The Hyundai Kona boasts a range of slick colours.
The Hyundai Kona boasts a range of slick colours. Mark Bramley

We're still boring, but are tastes are becoming more risque

DESPITE white topping the list, it seems our tastes in car colours are getting more risque with shades of grey and blue on the comeback trail.

According to paint gurus BASF, the rapidly growing SUV market is also sparking more personality in cars.

The BASF Asia Pacifc report found nearly half of all new cars are white, but "bright red, blue shades and exclusive greys are attracting much more attention”. Brown colours are also seeing a resurgence.

Traditionally associated with luxury marques, black is the second most popular colour, with grey and silver coming in third and fourth respectively.

The grey and silver hues are especially popular in in the pint-size segments.

Starting the trend was the Subaru XV, while recent releases like the Hyundai Kona have also injected new enthusiasm into the market.

"Young families in the big cities are attracted by the 'experience and adventure trend' connected to the SUV image,” the report says.

"As work-life-balance is an important value for these consumers, they enjoy travelling with families and appreciate the comfort of the SUV on long trips in addition to rides for their daily commutes.”

Some manufacturers have withdrawn bright colours from their range due to a lack of interest. Kia recently launched its seven-seat Sorento SUV with only neutral colours - on offer is white, and metallic silver, metal, graphite, black, blue, as well as a white pearl.

But with the growing number of electric vehicles forecast to enter the market in future years, colour palettes are also expected to change.

"Newly emerging Asian-built electric vehicles (EVs) will influence new colour trends. We expect more unique and individual colours for small EV segments, including two-tone and three-tone colours, which makes this segment more attractive,” said Chiharu Matsuhara, BASF's head of colour design Asia Pacific.

The BASF Colour Report for automotive OEM coatings 2017.

Globally, the colour white covers more than one-third of the overall car production.

White is associated with the positive image of purity and intelligent advanced technology. This image is increasingly combined with smart eco-technology solutions. White is preferred for a long-term investment, and Chinese buyers like it because it is "intelligent” and "stylish”.