By on June 16, 2017

5th Gen Honda Civic TEAL, Public Domain

We took it for granted at the time, but automakers provided us with a cornucopia of lavish colors in the mid-1990s. While dark greens were the most popular hue of the day, there was no shortage of teal, deep red, beige, gold, dark blue, metallic purple, and burnt orange cruising down the boulevard, tempting us like a mobile bag of Wild Berry Skittles.

Then, in 2001, every single car in North America was legally required to be painted silver. It seemed like a neat idea to everyone at the time but, as reality set in, society soon realized its grievous error. Ashamed at our inability to choose correctly, society then decided to abandon color entirely. White returned to take its bland place at the top of the heap in 2006 and has stayed there ever since. Globally, white accounted for 38 percent of all cars manufactured in 2016. America’s current penchant for wild colors like black, silver, and gray lessens its continental death grip to a more-modest 25 percent.

The global obsession with grayscale is supposed to change, however, as blue seems poised for a comeback. 

BASF recently told Automotive News that “deep and non-saturated blues” were the shades most requested by manufacturers in its annual color trends report. Although it cited bullshit reasons like young people migrating to cities, a new digital era, and people’s need to reconnect with nature.

“Blue continues to gain strength as an automotive color,” said Paul Czornij, BASF’s head of design for color excellence. “It has a calming effect and a strong correlation with natural things.”

Czornij anticipates blue to overtake white and other non-colors as the most popular choice among car buyers within the next five years. “The expressive part of the car, which is on the outside, is the projection of who you are to the rest of the world,” he explained.

Hippie guru nonsense aide, blue is gaining traction. PPG Industries also shows the color on an industry upswing, at least in North America. In 2012, is surmised blue had roughly 7 percent of the market — but last year it was tied with red at 10 percent. PPG is also pushing specific automotive hues for 2020, especially earthy tones and deep blues.

2016-global-color-ppg, image: ppg

MarketWatch has also been touting blue as white’s inevitable replacement, citing the color’s versatility as its biggest strength. “You can’t do that with every color. Blue lends itself to an automaker’s customization”, said Jane Harrington, a color pro at PPG for 30 years.

That becomes abundantly clear when you realize how different the influx of blue has been and where you’ve been seeing it. Ford has been pushing blue as a pronounced color on its higher profile cars for a few years and the Focus RS only comes in grayscale or “Nitrous Blue.” It’s the same for a lot of automakers. Subaru still associates the color with the WRX, as does Volvo with Polestar, and BMW with the M3. Even Mercedes-Benz, which is infamous for offering predominantly neutral tones, has added multiple variants of blue to most of its models.

Contrary to Czornij’s claim, this might not be enough to topple white across the globe — especially considering there are very practical reasons to own a pale-colored vehicle in sun saturated cities like Dubai, Bangkok, or Melbourne. However, it could be enough to add a splash of color in an exceptionally bland era or even make blue the new king of North America… someday.

Silver, thankfully, is on its way out, having dropped from 20 percent of the global market to 12 within the last 5 years. Black has also lost a little ground, globally, but remained entrenched in both the United States and Canada (19 percent) in 2016. But blue really isn’t gaining ground quickly enough to fill the void. I have no doubt we’ll be seeing more midnight sapphire, navy, sky, and teal automobiles in the future, but white doesn’t appear to be giving up the ghost anytime soon.

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105 Comments on “America’s Hottest Up-and-Coming Car Color Isn’t Teal, But It’s Close Enough...”


  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Only if the vehicle has a matching teal dashboard.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      You can give up that pipedream now. The era when interiors matched exteriors is long over, and it’ll cost too much to depart from black/gray/tan. Don’t forget, dealer do the ordering, and they’ll stay away from anything that “might” be tougher to sell.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      My parents had a ’96 Buick Park Avenue with a light silver-green exterior. Surprisingly, the dashboard ,the leather seats, actually the entire interior was the same color.

    • 0 avatar
      LazyJK

      My cousin owned a Volvo 740 that was silver with a blue interior and I used to own a dark green (not a Roland Garros, though) Peugeot 206 with a matching dark green velour upholstery, including door cards and glove box door panel. Both were pretty cool.
      In other news, I have just learned that you have to pay extra for Alpina Green or Blue when you order an Alpina… sucks!

  • avatar
    ShoogyBee

    Polar Ice on the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport is a pretty amazing color. Gives that car a lot of presence. Kind of a smoky sea green/blue.

