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BMW's Matte Paint Requires Sharp Attention

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Few factory exterior paints turn heads like BMW’s collection of “frozen” matte colors; a pink Chevrolet Spark we drove earlier in the year is a close runner-up. The dull finish of BMW’s frozen paints are easily mistaken for a high-end, aftermarket custom repaint or vinyl car wrap instead of a color from the BMW option list that can be ordered alongside heated seats and a blind spot warning system. We recently tested BMW’s 2013 650i Gran Coupe clad in a striking Frozen Bronze paint color; it left us wondering about caring for the expensive $3,500 paint option.

The paint is never shiny like a traditional finish, so it’s hard to tell when the car is dirty. It’s glorious because BMW’s frozen paints could be the lowest-maintenance paint ever since they look clean even when filthy. But how often should owners wash it? What about wax, polish or sealants to protect the pricey finish?

BMW’s frozen paints require a different approach to care and maintenance. It may intimidate those who previously haven’t put any more thought than a $10 quick wash into caring for a car’s paint. A few of our editors second-guessed choosing the fancy matte paint after hearing the damage prevention precautions. Those warnings shouldn’t intimidate shoppers who are already somewhat meticulous about car care, however. For some, it may already be second nature to freak out when tree sap hits the car’s hood.     

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