Top 10 Craziest Paint Colors Available Today

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

Automakers have come a long way from the days of Henry Ford’s Model T. While many colors were available over the “Tin Lizzy’s” long production run, this rugged and bare-bones vehicle was only offered in black for many years. Talk about choice!

Today, car manufacturers offer more hues than there are colors of the rainbow. But that’s not all. Depending on the product, customers can get shimmering metal flake or even special pearlescent paint jobs that seem to change color under different lighting conditions.

Spurning the basics like black, white and beige, even mass-market companies are offering buyers ever more assaulting hues. These days you don’t have to pony up the cash for a Lamborghini to drive something bright. Here are the Top 10 Craziest Paint Colors Available Today.

Subaru is known for many things, but wild design and bright colors are not the company’s calling cards. They’re perfectly happy pushing a sensible agenda full of things like long-term quality and advanced all-wheel drive. Still, this history hasn’t prevented the Japanese automaker from dipping a toe in the vivid end of the color wheel.

The company’s XV Crosstrek is a compact utility based on the trustworthy Impreza small car. Like just about every other Subaru (we’re looking at you BRZ) it comes standard with all-wheel drive meaning it’s ready for just about any type of weather, nasty or not.

This vehicle’s signature color is called Tangerine Orange Pearl, a suitably bright and youthful shade that looks like it was inspired by a McDonald’s dining room. But unlike a Happy Meal this fun product lacks lean, finely textured beef and a week’s worth of dietary sodium.

Sometimes you don’t need a bright color to stand out. Subaru’s citrus-themed orange shines like the midday sun, but Hyundai has taken a subtler approach with its Veloster Turbo.

Buyers can opt for an oh-so-cool Matte Gray finish on this force-fed hatchback. The car can literally be slathered in lusterless paint that’s like non-reflective barbecue sauce dripping off a rack of baby-back ribs. This finish gives the adventurous Veloster an almost custom look, like a factory-fresh rat rod.

SEE ALSO: Hyundai Explains How to Care for Matte Paint Job

Of course there’s a price to pay for being different and it goes beyond the $1,000 up-charge. Owners have to be extra careful to keep their cars looking dull and shine-less. Naturally waxes and polishes are off limits, as are automatic car washes. Yes, you’ve got to scrub it down by hand, lest the paint get buffed to a shine by the twirling appendages of an unrelenting machine. Other precautions are also strongly recommended.

If Subaru is a conservative automaker then Volvo is more hidebound than just about any other car company. In decades past this Chinese Swedish brand has been a champion of boxy design, it’s also been obsessive compulsive about safety long before this issue became popular. These factors combined are a recipe for automotive narcolepsy.

Despite Volvo’s penchant for dreariness, the company has come around in recent years to offer some uniquely styled vehicles with comfortable interiors and entertaining on-road dynamics. Additionally they also offer at least one bold color on a few of their models.

Rebel Blue is a bright and cheerful hue that’s somewhat similar to the shade of indigo that makes up most of the Swedish flag. It’s available on the S60 T6 AWD R-Design sports sedan as well as the Polestar Limited Edition model of the brand’s compact C30 hatchback. It’s also offered on the R-Design version of the V40.

Get your daily dose of vitamin C and ward off the deleterious effects of scurvy with a brand-new Dodge Dart! That’s right; you can commute to work or drive to a weekend ballgame in efficient comfort thanks to Chrysler’s best-ever small car.

Higher-trim levels of this C-Segment sedan can be painted in a bright-yellow color called Citrus Peel Pearl. In a way this finish makes the Dart look like a lemon rind, though hopefully with fewer undesirable bumps.

The company has been pretty gutsy with this car’s color palette. They offer a wide variety of exuberant hues, from the light and lovely Laguna Blue to muscle-car inspired Header Orange.

Speaking of old-school Detroit power, the Dodge Challenger is a 21st Century take on 1970s performance. With two doors, rear-wheel drive and available Hemi V8 engines this machine is ready to run. You can even get one of these modern classics with a proper manual transmission.

Reinforcing Dodge’s penchant for bold colors the Challenger is available in Header Orange, which, just as its name suggests, is as vividly colored as a crate of clementines. Beyond this, the car is also offered in another unusual shade, something called Plum Crazy Pearl Coat. This color kind of makes the vehicle look like Grimace, the violet-hued, bolus-shaped McDonald’s character. Mmmmm mmmmm, another fast-food reference.

For five decades the Ford Mustang has stood for youth, exuberance and tire-smoking delinquency. This iconic nameplate has had a tumultuous history over that time span. It was an unabashed hit when introduced in the mid 1960s, singlehandedly spawning America’s ponycar segment. Over the years it’s been offered in so many different body styles and trim levels, with such a multitude of powertrains it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all.

Today’s Mustang is still a performance leader and thanks to a reasonable sticker price an accessible vehicle for enthusiasts. It offers big performance, respectable fuel economy and an attractive retro design. Of course it’s also available in some interesting colors as well.

One of the brightest is called Grabber Blue, an eye-popping shade of sapphire that really stands out from surrounding traffic. Mustangs dipped in this color pop like a bowl of Rice Krispies for breakfast.

But Grabber Blue is not the only exotic color available to Mustang buyers. Ford offers a shocking shade of emerald as well.

If Deep Impact Blue shouts at your eyes Gotta Have It Green screams at the top of its lungs through a megaphone. It’s loud enough to make you deaf or blind… or whatever… this analogy sucks.

Bright, fun colors are often available on small, inexpensive cars. These vehicles appeal to, and are affordable by, younger drivers. As such you generally won’t find something like Mazda’s Spirited Green Metallic on the options list of a BMW 7 Series.

This color glows like a fallout-afflicted rainforest fern, or even an algal bloom in a stagnant swamp… with glitter. This Kermit-the-Frog-themed hue is fun and intense; it really stands out, but in a good way. Spirited Green Metallic is available on the itsy-bitsy Mazda2 hatchback.

Ice, ice, baby! The Spark is Chevrolet’s smallest U.S. offering. Like a vertically challenged person this diminutive car makes up for its “shortcomings” by looking really loud. Designers have seen fit to offer the hatchback in a variety of off-the-wall colors like Lime and Lemonade.

But perhaps most unusual of all is a hue called Grape Ice. It looks like a partially melted slushie, a sort of muted lavender color that’s unlike anything else on the road. Imagine a grape-flavored Jolly Rancher with frostbite, that’s what this shade of automotive weird looks like.

Subaru, Dodge and Chevrolet all offer citrus-themed paint colors and so does Ford. The company’s sporty little Focus ST hatchback is available in an eyebrow-singing hue called Tangerine Scream. In fact it’s the car’s signature shade.

This sparkly bright color reinforces the Fofo’s performance capabilities. It’s kind of like a rainforest tree frog, the vibrant coloring serves as a warning; don’t mess with me. This hue is a sparkly combination of orange and yellow that demands attention like a cranky two-year-old; it’s also a $595 option.

Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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  • Nelson Nelson on Oct 24, 2013

    Too bad most folks will never give themslves permission to have such a vehicle. Time was it was a big deal to have a driver license and a car to drive. When you got around to having your own car you wanted something that got people to look. Then you dressed it up with nice wheels and anything else that made it stand out. Now people want to drive black/gray/white cars with big rims and dark glass and expect others to be impressed.

  • Shannon Hummell Shannon Hummell on Oct 15, 2013

    You forgot the wild colours that the 2014 mitsubishi mirage is available in like plasma purple, kiwi green and sapphire blue!