From Magenta to Melon: Our Least Favorite Car Colors


When Chevrolet recently announced a magenta-colored version of its Sonic compact car, it was met by a collective groan from the editorial staff. Don't get us wrong — we love a well-placed splash of color every once in a while, but most of us put the Barbies away years ago. Unfortunately, Chevrolet isn't the worst offender. I polled the staff and they came up with an impressive list of eye sores.


Joe Bruzek, editor: 2012 Smart ForTwo in Green Matte
The 2012 Smart ForTwo's matte green exterior and nugget size made it look like the ForTwo just slimed out of someone's nose. I'm glad to see the color isn't available for 2013.


Jen Burklow, copy editor: 2012 Kia Soul in Alien Green
Quite simply, it alienates me. There are so many prettier, cooler shades of green.


Jennifer Geiger, news editor: 2009 Dodge Caliber in Sunburst Orange Pearl
I shudder each time this garish hatchback catches my eye. I can't, however, say if the reaction is in response to remembering how it drives or the color's eyeball-searing ugliness.


David Gronlund, multimedia coordinator: 2013 Toyota Prius c in Habanero Orange
Aka construction-zone camouflage. It looks less blinding on a computer screen, but in person on a sunny day this car is ugly and dangerous. I could swear the light it reflects burns my eyes more than direct sunlight. Either that or my polarized sunglasses are in need of retirement. I'm all for individuality and fun car colors, but this is a bit bright and a bit much.


William Jackson, senior editor for research and production: 2011 Hyundai Sonata in Camel Pearl
The color hides dirt well, but as a consequence, the car never really looks clean, either. And it's just such a dull color. If I bought a car that color, it'd be a sure sign that I'd just given up. On everything.


Matt Schmitz, editor: 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed in Apple Green
This metallic green reminds me of a Charms Blow Pop in sour apple. I suppose if you have $300,000 to spend on a car then you can make it as gaudy as you want to, but that color green screams new money, which to me defeats the purpose of rocking a Bentley.


Evan Sears, photo editor: 2013 Chevrolet Spark in Techno Pink
How about the gross off-pink color that came on our Spark last year? According to Chevy, it's called Techno Pink. To me, it looks like pizza-and-wine vomit — not that I have any clue what that looks like.


David Thomas, managing editor: 2011 Kia Sorento in White Sand Beige
Our multimedia department was saddled with shooting one of the most unappealing exterior colors ever to grace the offices. Under most conditions, it looked like Silly Putty. It was not a flattering color on a car this size — or any size, for that matter. After seeing the Sorento in other colors and also testing a dark gray model, I'm positive that the Sorento can look great ... in any other color.


Mark Williams, editor: 2013 Ram 1500 with two-tone paint
I know Ram is trying to offer a premium look, but I can't get past how bad the two-tone paint scheme looks, even with all that bumper, grille and side mirror chrome plating. No amount of pretty sunset light can take away the contrasts and color conflicts. Put it all together and it's something that looks like prime rib but is only made out of spices.


Kristin Varela, Chief Mom: 2012 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet in Caribbean Pearl
It's the same color as those bizarre fleshy blind fish that live in sunless underground cave pools. Looks weird in nature, and even weirder on a car.

What color makes you wonder "what were they thinking?" Tell us in the comment section below.

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By Jennifer Geiger | July 31, 2013 | Comments (67)



So if I understand you correctly any color that is not silver, white black or gray is not acceptable on an automobile.

Personally, depending on the car, I like teals, coppers, and bright greens. You don't want it on S Class or a Lincoln but a teal or copper Nissan Z, or Mini? They look great. I happen to love the Lime green Soul. Basically these colors belong on small cars. You're entitled to your opinion just like I am when I want to vomit when I see the latest fad of black wheels which to me look like a car whose hubs have fallen off.

A. Non E. Mouse

If I like the bright orange car and you don't, then I guess it stinks to be you. I don't care that you and your friends don't like a particular color that I happen to like.Don't fret and complain about my choice of color. Leave the high school attitudes towards others' opinions, likes, and dislikes back in high school.

