Back in 2012, when I bought my Mazda5, there were six colors available. However, if you didn’t want to spring for a fancy trim package or an automatic transmission you could only choose from half of those colors. I knew that I was going to get the basic base model with the 6MT and didn’t want a black interior so that left me two colors to choose from. I wanted the Metropolitan Gray Mica since it was closest in color combination to my E34 525i 5MT, but the dealer closest to me only had the Copper Red Mica so I bought it (and took the 20% discount). I’m glad I bought the red and love the color, and am glad I didn’t get the gray; the blue is nice, but I really love the red (and if I could have gotten the blue I’d have to take the black interior).
What other cars out there limit you to certain colors if you want the manual transmission or a basic model? I’ve seen lots of great colors on the Honda Element but I’d be willing to bet that I couldn’t get them in the nice colors in the configuration I’d prefer. I miss the days, like back in 1989 when my E34 was new, when you could get any color, with a choice of interior colors (!), on any of the models in the series - no screwing you because you didn’t want to shell out extra (yeah, I know, the 525i wasn’t cheap and didn’t have a single option, just a choice of transmission).
I think someone around here mentioned that the Kia Soul was only available in black or white with the manual transmission. There must be other examples, so please share your experience.