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America's top 10 car colors

andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
The LA Times reports that white is king again according to DuPont Automotive Systems.

2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
    LA Times Article.

    1) Boring old White is back on top for the second year following 7years of dominance by silver. DuPont tells the LAT that this is perhaps transitional leading to the emergence of more dramatic colors like blues and greens.

    I don't get this because IMO the standard Alpine White tends to make all cars look rather appliance-like, even those cars that have sleek, aggressive lines. I notice that more subtle whites with a hint of cream, yellow or beige are starting to show up on cars.

    2) Black is tied with Silver for second, surprising to me considering how hard it is to keep clean. However unlike White Black will make almost any car look great (if it is reasonably clean)

    2) Silver tied w Black is especially easy to care for and keep clean. I'm afraid it has become a bit too commonplace. Some makers offer several shades of silver on the same model.

    3) Blue is the up and comer with many cars offering neon blues and more subtle shades and lighter blues are becoming popular for the first time in many years.

    4) Gray was huge during the 1980s and has never gone away. Lots of subtle shades possible w this color such as blue-gray and gray-green.

    5) Red, never wildly popular but always a choice for those favoring expressive colors. Dark Reds make luxury sedans look richer while lighter reds work wonders for small economy sedans.

    6) Beige/Brown in metallic shades was very popular in the 1960s-70s, but hasn't been very popular since. In my experience a light metallic Beige/Tan is perhaps the color that least shows dirt of various kinds.

    7) Green, another 60s fave that has not been much in evidence since, although I do notice some olive greens getting popular.

    8) Yellow/Gold Loud yellows predominate now but in the 50s and 60s pale Yellows were quite common and worked well on some cars.

    9) Others include Purple, Pink and Orange. If you want to stand out get one of these.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,157
    Not much choice on the surface but then when you start looking at all the shades of silver or even white, you'll find a lot of variety. Some of the silvers look steely gray, so there's some overlap.

    Black cars always just look black to me (usually they just look like they need to be washed :) ).

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  • Silver and grey.....zzzzzzzzzz
    Primer has more flavor.
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    I always thought of silver and gray as the same color. I did not know they were two separate colors.

    I thought green was the most popular color before silver became # 1. We had a green 1999 Gran Prix and I remember it being #1 in 1998 or so. I wanted black buy my wife picked green because it was her favorite color.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,902
    as a luxury car color. Once it started ending up on everything under the sun, it sort of lost its appeal. I guess I'm partly guilty though, since my 2000 Intrepid is silver!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
    since metallic colors are more difficult and expensive to produce and cost extra. Silver did not come into widespread use until the 1970s (IIRC).

    Silver has long been prominent on the upscale German makes, being a signature color for Porsches and prominent in the racing history of Mercedes and Audi (Auto-Union).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    Silver and gold shades are both popular because they are neutral and don't show dirt. White is popular because of fleet sales.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
    I don't see any particular popularity for gold nowadays although gold-tones are starting to creep into the multi-hued pearlescent layered schemes that are optional extras on some cars.

    I'm sure fleet sales play some minor role in color popularity but I would suggest that the growth of population in the Sunbelt plays a larger role in the popularity of white
    White cars and trucks seem to be everywhere in places like AZ and FL but not so much in say NY or New England.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    "White cars and trucks seem to be everywhere in places like AZ and FL but not so much in say NY or New England. "

    Theoretically, car color is more important to comfort in the South, and particularly in the South West, since it has such a large impact on how hot the car gets.

    http://enerjazz.com/data/cartempsurf/

    However, another article pointed out that even white gets so darn hot, it doesn't really matter how much hotter a dark color gets. You're still getting into an oven.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    Yeah, gold shades were bigger in the beginning of the decade. But I'm seeing a lot more gold colored cars like Camry lately. Also, Buick seems to be big into that brownish color now. These will never be big sellers like white or silver, but more like blue where it comes in mid-pack sometimes. Lots of rental cars and commercial vehicles use white.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,902
    But I'm seeing a lot more gold colored cars like Camry lately. Also, Buick seems to be big into that brownish color now.

    I think I know the color you're talking about...isn't it sort of a light brown/champagne color? I had a 1988 LeBaron turbo coupe in that color, and thought it was a good looking car.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
    car color is more important to comfort in the South, and particularly in the South West, since it has such a large impact on how hot the car gets.

    No question about it but there are plenty of contrarians. A sales guy from an Arizona BMW dealership told me that Black is as popular as White for Bimmers down there. :confuse:

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    Yes. I also have to admit I always liked those 60's champagne colored Caddies!
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I could see silver starting to go as a color. I had an 87 Maxima that was silver and that's when I discovered how dirty you can get silver without it looking bad. Of course the down side of that is no matter how spiffed up you get it won't look great either.

    Later we bought an 02 Odyssey in silver. By the time we retired that we were all silvered out.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,157

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  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I wonder it there is really going to be any significant impact on AC usage from this political-science decision by the legislature. I'm not a trained scientist but I seriously doubt that it will.

    I live in Texas, and for the past decade, I've only purchased white cars with natural tan color leather interiors. I started on the same premise as the State of California - that a lighter exterior paint color would mean a cooler car interior. Being a bit of an analytical type, I've been searching for the science to confirm that common-sense assumption for a long time now. I haven't found it.

    I've found stuff like this, which shows that the difference isn't significant enough to matter - the bottom line seems to be that light colored cars heat up a bit more slowly but after a few hours reach the same temperature as darker colors.