  • avatar
    ShoogyBee

    Also, the 2017 Passat R-Line looks amazing in Reef Blue with the LED lighting package.

  • avatar
    Hamilton Guy

    “especially considering there are very practical reasons to own a pale-colored vehicle in sun saturated cities like Dubai, Bangkok, or Melbourne.”

    Yeah and then the only interior colour available is black! WTF!

    • 0 avatar
      Phil in Englewood

      Why is black the only color available for interiors? It’s terrible here in Florida. Soaks up the sun to make the car an oven. Even cars that claim to have a tan or light color interior have black carpet everywhere and black seat backs, door panels, you name it. WTF! indeed.

      • 0 avatar
        ShoogyBee

        I bet it’s even worse with many VWs these days, which tend to have charcoal interiors with perforated vinyl seating (V-Tex or whatever they call it). For example, you can get a tweed-like cloth in the base Passat, but no cloth upholstery is available in the middle to upper trim levels.

        I personally don’t mind black carpeting, as it doesn’t show dirt as readily as tan carpeting. OTOH, if one gets an Elantra with the beige interior, the seatbacks are still black plastic, which looks cheap.

        • 0 avatar
          BrentinWA

          OTOH, the Hoondoi Elantra IS a cheap car.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            So was the Ford Tempo (GL). Yep, cloth on the back of the seat, and it matched the color of the front fabric, just without a pattern. Sometimes it would be a darker grey but it wasn’t “part’s bin black” plAstic.

            The LX seats had map pockets and they had thick piping on top. Very Braughm-ish. Especially the porno red interior mine had.

            Btw, Hyundais are cheap, but their MSRP seems to forget that more and more lately.

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      What irks me is when manufacturers offer a beige interior, but won’t it to be selected with a dark blue exterior.

      Personally, I think this combination is striking; much more so than dark blue with a black or charcoal interior.

      • 0 avatar
        Farhad

        It’s just stupid when the manufacturer does not let us customize the car in the way we like. Hey; it’ll be my car and I like it to have X exterior color with Y interior. I also want it to have Fog lights and still a real roof; you dont let me, so I will install the fog lights myself later! Any solution for the interior color?!

      • 0 avatar
        MeaMaximaCulpa

        Yeah, that’s actually really strange. If you look at clothing only somebody that’s borderline blind would mix black and blue while beige and blue is an acceptable combination.

      • 0 avatar
        OliverTwist78

        If you live in Germany, you can specify more than just beige colour. That is when you have to cough up more money for that privilige…

        And that is if you steer yourself to the premium brands such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        This combo seemed to me to be common around the 1970’s in European brands. I ordered my Chevy Vega in dark metallic blue and beige interior for that reason, (and of course the fact it is just a nice combo). A friend of mine just got a 2016 Prius with that color combination. I like it!

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        My mom fell in lust (didn’t end up buying it, or anything at that time) with a very nice blue 2nd gen (new the time) Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer, so it had tan lower exterior and tan leather interior. It was a beautiful truck, I could just picture driving up in the mountains in Washington State in it. Sunroof open in the summer, that blue looking good with the green foliage, or auto 4wd mode in the winter with that sexy blue standing out against a white background.

    • 0 avatar
      KevinC

      This is my 14th summer in Phoenix, and I’ve found that black interiors are a non-issue. What matters is exterior color (it amazes me how many black cars are sold here – those people have to be out of their minds), tint, and the proper windshield shade for when you have to park outdoors (Covercraft makes the best one, by far). My Golf R is white over black, with (legal) 35% tint, and no sunroof. I have no problem cooling the car to a very comfy level. I just got back from crossing the Sonoran desert into California, with temps cresting 110f much of the way, and with my temp set for 71 in the car, the AC blower was blowing at a slow enough setting as to barely be audible, yet the car was cool and comfy.

      Tint those windows, block the windshield, and the black upholstery just doesn’t have a chance to heat up. And for cryin out loud, buy a light-colored car. Dust is a huge factor here too, making a black (or very dark) car a bad idea for that reason as well.

      Tuesday’s forecast high: 121f. Overnight low 90. Jesus.

  • avatar
    Dan

    ““Blue continues to gain strength as an automotive color,” said Paul Czornij, BASF’s head of design for color excellence. “It has a calming effect and a strong correlation with natural things.”

    Czornij anticipates blue to overtake white and other non-colors as the most popular choice among car buyers within the next five years. “The expressive part of the car, which is on the outside, is the projection of who you are to the rest of the world,” he explained.”

