Although factors such as safety, fuel economy and overall affordability are important, aesthetic appeal remains the number one deal maker or breaker for new car buyers.
With this, and our desire to express individuality in mind, car manufacturers are producing some insanely customisable models, allowing buyers to select from a multitude of options. From exterior body colour to individually coloured wing mirrors and bumpers along with dozens of interior trim combinations and accessories, there’s up to a million possibilities with some models.
Some of these cars have become ‘fashion accessories’ or ‘status symbols’ thanks partly to manufacturers such as Fiat keeping up with seasonal trends by introducing a ‘lifestyle colours’ series know as ‘Colour Therapy’. Although, it’s hard to imagine motorists changing their cars on a mass scale as seasonal trends come and go.
Here we look at five surprisingly affordable cars, all arguably offering all the ingredients needed to satisfy even the most picky fashion conscious individuals.
1. Citroen DS3
Topping our list is the award winning DS3 by Citroen, in their own words ‘every angle is new, fresh and innovative’. With the ability to choose from 30 exterior colour combinations along with four roof colours and 10 graphics such as Zebra Print, Flower, Pearl and Map, the DS3 offers plenty of scope for style and individuality to flourish.
Other decisions you will have to make when opting for a new DS3 include a choice of mirror colour and alloy wheel design. Step inside and you will be greeted by a choice of four dashboard colours and five gear knob finishes, whilst the floor mats mirror the graphics on the roof. Mistral ‘Sturm’ cloth and finely stitched ‘Claudia’ leather are just two of eight chic seat upholstery’s on offer.
The DS3 is like a blank canvas, and with so many colours, options and combinations to choose from, it’s hard to believe two will ever look the same.
Admired the world over, the MINI rests in second place. A fashion statement for over five decades, the new MINI is just as desirable among fashion conscious buyers today, as it was back in the early 1960s.
Every inch of the MINI is offered for personalisation starting with a choice of 13 striking body colours, including ‘Chilli Red’, ‘Midnight Black’ and ‘Pepper White’. Extra colour can easily be added through a series of funky roof graphics with themes such as Unionjack, Helecopter Landing Pad, Zip and Checkered Flag, some of which are available with matching mirror caps and gear knobs.
The car also boasts 10 wheel designs, a choice of bonnet stripes, mirror caps, 12 upholstery options and three interior trim options.
3. Fiat 500
Our number three goes to Fiat, who, with the creation of its colour therapy range, has introduced a series of uber trendy 70s inspired lifestyle colours which have undoubtedly rocketed its appeal among fashion conscious buyers. Colour aside, Fiat’s popular Italian inspired super-mini oozes style and sophistication from every angle and boasts over 500,000 options.
Fiat’s offering includes a choice of 14 body colours, over 33 exterior graphics, 11 wheel designs and numerous chrome badges and strips along with tinted windows, a fitted glass roof and an electric sun roof. With complete control over the interior finish, including a choice of colors for the dashboard, carpet and seats the 500 feels some what like an interior designer’s playground.
In the interest of leaving no stone unturned, the 500 also boast a host of surprising little details such as mirror graphics, retro valve caps and a vintage steering wheel.
Despite its sophisticated looks, along with its sheer ability to be customised to suit an individual’s own personal taste, the 500 is more desirable to the female buyer. With this in mind Fiat have recently announced the introduction of a new limited edition ‘500 GQ’ which it hopes will help increase the cars appeal among a male audience. Previous special editions include the 500 by Gucci, whilst rumours cited a 500 Barbie edition which, far from being endorsed by Barbie herself, was eventually launched as a limited edition ‘500 Pink’.
4. Vauxhall Adam
Adam is Vauxhall’s stylish, customisable super-mini. Combining over one million possible combinations with uber cool urban style, Adam is the most customisable car ever and belongs firmly within our top five.
Adam has three trims: Jam, Glam and Slam along with a choice of 12 ingeniously named body colours such as ‘I’ll be Black’, ‘Papa Don’t Peach’ and ‘Purple Fiction’. All three trims are available with an optional ‘extreme pack’, which, depending on your chosen trim, adds a colour coded roof, logo bar, tinted rear windows, wing mirror caps and a panoramic sunroof.
Deciding against an ‘extreme pack’, you will be presented with a series of options for wheel design, roof colour, optional panoramic sun roof, logo bars, exterior mirror covers, daytime running lights and parking sensors.
With smaller, less noticeable options such as valve caps and mud flaps among the million possibilities, you will quickly realise the Adam can be anything you want him to be. It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options on offer, with this in mind you may wish to take a look at Vauxhall’s top 24 Adam variations as compiled by the manufacturer themselves.
5. Volkswagen Beetle
Volkswagen’s Beetle is every bit as iconic as the Mini, and thanks to a successful relaunch in 2011, it features on many a list of fashionable cars and unsurprisingly takes its place at number five on our list. Available in a series of bright and vibrant colours such as Tornado Red, Candy White and Saturn Yellow, the Beetle isn’t as customisable as the Adam or the 500, but it does offer reasonable scope for personalisation.
The Beetle comes with colour coded door panels and front dash and has optional extras such as additional chrome ‘Beeetle’ lettering, a series of decorative stripes and branded door sills. Other extras include a panoramic sun roof, fender premium sound pack and sports instrument dials, as well as mud flaps and floor mats.