How do you feel about a beige interior? 4

My knee jerk answer is always to avoid them – I’m not a big fan of a beige interior in cars.  I’m sure things sound better if we describe the colour as cream rather than beige, but it will always be beige to me.  Some of my least favoured interiors feature patterned beige upholstery as pictured.

Patterned cloth beige interior in a Nissan Elgrand

I certainly feel like I’m in the minority when looking for second hand Japanese cars to import: Japanese car manufacturers and buyers seem to be big fans…or at least they were 10 years ago (most Japanese cars imported to the UK are over 10 years old).

I thought it would be good to consider the benefits of light and dark interiors.  I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

In favour of the beige interior

  • Beige upholstery and carpet make for a lighter interior, which could give the impression of more space.
  • Lighter colour interiors are likely to feel cooler in hot weather because they absorb less heat.

Against beige interiors

  • STAINS!  This is my main concern!  Perhaps I’d be less concerned if I had years of experience in cleaning car upholstery.  As a father of a toddler, I’m more aware of the durability of a car’s interior than ever before.  Every food and drink item gets dropped on the seat or carpet (and always outside the confines of the child seat).
  • I think beige can age a car and make it look dated more quickly than black.

In favour of a darker colour

  • It hides dirt and stains better than lighter colours.Grey and black interior in a Toyota Alphard

Against dark interiors

  • Black absorbs the most heat, so will get/feel hotter in hot weather.

Is a beige interior better in leather?

A beige interior in leather is a slightly more appealing proposition than beige cloth in my opinion.  Many of the concerns about stains and cleaning that make me want to avoid a beige cloth interior, are reduced with leather upholstery.

Beige leather interior in a Nissan ElgrandClearly it will still show dirt and marks more readily than black leather, but at least any spillages can be wiped up easily.

There may be concerns about resale values: I remember accompanying a friend to look at a car and the salesman said I really must try to talk him out of his preference for a beige leather interior, over concerns about it being an unpopular choice.

Light or dark – which do you prefer?

That brings to a close my consideration of beige vs. black interiors.  There are plenty of Japanese cars up for auction with beige interiors – something to be aware of if you want to avoid it.  Their numbers vary from model to model and also with exterior colour.  White Nissan Elgrands with beige interiors seem particularly popular!

I’m really interested to read your thoughts on interior colour in the comments below:

  • Which colour do you prefer?
  • Would you consider a beige interior if the rest of the car was good?
  • Would you pay more for your preferred colour choice?

You could also have a look at my post on how a car’s colour affects the sale price at auction.



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4 thoughts on “How do you feel about a beige interior?

  • Maxim Shalmakrax

    No doubt a lighter interior requires you to be a bit more careful but it’s also classier. Can you imagine a mid-engined Ferrari for the collector in anything other than crema/Rosso? Does depend on the car a bit though: an NSX would be unthinkable with beige interior. You should never, ever buy a Porsche with such trim!

  • phil w

    Beige every time, on commencing the search for our Alphard we looked at many (& a load of Elgrands because the first decision was to decide between the 2 vehicles), only a few interiors were scruffy ( usually at slightly dodgy dealers & leather in an Elgrand!)
    Most Japanese owners have spent a lot of money on there excellent tailored covers so on receipt here our seats were truly as new (the miles were only 50 odd thou. though). What should we do, spend £400+ on new covers & keep them that way, or enjoy them as they were?
    The decision to retain & look after too no minutes!
    Beige lifts the interior, making it look more expensive & exclusive, mats on the floor – YES! – but light seats equal light interior.
    This is even more true as Alphards with dark materials often have dark “wood” too, this can all get very murky,
    One reason we are buying an Alphard is because we don’t want a Sharan or similar Germanic creation!
    Therefore if you have nothing to hide, why hide it?
    But I suppose we are unusual as we also insisted on the rare Bordeaux red exterior colour!!

  • Barry J Cook

    I am in the process of aqquiring a 2006 Alphard Hybrid and hoping to change the head unit to an Xtrons 6.2 Unit that looks like it will fit the hole and my needs totally.
    However, It has been suggested that it is not possible to remove the Toyotal Head Unit as it integral to the functioning of the Hybrid system!
    Can you or your readers confirm either way what their experiences have been.

    • Andrew Post author

      Apologies Barry I’m not able to confirm this either way for you. Hopefully someone will be along soon who can.