Car colour trends for 2016/17

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Brown blooming, red hot, navy the new black

Car colour trends for 2016/17: Brown blooming, red hot, navy the new black

2016 has wrapped up and it’s time to look back on the kaleidoscope of cars that have rolled through the CarAdvice garage. MY17 models have been flooding in already, offering up fun new colours and finishes. Let’s take a look.

We’ve seen myriad hues, from bright and bold, through to more shades of brown and grey than we ever thought possible. White is rarely just white these days, with crystal, pearl and ivory effects taking centre stage – and navy is the new black… for now.

Everyone has a personal preference when it comes to car colours and, amongst the CarAdvice staff, some of the new colours were hot topics of discussion and polarised opinion.

We know that over the years the most popular new car colour choices have consistently been monochromatic, and that trend has continued in 2016.

According to our Best Price data, just over 75 per cent of respondents prefer white, grey, black and silver. That still means almost 25 per cent are willing to be a bit more adventurous, and there were a few surprises in the 2016 results.


Last year it was interesting to see 10 per cent of survey respondents would choose blue, with red not far behind at 9 per cent.

This trend flipped in 2016, with red officially the most popular colour and up 30 per cent on 2015. Blue is now trailing slightly behind, but still trending higher than the previous year.


Orange and yellow have gone from hot to not, both dropping significantly while green is so last year, down almost 60 per cent.

The colour brown is not always associated with a pleasant surprise, but in this case it is. Chocolate-inspired shades, though still only preferred by a small fraction of survey respondents, are up a massive 238 per cent.


While our own observations certainly match the data, we’ve noticed a few other trends as well. Satin finishes seem to have run their course, regardless of what Mercedes-Benz says. Given it’s now available on a Hyundai, it’s no longer haute couture and perhaps it’s time for a new signature style.

Beautiful pearly whites have been abundant, particularly at the premium end of the spectrum. Here’s a fun fact: both the cheapest and most expensive colours on the Audi SQ7 are white, the pricey option being a crystal effect that costs $5600.

Navy, so dark it’s almost black, has been a welcome change, as has the re-birth of maroon.

And, despite the fact they’re out of favour with buyers, there have been some stunning citrus shades and beautiful blues too. Not to mention shades of red that set our hearts on fire.

Here’s our favourite car colour trends for 2016/17.

1. Endless shades of grey

Not to be mistaken for classic silver – the new way of going grey may have taken a while to warm up, but it seems the trend is here to stay. We’re seeing more dark grey rather than the pale, cement-like shades we saw so much of last year. 2016/17 brought us some interesting interpretations.

The 2016 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 is finished in Mountain Grey Metallic, which gives it an almost ethereal glow.


The 2017 Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo in Steel Grey carries on the pale trend of recent years.


There were heated discussions over whether the Porsche 911 Carrera cabriolet pictured below was blue or grey. The colour may be called Graphite Blue Metallic but it’s still a blue-inspired twist on grey.

2016 Porsche 911 Cabriolet-100

2. Sky high

These intense, bright hues evoke thoughts of the Cookie Monster, Caribbean seas and blue skies. Though blue isn’t quite as popular as red right now, we’ve still seen some amazing shades lately.



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