In recent years, we’ve seen the automotive industry push the boundaries on car design and convenience (and two-tone car paint is just a part of that). A consumer-based mindset has laid the groundwork for such innovation along with the unequivocal need to defy the ordinary. 

The way we buy cars has even changed. With the help of Carvana, you can now purchase vehicles through car vending machines or sell your used vehicle from the convenience of your couch. 

Now, more than ever, consumers crave this type of accessibility and customization during the car buying process. This trend has even trickled down to the paint color of your car – giving buyers a fun and playful way to make a statement on the road. 

Consumers and manufacturers alike have gotten bored of the white, black, and gray colors that have dominated the global car market. 

Maybe buyers are just tired of being monochromatic? 

The result is two-tone car paint. The question is: do we love it or wish to see it go? 

Find out how two-tone car paint came to be, which manufacturers are taking advantage of this trend, and whether or not it is here to stay. 

Where it all began, the era of two-tone car paint

A trend that commonly emerged in the 1950’s and 60’s has unmistakably made its debut (again) on the market. 

Most often seen on station wagons, these two-tone vehicles defined a contrasting time in history – much like its exterior display. The 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air is a prime example of how the two-tone color palette came to exist and remain on vehicles in the U.S.

This iconic car, among many others, took liberties with design and color to manufacture a one-of-a-kind vehicle in its heyday.

Although the concept of the station wagon has since been transformed into a modern day SUV, the two-tone paint trend has survived throughout its transformation.   

Two-tone car paint first reemerged in the early 2000’s with the Mini Cooper, followed by the Ford Flex in 2005. 

J Mays, retired head of Design at Ford, who oversaw the creation of the Ford Flex, stated, “You can get a lot of bang for the buck out of two-tone paint.”

Apart from personal aesthetics, a contrasting roof can reduce interior temperatures and visually streamline the size and look of a vehicle. 

Nissan, Hyundai, & Toyota 

While Mini and Land Rover standardized the modern day two-tone aesthetic, other manufacturers have recently caught on to this trend.   

Nissan saw an optimistic response from buyers with the inclusion of two-tone paint on the Kicks crossover

Approximately 25% of customers chose the two-tone paint option, compelling Nissan to introduce the contrasting roof option to upcoming 2021 releases of the Nissan Rogue, Ariya, and Leaf.

Korean automaker, Hyundai, followed suit with the two-tone option on their Kona CUV. 

Toyota has incorporated the bi-tone variations as well in the Camry, C-HR, and RAV-4. 

Even luxury manufacturers, like Volvo, continue to adorn and adapt the bi-tone look. 

The Volvo XC40 gives one of the most classic, modern approaches to two-tone car paint. It uses a white and black exterior.  

Would the cars with personality, please stand out

With a highly competitive market, automakers are always looking for ways to distinguish their brand. They also know your vehicle is a reflection of your style, something that differentiates over time. 

By offering two-tone options, automakers are expanding the scope of customization.

Car buyers can choose between a classic monochromatic look or a modern two-tone approach. Either way, two-tone paint gives us a more diversified buying experience. 

Taking inspiration from the past and giving it a modern twist is exactly how trends last. So far, buyers are enjoying it. 

Can two-tone paint withstand the test of time?

Essentially, the automotive industry is in a constant phase of innovation and rebirth.

While we look ahead to safer technologies, we bring back new and improved versions of older models, like the 2021 Ford Bronco.

Some may think the two-tone roof is just another fad, like matte exteriors or chrome finishes. Some may question why it ever made a return in the first place. 

Certain automakers like Mini and Land Rover have integrated the two-tone palette into their manufacturing DNA. But only the future will tell if Nissan, Toyota, and other manufacturers will keep up with the look.

It’s obvious the modern buyer is appreciating the trend towards more versatility. As a result, two-tone car paint has become another way for car buyers to express their creativity.

Michaella Malone
Hello! My name is Michaella Malone. I am a graduate of Florida State University with a B.A. in English. I am a freelance writer with varied experience in ghostwriting, blogging, and resume building. I have additional knowledge in creating content for ESL curriculums.

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    7 Comments

    1. Every year new technology is coming out. It’s interesting to know that depending on the color a lot of things come into role like how big the car looks, how hot i can get in the inside base on the roof color. Eventually I believe it will be something a lot of people are going to want their car to look like specially this generation. I am more old fashion and prefer one tone color.

    2. Ion like it!

    3. I was SO CLOSE to getting a two tone Nissan Kicks but I went with the all white because it seemed more “mature” at the time. Wonder how much a paint job would cost now.

    4. More choice, more variablity, more versatility.

    5. I am really excited to see more vibrant paint schemes and colors, because cars have been looking very bland until recently. White, black, and silver have become very common because consumers have been attracted to bland utilitarian colors. There is a great video describing this at length from Donut Media.

      https://youtu.be/Ab2u-iGN3uk

    6. I think the two-tone looks great on some cars. The new Camry with white and black is really nice.

    7. Love it. Had a 94 Z28 two tone as a teen. Was standard with any T-top that wasn’t black.

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