    My truck is blue. I like it that way no matter how much this poofter tries to ruin that for me.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Yup, that there guy that’s speechifyin’ about colors sounds downright educated, must be one-a them queers.

      Really, TTAC, people are allowed to use slurs here? I know common decency goes out the window when you let JB post his confused-old-white-guy tirades, but as one of the many LGBT posters here, crap like this should not be allowed.

      • 0 avatar
        Sceptic

        quaquaqua, your sexual orientation is utterly irrelevant to this discussion.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Well, the use of the derogatory name for a homosexual was not relevant to the discussion either, so calling out “Dan” for using it is perfectly acceptable…sounds like Dan’s masculinity has been bruised for the color choice of his truck so somebody’s going to pay to shore it up…

          • 0 avatar
            Sceptic

            It seems like only vulnerable homosexuals notice these “derogatory” terms. All you will achieve is huge resentment from majority of population. No one cares if you are offended by whatever you are called. Most people don’t even notice or care. Apparently, you’ve been brainwashed into looking to be offended to represent yourself as persecuted minority or something.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Yeah, only gay people are offended by gay slurs. You may be on to something, Sherlock.

            So, if he said he sounds like some stupid nXXXXr, or a money-grubbing Jew, or any other offensive, hateful term (other than those directed soley at the Caucasian race, evidently), nobody would say anything?

            Its like you’re saying “yes, we are intentionally hurting you, but you don’t have the right to stand up and say something, so since I look down upon you already, STFU”. Very nice. What an outstanding attitude.

            I didn’t know the B&B’s diversity extended down to the 6th grade. Maybe we should have an age restriction? Perhaps based on a series of questions to determine an individuals true maturity level.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            5th grade.

        • 0 avatar
          HotPotato

          Poor little Sceptic is triggered by seeing someone’s sexual orientation mentioned. What a snowflake.

      • 0 avatar
        scott25

        sceptic +1111

        Posts like quaquaqua’s are what give those of us on the left a bad name.

        • 0 avatar
          Demon_Something

          Not really. As another LGBT poster, I’m not offended by the use of “poofter,”
          mostly because it’s a funny word, it’s definitely against the general rules of polite discourse. Saying rude s**t is generally bad.

          • 0 avatar
            SaulTigh

            I think it’s nice that you’re both kind of old-school. You can tell the youngins, “back in my day we only needed 4 letters to describe our sexuality.” :)

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          You guys seem to do that pretty well on your own, IMO. How do you think we got President Cockadoodledoo?

          Look what you offered as the best you could come up with for an alternative. After a disastrous 8 years of you guys shoving crap down everyone’s throat (got health insurance? I dont! I previously had some medical care under a government program, until ObamaCare defunded it), and you offer up that? Promises of more of the same, with even more cronies around to make it happen and keep it quiet if need be?

          I might’ve voted for my first democrat as President (I have voted for D’s running for other positions based on their views, or their opponent’s), but y’all throw up someone who probably needs to be kept under surveillance by official investigators. You have nobody to blame but yourselves.

          • 0 avatar
            ttacgreg

            And this is relevant to interior and exterior car colors exactly how?

            I see why I prefer moderated commentary threads.

        • 0 avatar
          operagost

          Yeah. It was really intolerant how he used the word “q***r”.

      • 0 avatar
        DweezilSFV

        But “confused old white guy” is acceptable in your world ? Your slurs are ago but so called LGBT slurs aren’t.

        FWIW: another LGBT “member” calling you out for your phony virtue signalling.

        Grow a pair, Felicia.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I must concur on the “confused old white guy” comment.

          Just because someone stepped on your toes doesn’t really mean its okay to do it right back. You can question his motives and his points, you can question his intelligence, but throwing his race and age into it takes it as far as he apparently did (its been edited/removed before I saw it).

          I don’t mind calling someone out for using a slur or any kind, but I don’t agree with “taste of your own medicine” in return.
          .

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I would get green if I could, especially a deep forest green with a Tan interior.

    I used to have a 2-toned Mercury Villager. That van looked its best in two-tone, and I thinks some larger vehicles should try it.

  • avatar
    jaybread

    Porsche Miami Blue will sweep the nation!!

  • avatar

    Since McLaren showed the 675LT in a dove grey at the 2015 NY auto show, I’ve noticed that other automakers are starting to offer dark greys. A medium to dark grey with a hint of blue looks very good on everything from a supercar to a luxury sedan.

