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Am I the Only One Who Hates Black Wheels?

It has recently come to my attention that virtually every car now has black wheels. When I say “it has come to my attention,” what I mean is that I’ve been driving around and noticing that even really cheap cars, like the Jeep Renegade, now have black wheels on even mid-level trims. I sincerely hope we’ve reached peak black wheel, and I say this because I personally hate black wheels.

Allow me to explain myself. The primary reason why I hate black wheels is, quite simply, that wheels should be something that distinguishes vehicles. Wheel design, to me, is one of the most crucial ways to tell apart different models, different years, different trim levels — and a wheel can make or break a car. Witness, for instance, the Ferrari F355, which uses one of the most attractive wheels ever conceived — compared to the Ferrari 348, largely panned for its looks. The two cars share many body panels, but the one huge difference between them was the wheels.

When I’m deciding on car attractiveness, wheel appearance is absolutely one of the things I most consider — and the unfortunate reality of black wheels is that they hide the wheel design. The unique look that wheels give a car are completely removed once they’re painted black. With black wheels, all you can see is … black.

And then there’s the other thing with black wheels: they just aren’t cool anymore. Yes, when black wheels were first pioneered by exotic cars and aftermarket wheel brands, I’ll concede they were considered cool, even though I personally didn’t like how they looked. But now they’re on Jeep Renegades and Ford Edges. Even cars that don’t offer them as factory options seem to end up with them, and it’s rare a day goes by when I don’t see some sort of regular, everyday car with “cool” black wheels. The trend is over. We’ve gone too far.

Now, I admit my feelings on this are relatively unpopular, at least among the general public. The general public seems to appreciate black wheels, considering how many cars they’re buying with black wheels included. But surely among car enthusiasts and connoisseurs of vehicle design who appreciate the subtleties a wheel can bring to a vehicle, you must agree? Surely you, too, must prefer silver? Surely I must not be alone?

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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  1. Black wheels are like camouflage. From a distance, they blend with the tires. It’s awful. It’s not just that I don’t like them, I hate them! I am amazed at the longevity of the black wheel fad, because I certainly haven’t changed my mind. When the BMW did that thing with their trunk, I hoped it wouldn’t continue, but I got used to it and now that many cars used that truck design, I kind of like it. When the ’61 Corvette appeared with its different rear end, I wrote to Zora Arcus Duntov to complain. I wish I had kept his nice reply in support of change. Designs come and go, fashions come and go, black wheels are like the loose pants fad though, it seems to be never ending! Achhh!
    Fortunately, I prefer Cadillac, so my car has some nice, factory wheels.

  2. I hate them too…and when I was shopping for a new vehicle last fall, I was surprised that often times they are the only wheels the manufacturer makes available on the upper level trims, with no other options. Ugh! I bout the latest Acura RDX with the upper trim level and the wheels at least are not black, but a very dark gray. I love the style of the wheel (15 spokes) but hate the color. I am going to check into having them painted a lighter silver.

    Honestly…black rims on a vehicle totally take away from a vehicle, making it look bland and like it is a lower level trim instead of the opposite. I understand it is the latest ‘trend’, but we know how trends go. Five years from now you will find that they take away from a car’s value because n one will want them. I think the manufacturer should at least offer choices.

  3. Black wheels are the stupidest the stupidest craze I have ever seen on cars over the years they devalueate a nice looking car or truck.if you like them you have a sweet taste for sour pickles

  4. I drive a 2018 Ford Flex SEL with 20″ black wheels. I bought the car new and 95% of the inventory back then had these black wheels. It is part of what Ford calls 202a Appearance Package. Ford was adding it for free, meaning it adds $2495 to overall sticker price but then discounted.

    I like regular colored 19 in wheels on Limited models much better but those weren’t offered on SEL. I ended up choosing a body color that worked better (to my eyes) with the black wheels.

    All that is to say customers likely aren’t exactly crazy about these black wheels. Rather manufacturers are forcing them on us. But then, I consider myself an enthusiast!

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