Help James be indecisive

I’ve been talking about the Fiat 500 for years, waiting for years in anticipation for it to come out in the US, waiting for years in anticipation when I can graduate and get a real job that would allow me to afford a new car.  Well that day is here.  And I can’t pick out a color.  At this point, I’ve figured out what optionals I want, but even under that constraint, there’s still a lot of colors to choose from.  As I know a lot of ballroom people who are much better at color coordination than me, I’d like to get some input.

First, to setup the problem: there are three colors to choose for the Fiat 500.

  • Exterior color: this is not only the exterior of the car, but the splash of color across the dash, see below.  There are 14 colors to choose from.  Something else to think about: exterior color affects resale value (see here and here).

  • Interior color: this is the color of the steering wheel, instruments (including air, radio, gear stick), and the tops of the seats.  The options are ivory or black.
  • Seats: the options are black, gray, brown, or (yes) red.

To see combinations of the interior color and seats, go here and click through the options. Here’s what I saw at the dealership today: the exterior colors can be roughly broken down into browns, greens, white/gray/black, and red.  Oh, there was a blue too.  Not all exterior and interior combinations are in stock (i.e. blue exterior and red seats? Nah.).

The browns tend to have brown seats, not surprisingly.  I think the ivory interior goes well with the brown seats.  Note that the mocha latte is a flat paint while the espresso is metallic.

  • Mocha latte: Picture.  Sorry about the pictures, but my phone isn’t great at compensating for strong sun.  Here’s a light brown exterior with brown seats and ivory interior.  I’m including 3 pictures: exterior (what most people will see), driver’s side facing forward (what I will mostly see), and interior (to get an idea of how the dashboard, seats, and interior match up).
  • Espresso: Picture.  I’m not sure about brown exterior and brown seats.  Yes, they would match, but that’s one less degree of freedom for colors inside.  Do I want that?  I don’t know.
The greens also tend to have brown seats.  Verde oliva is a metallic paint while verde chiaro is flat.
  • Verde Oliva: Picture.  The exterior shot is a bit faded out.  The driver’s shot gives more hints that it is a deeper green.
  • Verde Chiaro: Picture.  Okay, the exterior shot is really washed out.  Look at the middle driver’s shot to see the green (or go here).  So the thing is this: my family had two green cars when I was growing up.  Not a rich green like British Racing Green, but garish green.  I suspect we had them because the previous owner couldn’t find other buyers with that color.  Anyway, Verde Chiaro is not that green, but it still reminds me of it.  On the other hand, I do like how the light color contrasts with dark gray dashboard.

Black/gray/white tends to come with black, gray, or red seats.

  • Nero: Picture.  Okay, the interior shot is crap, sorry.  Anyway, I’m going to nix this.  Black splash across a dark gray dashboard with black seats.  So boring.
  • Grigio: Picture.  Ditto gray splash on gray dashboard.  Even with red seats, still too dull.
  • Blanco: Picture.  Shots with both red and black seats.  Not that you can see anything past that window glare.


  • Rossa: Picture.  Black or red seats.  But can you really see me owning a red car for the next 2, 5, 10 years?
  • Azzurro: Picture.  Okay, these were taken inside, so you can actually see it.  I do like the blue, both outside and the splash across the dash.  Main problem: doesn’t go with brown seats, just boring gray/black ones.

My conflict is this: 1) I like how brown and ivory seats are separate from the rest of the gray insides; 2) I’d prefer a bright exterior so the inside splash across the dashboard contrasts with the dashboard.  However, only some colors go with brown seats: greens, browns, white.  Of those, the only bright colors are light green (which I have qualms about), light brown (too beige?), and white (too dull).  Anyway, those exterior paints are flat and not as interesting.  So it appears I can’t have both.

Looking for any input here.  Thanks in advance.


One thought on “Help James be indecisive

  1. Yay car color tools! ^_^

    I personally like it in Argento – there’s something about the shape of the car that lends itself better to the lighter colors. It also has a reasonable resale value according to the links you posted, and a better safety record. Also won’t heat up your car so badly if it’s out in the sun. And scratches/dings/bird poo won’t show as badly.

    I agree with you that the brown seats are really lovely, but I also kept going back to the Avorio / Nero combination. My only concern is that the steering wheel is black, which is gonna get really hot on your hands if you park in the sun. The rest of the interior is also not totally dark, and the checked pattern on the seats won’t show wear and spots as badly as others might. And again, if you’re gonna be in a sunny climate, dark leather seats = pain. -_^

    Also, I’m incredibly jealous. They seem like a /ton/ of fun to drive.

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