Autoglym UHD Shampoo: Quick review

Can this car shampoo deliver a 4K shine?

A bottle of Autoglym UHD next to a green bucket

by Ryan Gilmore |

Autoglym UHD Shampoo looks too nice to use on just any old car. Emerging from a thick cardboard housing, the one-litre white bottle is unmistakably an Autoglym product, but with a slightly more extravagant finish. Even before we've even filled a bucket, this car shampoo has marked itself as something special.

Autoglym calls it a 'luxurious, high foaming shampoo,' which is a fair description. The 'luxurious' part is established with an RRP of £19.99, firmly planting it among other premium car shampoos like Bilt Hamber Auto Wash and Gtechniq's excellent G Wash. The 'high foaming' is true too, it's a pure shampoo devoid of any waxes or fancy extras, but lathers up beautifully, important for reducing scratch risks.

Related: Soft99 Neutral Creamy Shampoo review: semi-skimmed cleaning

Slightly more peculiarly, Autoglym call the scent 'sensual,' I wouldn't quite go that far but the watermelon scent is exotic and makes working with the shampoo such a joy. Add in the excellent foaming abilities and lubrication and the cleaning process can therefore be summed up in one word, pleasant. It also left the Soul Red Crystal paintwork of the Mazda CX-5 looking utterly spellbinding with a gorgeous deep gloss.

Verdict: Autoglym UHD Shampoo is an excellent car shampoo if you don't mind splashing the cash a little.

Score: 4.5/5

Pros Cons
• Excellent cleaning abilities • Price premium
• Lubrication is top-notch
• Delicious smell
Volumes available 1000ml
Biodegradable Yes
pH Neutral Yes
Fragrance Watermelon
Extras Fancy storage box

What's good?

Everything you'd want from a good shampoo is present here. Lubrication is among the best we've tried, our wash mitt glided over every surface and the suds created by the shampoo didn't break down. It's also really effective against road film and other small contaminants, easily lifting them away and leaving behind a deep shine. Tar spots remained, but a specialist tar remover is required to remove these.

It even left the bodywork feeling smoother to the touch, a sign that this shampoo contains quality gloss enhancers to deepen the shine in glossy car shampoos. The fact it's so concentrated (this bottle should do 25 washes) is another major bonus for the UHD shampoo.

The packaging is top-notch too. While it's fair to say Autoglym isn't renowned for overly exciting styling, the quality and refinement of both the bottle and cardboard packaging give it a premium feel. Even though the white cardboard will end up utterly ruined after a couple of uses, it lifts the product, making it feel special. The smell is entirely subjective but the watermelon scent is, in this humble reviewer's opinion, mouth-wateringly good.

What's ok?

Not really a criticism but certainly worth mentioning is the supplied cap. It's not bad in any way, it's just a little confusing when you first read the instructions. The cap is a flip top cap (like you'd get on a squeeze bottle) which gives the impression you squirt it into a bucket prior to cleaning.

In reality, Autoglym say to remove this cap and use it to measure out the correct dilution ratio (four capfuls per 10-litres of water). It's not the end of the world but is a little confusing at first. It does at least mean the cap is dual-use.

Any negatives?

The biggest concern with a premium car shampoo is the price point, can Autoglym UHD Shampoo really demand nearly twice as much cash as Autoglym's Pure Shampoo? At first glance, it seems not. Both shampoos are capable bodywork cleaners, pH neutral and produce lots of foam. It's when you start to look beyond these fundamentals that you'll notice the UHD is slicker, smells better and leaves a deeper, more luxurious shine in the paintwork. These small differences won't be enough to stomach the extra cost for some, but that's a pitfall with any luxury car shampoo.

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How we tested it:

The testbed for this test was a moderately dirty Mazda CX-5 finished in Soul Red Crystal. It features road film, mud and dead insects to test the cleaning abilities of the shampoo. The car was then finished with Autoglym UHD Wax. We tested the shampoo in union with shampoos from Autobead and Gtechniq to provide a clear comparison in performance.

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