Sonic silver is a popular automobile paint colour used by various manufacturers including Honda, Hyundai, and Volkswagen. It is a metallic silver colour that leans towards the cooler side of the colour spectrum. Sonic silver first began appearing on vehicles in the early 2000s and has remained a staple silver paint option for many automakers.
The Origins of Sonic Silver
The first recorded use of sonic silver as an automotive paint colour was by Honda in 2002. It debuted on the Honda Civic that model year along with several other colours like Vivid Blue Pearl and Taffeta White. Honda describes the 2002 Civic’s sonic silver colour as “A High-Tech look. Cold. Asexual. Intelligent. The colour silver speaks volumes about the car it graces. And it makes a statement about you.” Other car manufacturers took note of this unique silvery metallic colour and began using it themselves shortly thereafter.
Volkswagen debuted sonic silver in 2004 on the fifth generation Jetta and Golf models that year. The company called it “silver,” but it was the same colour with a blue/grey tint that Honda used. Audi, Volkswagen’s luxury brand, first used sonic silver in 2006. Hyundai also started using it in the mid-2000s decade on models like the Accent, Elantra, Santa Fe and Tucson.
Over the next 10-15 years, sonic silver grew exponentially in popularity across many major automotive brands. It offered a modern high-tech look that appealed to a wide range of buyers. As silver metallic paints go, it also does a good job hiding dirt and imperfections better than lighter silvers. This combination of aesthetic appeal and practicality has cemented sonic silver’s place as a contemporary neutral colour option.
Characteristics of Sonic Silver Paint
So what exactly makes sonic silver different from other silver metallic automotive paints? Here are some of its key characteristics:
- Has a blue-grey tint that gives it a darker, cooler look compared to sterling or platinum silvers.
- The blue undertones provide a subtle contrast on the vehicle’s body lines and contours.
- Maintains a modern high-tech appearance even years after application.
- Does an excellent job hiding minor scratches and swirl marks compared to lighter silvers.
- Pairs well with many exterior accent colours including black, grey, chrome, and darker tinted windows.
- Goes nicely with a range of interior upholstery colours like black, grey, tan, or burgundy leather.
Overall, sonic silver metallic paint has a sleek and contemporary vibe. It is not quite as light and bright as sterling silver, but not as dark and monochromatic as gunmetal grey either. Sonic silver strikes a nice balance between the two extremes.
Sonic Silver vs Sterling Silver
|Paint Type||Sonic Silver||Sterling Silver|
|Tint||Blue-grey tint||No tint|
|Brightness||Medium brightness||Very bright|
As you can see, sonic silver has a cooler blue-grey tint while sterling silver is a very pure bright silver with no tint. Sterling silver accentuates the body lines and contours of a vehicle more than sonic silver. However, sonic silver’s tint makes it better at hiding minor scratches, swirls, and dirt. So if you want a paint colour that dazzles and turns heads, sterling silver would be a better choice. But if you value a more modern tech look and paint that disguises imperfections, go with sonic silver.
Is Sonic Silver Metallic or Non-Metallic?
Sonic silver is a metallic paint. It contains tiny flakes of metal mixed into the paint that provide its shine and light-reflecting properties. Non-metallic paints have no metal flakes, so they have a flatter, matte finish with no sparkle effect.
Metallic paints like sonic silver are more expensive than non-metallic/solid paints becuase of the higher material costs. But the metallic flake gives them much more visual depth and makes the car look more premium. Sonic silver would not look nearly as nice if it was just a standard non-metallic silver paint. The metallic properties are essential to achieving its modern high-tech look.
What Makes Sonic Silver Paint Shine?
There are a few important factors that give sonic silver paint its lustrous shiny finish:
- Aluminum flakes – Fine aluminum flakes are embedded in the paint that reflect light rays from different angles to produce a sparkling effect.
- Smooth surface – The metallic paint is applied smoothly and evenly so the metal flakes can reflect uniformly across the surface.
- Clearcoat – A clear topcoat is applied over the silver basecoat that provides added protection and depth to the shine.
- Regular washing/waxing – Routine washing and waxing removes dirt/debris that can dull the paint over time.
Following proper care and cleaning practices will keep sonic silver paint looking its best. Be sure to use automotive soap, microfiber cloths, and avoid abrasive products that could add swirl marks. And wax your vehicle every 3-6 months to maintain the clearcoat’s protective qualities.
Why is Sonic Silver So Popular?
