Autoglym UHD Wax review: the best paste wax on sale?

Can this car wax really be worth the money?

Autoglym UHD Wax on a car bonnet

by Ryan Gilmore |

There's been something of a renaissance with paste waxes in the last couple of years, maybe something to do with its unrivalled durability and premium feel. Even Autoglym has got in on the act, offering a carnauba-infused wax as part of its UHD (Ultra-High Definition) range.

The crème de la crème of Autoglym's range, UHD is a range of premium products designed to offer the best possible results while still being easy to work with. Currently, there are three products available; a shampoo, ceramic coating and the wax we're testing today. Each can be distinguished with fancier packaging, claims of exceptional performance and a heftier price tag.

Related: Duel Autocare Element Hybrid Wax review: pretty in pink

With an RRP of £59.99, UHD wax is pricy even with the included microfibre and applicator factored in. Just like the UHD shampoo we've previously tested, the price pits Autoglym against more premium car care brands like Autofinesse. Designed to offer six months of hydrophobic protection and a deep shine, it's a development on the now-discontinued HD wax and by far the most expensive wax the brand offers.

I can't believe it's not butter

The premium feel of the cardboard box is a promising sign for overall quality. The frosted plastic inside only serves to compound this. It looks like something you'd pay through the nose for at a fancy spa, especially when you first open the wax.

The carnauba is incredibly refined, evident in its almost pure white appearance. The wax also looks softer than other paste waxes we've tried, there was even a small amount of surface liquid when first opened (almost like whey). Even so, this softness meant that it was buttery smooth to apply to the car, effortlessly transferring onto the bodywork.

If you're slightly ham-fisted with the application then Autoglym UHD Wax will become increasingly difficult to spread but is never back-breaking. You'll notice if you're using too much product as small white flecks will start to appear on the car, a sign to hold back with the wax.

The included applicator is one of the best I've ever tested and I'd quite happily buy one separately. Not only is it well made, but it's also genuinely ergonomic and perfect for collecting and smearing a thin layer of wax across a body panel. The top of the applicator is a stiff foam with a softer foam used in for applying wax. The cream and grey two-tone finish also adds a touch of class to it.

Buffing was relatively easy thanks to the supplied microfibre towel. The wax leaves a clear haze to show where to buff and excess product for the most part lifted away easily. A little elbow grease was required in places but the end result was stunning.

Crystal clear vision with HDR enabled

When I washed the Mazda CX-5 test car with UHD shampoo I was astounded by how rich it made the Crystal Soul Red paintwork look but with the wax applied, it managed to look even better. Autoglym UHD Wax provides an extra level of glossiness to the paintwork, making it look dripping wet. The refined wax means it has less of a glow compared to regular carnauba but the gloss is undeniable.

The hydrophobic protection offered was also clear. Running my hand over the bonnet showed just how smooth the wax made the car, a sure sign of protection. What this translates to is excellent water sheeting when covered with a cursory splash of water. While it's not as visually exciting as water beading, it's still really effective and shows that this wax is top-quality. The durability claims of six months seem valid too. So long as you're not using aggressive cleaning products it should remain intact.

Any downsides?

On the whole, the wax is easy to use but there are a few quirks you'll need to bear in mind. The wax requires 10-15 minutes curing time before you can buff it which can be rather a long wait. It's not an issue if you wax the entire car before buffing but a stark change to the panel-by-panel approach that's increasingly been treated as the norm. It's also worth noting that this wax will leave a horrible white grease mark on black plastic trim and rubber seals. It means that you'll need to be careful with your application and keep some spare microfibres to hand.

The biggest issue however is the price. As will be explored in the next section, the price point puts it up against some real hard-hitters that begin to erode how good the wax is.

Price and competition

As a premium wax UHD falls straight into ceramic sealant territory. Autoglym's own UHD Ceramic Coating costs roughly the same but offers 12 months of durability and ceramic options from EZ Car Care and CarPro offer similar claims. UHD Wax can offer six months of protection (amazing for a carnauba-based wax) but that's still half that of a ceramic option. It really is a question therefore of whether you'd want the ultimate in carnauba-infused waxes for the deepest shine, or invest in the latest ceramic or graphene technology and settle for less gloss but better durability.

Verdict

It's easy to write this wax off on the grounds of its price and durability but I wouldn't be so hasty. For a start, six months of durability is outstanding for a non-ceramic or graphene-infused wax. Secondly, that price isn't a mystery when looking at the quality of everything.

Ease of application is also worth considering, especially as the competition is ceramic coatings which require a certain finesse to apply correctly and are a total pain to remove if the application goes wrong. Comparatively, UHD Wax is much easier to apply and offers an unbeatable gloss.

In the end it boils down to this; if you want the absolute best pure car wax, you can't do much better than Autoglym UHD Wax.

4.5/5

Pros Cons
• Super easy to apply • It's expensive
• Durabilty is great• Can leave greasy marks on trim
• Leaves an amazing gloss
Specifications
Volume 120ml
Durability Six months
Curing time 10-15 minutes
Extras Microfibre buffing towel, foam applicator

More items to consider

How we tested it

This wax was tested on a Crystal Soul Red Mazda CX-5 press car using the supplied equipment from Autoglym. The car was washed with Autoglym UHD Shampoo before waxing and all instructions were followed. We've previously tested sealants and other waxes which helped form comparisons in how this wax performed.

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