/ Motoring

Is brown really the next big car colour?

Brown SsanTong XIV-1 concept car

When it comes to selecting car colour, brown is firmly at the bottom of my check list. But it appears manufacturers are pushing cocoa-coloured cars as the next fashion trend to take over from white. Are you sold?

I’ve held this notion that brown is starting to be pushed on car buyers for a few months now, but my theory really fomented while attending the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show last September.

While shooting a video for the refreshed Hyundai i30 family hatchback, I couldn’t help being distracted by one of the various different model variants on the stand. It was finished in a deep metallic chestnut brown – and it didn’t take long to latch onto more metallic-chocolate motors.

A blanket of brown at Frankfurt Motor Show

Fiat had opted to showcase one of its third generation Panda superminis in a gloss bark colour. And even the reserved Korean carmaker SsanYong decided dark bronze was the most impactful way to present the sculptured bodywork of its XIV-1 concept car.

‘This can’t take off’, I said to myself. But I’ve been wrong before. I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I didn’t think white would prove so popular when pearly blanc started appearing more frequently as a colour option in brochures a few years ago.

Difficult to keep clean, easily mistaken for commercial vehicles and the choice colour for the majority of marked police cars; I had my reasons to be sceptical.

Just how important is colour?

It’s not like colour isn’t an overwhelming factor in people’s choices. It’s always one of the first fields we fill in when using car buying websites and is one of the most considered areas of selecting a car.

But if I was wrong about the popularity of white cars, I could equally be incorrect this time around, right? Not according to the AA, which surveyed over 15,000 car owners in 2011 and found that brown has a way to go if it wants to become popular. Only 1% of UK motorists owned a brown car and 0% wanted to own one.

So will carmakers be able to make cinnamon-coloured cars popular? You tell me. Enter our poll and tell us if you agree or disagree with my sentiments about mahogany-coloured motors.

Would you consider buying a brown car?

No (72%, 231 Votes)

Yes (23%, 75 Votes)

I already have one (6%, 18 Votes)

Total Voters: 325

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Not for me, thank you, unless a very big discount was offered. I doubt if brown would be good for safety, though I am glad that we have not been pushed to drive around in yellow cars on the basis that they are highly visible.

you could say the same for black, safety, I think its class, I would buy that colour.

I think it would look good with cream or fawn leather upholstery, especially if coloured hubcaps made a comeback!

Many people select a clour just because it is new and “trendy” and will stand out in the car park

Being a VW Camper fan, I’d be more than happy with a retro brown van – but not sure about a new car!

It’s happened before. In the mid-to-late 70’s many cars left the showroom in colours more suited to the contents of a burger bun: browns, mustards, mayonnaise (optional), tomato reds and relish greens.

The only thing that could stop this being the next big trend in car fashion, is that the maker seems to have forgotten to include a vinyl roof and fibreglass aerial.

Next up: the fluorescent-coloured flock finish.

No go-faster stripes and furry dice please. 🙂

I agree with you totally; NO go-faster stripes and furry dice.

You don’t like go-faster stripes and furry dice? Oh well never mind eh? What about nodding dogs?

There are a few ‘earthy’ tones (I’m being polite, here) that can be made to work on certain cars, but deep browns, maroons and mustards should stay in the 70s. I might consider buying a retro ride in its period colour, but I think carmakers are having a laugh if they think brown is the next white…

As with many answers the only valid one is “it all depends”. It depends on the shade, the finish, the accessories, the size and style of car etc.

Brown is either for flushing away or a growing medium. I wouldn’t even wear brown socks let alone buy a brown car.

Brown makes me frown. What’s wrong with a good sporty red?

My gran had a green car in the New Forest – not a very good idea when you’re driving around tight rides surrounded by green hedges. The car crash (not a bad one) didn’t take too long to arrive.

I was trying to find out the most popular car colours in the UK – there are a number of surveys that differ, but the top five tend to be black, grey/silver, white, blue and red.

According to stats from the SMMT 26% of cars on the road in 2011 were silver, followed by 23% blue and 16% black. In 2010 the top three were blue, red and silver – no sign of brown anywhere…let’s hope it stays that way!

*2000, not 2010

dennis richards says:
2 April 2012

Brown, the colour of the 1970’s and poo. Very appropriate! The seventies were ‘c******p’ so is brown on a car…

Well here goes a spanner in the works; compared to my Citroen DS21 pallas with tabac leather interior and brun scarab paint colour all makes of cars are obsolete tractors.
Brown in the most elegant colour on the planet.
Alfa Romeo have a Brera coupe car which is a dark metallic brown; understatedly gorgeous.
Better we all moan about road tax ?

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