I chose carbon black and do not regret it at all even if the "winter test" has not been passed yet. My 3rd black car and now both our family's cars are black since my wife was very clear about what she thinks is coolest (one day I'll try to persuade her into washing them as well). Both cars need washing a little more often than my previous (dull!) grey metallic MB but it's done in 30 mins on average for both cars in the same go, once a week. During winter the solution for me is a self service wash station I have close by. Washing machines with "soft" brushes are no go.
In summer I use Autoglym polish specially produced for dark colours and liquid hard wax top coating from Autoglym as well (other brands exept the cheap ones are probably equally good) one go in spring, another round mid summer an one early fall before the day temp drops below +10 Celcius. This worked for my other black cars so I assume my new X3 will benefit from the same treatment.
This is perhaps a bit more cleaning than average according to my neighbours who drive Volvos but I don't feel like I spend a lot of time on this. It's a bit like keeping your house clean and if you don't like doing it yourself it's easy to buy the service from others.
Last edited by NordicBMW; 07-14-2012 at 03:11 AM.