On National Cheeseburger Day, Perfect Car Pairings for Your Burger

2019 Chevrolet Suburban RST

For some, burgers are best eaten on the purist of terms. In order to maximize the culinary experience, anything beyond salt and pepper for seasoning with these people ranges from a frivolous irritant to outright blasphemy. Then there's the rest of us: people in search of something extra; people who want to mix it up every now and then; people who aren't so puritanical about their eats. If you fall in the latter camp, National Cheeseburger Day is for you. Welcome to the dairy product party, pal.

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In honor of this holiday — which, as a card-carrying adult who cannot be stopped even by concerned warnings from my doctor, I find myself celebrating far more than once a year — the Cars.com collective put its heads together for ways to work in that crucial automotive ingredient. Below, we bring it all together: If a car speaks loudly to who we are as owners, and we are what we eat, which cars should you be driving if the following cheeseburgers are for you? Read on (but not on an empty stomach).

Sliders / Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

If sliders are your go-to burger, first: Good for you for having that kind of self-control. Second: Sorry if it's part of a dictatorial diet plan. Third: You're going to feel like the rest of us with our normal burgers and larger vehicles when you're grubbing inside a Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. How small is that cabin? So small we don't even have the numbers for it. But what's crucial is how far the Smart's 17.6-kilowatt-hour battery can get you, which on a charge that takes three hours and 240 volts to replenish is some 58 miles for the ForTwo Electric Drive coupe. If you have to go any farther for a cheeseburger, you're being too picky. Throttle back on that diet.

Plain With American / Ford F-150

What says good ol' fashioned American eating like America's perennially most popular vehicle, the Ford F-150 pickup truck? The thing about a cheeseburger is that you could add any number of things to personalize it — bacon, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination and science — but you don't have to for it to be delicious. The F-150 is the same way: Factor in color combinations, cab sizes, engine choices, bed lengths and trim levels, and one estimate speculates it's around a billion possible permutations. All the same, we think a basic F-150 XLT works "quite well" when called upon to perform truck duties. You know, like picking up dinner.

Pizza Burger / Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Sliders aside, when you're ordering a cheeseburger, you're not really ordering a "snack" — the contents are too heavy for most. Pizza, on the other hand (particularly New York style), can double as either a real meal or a quick bite on the go. This Alfa Romeo is a bit like that: Outwardly an SUV with the small family in mind, we tested the Stelvio at a drag strip the past spring and found it was just a tenth of a second slower than Alfa's Giulia sedan. You may think you're purchasing one thing, but trust us when we say you're really getting another.

Southwest Burger / Hyundai Santa Fe

A little Monterey Jack and some Santa Fe sauce are all it takes to make a zesty Southwest cheeseburger despite the fact that none of those things has much to do with the region's actual cuisine. Similarly, the Hyundai Santa Fe is an SUV made by a South Korean automaker and manufactured in Montgomery, Ala., some 1,300 miles and 19 hours away by car from the New Mexico capital. And if that seems a little confusing, keep in mind that the 2019 Santa Fe is actually the 2018 Santa Fe Sport, while the '18 Santa Fe is the '19 Santa Fe XL. Branding is everything.

That Jake Melnick's 8-Pound Monster Burger at the Top / Chevrolet Suburban

Beyond the elite, Kobayashi-at-Coney-Island levels of eating-contest superstardom lie a slew of lesser challenges that are equally disturbing (and possibly more delicious). We found one right under our noses here in Chicago at Jake Melnick's with the 8-Pound Monster Burger, a $59.95 titan of a cheeseburger intended to feed up to eight people; naturally, FoodChallenges.com details the task further for you and a friend. Nobody's eating this because they're just that hungry ... and nobody buys a Suburban for its practical family appeal. (Try a Chrysler Pacifica or a Volkswagen Atlas for that.) The full-size SUV expanded the availability of its 420-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 for the 2019 model year. You'll have to pay almost a thousand times more for it than the Monster Burger (Suburbans start at $51,895), but your level of enjoyment will probably be about the same. At the very least, you'll get people talking.

Editor's note: This story was updated Sept. 19, 2018, to correct the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive's charging capacity.

2019 Chevrolet Suburban RST

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