Derrick G

Sounds like the market is driving the offering...and dropping...of these colors. Seems like that's how it should be. Not sure why that would be of note.


Like they say, "one man's junk is another man's treasure" applies to vehicle colors also. If not enough people purchase the vehicle in that color, or combination, it will just be dropped from the inventory in short order.


Personally I like the colours shown with the exception of the apple green and sunburst orange.

But that's my personal opinion.


Teal on any car is terrible. And those pink S-10s that GM used to make were awful.

Kate Townsend

I have a spirited green metallic Mazda2, and my husband drives a tangerine orange pearl Subaru XV Crosstrek. I look forward to driving my colorful cars, and they cheer me up. Black, white, and silver are just blah.


Ms. Townsend: Amen. Bravo! I agree with what you wrote concerning vehicle colors...Black, white and silver are sooooooooooo boring!

R Johnson

The color I hate is the yellow shades. They all look like my dog just pee'd on them


I wouldnt own a car if it wasnt black, white, silver or gray.

I agree with Ms. Townsend. I have a bright yellow Focus hatchback and that car brightens my spirits everytime I see it. It's impossible to lose in a parking lot amongst a sea of dull blacks, charcoals, and whites, and it gets lots of compliments from passerbys. Not everybody gets it, but that's kinda the point.


I still mourn the loss of my yellow Honda CRX. I hope the color cycle returns to yellows and interesting greens when it's time for me to get another car. Or maybe it's time for orange . . .
Mr. Thomas and Mr. Jackson: I agree entirely with your choices. Beige is boring no matter what you call it.

Lord Gaga

The only ones of these I really dislike are the camel and beige variants, and I don't really hate them, they're just boring. The rest I like to one degree or another, depending on the appropriateness of the car it's applied to (that apple green would be fine on a Fiesta, a Bentley not so much).


GRAY/GREY/SILVER is for satellite dishes,tombstones,battleships,guard rails(HIT ME!!)base primer paint, factory walls,basements,dumpsters, janitorial uniforms and Republican elephants. If you're CONTRAST blind and drive a GRAY/SILVER/GREY vehicle . . . . PUH-LEEZ KEEP ALL YOUR LIGHTS ON - SO WE CAN SEE YOU!!

Carol Echols

Actually, I have seen car colors far worse than the ones on your list.


I love colorful cars, I just wish car companies wouldn't be squeamish. I have a Pontiac Vibe, which came in hot red (nice color) and mucus green (horrible). I've seen maybe four mucus green ones, which is probably every Vibe ever sold in that color. The year the Vibe came out, the Aztek was sold in a bright yellow. Inexplicably, this color wasn't offered on the Vibe, even though it would have looked awesome with the car's black bumpers. With the possible exception of the Hyundai Veloster, all the "colors" car companies offer these days are off-shades--dull green, wussy dark red, washed-out blue.


It's an emotional thing, and that green Matt is the only one that triggers an emotional feeling down in my stomach. You know, that's the color of some bug juice you get on the windshield.

Kay Westlie

I m wondering if it was mostly those of the male persuasion who made these choices?

I like many of the colors. I m a color person. My house has lots of color too, not a white or neutral person:-)

My car is teal.


What ever happened to the candy colors? Those were some really bright colors in the daylight. I suppose they can't teach robots that they have to paint a car twice. Yeah, I'm from the 60's teen crowd.


I can't believe BMW's Sparkling Bronze Metallic didn't make the list. Talk about a polished turd!


My habenero orange car is so small that any extra advantage in visibility is a good thing because it makes me safer. Besides, I know that anyone who cuts me off is a jerk driver, not that they didn't see me.

John in Austin

My wife bought a Techno-Pink Spark last told her it was the only one in that color they'd been able to sell! Fortunately, I've not seen any similar colored cars on our roads. She had a Geo Prism a few years ago in a similar color. Color aside - the Spark is great in downtown Austin....slink around....slip into parking that others have no chance at! Now if only those P/Us and brawny SUVs would even acknowledge the Spark's presence and give it some room in traffic - don't like your front bumper on my driver's headrest!!!

