Home » Automakers Should Make Fun Colors The Default Option: COTD

Automakers Should Make Fun Colors The Default Option: COTD

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It’s no secret that the most popular car colors are white, black, silver, or some variation of those shades. Sometimes, an automaker does give buyers a real color but then makes the color so dark it might as well be black. Other times, real bright colors do make an appearance, but then they’re paywalled. Dear automakers and motorcycle manufacturers, cool colors should be free!

The new Toyota Land Cruiser looks epic and at $57,345, it’s significantly less expensive than the previous generation, too. Today, David wrote about how he would spec his Land Cruiser out. There’s just one problem, the cheapest one also has the worst colors.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Today, Shop-Teacher takes the first COTD win for pointing out that having boring colors for the base model is a total downer:

The base model being available in only black white and grey is a HUGE swing and a miss for me. Get it black (or white) and wrap it I guess?

It’s sad that you’d have to wrap your nearly $60,000 purchase just to get a cool color. I’m with Shop-Teacher here, give us some real color! Whenever I’m buying a vehicle and price isn’t the main priority, I always look for a bold color. I don’t want to blend into a sea of gray. Give me yellows, pinks, oranges, and teal!

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I want to smile every time I look at my purchase! That’s why one of my Smarts has an orange safety cell, why I bought that teal BMW airhead, and why I’m desperate to paint some vehicle of mine hot pink one day.

Today, the Autopian office found itself baffled at the schtick of the McDonald’s Hamburglar. Alright, so this fella’s whole job is to steal hamburgers. Somehow, this nets him enough cash to afford a Barracuda. Who buys black market McDonald’s cheeseburgers? What’s going on, here?

Hamburglar Hits The Road Hero1 2

Jack Beckman may be onto something:

The Hamburger is a humanitarian. He steals the burgers to *prevent* others from eating them.

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Finally, we arrive at Cold Start, which talked about an early driving game that used 16mm film. GetstoneyII (probably) had just the right thing to say:

“He drives around, all over the town.
Toonces, the Driving Cat.”

Have a great evening, everyone!

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Manuel Verissimo
Manuel Verissimo
1 month ago

Fun fact! If you buy a new Peogeot 208, the cheapest color is yellow, which is awesome

PunkyBrewstersHubby
PunkyBrewstersHubby
1 month ago

My 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage in Sapphire blue with the funky multi-spoked alloys looks pretty striking in a world full of silvers and greys. I mean it’s just a lil econobox but at least she’s pretty.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
1 month ago

There weren’t many cool color options available in the Laredo trim package when my parents bought a Grand Cherokee in 1997…in particular, the red had a strange orange-y tint, amethyst was so dark that it only looked purple in direct sunlight, and there was no blue. The silver (Bright Platinum) they ended up selecting has held up beautifully; it has as many scuffs and scratches as you would expect, but those marks blend in so well with the paint that you have to be really close to see them. The clear coat has helped a lot too.

Mike B
Mike B
1 month ago

I like that my 4Runner and 2nd gen XC70 (both bought used) are both silver, because even though I barely wash either, they both never truly look dirty. It’s also good at hiding scratches on the runner from narrow trails.

They’re definitely boring to look at, but at least practical. My favorite 4Runner color though is the Voodoo Blue (smurf blue) exclusive to the 2019 TRD Pro.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago

I have a question, with preemptive apologies for perhaps being a Luddite in this regard and not knowing any better: Shouldn’t it be easier than ever to custom order a car directly from the factory, specifying any option you wanted that fit, that was installed at that factory? In the 21st century, isn’t placing that order a simple matter of entering a line of code? If they could do the same back in the days when production orders were on paper, why wouldn’t they do it now, when it would cost them less time and money than ever to do so?

Again, maybe I’m a big dummy who doesn’t know how things work these days, but I would presume that the first major auto maker to offer this service would find themselves in possession of a license to print money. If you want to keep the dealerships happy, make it a service that is accessible only through a kiosk at your local dealer. But whatever medium they choose: If I can configure a hypothetical car for free on a dozen different websites, why can’t I send a prefilled build sheet for one directly to GM or Ford or Toyota or Honda? If they have the color paint I want at the same factory, why won’t they just spray it on my car for me? I mean, it’s right there, and the car is right there, and all production schedules and plans are coordinated by a digital system that can be told what to do. Help me understand.

Last edited 1 month ago by Joe The Drummer
Mike B
Mike B
1 month ago

I’ll just comment on Toyota, I’m not familiar with the other’s processes.

You can’t “order” a Toyota. You can come up a list of features you want, then the dealer can look for it. Dealers can’t order either, they get an allotment of vehicles from Toyota with whatever options and accessories Toyota felt like adding that day.

Back in the 50’s/60’s the domestic brands would let you order pretty much anything that you wanted. I remember seeing in a museum a 100% original, basic bench seat, steel wheels, no radio Dodge Dart with a 426 Hemi that was custom ordered that way.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike B

To be sure, I will certainly accept “because they don’t want to” as a plausible if frustrating answer.

