Side view of 2001 Lexus RX 300 4dr SUV 4WD GreenEnlarge Photo
The most significant changes in the Lexus lineup are to the ES 300 sedan, which gets a new engine and other features found previously only on more expensive Lexus models. The engine is the 210-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6 with variable-valve timing that was introduced last year in the RX 300. The variable-valve timing makes the new engine extremely flexible, which means a stronger response — particularly at low engine speeds — than with the old V-6. The new engine is not available on any Toyotas, which could help further distinguish the ES 300 from its less prestigious sibling, the Toyota Camry. The new engine replaces a 200-hp 3.0-liter V-6.
In addition, the ES 300 will now be available with Vehicle Skid Control, which uses sensors and a computer to try to automatically correct a skid.