I am in many ways averse to color. If I had my way, everything in my closet would be black. Dressing would be easy and it would be impossible to make a mistake. It is different with houses. I like my house and its colors, both inside and out. When it comes to cars, the three new cars we bought--thus we had the option to choose the color--were blue, white and red. Thinking back at each of those cars, they were good choices. In more recent years, when we've purchased used cars, well, I've never made a choice about a car because of color and in that way, you get what you get.

If there was a color I would prefer on most cars, it would be white. Some of my favorite cars we've owned have been white, and when cleaned up those cars looked smashing. Most of the rest of the cars we owned could fall into the category of what my wife has deemed "non-colors." European and luxury makers have long kept to this palate: shades of black, gray, beige, silver, and "ishes." Those would be bluish, merlot-ish, greenish and so on. Better cars tend, I think, to look appropriate, if not exciting, in subdued, discreet tones. It is nice, though, when you see a manufacturer step out and make a car in a wild color. We had one such car. It was the fastest, most luxurious car we ever owned and it was a screaming metallic eucalyptus green. That was one great looking car. Then again, it was pre-owned and had it been silver we would have bought it anyway.

I was looking at our showroom recently and noted how subtle and unremarkable the collection of colors were. Each car was handsome in its shade of gray/black/beige, and even as a collection they looked fine in the Swedish decor of our showroom. Certain
ly, though, there was nothing which screamed or might elicit any sort of instinctive reaction. The cars in the showroom, as decor, looked stately, dignified and slightly boring (again, speaking only about color here). So I did a bit of research. I picked one model I find really good-looking, the V60, and looked up all the colors in which it could be had. Yes, there are multiple whites, multiple blacks, grays, silvers...but there is a strong Flamenco Red, and though I don't like it, powder blue. How did that compare, I wondered, to other 2015 luxury makes?

I went to the websites of Mercedes, Audi, BMW and Lexus. I went to one middle of the pack car in each car line and looked at the color choices. I must say that having seen these, I would change my assessment of the Volvo colors and deem them bold and exciting. Indeed, colors are nearly the same across car lines year after year with only subtle variation, but I will give Volvo credit for making their renditions richer and more interesting. If your tastes are a bit more adventurous, and you crave a car in Tangerine Orange, Plasma Green or Sunshine Yellow, well, you'll find you have to look at a different sort of car altogether. Recently, though, I was thrilled when one car made it into our oh-so-Swedish showroom and just screamed with delight at how different it was: a V60 in Rebel (aka Polestar) Blue. Here was a nice, discreetly cool Volvo in a most outrageous color. This is a love-it-or-hate-it proposition I love it, and I love that Volvo built it!

Categories: Automotive
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