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How red is it?

I live in a very rural part of upstate NY, and Tesla sightings are very rare. I've yet to see a multi-coat red car in person. What I'm curious about is the depth of the color. I love the Soul Red color on Mazdas the last two years, it has an incredible depth that's hard to capture in photos. On the far opposite of that would be my wife's red Focus, which while being glossy has very little depth to the color. No matter the angle or lighting its a very even color. I'm wondering on a scale from 0 (Focus) to 10 (Mazda), how much depth and luster is there to Tesla's multi-coat red?


Lol, it's no Mazda. I'd say it's a 5 or 6.

It's not the worst example of a pearl paint at all. It's pretty clearly average. It's clearly a pearl paint, but it won't pop like some pearls from other companies.

Out of the non-exotics, I'd say Toyota/Lexus probably do it the best overall (on some shades). Mazda is right there too.
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Galaxy President (former)
Dec 10, 2015
Austin, TX
My opinion, much closer to the Mazda, so maybe a 6-7. The Focus red seems to just be a non-metallic color, that's why there is no depth. The Mazda red seems to be more of a darker burgundy while Tesla red is definitely more on the brighter side.
I parked next to a Prius in Barcelona Red yesterday (very common color), and they are surprisingly close. The Prius was just slightly more toward orange compared to my 3. I had that red Prius years ago and loved the color... love the Tesla red even more I think! It does really pop a lot more in the right light.


Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
Grapevine, TX
We have 4 "red" cars these days in the family. A 2015 Accord which is more of a Burgundy, a 2012 Volvo XC60 in Passion Red (more of a "pure" bright red - no metallic), our 2013 Model S in MC Red, and my son just got a 2017 CX-5 in the Soul red. I should really take pics of them all in the same lighting. The Tesla red splits the difference between the Mazda and Volvo reds. I agonized over it as I thought it would be too dark (I always prefer bright reds), but in the sun it really does pop and looks surprisingly bright.

Here is a not so great pic comparing the Tesla and Volvo (Volvo got a bit more sun in this shot).


Here is another in full sun:

Another mediocre shot of both cars sitting across the street from our house:
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I've seen a few in my SoCal neighborhood and on the freeways. I would say its a pretty bold color but not close to pure read at all. It sort of reminds me of a slightly darker cherry.

It really pops in the sunlight, I saw one the other day but did not have enough time to take a photo. I think red looks better on the Model 3 than the Model S because of the shape and lack of a faux grill.

My friend send me this photo a week ago. Its from a distance but you can clearly see it pops, even during cloudy weather.


Here are a few photos of one I saw in my neighborhood a few weeks ago. They're poor quality as I didn't have enough time, but it gives you an idea of how it looks in the sun and shade.




And finally, here is one from a showroom that I found on the internet.

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Looking at those photos again, I really like the Red.

I was originally going to go with Blue, which seems to be very popular. However, every time I see it, my immediate thought is "its nice, but it looks more navy verging on purple than blue... I want a BLUE car."

Then I was going to go with Midnight Silver, which I had the opportunity to rent on Turo. Very nice color, but the more I see it the more "boring" it looks.

White is really nice.

Right now I'm still debating Red vs Blue vs White.

I'm a May - July delivery date... so I don't have much time left haha.
Don't confuse "depth" and "luster" with "burgundy".

Tesla's red actually has burgundy hues in it which some people think make it look more luxurious and classy, but to me it makes it look like an old man car color. I wish there was a real RED model 3, like the original dodge viper, or acura NSX, but all of tesla's red's have a touch of brown in them, which look very burgundy under certain light conditions. Not sure if this is what you're after. Some people love it. People like me don't.


Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
Grapevine, TX
Even though we have the MC red on our Model S, like slipnslider says I am really a MUCH bigger fan of "bright" reds (like our Volvo's passion red). Indeed, I passed on an Imola red BMW M5 several years back for this same reason. Heck, before I bought our Model S I went so far as to track down a local owner (here on TMC) and wne over to their house to see a "clean" one in the shade in their garage and in the sun. Ironically, as soon as I saw it in the sun (which we get a lot of hear in Texas), I was sold. I'm actually surprised myself at how much I like it these days even though it is clearly nothing like a true birght red. The biggest testament to that is that for a Model 3 I assumed I would just get the blue (only bright colors for me), but I find I am actually struggling at the thought of giving up the red.

The blue is very nice, but much like the red it really darkens in the shade or at dusk...so much so that I have found myself seeing them from a distance and thinking "Is that black or the 'new' blue?" (Note: the old blue was so dark you coudl be right next to it and sometimes not realize it was blue).

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