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Discussion Starter #1
I’m considering a 2018 or 2019 Outback.

Three paint types and nine paint colors are offered for the 2018 Outback. The three paint types are silica, pearl, and metallic. What are the differences among these three paint types and is any one of them more durable than the other two?

Pearl is used for the crystal white, crimson red, and dark blue colors.

Metallic is used for the ice silver, tungsten, twilight blue, wilderness green, and magnetite grey colors.

Silica is used for the crystal black color.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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All three "types" are cosmetic additives to the base color coat(s) of paint, and they are not present in the final clear coat(s). They affect the reflective properties of the paint, adding sheen and sparkle, but generally do not affect durability. This applies to virtually all modern automotive paint processes, not just Subaru.

"Pearl" paint additive is derived from finely ground sea shells or crushed mica, "metallic" is very fine metal (often aluminum) powder or flakes, and "silica" is usually finely ground quartz.

Try a Google search for a more complete answer.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Ask a body shop which type and color is easiest to match and have the results look good. Over the life of the vehicle, that aspect is likely to most affect the satisfaction with your selection.

Otherwise, they're pretty similar, as @ammcinnis stated.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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I have a Pearl White '11 OB and one big difference is that it is a three-layer (not counting primer) paint process. Instead of the usual base-coat/clear-coat, it is sort of base-coat/translucent-coat/clear-coat. The difference is that if you ever have out-of-pocket bodywork done, you'll get hit with an extra charge for labor and materials due to the extra step in the painting process.

I can't seem to stay away from these paint jobs, as the Solar Red on my Mazda 3 (the color you see in all their ads) is also a three-layer paint process. When I get my '18 OB Touring in a few months, I'm sticking with Wilderness Green -- a normal metallic color!
 

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2018 Outback 2.5L Crimson
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I like Pearl, for looks. Metallic is so 70s, in my mind. Wish my red pearl crimson outback was a just bit brighter though and I should of gotten the tan interior, black was a bit hot in September.

Difference in durability, of the different Subaru paints, would have more to do with color and the environment; but should not be much difference in the first 10 to 20 years, I think.

Get a color that you like the looks of.
 

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85BRAT97SVX03Baja5mtHonda's
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The key to long lasting nice paint is a garage, and handwashing. Do not use coin operated car washes.
 

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'18 OB 2.5 Ltd, No Eyesight, No Nav
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The key to long lasting nice paint is a garage, and handwashing. Do not use coin operated car washes.
That has not been the case for my cars. I had a black 1989 Jeep Cherokee that I hand washed with mild soap and kept in the garage. After about 5 years, the black paint started peeling. After 10 years, you could not tell the original color was black.

In contrast, I currently have a silver 2002 Ford Escape. After I send it through Quick Quack Car Wash (cloth brushes), it still looks like a shiny brand new car. I chalk it up to a cheap paint job versus a high quality paint job. Color (black vs. silver) also matters I think.

Who knows if the paint job on my OB is cheap or not? Time will tell. Anyway, I send it through Quick Quack Car Wash every week. Hand washing is just not going to happen.
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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I like Pearl, for looks. Metallic is so 70s, in my mind. Wish my red pearl crimson outback was a just bit brighter though and I should of gotten the tan interior, black was a bit hot in September.

Difference in durability, of the different Subaru paints, would have more to do with color and the environment; but should not be much difference in the first 10 to 20 years, I think.

Get a color that you like the looks of.
Metallic is so 70s??
 

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17 OB Premium, White w/black
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FYI the Pearl White paint on my 17 OB is the most durable, chip resistant paint I have ever had on a car. 24,000 miles in the Texas panhandle in 8 months and only 1 chip. Very happy.
 
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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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FYI the Pearl White paint on my 17 OB is the most durable, chip resistant paint I have ever had on a car.
That has also been my experience in our 2015 Legacy (Venetian Red Pearl) and 2016 Outback (Tungsten Metallic). Others may disagree, though.
 
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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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Both pearl and metallic were popular with the custom-car set in the late 1950s. I was there.
Thanks, I was sort of amused that anyone would think that metallic paint was out of style as it is currently used by almost every car manufacturer.
 
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