Mix style and individuality, add some bright colours and maybe a retro-cool interior. Finish with a heavy dose of ‘fun’. We look at the ‘boutique’ car and the competition.
What makes us want to shop in boutiques? We might be looking for something a bit different to wear – something that we are less likely to find our best friend/sister/neighbour/work colleague wearing. More often than not there will be a price premium for the exclusivity that boutique shopping offers.
When it comes to cars, a ‘boutique’ car offers something similar: style, individuality, quirkiness and a bit pricey for what are essentially compact city cars.
In an article recently in The Daily Telegraph, journalist Andrew English referred to the new Opel Adam as a ‘boutique’ car. But the Adam is not the first ‘boutique’ car. It joins a highly competitive market of cars offering individuality and style wrapped up in a cool package.
More importantly there is an appetite for cars like this. In a world of identikit Fiestas and Corsas, cars with endless options for interior and exterior combinations offer something different.
So who are the main contenders?
MINI has the ‘boutique’ car down to a fine art. The MINI is proud of its retro credentials. It looks great and it can be customized, from the colour of the roof, to the wing mirrors and wheels. Chequered flag decal on the roof? No problem.
The DS3 is a relative new kid on the block but it is a car that is doing wonders for the Citroen image. It is stylish with a similar sporty, squat position to the MINI. You can customize the look of your DS3 too. A makeover from Orla Kiely gives the DS3 added ‘boutique’ car credentials.
The classic Fiat 500 has been reworked for the 21st century. It’s a stylish car and has even been tarted up by Gucci. The body-coloured dash and binnacle instrument panel give the car a retro feel and the countless special editions which have been released mean that the car looks comfortable in ‘boutique’ car company.
The Suzuki Swift is a great looking car. The whole package may not be as stylish as the MINI but it has the bi-colour exterior option and the optional stripes on the bonnet so it deserves consideration.
Opel are playing heavy on the style and individuality stakes with the Adam, two strong criteria for a boutique car. There are countless options for customization with Opel going as far as to say that no two Adams will be the same. Then there are the lairy interior and exterior trim names. Inside you can have Jam, Glam or Slam and colours like White My Fire, Buzz Lightgreen and James Blond on the outside.
The Ypsilon is a slightly odd looking supermini from Chrysler but it fits neatly into our list of ‘boutique’ cars because it can be personalized and you can get your Ypsilon with a bi-colour exterior.
It has the stylish and chic looks, options for personalization and the premium price. It’s got to be Audi’s answer to the ‘boutique’ car.
The wheelsforwomen.ie Boutique Car Check List
- Bi-colour exterior option
- Countless options for customization
- Maybe a few stripes on the bonnet
- A retro feel interior
- Body-coloured dash
- A host of acid pop colour paint options
- Special editions or a makeover from a designer
Who is queen of the boutique cars? Which is your favourite?
6th December, 2012