Where Has the Colorful Leather Gone? - 2002 BMW M3 Long-Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3 Long Term Road Test

2002 BMW M3: Where Has the Colorful Leather Gone?

February 15, 2008

BMW M3's Imola Red interior -- Photo by Scott Jacobs

I've spent the better part of two days writing Edmunds.com vehicle reviews for the various iterations of Bentley Continental GT. It offers no less than 17 different leather colors, with customers able to select any two to apply to several areas throughout the interior. It makes playing around on the Bentley Configurator a great way to drop a few hours at work.

But even with 17 leather colors available, how many of you would choose colors outside the black, grey and beige spectrum?.. Of all our long-termers, the 2002 BMW M3 is the only one to feature something different with its Imola Red leather (although the Aura, Veracruz and Mini do offer interesting colors). I think it looks superb and it's a shame BMW has cut down on the number of colorful leathers it offers. The various M cars in 2000 came in 11 shades, including Kyalami Orange, Evergreen (teal), Estoril blue, Modena Natur (light orange), Magma (light brown) and Mulberry (really dark grey). The Z3 could also be had in purple and dark green at one point. Today's interesting M colors are restricted to Indianapolis Red (oxblood-ish, M5 & M6) and the same Imola Red (M coupe/roadster).

Are people just not feeling colorful interiors any more? The new Malibu and G8 would indicate GM thinks otherwise, but they seem to be a minority. I wonder if such colors hurt resale?

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 52,094 miles as the M3 awaits its new tires.

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