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=105831

    Interior color seems to be more important but in the end, it comes down to this, which I'm paraphrasing from an Arizonan newspaper columnist -

    Once it's over 100 in the car, it doesn't really matter if the temperature is 120º or 135º, you're going to turn on the AC.

    For myself, rather than tinted windows, I use silver colored sun screens in the front and rear windows. These seem to help considerably. How they work, in my hypothesis, is that although the car still gets very hot inside, the black dashboard and the seats don't get heat-soaked from the sun beating on them. (Think about lizards sitting on a hot rock blasted by the desert sun all day vs. a rock that is shielded from the direct sun. Both get hot, but the shielded rock cools faster). Thus, when the hot air is blown out of the interior by the AC, they are not radiating heat for as long and the car cools more quickly. Ultimately though, from my reading, even the sun screens may not be ultimately effective. They slow the process but don't stop it.

    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/eng99/eng99533.htm

    Essentially, California is wasting everybody's money.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
    Once it's over 100 in the car, it doesn't really matter if the temperature is 120º or 135º, you're going to turn on the AC.

    Amen to that. I drive my wife crazy because I'll go out of my way to get a parking spot in the shade (best way to keep your interior cool).

    BMW has introduced a new material which keeps the leather on convertible seats cooler by screening out UV. Of course every seasoned convertible owner knows it's a good idea to keep a towel or blanket in the trunk for those times when seats are too hot (or wet) to be comfortable.

    I've had convertibles with black seats (Ouch :sick:) and with white seats. It makes a big difference.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I've got a convertible with black leather seats right now. Makes one appreciate the towel in the trunk!
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Yeah, I too once owned a convertible with black leather seats. I learned that the reason that convertibles don't have tops is because if they did, you'd bonk your head when you tried to jump up off those hell-hot seats!

    Seriously, I got in my car once wearing only cutoffs and no shirt and I went about 40 feet straight up. I went out a bought a couple of towels that evening.... when it was safe again to sit down in the car :shades:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Living in Phoenix for 13+ years, allow me to pipe in with some "Heat Expertise"

    I moved here with a black car. It lasted not even 6 months. Never had another dark car out here since then.

    The dark color DOES increase (if not the ACTUAL temps inside the car) the FEELING of additional heat. ( What's the opposite of Wind Chill? Heat Index? )
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
    The dark color DOES increase (if not the ACTUAL temps inside the car) the FEELING of additional heat.

    Oddly, at least half of the BMW at Phoenix dealers I've seen have been dark colors and a sales guy tells me black is the most popular color. :confuse:

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,902
    This isn't exactly a scientific survey, but I do own two '79 New Yorkers, in colors that are almost opposite ends of the spectrum. Here's a pic of the two beasts...
    image

    The creme one has a light creme leather interior, while the blue one has a dark blue cloth interior. However, just to be annoying, the blue one does have some vinyl trim in strategically placed so that it's not hard to scorch exposed skin on a hot summer day. Here's a pic of the front seat...
    image

    Overall, after sitting all day closed up in a hot parking lot at work on a blistering summer day, I'd say the creme one is more bearable. The leather does get hot, but I think the cloth gets hotter...it's just that cloth isn't going to burn you. But let's not talk about that vinyl trim! I also feel more of a blast of heat from the blue one when I open the door. And if the sun's been beating down through the windshield and hitting the steering column directly, the blue one is more likely to burn my fingers when I stick the key in and turn the ignition. I can do it with the creme one, but with the blue one, I'll sometimes use a rag.

    My '67 Catalina convertible has a black vinyl interior, which you'd think would get hotter than hades. But drop the top, roll down the windows, and get moving, and it's really not that bad.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    People who buy Beemers are usually looking for "image" and to "look good" and there is little doubt that a black Beemer looks better than a white one when they are both fully detailed out.

    Personal story: The one black car I owned was an Infiniti Q45 and when I used two coats of the blue Zymol on it the first afternoon I bought it (used) and took it to the mall that night, a couple of 40-ish ladies were walking by the car just ahead of me when I was coming back to the car and one of them said to the other, "Look how shiny that black car is!" It made all the work worth it right there !!!

    No doubt in my mind that a well-painted black car all shined up is hard to beat for sheer beauty.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,597
    It's true that black cars look pretty spiffy when they are clean, especially BMWs but in NH,where I live for most of the year they are pretty rare, perhaps due to the difficulty of keeping them clean in wintry conditions.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,568
    My dark grey car is a beast to keep looking what I think is clean. I don't know if I'll ever have another dark car again, unless it's some kind of screaming deal. It looks so good when shined up, though.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,157
    Black has accounted for 20.3 percent of new vehicles sold so far this year.

    I'm in the "silver is gray" crowd myself.

    2009 Car Buyers Say Paint It Black, Edmunds.com Reports (AutoObserver)

    image

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  • I'm curious why they would include discontinued brands in the color by brand table. What relevance does Plymouth and Oldsmobile have in 2009 color trends?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,157
    That is a bit curious; maybe the answer will flop up in the comments over there.

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,157
    Now here's some great colors - the names at least:

    image

    Chevy Announces (Lame) Volt Color Contest Finalists (Straightline)

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  • Dude... why don't you just park them side-by-side on a sunny day, put a thermometer in each one, shut the doors and actually *MEASURE* the temperature differnece? :mad:
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