  • avatar
    86er

    The dearth of colour is one of the reasons I own such ancient autos.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    Back when I painted the Land Ark in 1994 teal was just starting to come into the spotlight. I’ve never stopped liking it, in its various shades. I am partial to blue anyway, though I suspect the blues you’ll be seeing will all be very muted and dark. Teal when mixed right just looks fantastic.

    Of course, I also had the top painted silver, which was still really uncommon at the time. It was a Cadillac color, which was one of the few places you could find a deep metallic silver in PPG’s GM catalogue.

    Body: Dark Bright Teal (yes, it’s an oxymoron) which was used on the Trans Am
    Roof: Warm Silver which was a Cadillac color

    And just to self promote some more – have a look at a teal car in 2017:
    http://imgur.com/vl4wW7K
    http://imgur.com/UTBvkWK

  • avatar
    Willyam

    Man I miss those Hondas. Mine was a DX (smallest motor except for the high-mileage HF) 4-speed, no A/C, rubber floor, steel wheels and 13 inch donuts. Yet still, it was bright fire-engine red, and with tinted windows it was quite handsome. Loved that little car. Rather than Fast and Furious it was more Pedantic and Peeved, but still a great little car.

    I’m wondering if the more serious colors and the year 2001 are more than coincidence. The mood of the nation has been way more dour since then. My present Hondas are, of course, silver and white.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I came here to say this.

      Looks like with blocked off rear side windows and removed rear seat, perfect urban delivery vehicle. Maybe something green?

      I miss silver steel wheels with center caps.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    I love the teal color, but Ford, my first choice in vehicles, is stuck on offering more blues and no greens. My dealer had all kinds of trouble selling the blue vehicles, as no one, myself included, wanted blue. The dealer gave me another $1000 off the price to make the sale if I bought their blue Fusion. I bought it. Needless to say, Ford has discontinued their Deep Impact Blue color because it was a slow seller, but then Ford gets stupid and decides to offer another blue in its place. Get a clue Ford!!!

    FWIW, my first choice in color is a metallic gold (champagne, beige, sand), followed by silver, then white. My preference is any light colored metallic. Last choice is black. But throw enough cash my way & you can change my mind!

  • avatar
    pdieten

    I bought my Sonata in indigo blue pearl and I happen to think it is a terrific color.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      The name of my Taurus’ color is Indigo Blue. I want it repainted with the same color, only with added pearl (was discussing this with a body shop owner friend of mine). I wonder if it’ll look close to your Hyundai’s?

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I would be happy with interior color choices between gray, black, some variation of brown and tan, and special order only in the sport package, over the top black with red accents.

  • avatar
    Toad

    White may be the most popular color because so many fleet vehicles are white. Construction companies, utilities, government agencies, etc usually buy white vehicles. It standardizes the fleet, makes adding decals or graphics easy, and simplifies body repairs if/when needed.

    It would be interesting to know the percentage of white vehicles that are fleet vs. retail sales.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I’ve been extremely upset at the lack of hue in the paint of today’s cars. The blame belongs to one portion of the industry alone–dealerships. Oh, sure, the factories love the fact that the colors are limited; it’s so much cheaper for them to limit the available colors. But the real reason is that dealerships don’t like having “unpopular” colors on the lot and some color like Teal, or Grass Green or Oak Bark Brown or Russet or… dare I say it… Purple… tend to appeal only to a portion of their customer base while the more common, call them ‘conservative’ colors tend to move off the lots with no trouble. So, dealerships order bland colors and eventually the manufacturers stop offering other colors.

    BUT… That also now forces the dealerships to put up with something they don’t really like, and that’s custom-ordering cars for individualized colors when the equipment package matches 40% or more of what sits on the lot. Worse, no matter how hard they try to convince said customer that the color is unimportant, the customer holds out.

    How do I know? I’m one of those customers. In ’02 I custom-ordered a Saturn Vue in their bright orange color when the dealership would have been happy to drop me into a black, white, silver or even red model. I wanted orange and I refused to compromise. I did the same thing with my ’08 Jeep Wrangler JKU; I wanted a specific color and equipment package and refused to consider any of the more bland ’07s still on the lot. Dealerships don’t like me. My wife now… She went all in for the Gunmetal Gray 75th Anniversary edition of the Renegade Latitude–and doesn’t like the bronze highlights in certain trim areas. Me, those highlights at least give it a touch of color. As for my white pickup truck, it has a very thin brown and teal stripe at the shoulder level and is gaining a new graphic stripe that incorporates those brown and teal colors with a much broader stripe of teal flowing over the rear wheels towards the taillights.