Mike B
Mike B
1 month ago

I’m sure it’s much more efficient and cost effective to not have to deal with actual customer orders when producing vehicles. Plus people continue to buy them, and pay more and more money for them.

PlatinumZJ
PlatinumZJ
1 month ago

Stellantis-era Jeep will allow you to order a made-to-order Wrangler; not sure about their other vehicles. Back when my dad ordered a Wrangler in 2003, the tag on the vehicle indicated that it had actually been manufactured months earlier; it appeared they took an available Wrangler in the color he ordered and added the specified accessories. (Wherever that Wrangler came from, it only had 2 miles on the odometer, so I guess Daimler Chrysler kept some Wranglers sitting around for that purpose?)

Also, I’m pretty sure you could order custom trucks from GM/Chevrolet in the early ’90s.

Last edited 1 month ago by PlatinumZJ
Dudeoutwest
Dudeoutwest
1 month ago

2000 F150 XL is in Island Blue Metallic (Teal and heavily sunburned now)
2016 Audi SQ5 is in Sepang Blue Metallic (it’s sparkly and gorgeous)
2005 Porsche Boxster is in Seal Gray Metallic.

Somehow, our least boring car is in the most boring color for a Porsche beyond silver.

Motorcycles: Honda Red, Avus black, pearl white white with BMW motorsports stripes, Cobalt Blue and a dark red for the Touring Vessel

We’ve got a mix, but I prefer cars that have some color on them.

This aversion to color is everywhere. Look at photos of people’s homes: all white or beige. Like everything in the place.

There are 64 million colors, fellow humans, don’t be afraid of them and stop decorating or choosing car colors “for resale”. Life is too short to be a boring drone.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 month ago

If you want actual colors these days you have to buy a muscle/sports car or one from the bottom rung. Because color is considered lowbrow. Back when all cars had real colors it became the thing that “serious”, high end cars — mostly German — were black, gray or silver. So buyers started aspiring to that look, and here we are. I think there’s an opportunity for EV makers to differentiate themselves with interesting colors, to declare the black-white palette old fashioned.

Last edited 1 month ago by Alan Christensen
Brandt S
Brandt S
1 month ago

I am 100% in the cool color camp. Unfortunately, dealers are not. And I’d like to wrap a boring color in a good wrap, but have you looked into how much that costs? More than a grand, most likely like $2k or so. That’s A LOT of money for vinyl stickers.

Andreas8088
Andreas8088
1 month ago

My favorite “color” has always been flat black… even when I was a kid, I used to paint all my model cars that way. (And model rockets… etc…) Then when I was old enough to own a car, I got a black car, and realized it SUCKS to keep clean. So I buy dark grey cars as the next best thing. Some of us just LIKE that. Bright colors aren’t my thing. I prefer to blend into the background and go unnoticed. That said, I do appreciate the bright colors, and love them when I see them. I would just not want to own one.

Alan Christensen
Alan Christensen
1 month ago
Reply to  Andreas8088

In a world of colorful cars black wouldn’t blend in.

Andreas8088
Andreas8088
1 month ago

This is true…. but, we don’t live in that world.

Ronan McGrath
Ronan McGrath
1 month ago

Most of my cars are in very bright colours. I have no idea why people buy these neutral boring non-colours except for resale value, and then I have no idea why people buy used cars in these shades.

I do recall a comment about ten years ago about my Gecko green Wrangler in AZ when a grizzled old dude came over and asked ” Was that the last Jeep on the dealer lot or did you actually choose it?”

Porsche has great 911 shades, but I had very few choices on a Cayenne GTS two years ago and ended up with a boring silver. ( I am not going to pay silly money for special order paint)

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 month ago

Teal? Not a hill I’m dying on.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

I like it but only in a relativistic way. In the early ’90s, it was wonderfully refreshing as it was so unique. But in a few years, every other car was teal and it became the cliché we know now.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

My feelings exactly.

Joe The Drummer
Joe The Drummer
1 month ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

I hate it way less now than I did then. At least it’s not black, white, or fifty shades of gray.

As I have said before, teenage me would not believe how eagerly 50 something-year-old me would rock a car in 1974 triple green right now. Imagine this magic dragon on bags, with the right exhaust: https://barnfinds.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1973-Pontiac-Catalina-400-1-e1515515267273-630×354.jpg

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 month ago

That is a beautiful car. Man. Solid. Would rock. 10/10.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

People who aren’t old enough don’t remember how the 80’s had this austere Gary Numan-esque ‘black, white, and red are the only colors’ thing going for a while. When some designers went back to pastels, it was like the sun rising on melancholic depression.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Wow. I hadn’t thought of that way but you’re exactly right – you’ve pretty much described Pontiac’s entire color palate throughout much of the mid to late 1980s. All with medium gray interiors b/c the future.