David W.

This is why we get color choices like this: There's white, black, and three shades of gray. Even the blue and red are grayish in tone.


Oh, I was laughing until I saw the last one. I think the Caribbean Pearl is rather pretty. How can it be that that color is included, but that horrible brownish-orange shade that I refer to as "baby poop brown" was omitted?


A good friend of mine that owns a body shop told me years ago that if I wanted him to be able to perfectly match any fender bender activities, I'd better stick to one of two colors, white or black. All other colors are mixed by the high school drop out that counts the squirts going in the can in the back of the auto parts store.


Sorry folks---I had a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport in "Bright Jade" (think swimming pool aqua) and I LOVED it! I like unusual colors---not into White, Silver, Black colors on cars. Unfortunately, my current vehicle is a 2006 Buick Rendezvous in "Cashmere". Pretty blah.

Rita M.

Some of those colors are not great but I was pleasantly surprised that school bus yellow was not on the list. Hope this means car makers have banned it from their inventory, HATE IT.

Ethan Coane

Personally I love the Caribbean Pearl Murano (didn't know they made a convertible model). I generally dislike an orange car regardless of shade. Back in the late 60's GM made a nice shade of pale yellow (not chrome yellow) as well as a lavender that looked great on a Corvair.


Mostly, I flinch not at these, which make me giggle, but at inoffensive beige and greige. They do, really, say "yes, I have officially given up, I am over 50, it doesn;t show the dirt, and it's an automatic too" (speaking from a British perspective, where automatics are almost exclusively the preserve of old people). I have a black car, which is hilarious to keep clean in rural mud, but I was buying secondhand and the other choice was a shade of metallic brown that truly looked like a gilded turd. My 17 year old says if he ever gets rich he's having a swank car from new with every panel a different colour, like a proper hippie car, because he's fed up trying to spot our black car in a car park full of other black cars. You would not miss a Habanero Orange!

Marge Rudman

Color, Color, and MORE COLOR! Bring it on!
I am soooooo bored with "silver". Let's face it, that's just gray by another name. It all depends on which color on which model and the eye of the beholder.
Get over it and start enjoying the variety.

Doug Corell

Frankly, it's probably a wee bit easier to find your Green Apple SUV in the parking lot than it is for me to find my black one. We've come a long way since the "any color as long as it's black" days of yore.

Mary Kaye Bates

Shame on you! Except for the washed-out beiges/silvers, those colors rock! I drive a 2002 Chevy Cavalier LSi in Caterpiller yellow, and I love it. I get thumbs up from everyone from Palm Beach to the grocery store bag boys. Dare to be colorful -- cowards can stick to boooooring silver, gold, tan (ecch), etc.

Jennifer Geiger, News Editor at

Franky, I love Caribbean Pearl -- it pained me to put it on this list. :)

Patrick Miller

The only one I didn't like was the Hyundai Sonata in Camel Pearl, all the others were great. I love to see the bright colors that have come out. The dull colors will always be available to those who want them.

Matt C.

I love the two tone look on the trucks and the Ford Flex. It hearkens back to when car styling was at its peak. Plus, most of these colors look pretty nice for the cars they are on. Caribbean Pearl would look good on any other car, but they stuck it on that one. The only way to make a Murano look good is to stick it behind another car.

Al W

My all time hated color for a car is Apple Green. When it first appeared on the Nissan 280ZX in 1979 (I think) I immediately wretched. I knew a poor slob who bought one and eventually repainted it. Unfortunately, he didn't spring for doing the door jams and was constantly reminded of his dumb choice. It is/was hideous!!


I agree with Shawna about the baby poop colored cars. The color I really dislike on the colorchart at the beginning of your blog is the gold (TS121) now that's butt ugly, and we know from Tom & Ray how ugly that can be. Thanks


Frankly I hate all those indefinite quasi-tones of every pastel color in the spectrum - many of which are featured herein. But, I must say I LIKE Habanero Orange.