    I hate bland-colored cars. Always have. My first car was a very enamel-beige Chevy with a white roof I had first re-painted a bright yellow, then, about two years later repainted a metallic chocolate brown. When I finally traded it, I bought a burgundy-red Oldsmobile and some time later saw my chocolate Chevy still rolling along. Since then I’ve had three other burgundy-red cars, a medium blue, a teal, orange, red and black, with my wife’s two cars being silver and gunmetal. Strangely, she hates seeing silver and gunmetal cars in the rain and at dusk, but the reasoning is that they simply vanish on the road unless their lights are on. White is almost as bad.

    So whatever I buy will have color on it if at all possible, even if it’s a darker one, because I refuse to buy a plain-jane blasé monochromatic, invisible, non-entity of a car.

    • 0 avatar
      MLS

      Yes, exactly. Though manufacturers offer interesting colors, the selection on dealer lots is horrendous. Good on you for special ordering.

      When shopping for a new car last fall, I wanted a blue, brown, or red exterior; a non-black interior; the uplevel powertrain; and RWD. Across the four brands I considered, Boston metro dealers only stocked black on black, AWD, four-cylinder cars. I had to go to Rhode Island to find the powertrain and interior, and still settled on a boring black exterior. I should have special ordered, but when asked, dealers weren’t willing to negotiate.

      The franchise model can’t be abolished soon enough.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      FCA is selling (at least a few) Jeep CUVs (or whatever they are) in strange shades of milky coffee brown and I think a creamy gray of some sort. It looks like all the leftover paint from the 500s that would not sell is being used on Jeeps.
      Sort of like the very pale yellow on some Korean-built Chevy Sonics, they look different, not great, but interesting enough for someone to sign on the bottom line.

      On another subject, the American Color Council is the organization behind product color trends. They coordinated the move of appliances from Harvest Gold and Avocado Green to black, then white, then stainless steel. They made cobalt blue suddenly trendy. And as a fairly secret society, it is very difficult to find any information about them online. There are other color councils and associations that historically have offered predictions on market trends, but the ACC is the force behind the scenes. Now if they would just throw their weight behind British Racing Green…

    • 0 avatar
      Moparmann

      +100 Vulpine! I LIKE color!! I once had a salesman tell me “if you’re not hung up on color, we can get you into a car TODAY!” I remember thinking, what idiot buys a car that he’ll be paying on for the next few years in a color that he doesn’t like?? My last Honda was, and my current Honda is BLUE. Honda has a very limited color palette, and I had to wait both times in order to get it. I told my CU rep that, when I buy used, I settle, but when buying new, I want what I want and I AM NOT going to settle for someone trying to push me into a color I don’t like.

  • avatar
    fazalmajid

    I thought the sheep-like devotion Americans seem to have for grayscale is because they fear their vehicle will take a hit on its resale value if it has a non-boring color.

    I prefer green but it’s not available in my car, so Estoril Blue it was. It helps that is also close to French racing colors.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Did you expect anything else from a country with architects that think that an all white home interior looks good?

      • 0 avatar
        Demon_Something

        You mean interior designers. Architects tend to prefer natural wood.

        …hey, gotta defend my honor here…

        • 0 avatar
          WheelMcCoy

          I agree, it’s the interior designers. The architects I know like bright colors, odd shaped chairs, and weird lamps on a tripod. They also have a preference for MINI coopers.

          • 0 avatar
            Lorenzo

            Well, civil engineers prefer a single solid color, swivel chairs, articulated lamps, and like to drive big RWD V8 sedans. CE’s also like to beat up anyone wearing a tee shirt that reads, “Last week I couldn’t even spell engineer. Now I are one.” That is, if the person wearing the tee is smaller. Civil engineers are practical.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        A friend visiting from Holland quietly asked, “isn’t an all white interior reserved for insane asylums?”

        She might have a point!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      If it weren’t for clearcoat and EPA’s stringent rules for VOCs, you could have repainted any car your favorite color. Now most paint shops prefer to match your existing color, and will talk you out of your preference, or give you a high bid to chase you away.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      How many buyers even consider a vehicle’s resale value when they buy? When you consider how many tend to keep their cars at least until it’s paid off.

  • avatar
    azfelix

    ‘Czornij’ translates as ‘black’.

    The search for meaning continues.