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
1 month ago

Well, will ya look at that! I now have been awarded more COTDs than Susan Lucci won Emmys. It’s gonna be a good day today. (Y)

Pappa P
Pappa P
1 month ago

My mom bought a new RAV4 hybrid a few years back. I asked her if she got the cool 2 tone paint with the white roof. She informed me that you have to get a higher trim in order to get the white roof. In Canada with more limited options than the US, the 2 tone paint is tied to a rather expensive package, easily over $5k.
The result is that while the RAV4 is wildly popular around here, I’ve almost never seen one with the white roof.
It was a great design idea and looked great on the car, but Toyota priced it so that no one could have it, unless they want to spend Lexus money on a RAV4.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
1 month ago

Chevy teal is a criminally beautiful color to only offer on a handful of models. Offer it on the Camar, you cowa- oh wait that’s discontinued. Offer it on the Corvette, you cowards!

And I now realize there are no more modern Chevies I car about.

I guess I’d like a teal Cadillac as well…

Aptera isn’t GM but if I could have one in any color it’d be that Chevy teal.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

While if I have to have a painted car I prefer fun colors, if the body and or chassis is aluminum I’d prefer an unpainted one.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 month ago

I’d go one step further – black, white, and gray should cost extra. Lots extra.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

This. If the majority of customers want boring colors, then why not increase profit margins on boring basic colors?

Then when clout culture inevitably decides greyscale is therefore premium, everyone can have fun mocking people for paying more to be boring 🙂

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

> This. If the majority of customers want boring colors

Isn’t that backwards? Maybe most customers get the boring colors because they’re cheaper, as opposed to affirmatively demanding them?

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
1 month ago

So what if they’re cheaper? More profit. Most customers buy boring colors because dealerships buy more boring colors, because almost everyone will settle for a boring color to get the car they want at a dealership. That’s why boring colors are cheaper. However, if the opposite were the case… dealerships would probably still order more boring colors than interesting ones, but I imagine more people would buy interesting colors due to the value proposition as well, and the dealerships might order more of the cheap interesting colors as the value offsets the “sells less quickly” aspect.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago

To speak to the power of paint, I very nearly (grossly financially overreached) to bring one of those amazing cavalry blue Tacomas. I ended up with a white F-150 at 1/3-1/2 the price, but still, there’s still a deep covetous part of me that wants one. What a color.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

Can you wrap the truck in blue?

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
1 month ago

I’m not big on wraps, for whatever reason – I think it’s to do with the fact it’s not a “real” change, but patched over. Plus, I’ve grown into owning the white f-150 anonymobile identity – I’m one or two vinyl decals from looking like an employee of Anytown, USA.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Mechjaz

rattle can time!

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

Even Matt Hardigree passed up on the opportunity to buy a green Forester and went with gray instead 🙁

When you buy new, you get to pick out the color. When you buy used, you don’t.

Also, this is another reason it’s so sad that GM doesn’t sell the Spark anymore. It was always available in cool colors, even the base model. And at the higher end, you could get cool colors, manual transmission, sunroof, and heated pleather seats.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago

I’m willing to pay a few hundo extra for my fancy pants paint. I’m already financing it for 5 or 6 years (I don’t have Hamburglar money over here), so what’s a few more bucks a month to brighten up the world? Just don’t lock the good colors into a trim level that costs thousands of dollars more. That’s some country fried bull crap right there!

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
1 month ago
Reply to  Shop-Teacher

Congrats on the COTD!

Ford’s doing decently on this – the fun colors (cyber orange is the BEST Maverick color IMO) are available across the board, just with an extra fee.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Thanks!

Ford is probably the best manufacturer about this. They have so many great colors too! I was drooling over a Maverick yesterday in whatever they call that deep bright electric blue.

Last edited 1 month ago by Shop-Teacher
Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
1 month ago

The funny thing is, colorful cars almost always demand a higher resale value, yet most people buy a greyscale car because of resale values. OEMs then greyscalify the lineup to match this backwards ass line of thinking, then voila, a sea of grey malaise.

Buy the car you want in the color you want, or demand the colors. Case in point, my Stinger. I bought it in Micro Blue (terrible color name) because it was the best color offered in the States. I wanted deep chroma blue (also bad name, and purple) but it wasn’t offered here. So many people called KIA asking for it (me included, the guy spoke to said it was the #1 request), they sold it as a special edition.. not the point (kinda), but my car sold second-hand for 3k more than the equivalent greyscale car and in less than a day just because it was a nice color.

I’m now looking at secondhand S213 E63s, I want Piedmont Green.. there has only been one for sale in the last year and it sold for 20k over the average. But, go to the forums and everyone who loved it bought grey or silver so it would sell better…?

The world is broken, buy a colorful car.

Maymar
Maymar
1 month ago

I’d be lying if I said being able to get Soul Red on a base model Mazda didn’t play into my decision to buy one recently.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 month ago
Reply to  Maymar

Soul Red is such a good color! My wife has a CX-5. No other color was considered.

Bassracerx
Bassracerx
1 month ago

not a bad idea. if people want a silver car so bad make then pay $2,000 for it lol.

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