Modern Cars, In Living Color


Recently a young woman who works for me bought her first brand new car, this Honda Civic in this wonderful electric blue, which Honda calls Dyno Blue Pearl. I was really wowed by this color, and impressed that this young woman made a bold color statement instead of buying her Civic in silver, black, white, or some shade of beige – in other words, in a non-color. It’s been a frequent lament in the auto blog world about how most cars today seem to be painted a non-color. But then I noticed how many late-model cars in the work parking lot were colorful.


So I started really looking for colorful cars on my usual afternoon clear-my-head stroll, and set about photographing the ones I found. Within a few days, I had a couple dozen photos. The color I liked second best, after that blue, is this copper-rust color on this Dodge Ram truck.


I have a theory that perhaps it’s primarily people who lease or trade frequently who choose the non-colors because it removes a resale barrier. Yet entry-level cars, like this lime-green Chevy Spark, are more apt to wear look-at-me colors. Maybe their owners buy them to keep them.


This Honda Fit falls into that same category, I think. Honda calls this color Blue Raspberry Metallic.


My theory doesn’t explain this Ford Edge in orange, or Blazing Copper Metallic in Ford-speak. Ford offered this color on the Edge for just one year, so maybe it wasn’t popular.


Another Ford CUV, the new Escape, can be had in this ruddy brown color that Ford calls Sunset.


Blue seems to be resurgent, as I found any number of blue cars in the work parking lot. Another person who works for me drives this blue Toyota Yaris. He usually drives when the gang goes to lunch. His manually shifted car is surprisingly zippy.


I can’t decide what I think of the new Mazda 3’s styling. I like its low-slung look with its set-back cabin, but I’m not crazy about the roofline and do not like that little kink over the rear doors where the roof slides down to become the C pillar.


Here’s another 3 in a darker shade of blue. The 3 above is in Blue Reflex, and this one is in Deep Crystal Blue.


This Kia Optima looks good in Corsa Blue, a color that’s not available anymore in favor of more muted colors.


Here’s another Civic, this time a sedan, in that gorgeous Dyno Blue Pearl.


Have you noticed what class of car is missing? The mainstream sedan, of course. The only colorful one I found in my week of walks was this blue Buick LaCrosse. I saw nary a colorful current-generation Accord, Camry, Fusion, Malibu, Impala, et al., even though plenty of those cars were parked.