  • avatar
    Farhad

    What I see around is actually more Silver & Black. But look at those numbers; 75%+ of the cars are white/black or a combination of those! That’s boring.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    Will a manufacturer paint a non-luxury car in any color if you offer to pay, say, 5000$ more for it? Say you want a purple Civic, is there a way to make it happen at the factory?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Back when GM would allow just about any combo to be ordered if you were willing to place an order, wait, and pony up the money I had heard of guys having cars painted colors that were on a different brands color pallette (like ordering your Chevy in a color that was supposed to be on Cadillacs). With our current automated everything I’d imagine there’s a snowballs chance in hades of making that happen.

      For my next vehicle I intend to buy new and search high and low for the color combo option packages I want OR find a dealer willing to take an order.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I am one that actually likes silver because it never goes out of style, it is a light color, and it does not show dirt or dust like darker colors. I would prefer to have a choice of a light gray interior since black is hot especially in the Summer. I also like the pewter color that was popular in the late 90’s to early 00’s which I have on my 99 S-10 for the same reasons. I don’t mind white as long as it has some pearl in it but the appliance white is a little too stark. I don’t like the trend toward all black only interiors and would like at least more tan and light gray. I like ice blue and any color that is not too dark and shows dirt and dust. I do have a black truck but only because I got a good deal on it but it is my first and last black vehicle I will ever own. Black looks sharp when clean but it shows every bit of dust and dirt and any imperfections show up. I keep my vehicles a long time so having the latest color can make it look dated in a few years especially orange and teal. I am a lot more conservative than I use to be especially when it comes to fads especially color fads. I had enough avocado green growing up and in my first town home and I saw enough brown, harvest gold, and orange along with deep shag carpeting during the 70’s that I never want to see those colors again. If I want more color I can always buy a tie or different color socks–at least you can throw or give those away when you get sick of them.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I was wondering if I was the only person who likes silver (or pewter, lighter golds and bronzes) on cars, just for the same reasons you mentioned.

      My all-time favorite is dark blue (navy or presidential) particularly on “sheer” (read squared off) cars like the Art & Science Cadillacs. Dark blues on some other cars just doesn’t work as well.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        That vertical trunk lid panel on a around 2008 DTS in Blue Diamond Tricot was a work of art. The color and paint quality always looked exceptional to me. Enjoyed having one in front of me at stoplights.

  • avatar
    la834

    Zzzzzzzz.

    Wake me up when you can get real interior colors again.

    The color-keyed blue interior in the Continental Black Label is a good start, even if you have to pay alot extra to get it. Maybe if we each buy one they’ll make them with red or green interiors too.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Blue is an interesting color to me. I seem to either love it or hate it, and slight variations can swing the pendulum either way. I loved the dark Blue on my 99 CRV. Honda then changed the shade slightly the following year and I hated the new color. In certain light the new color looked purple. Another example, I loved the light metallic blue that Lexus used on the IS line, yet I hated the light blue Toyota used on the Camry. Main difference, The Camry light blue was not metallic.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lorenzo–I would be interested to know how the EPA’s strict standards have discouraged paint shops from changing a vehicle’s color. I know that paint is now water based as a result of EPA regulations. I have seen more and more body shops get away from actual body and rust repair. Seems that they would rather replace body panels and do just insurance work. They are more like body panel replacement shops and not body shops.

    • 0 avatar
      pdieten

      Yeah, that goes into the “they don’t make them like they used to” department. I chatted a body shop guy about that once. Nowadays the “body” is just very thin metal over a crush zone unibody, and paints are much more complex, and labor costs much more than it once did when compared to material costs. So it’s no longer economical to repair panels and there’s no good way to match the paint.

      Go in there with a survivor ’72 Chevy, and maybe they’ll still hammer out a dent for you the old fashioned way.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I mentioned clearcoat and VOC regulations raising the cost of repainting, in the first case because the clearcoat has to be carefully sanded off (labor) and in the second case because the formulas for water based paints get expensive once you get beyond standard (common) colors.

      The formulas required to suspend pigments for even application are entirely different with water based paint. An Expert like Tresmonos could probably explain it better, but I was told by a reputable paint shop that the cost of unusual colors is much higher than the commonly used ones, and sometimes requires special care in application. That may be why there are so few colors normally used.

      The problem for a paint shop with changing the color of your car is the need to paint door jambs, edges, etc. which requires masking and more expensive labor. The shops are more interested in a quick, assembly line operation that gets more paying customers in and out of the shop.

      I didn’t mention body work, because I was referring to changing the color of a car, not collision repair, but one advantage of the thin metal is that most dings can be popped out with dry ice. That doesn’t work on creased metal though, and if you’re just replacing a tired paint job, fixing minor body work is extra cost.

