. The maintenance is definitely way more than their over blown reputation.

Never a problem, luxury drive

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus RX 330 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

Everyone that drives my car says what a "nice ride" it is. I love it's turning radius, comfort, features, visibility, styling, performance and most of all, reliability. I have had zero problems in 25 months of ownership.

Talk About The 2006 RX 330

2006 Lexus RX 330 Discussions See all Started By

2006 Lexus RX 330 AWD - $37,770...

Assuming the miles I drive here’s how the numbers RX 400h work compared to the 2005 RX 330....

At the end of last month, for $37,595.00 I bought a used demo RX 330 w/ less than 1800 miles. It came with a premium plus package. This was the best price we could get on it after mucho haggling. I...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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