I think you've over-rated Kia's Alien Green! It's more like Bile Green and I would put it above the top of the list.


Honestly, I love colorful cars! What I am tired of is gray, silver and white. Life is too short to blend in : )

James Donnaught

The Murano CrossCabriolet is ugly enough, but that "Caribbean Pearl" is a CNFN (Color Not Found in Nature).

If the human brain has an "unpleasure center", scientists will be able to find it by exposing people to this thing.

Floyd Hazelman

I have a 2011 Smart
Car that is Matt Green
At 1st I had reservation
on the color, Everyone
who see my car loves
it. and I like it more
and more It is the only
one in my area (Central Ill) I don't like the
browns. They look like "blank"


My dad had an Omega in that Habanero Orange. The interior was *also Habanero Orange. It was hot, as in heat. It was blinding. It was UGLY. I got carsick every time I rode in it and get that feeling every time I see that color.

This is the man who turned my Carribean Pearl 1972 Lemans into a Rolling Turd of Thunder with a $75 Earl Sheib paint job in Matte Dark Brown. Now *there's a color you missed.


The Apple Green on the Bentley is perfect. I know some people who own Bentleys, and they all make me want to throw up.


The Caliber and Sorento are THE worse two on this list!

My personal favorites for car colors are…

04 Volvo S60R – Flash Green Metallic
97 Volvo 850R – Cream Yellow
99 BMW M3 Convertible – Dakar Yellow
13 BMW 6 Series Lineup – Frozen Bronze
06 Nissan 350Z – Interlagos Fire Metallic
96 Nissan 300ZX – Deep Purple Metallic
01 Nissan Maxima SE 25th Anniversary – Sterling Mist Metallic
13 Ford Mustang – Grabber Blue
12 Ford Focus ST – Tangerine Scream Metallic
13 Hyundai Veloster Turbo – Matte Grey
13 VW CC – Black Oak Brown Metallic
14 Scion tC – Cement Grey
06-10 Lexus IS250/350 – Glacier Frost Mica
11-13 Lexus IS250/350 – Fire Agate Pearl
07 Mercedes E350 Key to the Cure Edition – Sienna Black Metallic
2001 Toyota 4Runner Sport Edition – Stellar Blue Pearl

My current daily driver is a 2012 Lexus IS350 F-Sport in Starfire Pearl Metallic. I’ve always had white cars and this is the only shade of white that I constantly get compliments on!


I agree with Jack. When you look at the cars on the road or in the parking lot, you see a mass of dull "colors" all melting together. What happened to true color?

Personally, I think that the magenta, Caribbean Pearl, and Techno Pink would look beautiful amidst all the silvers, greys, whites and blacks out there.

I have a car I bought used, so had no choice of color. It is a silver wagon. Coming out of a store and looking for my car in the parking lot, I saw half a dozen cars that all looked like mine.

Hurricane Sandy, which landed a tree on my roof, gave me an opportunity to do something different. I had the body shop paint my roof rack and trim above the rear windows bright burgundy. Everyone loves it, and I can now easily pick out my car among the vast sea of silver cars!

leland berg

I had a 1980 AMC Spirit in what I called a "Burnt Yam". AMC called it Russet but it was a little too orange for that.


I've always bought colored cars. Usually, they're dark blue or dark red. But when the red car of my dreams was totaled, I replaced it with the same model in platinum.
Never again.
I can't find the damn thing in the parking lot. You wouldn't believe the amount of time I spend walking up and down parking lots looking for that stupid gray car amongst a sea of identically shaded gray cars.
I saw a funky shaded pinkish chevy yesterday and thought to myself, I will NEVER lose that in the parking lot. Now, I want it. Bring on the puce, mauve and chartreuse. Anything but boring, gray, go-with-the-herd, "safe" colors of gray, beige and white.
My next car is going to be some shade of purple. I'm determined.