  • avatar
    OliverTwist78

    I think there ought be a law that charges shitload of money for the privilige of ordering the vehicles in black, grey, silver, or white colours while the less popular colours should be free options.

  • avatar
    scott25

    My girlfriend is fighting the good fight with her just-purchased Bohai Bay Mint Fiesta. My xD was dark blue and got tired of it so I bought a silver Mazda 3, which really suits that car, but I’m leaning towards blue again for my next car. It suits certain cars and doesn’t suit others.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    There was a BMW at work last week that was dark blue with some indigo notes that were brought out by some marvelously fine grained and deep pearl. Awesome paint job! Black interior though. Beige would have been better. :)

  • avatar
    Netsy

    I own a brown car, so upon seeing the “2016 Global Color Popularity” graphic included with this article, my initial thought was, “Where’s brown?”– before I realized the graphic inexplicably refers to brown as “Natural”. I guess that’s so they can lump beige in with the darker browns and golds…?

    Though I fully support more color options on cars, I actually have no strong car color preferences myself. Wound up with a brown vehicle because I saw a “latte brown” Kia Soul somewhere and thought, “Brown… That’s a bit different.” Didn’t buy a Soul, but opted for brown with what I did get. (Sadly, Kia dumped brown from the Soul lineup after the 2015 model year.)

    Subaru had a gorgeous “caramel bronze pearl” brown option for a little while… Not sure why anyone would choose a grey car over a beautiful golden brown option like that!

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I do applaud the return of brown to the grand color scheme of things. My old 1972 Nova would have been proud.

    Shamefully, although I wanted the Crystal Red Tintcoat Impala, Wifey convinced me to get the Ashen Gray one, which I took a liking to, and still have five years later!

    It is a very nice dark gray that shines like crazy…

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    I see two major driving factors behind this.

    The first is the excessive customer-clinic driven culture in marketing. Those colors have been through 10,000 clinics focused on tiny slivers of the market a car is theoretically pitched at. There’s this huge focus on consumer story driven featuring, and color/design is by far the most invested. Clinic the hell out of something and you’ll find the least objectionable answer. (think “everyone’s second/third favorite choice”) For all his very deep faults, Ford had at least one good point: the customer isn’t always the best source….

    The second is car insurance. Blue is one of those colors that can look decent on a wide variety of body styles and is not considered a big insurance hit like yellow, red, or other bright colors.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Are you saying that car insurance is priced by color?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        To some extent, yes… just like traffic tickets can be influenced by color. Really bright colors tend to attract the eye (one reason I like ’em) and if a bright car happens to be doing something excessive, it’s more likely to be spotted and tracked–you could say, ‘easier to catch’ simply because it’s so bright.

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      True, ‘….the customers isn’t always the best source…” Back in the day when you could special order even a cheap-ass stripper economy car the way you wanted it, the special order sheet gave dealers fits. Dingbat customers would come in, order some bizarre combo of colors/options, get buyers remorse, come back to the dealer and start an argument. So as not to lose a customer the dealer would work something out with the customer, but now the dealer was stuck with a school bus yellow car sporting a bright red interior and 3 on the tree. By limiting choice of exterior/interior colors, and limiting options to ‘packages’ it cuts costs and headaches for nearly everyone in the auto biz. Just by increasing the number of interior colors from 3 to 6 the dealer…and aftermarket suppliers….need to double their replacement parts inventory. Until we have true ‘manufacturing on demand’ the costs of too many choices remains too high.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I purchase cars with subtle colors, but I like to drive (relatively) quickly. I’m not the clown doing 50 MPH through school zones, but I have no problem running 80+ MPH on the Interstates. Silver, grays, dark blues seem to be fairly invisible to Enforcement.

      Body style helps, too. My favorite long distance car was my Malibu Maxx in a dark grey color. It was the kind of car no one expected to spend time in the passing lanes without clogging them up.

      Had the Maxx been a bright yellow, I don’t think I could have gotten away with a number of my drives.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    The type of vehicle drives what colors look good too…in 1978 I was car shopping with my dad. He was looking at a Dodge Omni, of all things, and refused to get the black one because he said black is a serious color, and looks better on big cars. He got dark metallic green with chestnut interior on the Omni, which was a complete turd from day one.

    I am not a blue color fan, I’d rather see a dark green with tan interior than blue with tan, I think of green as being a little warmer than blue.

    Half of my cars are black, with one silver and one light greenish gold that is a hand-me-down from my parents, and they actually chose that color in 2006 when they bought the Kia Sportage brand spanking new. Of all the colors on the lot they chose that?!?

