White is far and away the most popular colour of new vehicles sold, closely followed by black, and then grey followed by silver.
According to Kelley Blue Book
, around one quarter of all SUVs sold in 2021 were white. Do some quick math and that same study will assert that, on average, around three-quarters of all cars sold today are either white, black, grey or silver.
There are many potential reasons for this — from people fretting about resale value or insurance costs, to simple indecision and the possibility of buyer’s remorse. Another prevailing hypothesis is that popular car colours tend to ebb and flow with the design trends of the time.
As early as the mid-2000s, consumer goods, primarily our electronic devices (to which we are perpetually glued), all became monochromatic as a way to communicate equity and taste.
Take, as one such popular consumer product, the iMac, which debuted in 1998 and was famously available in a rainbow of colours. By the mid-2000s, Apple products, including the desktop Mac, were only offered in clean and simple monochromatic colours — they presented empty white space and brushed aluminum as an example of equity, even luxury. Cars (along with every other consumer product in our lives) seem to have followed that same pattern.
Now, however, Apple is reintroducing a wide array of colours into the iMac line up. It’s one more sign that consumers are ready for a new “roaring ‘20s” and eager to reintroduce bright colours into their lives.
So, what if you want to pull the trigger on a bold car colour? What if you’re sick of white, black, grey and silver and want to stand out from the vast majority of the crowd? What brands should you be looking at? What are the loudest, most vibrant car colours on sale in 2021?
Acura - Thermal Orange Metallic
It’s hard to do orange correctly. Too dark and it’s brown. Too luminescent and it's a crossing guard’s vest. But Acura seems to have got it just right. While it's a colour most commonly associated with the NSX supercar, Acura has also graciously made it available on the RDX SUV. Mercifully, Acura seems to have gotten the message that, in 2021, boring is bad.
BMW - Isle of Man Green Metallic
Driving a bright green BMW is the sort of look that says, “I want to be formal, but I’m here to party.” The new BMW M3 and M4 may have made… let’s call them “questionable” styling choices, but there’s no denying that seeing one in fluorescent aqua green wouldn’t brighten up your day, or at least distract you from that hideous grill.
Chevrolet - Sebring Orange Tintcoat
A Corvette is one of those cars which is disappointing if you don’t buy it in an incredibly loud and vibrant colour. Because your Corvette isn’t really for you. It’s for the kids in your neighbourhood. Do you know how disappointed children will be if, when they press their noses against the glass in the rear seats of their parents SUV, they see a white
Corvette go by? “Oh, there goes another golfer…” they’ll disappointedly mutter to themselves.
Dodge - Hellraisin Metallic
God bless the muscle car maniacs at Dodge and their excellent sense of humour when it comes to their marketing. Historically, Dodge has always had cheeky names for the muscle car colours from “Sublime” to “Go Mango” and of course, “Plum Crazy Purple” of which it seems Hellraisin has taken direct inspiration.
Ford - Cyber Orange
Normally, Ford’s more exuberant colours are reserved for the Mustang. However, the new Bronco Sport and Ranger are also available in the very bright, very cool sounding “Cyber Orange” — which makes their bold, retro-future design stand out even further.
Lamborghini - Verde Mantis
Because I live in downtown Toronto (and before that, downtown Vancouver), seeing a Lamborghini is about as common and unexciting for me as seeing a pigeon eating a discarded hot dog. Which is to say, very
But even more disappointing is how frequently I see them in black or white. A Lamborghini should cheer people up when they see it. Which is why if you buy one, you should get it in the vibrant Verde Mantis colour. Also, you should stop accelerating aggressively at the corner of King and Portland only to have to slam on the brakes a second later. Everybody thinks you’re lame and we’re trying to eat.
Mazda - Soul Red Crystal Metallic
This one is certainly more on the safe side, but there’s no denying how attractive Mazda’s new red colour is. A recent poll from Reader’s Digest
actually found that Mazda was one of the few car companies who actually counted red and blue cars amongst their top sellers. Cars in their Deep Crystal Blue Mica and Soul Red Crystal Metallic accounted for 18% and 16% of total sales respectively.
Mercedes-Benz - China Blue Metallic
Does it look a little bit like a painted Easter Egg? Sure. But it’s refreshing nonetheless to see a Mercedes G-Wagon in a colour other than black, white or especially silver. Granted, the colour is a $6,500 option, but a G-Wagon will already set you back over $130,000, so what’s the difference, really? Officially, China Blue is only available on the G-Wagon, but this is Mercedes we’re talking about, so asking nicely, with money, might go a long way.
Nissan - Two-tone Monarch Orange and Super Black
It’s not just “black, it’s “Super Black”! And, also, you know, a two-tone orange which calls to mind sunsets on a tropical beach. After almost two decades of design ubiquity and malaise, it’s nice to see Nissan start to take a more exciting approach to design and offer bold colours on models outside of the GT-R, like the Sentra and Kicks.
Porsche - Frozen Berry Metallic
Would I be so bold as to buy my new Porsche in any colour which wasn’t black or silver? Let’s face it, probably not. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for anyone who walks into their Porsche dealer and walks out with a soft pinkish purple electric Porsche. Perhaps Porsche knows that paint colour selection is a weak point for Tesla and so is now offering the Taycan in colours which sound like a Dairy Queen ice cream treat.