I like color, and while oranges and greens aren't my favorite, I fully understand that some people DO like them. The car color I TRULY can't understand is School Bus Yellow. WHY, in the name of everything that's sane, would ANYONE want to own a car sporting that ugliness?!?!


BTW, I think the Matte Green and the Techno Pink are kind of nice... they are color, but not screaming color...




great colors are coming out. we need to get lighter interior colors in florida guys, how about it? what happened to the whites and reds and tans inside? we don't all like dark colors inside...


There's really nothing wrong with any of those colors. Get a LIFE.

TC in NC

While I absolutely LOVE some of the darker reds and blues that have come out recently, I have to choose my car colors based on practicality. If I had a garage/covered parking I would love to own a vivid color. Unfortunately, the reality is that if I'm lucky the only shelter my car will see regularly is partial shade from a tree. A car with a dark/vivid color would not last in the sun and would be too much work to keep looking good. So, given the choice of white, camel/beige, silver, or light gray I tend to stick to silver. Reminds me of all of the chrome cars used to have back in the day.


It depends on the car really. What it can carry off. I really wanted a smartcar in a bright color. Afterglow, they are cute and tiny. They need to be fun colored and stand out. I ened up wih whte! Cause that is what they had available. I wanted yellow although it wasn't a pretty yellow. I love the matte green. The "texture" is outstanding!

city living

I LOVE the Caribbean Pearl--can't understand why a gorgeous color like that would be objectionable. The bad colors are the putty, taupe, silvers, grays and other dull colors that are hard to see in fog and twilight -they're just dangerous.


"I wouldnt own a car if it wasnt black, white, silver or gray."

Personally, I wouldn't buy a car if it was *only* available in black, white, silver or gray. I bought a car this time last year and I rejected some models outright because the color options were too limited. Nothing wrong with any of these colors -- do we all have to be sheep driving the same color cars?


By implication, you must like all the strange shades of yellow that are out there, since you didn't single any of them out.


Worst car colors: black, grey, silver

I mean, they're not even colors.

Black, gray and white are really boring, typical of choices made by sheeple who won't venture into anything potentially exciting. My 2009 Challenger SRT8 is Hemi orange, bright orange with black stripes. People tend to move out of the way quicker in the left lane of expressways and I've gotten 100's of compliments on the car.


How could anyone NOT like the Caribbean Pearl? - it's gorgeous! I love colourful cars, but all I ever seem to see are cars that are silver, grey, white, red or black. Time for more colour on our roads IMO.


I'm kinda partial to the Alien
Green color. Licked a purple car once, and it didn't taste like a grape, just glad it was clean. Keep the colors.

Jim Koppelman

My least favorite is brown. I had a brown Dodge Dart, and when the paint got old, it looked remarkable like mud. Saved on washes, tho


I like the bright colors. They're fun. As a mom, I think it's cool to have bold colored cars. But, I've never been dull and boring either.

rick miller

i love my dark metalic blue jeep.


Car COLOR is 1/2 the reason I buy a car! SORRY....

I just kept the same car I was leasing for the past 3 years because I couldn't find a new one in any BRIGHT colors that I liked! Car manufacturers seem to shy away from 'bright, fun' colors except for maybe one a year by one manufacturer. That will catch on so others will follow with the SAME Color, or maybe try another. Case in point LIME GREEN last year. I did find a bright yellow Camaro or Purple Dodge Charger - but those were too big / muscle cars for me at this point. All of the smaller, compact foreign, good milage cars were the typical boring colors! SO I kept my bright turqoise Mazda 3 instead!

C'Mon people... give us some choices! Quit being SO boring...not EVERY car buyer IS!


Color is awesome. White. Gray. Beige. Black. Brown. Blahhhh. Agree that they are for dull people.
I drive a sunshine yellow Chevy Aveo and LOVE my car. And, always canfind it in parking lots, ALWAYS get compliments on it, AND other drivers SEE me and I'm lessss likely to be in an accident.

I am hoping for MORE choices in years to come!

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