Study: Men Prefer Brighter, Bolder Car Colors More Than Women

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
study men prefer brighter bolder car colors more than women

A recent study by shows men prefer brighter, bolder car colors — orange, brown and yellow — compared to women, who preferred more neutral colors such as gold, silver and beige. The study analyzed more than 25 million used cars and 200,000 shoppers.

Orange was the big polarizer for 2014; men were 25 percent more likely to pick that color than women. Last year’s popular picks for men, red and black, fell out of the top three this year in favor of brown and yellow.

Women’s picks of gold, silver and beige may have more to do with the segment in which females traditionally shop. iSeeCars said men’s interest in muscle cars can help explain the palette preferences.

“With more brown and orange car colors being offered in these segments and the increased interest in these colors by male buyers, color specialists at auto manufacturers seem to have gotten their color forecasts right,” said CEO Phong Ly said in a statement.

For women, gold leapfrogged silver as the top pick this year. Last year, brown made the list of colors women preferred over men, but that color was replaced by beige this year. Ly said the shift may be due to a lack of available cars that appeal to women.

“One explanation for the popularity of beige over brown may be because the market share of brown cars in the minivan segment declined by 24.7 percent, and that segment tends to be extremely popular with women,” Ly said.

Enthusiasts were not surveyed in the study because a brown diesel wagon with a manual transmission can’t win everything.

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  • Dan Dan on Jul 09, 2015

    There's not much bolder and more obnoxious than a 5500 lb truck with a six foot wide slab of chrome on the front but I had a hell of a time finding a Ram on the lot in a decent color. I like greens. GM's dark metallic green is awesome. Ram's green is so dark as to be black in anything other than direct sunlight, where it turns greenish black, and they don't stock them anyway. I like blues. Ram has two, one of which is so dull and dark as to barely count. Any given lot would have two of one and three of the other, few enough that they'd each have a glaring oversight like leaving off the $75 32 gallon tank or the $300 LSD. (That order book thrift always seemed to go away when it came to adding $2000 of running boards and bigger wheels.) I don't like red so there'd be a half dozen of them, all configured just the way I wanted. The other 80% of the lot, no exaggeration, would be one or another shade of monochrome blah occasionally broken up by the excitement of beige or dogchit brown. I settled for dark blue.

    • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Jul 10, 2015

      I don't know how many times over the last 40 years where I've looked at cars and either the color is perfect and the options are wrong, or the options are perfect and the color is awful. If I was looking at a Ram, I would have no problems, as red is great, IMHO, but trying to find a Challenger equipped the right way that isn't silver or black is very difficult. I won't buy a car with a sunroof, and I find no end of Challengers with sunroofs that are the perfect in every other way.

  • Wheatridger Wheatridger on Jul 10, 2015

    "Study: Men Prefer Bright Car Colors More than Women" No, In most cases, I really prefer women. Though I once did own a lime-green New Beetle (diesel, to honor my Y-chromosome).

  • Scott25 Scott25 on Jul 10, 2015

    This is a strange study, since it's the opposite of most stereotypes. Red has always been the stereotypical "girl" colour for cars (other than sports and supercars, anyway), and when's the last time you saw a brightly coloured Mirage driven by a male? And most silver/beige/white generic commuter sedans seem to be driven by males. It's only crossovers where I agree that women love the neutrals. And what kind of women doesn't go gaga over all the pastel tones of 50's cruisers?

    • Redav Redav on Jul 10, 2015

      I tend to not see any women in bright attention-getting cars. I haven't noticed many in red cars. To me, the survey matches what I expect. But I do agree that I expect many women do like the pastels from the '50s.

  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Jul 11, 2015

    It kinda depends on the car though. I cant speak for women, I dont care to. I can only speak for *some* men and how I feel about colours. A performance car, something exotic or even something domestic but loud does fine in a lairy bright colour. People understand that even Anton the Accountant can let his hair down and drive that Plum Crazy SRT Charger Hemi. Anton however will never take a plum crazy Chevy Cruze (if such a colour was possible) nor even a solid fire engine red Honda. He may take that Soul Red Mazda 3 though. Of course if he was a lot more beige he may take a beige Camry but I doubt many people would take a bright orange Camry RZ (google it). I would take a bright orange Lamborghini Huracan or a Viper or Mustang but a Camry or anything smaller and non performance? doubtful maybe a orange Fiesta or Focus ST?