One of the most deeply personal aspects of buying a new car is choosing the colour. It’s a reflection of who we are, and the considerations vary greatly from person to person.
Be it the desire to make a fashion statement, an attempt to preserve re-sale value or even choosing which colours are least likely to be targeted by thieves, there’s a lot to consider.
For manufacturers, the colour range is also something they put a lot of thought into. We received an enquiry from CarAdvice reader Natasha.
Q: Hi CarAdvice, I’m trying to decide which colour my new car should be. I want something bright and a little bit different, have you noticed any new trends or unusual colours?
A: If you’re going to stray from the ever-popular monochromatic black, white, silver and grey, we have some hot tips for you. There’s been some fantastic colours come through the CarAdvice garage on 2015/2016 vehicles and our 2015 Best Price survey data has shown some strong and interesting trends.
For real-world buyers, white is still the new black with close to 30 per cent of all survey respondents choosing the lightest shade. Other ‘Melbourne’ colours; silver, grey and black are as popular as ever, making up 77.6 per cent of all responses.
For people wanting to show a little more flair, however, blue is still in fashion with almost 10 per cent of all selections. Red is on the rise though, at 9 per cent and climbing.
Other vibrant hues including yellow, orange, gold and green also made an impact on buyers, though in much smaller numbers.
It’s unlikely there’s a car colour the world hasn’t seen over the past 130 years or so, since the birth of the modern automobile. Sure, we may have missed a slight shade variance here and there, but overall, it’s pretty much all been done before.
Over the course of the year we’ve noticed a number of trends.
Muted neutrals have made an appearance as well as an extended range of reds, almost pastel blues, golden tones and two-toned works of art.
At the other end of the spectrum we’ve seen yellows brighter than Big Bird and greens that would make Shrek and Kermit look ill.
It feels like there’s never been a brighter variety of colours to choose from, with something to suit every personality.
Here’s our favourite trends for 2015/2016.
1. Nature Calling
From the Australian coastline to the Red Centre, these cars reminded us of the natural beauty of our great country… and also of a Colorbond roofing catalogue.
The Suzuki Vitara is now offered in three new colours – Atlantis Turquoise Pearl Metallic, Horizon Orange Metallic and Savannah Ivory Metallic. Though all fit the Nature Calling theme, our pick is Savanna Ivory Metallic: it embodies both the sandy shoreline and plains of dry grass in one.
Inspiring thoughts of a moss-covered tree in a rainforest, the limited-edition Land Rover Defender Heritage is only available in Grasmere Green with an Alaska White roof.
The new Nissan NP300 Navara in hero colour Hornet Gold would look right at home in the middle of the outback.
2. Champagne Tastes
From gold to almost pink, champagne hues have been a popular flavour of late.
The 2016 Infiniti Q30 was unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in a show-stopping colour called Liquid Copper, a pinky-orangey-gold that divided opinion among the CA contingent at the show.
The much anticipated arrival of the Volvo XC90 saw the addition of some new colour options including Luminous Sand Metallic. Just looking at it makes you feel like popping a bottle.
The Subaru Forester also shone in an understated way – the test car we had in the office was finished in Burnished Bronze Metallic.
Personalisation is the new black. Suzuki, Range Rover, Citroen and more offer a range of choices including different body and roof colour combinations, livery and graphics features.
Few stood out as strongly this year as the two-tone Peugeot 208 GTi 30th Anniversary Edition. A textured, almost solid black at the front and a glossy, lacquered red at the rear.
Mini offer a seemingly endless number of colour combinations and liveries to suit many tastes.
The Mini Paceman Cooper S in Jungle Green with black roof and mirror caps, finished off with black bonnet stripes – very smart!
Hours of fun can be had configuring your dream car on the Mini website.
Perhaps the ultimate in customisation is the Rolls-Royce bespoke program. Nothing is impossible, provided you can pay for it.
From special interior materials, to specific colours – or how about CarAdvice orange interior in your new Rolls-Royce Dawn? No worries.
4. Feeling Blue
Blue has been one of the hottest trends, with manufacturers exploring deep yet bright shades like the Range Rover Sport SVR in Estoril Blue (BMW also had a blue by the same name, after the F1 circuit in Portugal), or the Lexus GS F in Ultrasonic Blue Mica, while the HSV Clubsport R8 LSA Tourer turned a few heads.
But the lighter, more solid colours have been interesting, too. There were so many to choose from, but here are our favourites.
The Porsche 911 Carrera S in Miami Blue channels clear skies and pristine beaches, it looks like a holiday on wheels.
This car isn’t going to be camouflaged anywhere off-road in Australia.
The Jeep Renegade is also a bright, solid cobalt called Sierra Blue that is certainly a standout.
Forget navy or almost black, the bright blues show no signs of slowing up. Hyundai launched the Tucson this year with a cracker of a colour called Ara Blue.
5. Seeing Red
The most recognised red in the world would have to be Ferrari‘s Rosso Corsa.
There are a couple of other reds that are also instantly recognisable here in Australia.
Most notably, Mazda’s Soul Red. You won’t see a press campaign from them with any other colour these days. The latest car to feature the rich, deep shade of rouge is the new MX-5.
This is a bit of an unusual colour, a little more cappuccino maybe? Below is the Porsche Cayenne S Diesel in Umber Metallic.
Another darker brown, called Argus Brown Metallic on the Audi Q7.
7. Greyer Than Gandalf
This is a trend that is quietly sticking around, not really taking off but unique enough to be a point of difference. That elephant grey that seems to blend into both the city skyline and into the stormy sky.
Maybe that’s the point… given that the colour of the dark grey Ford Focus ST is called Stealth.
In 2014 Audi made a similar solid colour, Nardo Grey, available on both the Audi RS6 & RS7.