    Black carpet DOES show lots of dirt…the dark gray carpet that BMW used to use in their cars was a nice compromise and it hid more dirt than really dark carpet but made it harder to find floor mats to match.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    The only thing worse than paint choice is the black interiors most vehicles come with. Give me a choice, especially gray/silver over black.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    There are some interesting browns out there – the Venza had one, the current Accord hybrid, and even the Sierra but good luck finding one. I think Honda had a silver obsession for a while that gave way to modern steel.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I like white but have a strong dislike for black and dark blue. Silver is boring but I’d rather have that than a dark color. If I wanted a darker color, wheat gold is as dark as I’d go.

    I have fantasized about sending in my 200 –which is white–to be painted an inferno/rust orange. My wife looked at a ’15 4Runner when she went car shopping, I didn’t like it but I loved the orange color.

  • avatar
    V16

    Chrysler “JAZZ BLUE”, is what blue should be.
    Great looking color on the 300.

  • avatar
    BrentinWA

    My car is a deep sapphire blue with a black interior highlighted with wheat colored leather inserts and purple stitching on the seams of the leather on the dash and the seats. It’s subtle, but not something that you see on every car out there… which I like.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Lorenzo–Thank you for the response. I did not realize that the body shops had to repaint the door jabs as well. Body shops many years ago did not repaint door jabs. I mentioned body repair because recently I was trying to get a rocker panel that was starting to rust on my S-10 repaired. Most body shops didn’t want to even look at it even though the the body was otherwise in perfect shape. One said that they could not guarantee the work which I told them I realize that and that replacement panels were available and can be welded in. I realize that body work can be costly due to the labor and materials but the truck is in almost new condition with an otherwise perfect body and original paint and mechanically like new.

    My parents use to special order their cars. One time my parents ordered a new 1962 Chevy II 300 in Roman Red with a red interior which the dealer said would not look good. When the car came into the dealership it looked so good that the dealer had 3 orders for the same exact car and color. I don’t mind limited colors as much as being forced to have any interior color so long as its black. Black interiors are hot in the Summer and show dirt. At least offer tan and light gray.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    “It has a calming effect and a strong correlation with natural things.”

    I thought that was green. ;)

  • avatar
    ptschett

    It’s about time.
    The last 4 vehicles I’ve bought were blue:
    2005 Dodge Dakota – Patriot Blue
    2010 Dodge Challenger R/T – Deep Water Blue
    2015 Dodge Challenger R/T (replaced the 2010) – Jazz Blue
    2017 Ram 1500 (replaced the Dakota) – Blue Streak
    The only one where I was able to buy something out of existing inventory to get a color and options combination that I could live with was the 2010 Challenger. All the rest were special ordered.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Patriot Blue was a nice color for the Dakota. Patriot Blue over Desert Rose was the rarest two-tone color combo for that truck. Wish I had gone two-tone with my Dak. Sadly mine is boring silver. However I had a good reason: the logic was the truck was going to be dirty most of the time so who cares ;)

      I currently own an orange car and a graphic designer have always been a fan of real colors! When I told my brother I was getting a 350Z he said he would never speak to me again if I didn’t get in orange, the color Nissan used on the prototype to announce the Z’s return.

      I’ve owned yellow, green (x2), red (x2), blue, black (never again) and white (big mistake). Living in FL black is not a good idea and white is shows ever speck of dirt. Even when clean white doesn’t “pop” in the sunlight, its just so boring. My wife’s current car is red and I made her wait until one came on the market. She was all set to compromise on silver but now she is so glad she didn’t. Several of her friends/coworkers have compliment the color.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    I hate, hate white cars. My current car is white (with a black top) and black trim and it kinda/sorta works in a “Star Wars” kind of way. But I still would prefer brown or British Racing Green.

    My wife drives a yellow Mini Cooper S with black stripes. It gets a lot of attention. She doesn’t mind. And she is very color-centric. She likes cars that pop with color. I would like to find a blue Toyota FJ (with white top) for my next car, but you never know what will pop up in the world of used cars. Just no more white!

  • avatar
    IBx1

    We just picked up a 2009 Accord Coupe EX-L V6, Belize Blue Pearl over tan leather. First time washing that paint under partly cloudy skies was everything I hoped it would be. Blue is one of the best colors for a car, from a misty silver-blue, to electric pearl or gloss, down to a midnight metallic for a more stately car. Lexus and Mercedes always do that last one perfectly.


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