There are several reasons why sonic silver has become such a prevalent automotive paint colour:
- Neutral shade – The silver tone matches well with many accent colours and appeals to diverse tastes.
- Contemporary look – Sonic silver is perceived as sleek and high-tech compared to more traditional silver shades.
- Dirt hiding ability – Its darker blue-grey tint disguises dirt better than lighter silvers.
- Resale value – Neutral colours like silver tend to have higher resale value than bold colours.
- Wide availability – It’s offered on models from many major automakers so customers have lots of choices.
For both practical and aesthetic reasons, sonic silver has proven itself as a versatile and desirable colour choice for car buyers. Given its widespread availability across brands, expect sonic silver to maintain its popularity in the coming years.
Is Sonic Silver a Good Colour for Resale Value?
Yes, sonic silver is generally considered a very good paint colour for retaining resale value. According to analysis by iSeeCars, silver is the best colour for resale value.
There are a few reasons why silver colours like sonic silver hold their value so well:
- Silver is a conservative neutral shade that appeals to the widest range of buyers.
- It is easy to keep silver looking clean even after years of use.
- Silver colours hide wear-and-tear very well compared to black or white.
- Silver vehicles do not go out of style since silver maintains a classic, timeless look.
Of course, factors like brand, mileage, condition and maintenance history also affect resale value. But assuming all else is equal, statistically cars painted sonic silver will retain their value better than more bold, polarizing colours when selling or trading in the vehicle.
Is Sonic Silver Easy to Keep Clean?
Sonic silver is relatively easy to keep clean compared to lighter silver shades. Its blue-grey tint helps disguise minor dirt and contaminants. However, like any metallic paint, sonic silver will still require frequent washing and care to maintain its shine.
Here are some tips for keeping sonic silver clean:
- Rinse vehicle regularly with water to prevent dust buildup
- Wash with automotive soap and microfiber cloths to avoid swirl marks
- Use detailing clay bar to remove contaminants on paint surface
- Apply wax every 3-6 months for added protection and shine
- Remove bird droppings, sap, and bugs quickly to prevent etching
- Clean and protect alloy wheels to prevent brake dust buildup
While not the easiest colour to keep clean, sonic silver hides common dirt better than most light silvers. With proper maintenance, you can keep a sonic silver vehicle looking its best for years.
Does Sonic Silver Show Scratches Easily?
Compared to lighter silver metallic paints, sonic silver does a good job hiding minor scratches. Its darker blue-grey tone helps disguise slight imperfections better. However, deeper scratches that damage through the clearcoat will still be visible.
To determine if a scratch will show up noticeably on sonic silver paint:
- Lightly run your fingernail over the scratch – if you can’t catch your nail, it likely won’t be visible
- View the scratch from different angles – deeper scratches show up more from an angle versus head-on
- Wipe surface with water – scratches become more apparent when the surface is wet
To avoid scratches:
- Use touchless or soft cloth car washes
- Wash with microfiber mitts and cloths
- Carefully remove debris from paint surface
- Apply wax to increase paint protection
- Repair scratches quickly to prevent further damage
Overall, sonic silver paint conceals minor scratches fairly well. But deeper scratches penetrating the clearcoat will still show. Taking measures to prevent scratches and repairing them quickly is important for keeping any silver paint job looking its best.
What Colours Match With Sonic Silver Paint?
One of the advantages of sonic silver is that it pairs nicely with many other exterior and interior colours. Here are some top colour combinations with sonic silver paint:
Exterior Accent Colours
- Black trim pieces/accents
- Grey trim pieces/accents
- Chrome trim pieces/accents
- Black or grey alloy wheels
- Tinted black or grey windows
Black and grey accent colours work particularly well with sonic silver paint. They help highlight the metallic flecks in the silver paint while also adding contrast between the body and trim pieces.
Interior Upholstery Colours
- Black leather or vinyl
- Grey leather or vinyl
- Tan or beige leather
- Burgundy leather
With interior colours, you have more flexibility to create contrast with sonic silver paint. Black is the most popular and safe choice. But warmer hues like tan or burgundy can complement the cool tones of sonic silver nicely as well.
With its blue-grey metallic tint, sonic silver paint provides a modern high-tech look that has made it a go-to neutral colour choice for many automakers. It conceals imperfections well, matches with diverse accent colours, and retains resale value nicely. Sonic silver has secured its place as one of today’s most popular automotive paint colours because of its aesthetic appeal and practical benefits. For buyers looking for a contemporary silver paint shade that hides dirt and scratches, sonic silver is hard to beat.