“Test Drive-Thru” is a series where we review new cars and new fast food items.
Automakers have been trying to blend the sports car with the luxury sedan for years. What family man wouldn’t like a little more zip? What speed freak wouldn’t appreciate a spacious back seat for his kids? The recipe, unfortunately, has rarely worked, with a select few BMW and Mercedes models dominating the field. With the GS F, Lexus thinks they’ve succeeded where others have failed.
Just as automakers have struggled to blend the sports car with the sedan, so too have fast food establishments struggled recently to blend their preexisting items with the contents of a grocery store’s snack aisle. The rambunctious teens running Taco Bell were the first to do so, tapping Doritos to craft a new vessel for their “ground beef,” lettuce, and cheese shards. Now, Burger King, a venerated American institution, one perhaps fearful of appearing out of touch with today’s chip-craving youth, has done the same.
Listen, when BK releases something that sounds as good as Cheetos Chicken Fries, you run, you don’t walk to get there. But when you have a car that does 0-60 in a wrinkle-smoothing 4.3 seconds waiting in your parking lot, well, running sounds pretty effing stupid.
Hey, we’re going to BK, the home of the Whopper, the place where burgers are licked by flames, crowns are distributed to the masses, and french fries are sometimes accompanied by a free, bonus onion ring. If you think we’re gonna roll up in an Accord, you’re nuts.
Luckily, from a visual perspective, Lexus got everything right. From the outside, the GS F is both sporty and sedany (?). With race-inspired air inlets, quad exhaust, and a seriously sleek carbon fiber spoiler, no one is going to mistake this thing for a Honda Odyssey. While other cars in this category lean more toward subtle sophistication, the GS F clearly wants you to know it’s not just for taking the kiddies to school in the morning. At the same time, the Lexus GS F is not some slender track rocket. It’s big. Like, really big. Like, 193.5 inches long and 4,034 lbs big. You can see it from the outside but you appreciate it from the inside, as there’s plenty of legroom, a large trunk, and a driver’s seat and passenger’s seat that feel ripped from a La-Z-Boy showroom. Seriously, ditch your couch and drive this thing right into your house for football Sundays.
When it comes to that spacious interior, you’ll find a dash highlighted by a navigation screen/display that looks like an iPad Mini. While the placement of the joystick that controls said screen feels odd—we kept knocking it with our large Dr. Pepper (only 30 cents more than a medium!) and accidentally laying our hand on it—the array of options and split-screen display is seriously impressive. You’ll have access to a 24-hour response center, be able to make restaurant reservations, control the climate, and much more through your embedded tablet. All those fine touches Lexus vehicles have been known for over the years are present in the GS F.
You know how you turn down your radio to order at the drive-thru? With the GS F, you have to turn down your engine. The thing rumbles. OK, so some of that engine noise is piped in through the speaker system in the car, which is a trick that’s gained in popularity among manufacturers. We’ll be honest, it’s not needed with the GS F. You can shut that masculine noise machine off and the car will still be deafening.
The BK we found ourselves at apparently had the Nurburgring of drive-thrus, which actually allowed us to feel a bit of the car’s impressive handling going from menu board, to ordering speaker, to window one (who still has a window one??), to window two. When in Sport + (it should always be in Sport +), the GS F is tight and responsive.
If we had one complaint about the GS F, it’s that the torque isn’t quite as crazy as we dreamed it would be. Don’t get us wrong, this car is fast, and when it gets going, it really gets going, but it won’t immediately pin you to your seat when you introduce the pedal to the floor. Now that’s a petty complaint about a car that can hit 60 in under 4.5 seconds, and probably a common one with cars boasting naturally aspirated engines, but it is worth noting, especially since we could find little else wrong with the GS F.
Those Cheetos Chicken Fries, on the other hand…
Chicken is so accepting of all flavors, tenders and nuggets may as well come with a Coexist sticker on the box. Hell, why do you think you can get 1,000 different dipping sauces when you buy some fried poultry? Can you dunk chicken in ketchup? You bet. How about some BBQ sauce? Hell yeah. What about peanut butter? We don’t know, probably. This is the exact reason these Cheetos Chicken Fries are such a disappointment. If you promise us Cheetos, give us Cheetos. The chicken won’t mind. When it comes to BK’s Cheetos Chicken Fries, the Cheetos flavor is so faint, it borders on unnoticeable. Can you get flavor by dunking them in the accompanying sauce? Of course. But that’s the only way you’re getting any flavor. If you want Cheetos faux cheese, you have to think about it hard while you chew. We don’t want to think about our fast food. Thinking about our fast food is the absolute last thing we want to do.
Alas, it would appear the king was pulled into a battle of quirky one-upmanship by a wily jester. Leave this game to Taco Bell, Burger King; they’re better suited for it. It’s high time, BK, to ditch the Cheetos and any other snacks you picked up the last time you were at Aldi and give us a Whopper with another patty, some all-day breakfast, or at least return our goddamn Rodeo Burger. Bland Cheetos Chicken Fries isn’t a good look.
The Lexus GS F is a formidable entry in the luxury sports sedan category. It offers a sportier, more aggressive look than other vehicles in the sphere, and the performance and fine touches are almost all right on point. Use it to drive as far away from some Burger King Cheetos Chicken Fries as you possibly can.
Car Review: 9 out of 10 Paper Crowns
Food Review: 2 out of 10 Bonus Onion Rings
- Lexus GS F
- Horsepower: 467
- Wheelbase: 112.2”
- Overall Length: 193.5”
- Curb Weight: 4,034 lbs
- EPA Estimated Fuel Economy: 16/24/19 MPG (City/Highway/Combined)
- Suggested Retail Price: $84,440
- Cheetos Chicken Fries
- Calories: 280
- Protein: 14g
- Carbs: 16g
- Fat: 18g
- Sodium: 890mg
- Suggested Retail Price: $2.89