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Khatir Soltani

TORONTO — Roomier and even more luxurious than its predecessor, the Lexus ES 300 has been completely redesigned for 2002. With a refined powertrain and chassis, enhanced interior appointments and flowing exterior design the newest version of this "sporty personal sedan" is designed specifically for drivers requiring both handling and comfort.

The front-wheel-drive ES 300 offers luxury car buyers the sophistication, styling elegance, nimble performance and the unrivaled quality of Lexus in a package of exceptional value.

"With uncompromising luxury and driving enjoyment, the ES 300 appeals to discerning drivers who place a premium on comfort," said Larry Hutchinson, National Manager of the Lexus Division of Toyota Canada Inc. "For 2002 it offers even more quiet refinement, space and safety than its predecessor while adding features shared by the flagship Lexus LS 430 ".

Outside, a new sculpted hood and dynamic lines enhance the sense of power and stability. Combined with a flat underbody, reshaped mirrors and refinements to the shape and height of the front bumper, the new contours contribute to an exceptional 0.28 coefficient of drag and virtually eliminate wind noise. The cabin is also longer, wider and higher than the previous model, providing a more spacious passenger compartment.

The ES 300's cultured ride starts with an aluminum 3.0-litre quad-cam V6 engine which produces 210 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 220 lb/ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. For 2002, this responsive powerplant is teamed with a compact new five-speed Super ECT (Electronically Controlled Transaxle). This refined new transmission improves both fuel economy and dynamic performance with a gated shifter as used on the larger LS 430. Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) helps eliminate the compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower, and a three-stage variable intake optimizes engine breathing to boost torque.

Khatir Soltani
Khatir Soltani
Automotive expert
  • Over 6 years experience as a car reviewer
  • Over 50 test drives in the last year
  • Involved in discussions with virtually every auto manufacturer in Canada