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Color-Matched Wheels Are Cool

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author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2019

Black wheels are really popular right now. Really, really, really, really popular. To the point where basically every vehicle is offering black wheels as an option, including compact cars and family crossovers. It's a paradise for people who love black wheels.

I personally am not the biggest fan of black wheels. I've always preferred regular silver wheels, as I think the wheel design is a major feature of just about any car -- and black wheels generally hide the design. In my view, silver wheels are almost always the way to go.

But I'm willing to make an exception: maybe we should compromise on color-matched wheels.

Years ago, Mercedes-Benz used to offer color-matched wheels, like you see above, wherein the wheel center (the hubcap) was painted to match the actual color of the vehicle. This was common on Mercedes-Benz models in the 1960s and 1970s, and other automakers did it too -- most notably Porsche, who still offers the (rarely chosen) option. It seems black wheels have become the default for the "painted wheels" crowd, but I personally think people can do better. They can do color-matched.

Why did this ever go away? It's not because people don't like the idea of painted wheels, as they're all about black wheels. But why wouldn't it look nice for a red car to have red wheels, or at least red accents in the wheels? It brings the color of the car into the wheels, and it looks good. Same story with a white car and white wheels, like the Fiat 500 Abarth has offered. Why can't other automakers do that?

Because the public doesn't want it, of course, but I'm disappointed by that. I personally think color-matched wheels are cool -- and while people are getting all excited over black wheels, they should give color-matched wheels a chance.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Color-Matched Wheels Are Cool - Autotrader