Let's face it: Any Lexus would be a welcome present under the Christmas tree, and we recently tested two models that show the company's across-the-board commitment to quality.

The entry-level Lexus, the ES 300, has a new 3-liter, 188 horsepower V-6 engine for 1994. This might suggest that last year's 3-liter V-6 was a problem, but that's not the case: This new engine is simply a more current design, which is more capable of meeting future emission standards. With 188 horsepower, it'll move the 3,400-pound ES 300 along at a brisk pace.Also new: a passenger-side air bag and a few interior improvements. It's a handsome car, though it shares some similarities with the Toyota Camry.

The ES 300 is quiet, smooth and comfortable. Like previous Lexus models, it is also somewhat lacking in personality. To many customers, that is a negligible concern, and we can see why: The ES 300 is so competent that no personality is required.

If you are one of those people who demand that your cars have personality, try an Infiniti J30. Unfortunately, as with anything that has personality, some people will like it, some won't.

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The Lexus GS 300, while still a bit sterile, is a more potent, and expensive, package than the ES 300. (Note here that Lexus also has an SC 300, which is a two-door sports sedan. Only Mercedes has more confusing nomenclature than Lexus.)

The GS 300 has a 220-horsepower in-line six-cylinder engine that is considerably more spirited than the ES 300 powerplant.

In fact, the GS 300 is such a good car that we'd question the wisdom of spending another $10,000 on the top-of-the-line LS 400.

The GS 300 lists for about $40,000.

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