Just like how the world of cars has evolved over the years, the landscape of products designed to help take care of your ride has also undergone a radical transformation over the past few years. When we last ventured into this genre, it was to take a look at the SunJoe SPX 3000 power washer. Designed to help bring a more environmentally friendly punch to detailing your car, our tester “Mike” performed admirably, but it only was a compelling glimpse into the world of cleaning your car. To get the full story, we got in touch with our friends at Meguiars, who were eager to showcase their latest cleaning innovations.
The package that arrived at our office a few weeks later put many formal Loot Crates to shame with the suite of cleaning products that Meguiars sent. From leather and window cleaner, to shammies, and even a full clay bar kit, the arsenal of Meguiars products that arrived aimed to hit big and make a good first impression at the same time. While meteorological and scheduling issues prevented us from testing the effectiveness of the clay bar kit (we will remedy that in a future piece next year,) we did manage to spend some quality time with the remainder of the cleaning tools to see how they measured up on my personal vehicle (a 2013 Buick Verano Turbo.)
First on the list was slathering the Verano’s dashboard with Meguiar’s Ultimate Protectant plastic protector to help it withstand the assault of UV rays. The label promised a shiny even finish, and while there were spots here and there that looked a bit too uneven for our tastes, overall, this particular product lived up to our expectations. Buyers using this product for the first time should read the instructions very carefully, as well as test the protectant on a small patch of plastic first before going all in to see how it reacts with certain colors and interior materials.
Shortly after, we went ahead and tackled the windows with the included Perfect Clarity window cleaner. Like the fore-mentioned plastic protector, the included window cleaner promised to deliver mirror like clarity, while also cleaning it as well. In this case, the advertising was a bit exaggerated, with some minor streaks observed after we cleaned all four windows. Despite this, we were still impressed with the shine that was present, and we look forward to continue using this product for future applications, especially due to the relatively easy application process, and the quick drying that we observed after the windows were cleaned.
The following day, we focused our attention on the leather seats of our subject. Leather is a surprisingly demanding material, and periodically, it needs applications of leather protectant to help it not only maintain its suppleness, but also beat back the ravages of time which appears in the form of wrinkles, cracks, and creases. Unlike the other products in this review, we have prior experience with Meguiar’s range of leather protecting products, and have come to appreciate both their ease of use, and their easy application process. However, the Gold Class range of leather treatment products has always eluded our scrutiny…. until now. Unlike the rest of the firm’s leather protectants, Gold Range designation means that you get the full blend of protectants in every drop, as well as splashes of aloe designed to encourage suppleness, and increase the amount of moisture in the leather.
Buyers looking for an immediate difference in seat suppleness will not find it here, with the infused aloe designed to make its mark over repeated applications. That quirk aside, we found applying it to be somewhat hampered by the rigorous shaking involved in making the compound more potent, as well as using the right applicator towel to gain an even spread over the seats. Master the process, and you are rewarded with an experience that is hassle free, and produced relatively even coats over multiple leather and vinyl surfaces including the fore-mentioned leather seats, as well as the leather wrapped steering wheel and shift boot that also adorned the compact Buick. Overall we were pleased with the sheen displayed by the leather, however we are still trying to master the process on the door panels, with some uneven runs and streaks observed during our initial applications of the protectant. Hopefully, with more time and practice, we will be able to make this area of the Verano look just as good as the rest of its leather surfaces.
To top off our cleaning regimen, we unleashed the included air freshener, to try and bring a blast of freshness into the Buick’s luxurious cabin. Ambitiously dubbed the “Whole Car Air Re-Fresher” this particular product comes in a conveniently sized can, and is designed to work in a way that is reminiscent of many brands of bug bombs. This is mainly due to its locking trigger mechanism, which allows the can to produce a steady stream of odor eating chemicals that are designed to break down odors and smells at the molecular level. The air freshener requires the car to be unoccupied for 15 minutes to achieve maximum results. When we returned to the Verano to see how the air freshener performed, we were delighted to see that it largely delivered on its odor eliminating promises. While it did not quite match traditional new car smell, the odor that was present still managed to smell crisp and clean. However, our main gripe centers around the size of the can itself, which is smaller than some of its rivals. This small size limits its usefulness somewhat, especially for odors that would require more freshener to formally eliminate from the cabin.
Overall, we were largely pleased with the effectiveness of many of the products that we interacted with. While there were occasions where Meguiar’s marketing proved to be more ambitious than the actual results that were observed after application, the quality of the clean that we observed on our test vehicle was still very high quality, and many of these products would be right at home both in a home garage, as well as a formal automotive detailing facility. Pricing for some of these products is a bit on the higher end of the automotive care segment, but items like the leather and window cleaner do offer plenty of value for the money, with the window cleaner starting at a modest price of $5.99 per bottle, and the leather cleaner at a slightly higher $7.99 per bottle.
Caring for your car is one of the most important aspects of vehicle ownership, and while the competition for Meguiars is tough in this crucial segment of the automotive world, the high levels of prestige, dependability, and customer satisfaction do give the firm a unique formula that allows it to be a strong player in the marketplace. We look forward to the future to see how Meguiars can still maintain this dominant position, while also adjusting itself accordingly to new trends and cleaning technologies. In the meantime, you can check out the full range of products that Meguiars has to offer at the link below.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.