Meguiar’s Gold Class vs. NXT vs. Ultimate

Meguiars Gold Class vs. NXT vs. Ultimate: As one of the biggest names in car detailing, Meguiar’s have a huge product range, often with several variations of a single type of product – one of which is shampoo. Whilst this choice is great for us car detailers, it can often be difficult to decide which shampoo is best for you.

There are many shampoos which Meguiar’s have to offer, but there big 3 shampoos are:

Despite being almost identical in price, this is about the only thing that these shampoos have in common. In this article, I’ll be discussing how these shampoos compare to each other and how each one can meet your needs.

1. Meguiar’s Gold Class Car Wash Shampoo & Conditioner


Meguiar’s Gold Class is a very capable shampoo and offers a highly lubricated wash, making it a safer option for avoiding swirl marks or scratches whilst you wash.

Gold Class offers a healthy amount of foam, and feels super slick under the wash mitt, giving you confidence that you’re not damaging your paint.

In terms of cleaning ability, we found that Gold Class doesn’t offer the same level of bite as NXT, but it still provides more than enough cleaning against everyday road grime. It’s important to consider that whilst it doesn’t feel as powerful as NXT, it offers a gentle clean – making it great for regular washes. As with all of the shampoos in this article, Meguiar’s Gold Class is pH-neutral which means it won’t degrade existing waxes or sealants.

One of the most important features of Gold Class is its conditioners. These conditioners nourish the surface of the paint, lifting away contaminants to reveal the true colour of the paint.

Gold Class doesn’t offer a huge amount of protection, but it provides enough to help water sheet off after a wash – making the drying process easier.

Is Gold Class for You?

  • The best if you wash your car regularly and want to guarantee a slick & gentle clean.
  • Ideal if you want to maintain the finish of an already protected car.

Buy on Amazon: Meguiar's Gold Class Shampoo & Conditioner 

2. Meguiar’s Ultimate Car Wash & Wax


Meguiar’s Ultimate Wash & Wax is a ph-neutral car shampoo containing carnaubas and synthetic polymers – offering a boost of protection after every wash.

It’s usually the case with wax-based shampoos that they’re great for adding protection, but not so great at giving high-foam. Compared to other wax-based shampoos on the market, it offers great foaming ability. This gives you the benefit of a wax-based shampoo without having to massively sacrifice the high-foam experience, ensuring some lubrication on the paint.

Ultimate Wash & Wax offers a reasonable level of cleaning, making it capable of tackling everyday dirt and road grime – much like Meguiar’s Gold Class.

Where Ultimate Wash & Wax comes into its own is with the level of protection it provides after every wash. Compared to Gold Class and NXT, this shampoo blows them out of the water with protection. The carnaubas and synthetic polymers provide a great combination of gloss and hydrophobic protection. Not only will this better the appearance of your car, but it will also make subsequent washes easier as dirt find it trickier to bond with your paint.

Is Ultimate Wash & Wax for You?

  • Perfect if you want the benefits of wax without needing to wax your car.
  • Great if you’re strapped for time as the hydrophobic wax drastically reduces drying time.

Buy on Amazon: Meguiar's Ultimate Wash & Wax 

3. Meguiar’s NXT Generation Car Wash


Meguiar’s NXT is fully synthetic, making it drastically different from the other shampoos.

One of the main features of NXT Generation is the fact that it contains softeners. These softeners help to combat hard water particles, reducing the amount of water spotting on the vehicle – especially if you live in hard water areas. Not only do these softeners decrease water spots, but they also increase foaming – thus increasing the lubrication provided by the shampoo.

Meguiar’s NXT Engineered Synthetic Polymers (ESP) which serve as a great ingredient for emulsifies stubborn dirt particles. As part of this emulsification process, the dirt particles are safely lifted from the surface of the paint, reducing the risk of them damaging the paint during a contact wash. We found that NXT is a lot more effective at cleaning heavier dirt and grime than Gold Class and Ultimate Wash & Wax.

Whilst we are on the subject of synthetic elements, NXT Generation also contains synthetic lubricating oils which provide a noticeable amount of slickness during a contact wash. This gives you peace of mind that dirt is not being dragged across the paint of your beloved car.

Is NXT Generation for You?

  • Ideal if you live in a hard water area and want to reduce water spotting.
  • Great if your car is heavily contaminated and you need a deep cleaning shampoo.
  • Good if you are going to be applying a wax or sealant as the lack of wax or conditioners in NXT will help it the new protection to bond to the paintwork.

Buy on Amazon: Meguiar's NXT Generation Car Wash