Iridescent Pearl Tricoat vs. Summit White

For many people, white is white, and they can’t see the difference between Summit White and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat. White is traditionally the world’s most popular paint color for vehicles, even as other modern color pallets come and go.

The shine without undertones is a key difference between Summit White and Iridescent Pearl Tricoat. However, there are other benefits and minor problems to consider with each.

Iridescent Pearl Tricoat vs. Summit White

Iridescent Pearl Tricoat Overview

Car manufacturers offer their consumers trendy color choices as selected by color forecasting companies. White, gray, black, and silver are the dominant colors globally.

Then there are the classic tones. Iridescent pearl Tricoat is a popular shade because it isn’t pure white. The pearl tones mimic the soft patina of a natural pearl.

Of course, it’s all about personal choice. Some people prefer softer shades over institutional or stark shades of white. Iridescent Pearl Tricoat looks white until you park the vehicle next to another car with a different color tone of white.

Iridescent Pearl Tricoat is a newer shade of white that creates an optical illusion of being a delicate shade of light gray or a metallic sateen finish. Iridescent shades typically play up colors from their surroundings. Iridescent Pearl might reflect yellow, blue, or pink undertones depending on the light conditions. It’s a show-stopper on the right vehicle.

Iridescent Pearl is simial to metallic paints. However, pearlescent paint uses microscopic ceramic crystals or mica instead of metal powder. Pearlescent paint refracts light causing it to slowly move through the mica splitting the colors and enhancing all the color qualities. This refracting quality adds movement and softness.

To order Iridescent Pearl Tricoat, use code GP5 and WA-485B (G1W/WA140X) for touch-up paint.

Major car manufacturers like GM, Ford, and Chrysler stock this color.

Summit White Overview

Summit White is a popular and industry-standard shade of white used by car manufacturers, including GM. Summit White. It contains a slightly green hue that makes it stand out over other shades of white and is less institutional.

For coding, use #F3F8EF hex. Decoded look for these values in the hexadecimal code, reading in RGB with 95.29% red, 97.25% green, and 93.73 blue.

Although Summit White is a standard color with less depth than iridescent white or metallic paint, it remains one of the easiest colors to match and maintain. It’s also less expensive and uses a single base coat. Summit White is also known as Olympic White. The manufacturer Vauxhall changed the name for Olympic to Summit.

What makes Summit White unique is its 93-degree hue with a 39% saturation and 95% lightness value. These components make Summit White a solid choice though perhaps not the most trendy shade in the automotive industry.

Iridescent Pearl Tricoat vs. Summit White


The differences between Iridescent Pearl Tricoat and Summit White are hardly noticeable to the untrained eye. White cars don’t look dirty as quickly as black cars can, pending on the location, but the shade of white can also impact the overall look of cleanliness.

Surprisingly, black cars are notorious for looking dirty. The basic similarities between Iridescent Pearl Tricoat and Summit White are that they’re both popular shades for many vehicles, from family sedans to utility and cargo trucks.

Similarity 1 White

Both Summit White and Iridescent Pearl are popular choices for people who want a white-colored vehicle. White typically stands for pure and clean. The Summit White has a harder-looking finish, while the Iridescent Pearl shines twinkly because of the Tricoat.

Similarity 2 Texture

With its slightly green undertone, Summit White reminds people of snow on the mountain or milk with a glass-like surface finish. Pearlescent reminds people of the unique texture of pearls that is both hard and soft.

Similarity 3 Depth

Iridescent Pearl Tricoat has such a softness that it seems penetrable. On the other hand, Summit White looks hard and as if nothing will stick to its surface. It’s a precision shade of white.

Main Differences

Dirt and dust do a number on white vehicles, more so on Summit White paint jobs than Iridescent Pearl. Because pearlescent tones have movement and layers of colors, they disguise dirt and grime marginally better. However, a white vehicle on rough and muddy terrain will get dirty. For city drivers, white can be a fuss-free color choice.

Iridescent Pearl Tricoat vs. Summit White Price Comparison

The price might separate these two shades more than any other factor. Expect to spend at least $500 more on Iridescent Pearl Tricoat paint jobs over the Summit White options.

Since paint doesn’t impact the vehicle’s performance, saving the extra funds and spending on other accessories might be a better option. However, those who are particular about color would disagree.

Also, on some car models, Iridescent Pearl Tricoat is an upgrade so expect to pay more.


Summit White and Iridescent Pearl sitting side by side on a cloudy day might not look that different (to some). But sunlight can really play with color and bring out the iridescent sheen. Since Summit White’s finish is more like glass, it might appear brighter at a distance. Also, the yellowish undertones of Iridescent Pearl dull the finish. Up close, Iridescent Pearl is much more dramatic.

Tip: Typically, white, gray, silver, and blue are easier to keep looking clean. However, Orange and red show stains and grime easily. Flat black is better than shiny black to delay looking dirty.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

Whatever car color you choose, it would help if you washed it regularly to prolong its life. Using special cleaning and waxing accessories is going to extend the paint color. Though white isn’t as prone to fading, storing vehicles indoors helps protect it.

When dust and grime build-up, they can result in a scratched finish.


With proper care, both colors have a long life expectancy. Obviously, hard-working vehicles won’t last as long as low-milage city vehicles. Iridescent Pearl will last longer because of the components and hard coats used in the paint. Iridescent Pearl paint is also known to hide minor scratches and dents better than Summit White.

Repainting Cost Efficiency

The price is the difference. Pearlescent paint is more expensive, harder to match, and difficult for touch-ups. Iridescent Pearl Tricoat costs more. It’s more durable (with normal wear and tear) and adds an element of elegance that Summit doesn’t have.

For repainting cost efficacy, Summit White wins if the price is the only factor.

Customer Reviews

When purchasing touch-up paint, go back to the vehicle manufacturer and get the exact match. People who’ve ordered touch-up paint for pearlescent complain that the color doesn’t match their vehicle.

Iridescent Pearl Tricoat has many fans because it’s such a beautiful finish. Summit White fans don’t like the yellow undertones.

Vauxhall Summit White touch-up paint kits get decent reviews and come with a color match guarantee. Remeber that wear and tear and age can change the color slightly if you’re going to repair minor damage.

Comparison Table

Iridescent Pear TricoatProsConsSummit White ProsCons
 White with iridescent shades of yellow, pink, and blue for color movementNot pure white Classic whiteNo extra texture
 Nice textureHard to match Easy to match and universalShows up dirt
 Beautiful finishMore expensive Less expensiveLess durable

So, which is better?

It’s all about personal preference. Iridescent Pearl Tricoat is a more elegant choice for luxury vehicles than Summit White. Sport utility trucks and off-road vehicles are probably better off with an easily matchable shade of Summit White to fix scratches and dents.

Cost is a factor, but overall the paint color comes down to likes and dislikes.

Avatar photo

Author: Dave Johnston

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *