Best Interior Detailer In 2023

Your car’s interior needs some TLC from time to time, too – here’s our guide to the best interior detailer.

There’s more to it than just vacuuming your carpets when it comes to cleaning your car’s interior. The various surfaces, like the dash and doors, get dirty and dusty. And, while you can use generic products, a dedicated interior detailer will make your life much easier. Our guide will help you pick the best interior detailer. Give our introductory guide a read if your looking to find out more about what car detailing is in general.

How I chose these products

Although I haven’t tested each and every one of these products first-hand, I’m a keen car detailer myself. As such, I know which brands are worth your time, and which traits are important to have in a good interior detailer solution.

Best Interior Detailer In 2023

Chemical guys interior cleaner

Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner

Size: 16oz / 473ml
RRP: 
$17.99 / £15.99. Buy Chemical Guys cleaner here.

Chemical Guys Total Interior Cleaner is capable of effectively removing dirt and grime from various elements of your interior as well as protecting it. You can use the stuff on virtually everything in the cabin, from the dashboard to door panels, carpets, seats (both leather and fabric), steering wheel and more.

It protects by using a UV blocker in the formula, this stops plastics from fading and cracking over time. Additionally, the product is environmentally friendly and biodegradable, making it a safe choice for those who care about the environment. Overall, Chemical Guys Interior Cleaner is a reliable and effective solution for maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of a vehicle’s interior.

Meguiar's interior detailer

Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer

Size: 450ml
RRP: 
$10 / £14. Buy Meguiar’s cleaner here.

Meguiar’s has a lot of interior products to choose from, but I can’t ignore one called Ultimate. Ultimate Interior Detailer has been designed to be used on all interior surfaces. You can spray it on your doors and dash, your center console, and even screens. The non-greasy formula cleans quickly and effectively. Ultimate Interior Detailer has superior UV protection to keep your interior looking cleaner for longer and now features Scotchgard protection. It dries quickly and leaves you with a smart, satin finish. You can’t go wrong with Meguiar’s Ultimate Interior Detailer.

Chipex interior detailer

Chipex Factory Finish Interior and Dashboard Cleaner

Size: 500ml
RRP:
$32.95 / £12.95. Buy Chipex cleaner here.

Chipex might be better known for its touch-up paint, but it also produces car care products. We’re big fans of its Factory Finish Interior and Dashboard Cleaner, and it’s a great detailer. Naturally, it excels at removing dust, dirt and contaminants. It’s also solvent-free and safe to use on all surfaces. Application is super-easy, too – simply spray and wipe, and there’s no need to buff. It leaves a satin finish and has a fresh new car fragrance. But our favorite thing is the anti-static formulation that repels dust and keeps your interior cleaner for longer. It’s an excellent interior detailer and one that’s definitely worth checking out.

Autoglym interior detailer

Autoglym Interior Shampoo

Size: 500ml
RRP:
$14 / £10. Buy Autoglym cleaner here

Autoglym Interior Shampoo is an extremely versatile interior detailer. It’s safe to use on all interior fabrics and hard surfaces. You can use it on your doors, dashboard, switches, and pedals, as well as mats and headlining. It quickly and easily cuts through dirt and grime, leaving you with a fresh, clean smell. The low-foam formula is easy to apply and wipe off, and it makes cleaning your interior a breeze. Autoglym Interior Shampoo is a great detailer that performs very well, and it’s a great choice.

Auto Finesse Spritz

Size: 500ml, 1 liter, 5 liters
RRP:
$17.95 / £9.95. Buy Auto Finesse cleaner here

Auto Finesse Spritz delivers in a big way and ticks all the boxes. It lightly cleans and protects plastics and vinyl in one step. It features a water-based formula that’s easy to use, quickly getting your interior surfaces clean. UV inhibitors protect against fading, while the anti-static formula keeps your interior cleaner for longer. It gives surfaces a matt finish and leaves you with a gorgeous scent as the finishing touch. Auto Finesse Spritz is an excellent interior detailer, and it’s a great buy.

303 Interior Cleaner

Size: 473ml
RRP:
$25 / £10. Buy 303 cleaner here.

303 Interior Cleaner is another interior detailer that does everything you need in one bottle. It’s tough enough to tackle stubborn stains, lifting dirt away from the surface. Its formula will also help repel dirt and dust to keep your cabin cleaner for longer. But it’s also gentle enough to be used on any surface. 303 Interior Cleaner will happily clean vinyl and plastic, rubber, fabrics and upholstery, and even leather. You can use it on your carpets, LCD screens, and interior glass, too. It leaves no residue and has a lovely fresh scent as well. It’s a superb detailer that does everything well and is definitely worth a look.

Now you know the best interior detailers, check out our step by step guide on how to clean your car’s interior.

The post Best Interior Detailer In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Exhaust for Honda Civic Type R

Looking for the best exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R? Well, here’s some of our top picks from the performance aftermarket.

Often, the car’s exhaust is one of the earliest parts that enthusiasts choose to modify, and for good reason. Quite simply, you get a lot of bang (and sometimes pops) for your buck. Plus, not only will it drastically change how your car sounds, but there’s also some extra horsepower to be found if you choose your exhaust system wisely.

From the factory, older generations of the Honda Civic Type R had a pretty unique exhaust note thanks to their VTEC-equipped, naturally aspirated engines. Some people love the resulting sound, whereas others… don’t. Either way, the introduction of a turbocharger in the mid-2010s lowered the car’s signature high rev limit somewhat, giving it a less controversial (but also slightly less entertaining) exhaust note.

Whichever generation of Civic you have though, you can certainly enhance the way it sounds. The parts aftermarket for these cars is huge, so there’s no end of performance exhausts available. Here’s a selection of our favorites.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R EK9

Rear 3/4 shot of Ek9

What’s it like as standard?

The Mk1 Honda Civic Type R (or ‘EK9’ to us nerds) was a major turning point for the perception of Honda as a performance brand. Although it looked like a humble grocery-getter hatchback, this pumped-up Civic was lighter, stronger, and much more powerful than your regular family runabout.

Amongst the car’s many desirable features, its party trick was undoubtedly its engine – the B16B. Used solely in this model, the B16B offered us our first glimpse at Honda’s now-renowned VTEC variable valve timing & lift control. Effectively, once the car reached a certain point in the rev range (in this case, 6,100rpm), its ECU would increase the level of valve lift, which in short equals more power.

This, coupled with the fact that the B16B was a naturally aspirated engine, meant that the EK9 Type R was blessed with an easily recognizable high-pitched exhaust note, accentuated by a noticeable change in character when VTEC kicks in.

Given that the EK9 was only sold in Japan in limited numbers, they’re quite tricky to get your hands on. However, if you’re in the market for one, be sure to check out our buying and tuning guides for the car.

Spoon

If you want to extract more performance from your Honda, Spoon is probably the first aftermarket company you should consider. This renowned performance tuner has been a Honda specialist for decades, ensuring to test each of their parts in actual races in Japan’s Super Taikyu motorsport series.

As far as street exhaust upgrades go for the EK9, you’ve got two main options – and actually, they’re fairly conservative by design. Whereas most of the exhausts we’ll feature in this article are cat-back systems, the Spoon N1 muffler ($710) is exactly that – just a muffler. You might also hear these referred to as ‘axle-back’ systems, as instead of including much of the pipework that runs down the length of the car, this package solely contains the rear muffler, which fits into place after the rear axle.

Admittedly, that does reduce the maximum potential for performance and sounds gains, but let’s not forget, the EK9 was a very specialized car to begin with. I mean, Honda even built it at Suzuka race circuit. As such, these Spoon mufflers enhance the sound of what was an already commendable bit of performance kit from the factory. Plus, by not having to fork out for a full exhaust system, you’re able to get your hands on premium Spoon parts without breaking the bank.

The N1 is the option to go for if you want the best sound possible from a muffler upgrade alone, while there’s also a ‘street’ variant ($928) for slightly more sociable sound gains. That said, if you do want to go all-out, Spoon does provide other elements of the EK9’s exhaust system separately. Check out their catalogue, here.

5zigen

You’ll do well to find an exhaust system with a more hyperbolic name than the 5zigen Miracle Fireball. However, don’t let that distract you from the fact that this 5zigen exhaust is actually pretty impressive.

The Miracle Fireball ($921) is a cat-back exhaust system, meaning you won’t fail any emissions tests. Plus, as it’s built from 1mm-thick stainless steel, 5zigen claims that it typically weighs about half that of the OEM equivalent on most of the cars they supply it for.

Finally, you also get a straightened pipe design, designed to aid the flow of exhaust gases, reduce back-pressure, and enhance performance. That straighter design is also good for sound quality, as you can hear for yourself in the video above.

J’s Racing

J’s Racing isn’t a brand that the average car enthusiast will have heard of, but for the JDM afficionados out there, it’s likely to spark a bit of excitement. This tuning house is a Honda specialist that made a name for itself on the Japanese automotive show, ‘Best MOTORing Hot-Version’. The show ran a long-standing touge battle competition between different tuners, J’s Racing being one of them.

Some of – if not the – most iconic cars to come from those televised touge battles were the J’s Racing Honda S2000s. In particular, one build became so well known that it earned its own intimidating nickname: ‘Demon King’. Featuring an extreme widebody and equally eye-catching livery, the car stood out not only for its looks, but also its serious pace.

Anyway, as you can gather from their presence on that show, J’s Racing is a formidable aftermarket performance brand. One of the exhausts that they provide for the EK9 Type R is the R304 SUS Exhaust 60RS ($641). Again, it’s a cat-back design, so is perfectly road-legal, and can even be spec’d with an additional inner silencer to keep things fairly toned down.

The exhaust system is stainless steel and only weighs 7.4kg, though it comes finished in a titanium-effect coating for a more exotic look.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R EP3

A rear shot of a Honda Civic Type R EP3.

What’s it like as standard?

The second generation of Honda Civic Type R, the ‘EP3’ was the first to officially be sold in Europe. However, any European Honda fans hoping to get a taste of the old EK9’s B16B engine would be left disappointed.

The new century heralded a new family of engines for Honda’s Civic model line-up, meaning that the B16B was out in favor of the new K20A. The new engine was still a high-revving four-cylinder though, so much of the Civic Type R’s core personality remained. In fact, over time, tuners came to love the K20 architecture just as much as the outgoing B16B.

Sound-wise, the EP3 offers plenty of the high-pitched magic that people associated with the EK9, though the crossover into the ‘VTEC Zone’ isn’t quite as pronounced. You’ll certainly still notice it though!

At the moment, EP3 Civics are still reasonably attainable, so if you’re in the market for one, be sure to read our buying and tuning guides.

Tegiwa x Milltek

The first exhaust system on our EP3 shortlist is the Tegiwa x Milltek cat-back ($867/£713), which Milltek constructs from T304L (a highly durable type of stainless steel). It features a 3-inch diameter pipe, which helps to provide commendable sound and performance enhancements.

Click the video above to hear the set-up for yourself. The folks at Milltek also provide a full run-down of the exhaust system’s dyno performance compared to stock – well worth a watch if you’re interested in how the product can make your EP3 quicker, as well as sound better.

Cobra Sport

Given that the UK & Europe was the primary market for the EP3-gen Civic Type R, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are multiple British tuners (like Milltek) that offer upgraded exhausts for it. Cobra Sport is another one.

The road-legal Cobra cat-back system ($700/£575) is a little more restrictive compared to the Tegiwa x Milltek, given that its pipe diameter is half an inch smaller. That said, it still offers sound and performance increases over the stock OEM part, and costs less than the Milltek system.

There’s an element of customizability about the Cobra exhaust too. As standard it comes with a circular tailpipe, but for around $50/£40 extra, you can specify it with an oval exit as seen in the video above.


HKS

If this Japanese hot hatch’s Swindon production line was already a little too UK-centric for you, then how about an exhaust system from HKS to inject some JDM magic back into it?

The HKS Hi-Power exhaust ($949/£840) is a tried and tested product that’s proven popular across multiple performance cars over the past couple of decades. Its straighter pipework allows for improved gas flow, equating to horsepower gains at higher rpm. The system also comes with an inner silencer, but you can remove it if you want to experiment with the sound.

To keep costs down, HKS only uses SUS304 stainless steel to construct the backbox, whereas the rest of the pipework underneath the car is formed from a milder type of steel. Due to the different densities of the material, this has a slight effect on the way that the car sounds too. Check out the video above to judge it for yourself.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R FN2

Rear 3/4 shot of standard Honda Civic Type R FN2 hot hatch

What’s it like as standard?

Very little changed under the Civic’s hood between the EP3 and FN2 generations of the car. At the time, Honda fans were borderline outraged by the fact that the new FN2 had just a single extra horsepower over the EP3, while weighing in between 60-100kg heavier. Its bubbly exterior design did little to improve the car’s image, either.

That said, this controversial hot hatch eventually outgrew the hate, and developed its own smaller section of admirers. After all, you still get a naturally-aspirated, high-revving four-cylinder engine and playful front-wheel drive handling. And to be honest, compared to today’s cars, the weight is hardly much of an issue.

Expect a very similar exhaust note to the EP3, given that the two models run on largely the same engine.

To this day, the FN2 remains one of the least popular Civic Type R models around, despite its late renaissance in popularity. As such, you don’t have to pay too much to get your hands on one. Tempted? Make sure to read our buying and tuning guides for the car first!

Scorpion

Like the EP3, the FN2-gen Civic was definitely a Europe focused car. In fact, Honda didn’t even sell it in Japan – the domestic market got the more desirable FD2 sedan instead. As such, the majority of aftermarket exhaust systems for this car come from European tuning companies instead – like Scorpion.

Based in the UK, Scorpion offers a resonated dual-exit cat-back system for the FN2, priced at $774/£636. The system features a 2.25-inch pipe diameter, is hand-crafted, and fits correctly in line with the stock rear diffuser.

Check out the video above to hear how the Scorpion exhaust compares to the standard OEM part!

Martelius

Finland isn’t often a country that’s associated with aftermarket performance parts, but Finnish brand Martelius offers a cracking pair of exhaust systems for the FN2 Type R.

The pipework used in this kit has a slightly wider diameter than the Scorpion package, measuring in at 2.5 inches, and also comes in two different variations. The single-pipe exhaust system ($558/£457), as shown in the video above, leaves the right exit empty in favor of a straighter pipe flow, and as you can hear, it sounds markedly different to the standard car.

Martelius themselves do admit that you can sometimes get a bit of unwanted drone come through into the cabin though at motorway speeds, but that’s not a problem with the slightly pricier dual-pipe variant of this exhaust ($752/£616).

Despite the mean sound, both systems are cat-backs, meaning you won’t fail any emissions tests.

Milltek

The Milltek cat-back kit ($1089/£892) for the FN2 Civic Type R is non-resonated, making it louder. It’s also a dual-pipe design, intended to make use of the stock OEM tailpipes – so don’t throw them away!

Crafted from T304 stainless steel, the Milltek cat-back has a 2.5-inch pipe diameter to aid gas flow for better sound and performance, while its straighter-than-stock layout works towards the same goals.

If you’d like to know what that translates into in practice, make sure to watch the video above!

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R FK2

Rear of Civic Type R FK2

What’s it like as standard?

After a short hiatus following the FN2, the Honda Civic Type R returned for a two-year production spell between 2015-2017. The ‘FK2’ Type R came with much wilder aero from the factory, and that’s not all that was new.

Under the hood, the FK2 ditched its naturally-aspirated roots in favor of a turbocharger. As such, its four-cylinder engine could now provide *a lot* more power, and do so while still complying with increasingly tighter emissions regulations. The downside was that a lot of the charisma was lost from the way the car sounded, which – arguably – was one of the main draws of early Type Rs.

As such, it’s fair to say that while the FK2 is a fine performance car, it never really developed much of an identity. So, if you want to give your one a bit more character, perhaps its time for an aftermarket exhaust…

Looking to buy an FK2, or learn about how to tune one? Give our dedicated guides a read.

Armytrix

Armytrix tends to cater towards high-end supercars and luxury vehicles, yet it decided to make an exception for the FK2-gen Civic Type R.

This exhaust system ($4087/£3348) is quite a comprehensive one, removing the stock catalytic converter and replacing it with a high-flow sports cat, as well as redesigning the rest of the pipework and muffler. As a result, Armytrix quotes an approximate 14PS power increase, as well as an extra 12lb ft of torque. Crafted from aluminium, this exhaust system system weighs 3.5kg lighter than the standard kit too.

What’s more, the exhaust even features valve technology, allowing you to raise or lower the car’s volume at the push of a button. This is achievable via the Armytrix key fob, or phone app. Pretty cool, huh?

Watch the video listed above to hear the difference for yourself.

Remus

Next up is Remus. Like the Armytrix exhaust mentioned previously, this Remus system ($3268/£2677) uses valve technology to alter the volume of the exhaust note remotely, via a key fob. However, as it’s only a cat-back design, it won’t cost you as much money as the Armytrix. Admittedly, the gains therefore aren’t as large as that of the Armytrix kit, but an extra 10PS and 9lb ft of torque isn’t to be sniffed at.

Plus, as you can hear for yourself in the video above, the sound of the car is noticeably more aggressive, especially with the valves turned open. By design, these turbocharged Civics are a little deeper and more muted in tone, yet the Remus exhaust still manages to make the core ingredients sound fairly sporty.

Scorpion

What if you need an exhaust upgrade for the FK2 that’s a bit more attainable, price-wise? Well, you may want to consider the Scorpion resonated cat-back, which makes do without switchable valves, and therefore is significantly cheaper.

Priced at $1633 (£1338), the Scorpion system is still a sizeable investment, but stands as one of the best value for money exhaust upgrades around for the FK2. Expect performance gains of around 10PS, and around 5kg of weight saving compared to standard.

As you can hear in the video above, the system definitely has some audible presence, yet it’s not too unsociable either due to its resonated design. However, if you want to go a bit more hardcore, Scorpion also supplies an additional turbo downpipe with sports-cat for $753 (£617). The de-catted version is cheaper, but beware that it won’t pass emissions regulations, rendering it unroadworthy.

Best Exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R FK8

Honda Civic Type R FK8 rear shot

What’s it like as standard?

Given how acclaimed the Civic Type R badge is worldwide, it might surprise you to know that the nameplate didn’t reach the United States until the fifth-gen ‘FK8’ iteration came out in 2018.

An undeniable global success, the FK8 Type R picked up where the FK2 left off from a performance point of view, and turned the recipe into arguably the best FWD hot hatch package on the market, if it wasn’t already. Now well into the ‘turbocharged era’ of compact performance cars, the snail remained under the hood of the Civic in its FK8 guise. So again, these aren’t quite as high-revving as the first three models.

Happily though, as the FK8 has a truly global presence, there is an abundance of aftermarket exhaust options out there which aim to eke out a bit more performance, and a better sound. Like, seriously, there’s loads of them out there. For now though, we’ve rounded it down to just three brands that we think are most worth considering.

Looking to buy an FK8, or learn about how to tune one? Give our dedicated guides a read.

GReddy

Like most tuning companies, GReddy manufactures multiple different exhaust systems for the FK8-gen Civic. The two that we’re focusing on here are the DD-R cat-back exhaust ($1050), and the Supreme SP High-Grade cat-back ($1795).

Let’s start off with the DD-R. This is a modern reinterpretation of some of GReddy’s dual-pipe exhausts of the past, created from T304 stainless-steel. The pipework has been designed to flow as straight as possible, while its 3-inch diameter also aids the travel of gas. Customizability is a desirable aspect of this system, given that you can chop and change the tips and silencers for more control over how the exhaust looks, flows, and sounds.

Alternatively, the GReddy Supreme SP HG is a more premium product. Instead of two central exits, the Supreme SP makes use of three. That isn’t just a styling choice either. GReddy’s tri-pipe design has been created with optimal sound and gas flow in mind. The system also features a resonator and peripheral ‘sound chambers’ to keep unwanted drone to a minimum. Like the DD-R, the Supreme SP HG’s pipework is 3 inches wide in diameter, and constructed from T304 stainless steel.

Check out the video above to hear how they compare.

HKS

Two more exhaust options for the FK8 Civic come from HKS. In the video above, the white FK8 is running the HKS Legamax Premium exhaust ($2124/£1740), while the blue FK8 has the HKS Hi-Power Spec L ($1889/£1548). However, when watching the comparison, keep in mind that both cars have been de-catted, meaning they’ll be louder than what you can expect from your car if it’s still got the cat. That said, this will give you a good impression of the differences in tone between the two exhaust systems, at the very least.

Beyond what your ears tell you, here’s the nerdy specs for both systems. Starting off with the Legamax, this exhaust system is actually the same weight as the standard OEM part, however it’s got a much wider pipe diameter (3 inches) and straighter flow, reducing back pressure by 50%!

Meanwhile, the Hi-Power Spec L is nearly 6kg lighter than both the Legamax and standard Honda exhaust system. It also provides a happy middle-ground in terms of volume between the two as well. So, while you won’t get quite such an entertaining exhaust note as you will with the Legamax, you’ll benefit from a more refined ride when just commuting.

Tomei

To finish things off, here’s three different options in one video. Don’t say we never treat you…

Tomei is a renowned JDM tuning brand with decades of experience of manufacturing upgraded performance parts, not only for the street, but for racing too.

In regards to their products for the FK8 Civic, we’ll be focusing on the aptly-named Tomei Expreme Ti Type R exhaust ($1390), as well as its Type S ($1390) and Type D ($1890) counterparts.

Each of the three variants are significantly lighter than stock, but it’s the ‘R’ which is the lightest, tipping the scales at just 7kg. The Type S weighs 10kg, while it’s 13kg for the Type D – though that’s still around 4kg less than OEM. Each of them are titanium, which is surprising given their reasonable price tags.

In simple terms, imagine these systems as a sliding scale. The Expreme Ti Type R exhaust is the loudest, most performance-oriented, whereas the Type D is the most civil. Type S sits between the two. It’s also worth pointing out that both Type R and Type S utilize a single exit, whereas the Type D is a dual-pipe design. For the full spec run-down, click here.

How to buy the best exhaust for a Honda Civic Type R

An aftermarket exhaust is a must for any enthusiast who loves spirited driving – you’ll never want to leave the throttle pedal when your car is on full song. Love it or hate it, that’s especially true for the older N/A non-turbo VTEC Civics. But, before you splash the cash, there are a few factors you need to consider when upgrading. Firstly, why are you upgrading your exhaust? Is it for extra performance? Perhaps it’s just an increase in volume you’re after. Or maybe you want more performance *and* more sound. The first thing to consider, and is the same principle you should use when upgrading the exhaust on any car, is the diameter of the exhaust pipes. If you’re planning on modifying other performance parts, an increase in size can be a good option.

As for sound, how do you plan on using the car? If you’re looking to utilize the Civic’s on-track prowess, you’ll be needing a free-flowing exhaust but one with silencers to adhere to noise limits. If you’re just driving on the road, the world is your oyster. Although too loud and you’ll have the Police to deal with…

Exhaust material

Finally, the material of the exhaust. On the GT-R models, it’s not uncommon to find titanium exhausts as readily-available as stainless-steel, such is the diversity of the Skyline tuning scene. Titanium exhausts will change the pitch of the engine note ever-so-slightly, so if you’re wanting something with more rasp at the top end, aim for titanium. It’s more expensive, guaranteed, but they’re lighter and produce an epic sound. In terms of performance, a titanium exhaust in itself won’t improve your topline figures, that’s down to the exhaust flow.

Still in need of some inspiration? Check out our top Honda Civic Type R feature cars!

The post Best Exhaust for Honda Civic Type R appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Ceramic Coating In 2023

A ceramic coating will make your car look amazing and help to keep it cleaner for longer – here’s our pick of the best ceramic coating.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your car looking its best for as long as possible, a ceramic coating is the way forward. Most ceramic coatings are applied by professional detailers, but there are plenty of consumer-friendly products out there. While they might seem a little daunting, there’s no reason you can’t apply a coating yourself and get great results. With a little preparation and the right product, you can ceramic-coat your car with minimal effort. We’ll help you pick the perfect one with our guide to the best ceramic coating. And if you’re looking for more general car-cleaning advice, check out our overarching guide on car detailing.

How I chose these products

Testing each of these isn’t something I’ve been able to do yet, but rest assured, these aren’t just blind recommendations. I’ve intently kept on top of developments in the car detailing scene for many years, so I’m well-placed to suggest brands and point out the important elements of each product, and explain why they’re important.

Best Ceramic Coating In 2023

Gtechniq ceramic coating

Gtechniq C1 Crystal Lacquer

Size: 30ml, 50ml, 250ml
RRP:
$88/£54.99, buy now.

For many people, Gtechniq is synonymous with ceramic coatings. The British company has a huge range to choose from, but our pick is its C1 Crystal Lacquer. The reason we’ve gone for this coating is that it’s been designed to be easy to use. Applying ceramic coating can be a little daunting, and there’s a lot of prep work involved.

Any product designed for newcomers to ceramic is always going to be a great choice. C1 Crystal Lacquer is the perfect choice for first-timers while also delivering impressive performance. The crystalline film it forms helps protect your paintwork from minor scratches that can happen due to improper washing. While it doesn’t add much gloss, this makes it great for matt finishes. And it offers good gloss retention, so your car will look great. Finally, it will last for up to five years, making it a fantastic choice of ceramic coating.

Gyeon ceramic coating

Gyeon Q2 Pure EVO

Size: 30ml, 50ml, 100ml
RRP: 
$54.99/ £75, buy now.

Another company well-known for its ceramic coating, Gyeon has a huge range to choose from, and we reckon Q2 Pure EVO is the pick of the bunch. It strikes the perfect balance between ease of application and durability. Q2 Pure EVO delivers incredible gloss, while the thick formulation means you only need a single layer. This makes application easier and quicker. The ergonomic applicator makes the process even faster, while the extended wipe time makes it easier to work with. Q2 Pure EVO can be applied outdoors, making it perfect for anyone without access to a garage. You can expect up to 36 months of durability, and this is another superb ceramic coating.

CarPro ceramic coating

CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0

Size: 30ml, 50ml
RRP:
$74.99/ £56.99, buy now.

CarPro’s CQuartz UK 3.0 coating has a lot of impressive features that make it easy to recommend. First of all, application is simple, and no matter how cold, hot or humid it is, CQuartz is easy to work with. Anything that makes life easier when applying a ceramic coating is always very welcome. It has minor swirl-filling abilities, which means that minor paint imperfections will be masked after application. A lot of coatings require you to carry out paint correction before application, so this is another bonus. Naturally, gloss levels are very impressive, and CQuartz has self-cleaning properties to make washing your car quicker and easier. It can last up to two years and will protect your paint from minor scratches, bird droppings and acid rain. This is a ceramic coating that’s definitely deserving of your attention.

Shelby Ceramic Coating

Size: 50ml, 100ml
RRP:
£29.99 (not available in the US), buy now.

You might know Shelby for its cars, but the company also makes detailing products, and its Ceramic Coating is excellent. Once again, this coating has been designed to be easy to use. While Shelby does offer a list of ideal application conditions, they are pretty lenient. This means the application is easy and forgiving, which we like to see. One layer is all you need, though you can add additional layers to enhance the gloss further still. The Shelby coating will conceal minor scratches and swirls, and it’s rain repellent in just 20 minutes after application. That’s a big bonus for outdoor application. It’s very reasonably priced, too, and should last for a couple of years. It’s easy to see why this excellent coating made it onto our list.

Sonax Profiline CC36

Sizes: 60ml, 75ml, 100ml. 
RRP:
£89.95 (not available in the US), buy now.

While it might look intimidating, this German offering is actually not hard to work with, just a little complicated. The Sonax Profiline CC36 ceramic coating kit comes with no fewer than three bottles, two applicators, a microfibre cloth and a pair of gloves. Trust the Germans to make a complete kit that has everything you need. It comes with a surface degreaser, BaseCoat and GlossCoat, and while the application process is more involved, the results are fantastic. It ticks all the ceramic boxes, with stunning gloss, resistance to minor scratches, and easier cleaning. Beading is also fantastic, and it fends off road salt and tar, as well as offering UV and chemical resistance. Properly maintained and given an annual service clean, CC36 will last up to 36 months. A superb ceramic offering from Sonax.

The post Best Ceramic Coating In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.

The Ford Mustang GT350R Is As Special As Modern Ponies Get

I’ve never fallen in love and harmony with a car this quickly. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R is a well-documented darling to anyone who has driven one – I was aware of its gleaming reputation before going to review an example for Cars & Bids. However, I had never driven one, and unlike when the car was new, I went into this drive with a more definitive context.

We are, historically speaking, at the end of the road for cars like this as ever-smaller turbocharged engines and electric motors continue to take over the market. I returned from my drive, instantly reflecting on one thing – the GT350R is deservedly special. Without question, at the heart of what makes this car unique is its naturally aspirated Voodoo flat-plane-crank V8. Flat-plane engines are expensive to develop, and they’re usually reserved for small displacement, high-output applications, which is why Ferrari commonly uses them.

The significant benefit of a flat-plane design is that, due to the firing order alternating from bank to bank, the exhaust flow is optimized, maximizing the fluid dynamics of the engine and aiding in its ability to rev quickly. The drawback is that these engines are more challenging to balance than their cross-plane relatives, resulting in more counterweights to offset the vibrations. Applying this design with a large displacement engine is an expensive engineering challenge, but Ford made it happen for this car.

It’s essential to understand all of this because to see this level of engineering and R&D put into a Mustang underscores how serious Ford was about building something historically significant. This car celebrates the naturally aspirated engine, and honestly, it’s hard to believe that they were willing to put resources behind an engine that would only be used in two cars: the standard GT350 and the GT350R. But the notable additions for the GT350R don’t end there.

Ford used the Tremec TR-3160 6-speed manual as the sole available transmission for this car, and that’s a vital distinction. The standard Mustang GT was also available with a manual, but it had a Getrag 6-speed, and it’s nowhere near as sweet as the Tremec. The shifts are hefty but crisp and perfectly match this car’s personality. I felt right at home, and shifting gears was so profoundly satisfying. The ratios are well judged, too, both for big speed and for fun around town.

Ford’s MagneRide system is also terrific. Yes, the car is stiff; it is a sports car. Even so, the magnetorheological dampers give the suspension tremendous compliance. Generally, I prefer to keep cars with adjustable suspension in their “Normal” setting, but even so, it gave me great confidence in the car overall. Similarly, the chassis dynamics are truly sublime. I didn’t get to really push this car in corners (as it’s not mine), but you can tell the performance envelope is impressively high, certainly on the level with a 991 GT3.

More On The Shelby GT350:

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Going Flat Out On Autobahn Sounds Incredible
First Drive: 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

Ford also emphasized weight reduction, removing the rear seats, adding carbon fiber to the core support, and offering this car with carbon fiber wheels – a first in a mass-produced car. Optioned at its lightest (notably without air conditioning), Ford claimed that the R weighed 130 pounds less than the standard GT350. This one wasn’t spec’d this way, and I suspect few ever were, but even so, any piece of weight savings was important as the standard GT350 wasn’t the lightest starting platform.

Of course, this car isn’t perfect. It’s built, well, like a Mustang. The plastics aren’t that nice, and some examples have exhibited engine problems. However, I didn’t let any of this take away from the experience of driving the car. It’s right up there with the very best driver’s cars I’ve ever experienced, and even though some of these engines had issues, this V8 goes down as one of the best of all time.

We should all feel lucky to live through this period of history with the automobile. Yes, for car enthusiasts – like us – we will lose the gasoline-powered engines that we love in favor of electric motors. Still, manufacturers are selecting exciting ways to celebrate and send off the gasoline engine, and this era will be viewed as noteworthy. We should enjoy it while it lasts, and that’s what this car is all about. It’s a love letter to the naturally aspirated V8 and the thrill of driving, which is why the GT350R is so great, pure, and, yes, deservedly special.



Source: Cars & Bids

The BMW XM Lives In The No-Mans-Land Of Performance SUVs

– Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

The BMW XM is confusing. On one hand, it is ridiculously quick. With 664 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds, the XM has more than enough grunt to keep up with other super-SUVs from Aston Martin and Porsche.

On the other, the XM is a 6,000-pound luxury SUV with a big ol’ battery pack – probably not what BMW’s M division (which stands for Motorsport, remember) had in mind when it was founded more than 50 years ago.

But if you’re okay with kicking nostalgia to the curb and could care less where your power comes from, there are some things you might like about the XM as a luxury SUV.

Quick Stats2023 BMW XM
EngineTwin-Turbo 4.0L V8 PHEV
Output664 HP / 590 LB-FT
EV Range30 Miles
Base Price$159,995

 

BMW lets you go all out at any speed in any drive mode using batteries only.

The Good: For a 6,000-pound SUV, this thing rips. The 590 pound-feet of torque is delivered in an instant thanks to that 29.5-kilowatt-hour (25.7-kWh usable) lithium-ion battery pack and a single electric motor mounted to the rear axle. The XM launches to 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds and onto a limited top speed of 168 mph with the optional M Driver’s package.

It’s not so bad in the corners, either. The XM has excellent steering feel and a perfect 50/50 weight distribution with a traditional steel suspension – as opposed to the ever-common air springs in this class. The active anti-roll bars sit atop a 48-volt electrical architecture that helps keep body roll to a surprising minimum. The rear-wheel steering (up to 2.5 degrees worth in low and high-speed situations) also makes the XM feel more nimble in tight corners.

2023 BMW XM Review 2023 BMW XM Review

The electric-only driving mode is excellent. Unlike some other EV modes that limit speed or throttle pressure, BMW lets you go all out at any speed in any drive mode using batteries only. And the XM has a pretty decent 30 miles of range – that’s enough to get you at least halfway through Angeles Crest.

The XM also has an unbelievably upscale interior. Merino leather, Alcantara, and carbon fiber trim cover nearly every inch while premium quilted leather is draped over both rows of seats. The back seat’s bench even extends that leather onto the door panels for more comfort when turning to talk to your fellow rear passenger. A thoughtful touch.

 

For the majority of people who lay eyes on this SUV, it probably looks pretty ungainly.

The Bad: One of the things I praised during my initial first drive of the XM was the transition between battery power and gas. But having the XM for a week and driving it on more mundane roads, it felt… different. The electric-to-gas handoff was clunkier than before, the powertrain was loud at low speeds, and the eight-speed automatic transmission couldn’t keep up; it was jerky and unrefined.

The ride quality was also less-than-stellar on some bumpier roads. Yes, it’s still an excellent highway cruiser with great sound deadening and plush seats, but even with the softest suspension setting activated, the XM still crashed down hard over broken pavement and bigger speed bumps.

And then there are the looks. The XM does have some redeeming visual qualities, like the two roundel logos etched into the rear glass, the stacked quad exhaust tips, and the overall profile. For the majority of people who lay eyes on this SUV, it probably looks pretty ungainly. Certain colors and configurations help, but BMW’s styling continues to be controversial.

2023 BMW XM Review

The Verdict: The XM’s edges are rough, both literally and figuratively. BMW M faithful will probably stay away from this SUV due to its clunky plug-in powertrain, hefty curb weight, and questionable styling – and rightfully so. But as a luxury SUV with amazing straight-line speed, the XM at least hits on some of the basics. 

More On The BMW XM:

BMW XM Loses $9,900 And Part Of Its Name
2023 BMW XM Pulls Out A Lot More Power Than Advertised In Dyno Test

Competitors

Aston Martin DBX 707 Bentley Bentayga Speed Lamborghini Urus Porsche Cayenne Turbo GT

FAQs

Is The BMW XM Fully Electric?

No, the BMW XM is a plug-in hybrid – but it does have one of the most advanced electric driving modes available currently. The XM allows you to drive at any speed in any drive mode using battery power only with a range of 30 miles.

What Is The MPG Of The BMW XM?

The BMW XM gets 14 miles per gallon combined when only using its V8 engine, but it gets 73 MPGe when the battery is fully charged. The XM has a total driving range of 300 miles.

Is The BMW XM The Most Powerful M Car?

The BMW XM was the most powerful M car ever built when it debuted, but it was soon overtaken by the even more powerful BMW XM Label. The more potent version of the XM has 738 horsepower.

2023 BMW XM
EngineTwin-Turbocharged 4.4-Liter V8 PHEV
MotorSingle Permanently Excited Synchronous
Output664 Horsepower / 590 Pound-Feet
TransmissionEight-Speed Automatic
Drive TypeAll-Wheel Drive
Battery29.5-Kilowatt-Hour Lithium-Ion
Speed 0-60 MPH4.1 Seconds
Maximum speed168 MPH (w/M Driver’s Package)
Efficiency14 MPG / 73 MPGe
EV Range30 Miles
Charge Type240 Volts @ 7.4 Kilowatts
Charge Time3.25 Hours
Weight6,062 Pounds
Seating Capacity5
Base Price$159,000 + $995 Destination
As-Tested Price$165,895
Best Snow Foam Lance In 2023

We picked six top snow foam lances and pitched them against each other to see which is best for the pre-wash stage of cleaning your car.  

Snow foam makes not only makes car detailing so much easier, but it’s also an essential part of the pre-wash stage. To do it right, you need the right tool for the job. A snow foam lance or cannon is essential for applying snow foam to your car’s bodywork. There are a few different designs out there, so it can be tricky to choose one. They range from cheap and cheerful to quite expensive. But that’s why we’ve put together this test to help you pick the best snow foam lance.

About the tester

I am Fast Car’s Detailing Product Tester, and I have been into cleaning cars for many, many years. In that time I’ve tried more detailing products than most, and have a huge array of personal favorites in my collection. I’ve tested and used everything from great detailing products to the ones that no one should be using. Pitting products against each other means I know what works and what doesn’t. The best products in these tests are the ones that I will personally be using, so you know they’ve really impressed me.

I’ve chosen six of the most popular snow foam lances on the market. Every snow foam cannon on our list promises good performance, but some are better than others. I’ve picked a selection that includes the cheapest lance you can buy, well-known lances, and expensive lances. There is something here to suit every need and every budget. Remember that snow foam lances have specific connectors for different pressure washers. Make sure you choose the correct fitting for you. 

Best snow foam lance group test

Best Snow Foam Lances at a glance:

  • Best Overall and Editor’s Choice: MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0. RRP: $89/£46.95.Buy Now.
  • Best Value: Amazon/unbranded Snow Foam Lance. RRP: $26.20, buy now. £18.99, buy now.
  • Approved: Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance. RRP: £20.99. Not available in the US. Buy Now.

MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0 snow foam lance

MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0 – Best overall and Editor’s Choice

RRP: from $89 / £46.95. Buy MJJC Foam Cannon Pro here

Pros:

  • Fantastic horizontal and vertical nozzle adjustment
  • Soft pick-up hose with weighted filter
  • Excellent foam

Cons:

  • Measurements only go up in 100ml increments and are only numbered at 500ml and 1000ml
  • Expensive

MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2.0 snow foam lance in action

While every snow foam lance here performs well, there had to be a winner, and it’s the MJJC Pro V2, by a clear margin. This snow foam lance starts off strong thanks to its wide base for stability and a decent-size filler neck. It feels solid, and I like that the foam adjuster makes it clear which way to turn it for more or less foam. It also has the best pick-up hose in the whole test, as it’s soft and flexible and comes with a weighted filter at the end. This means that whichever way you tilt the MJCC snow foam lance, it will always be able to suck in snow foam solution.

It offers horizontal and vertical adjustment, and the foam spray pattern has a wide range of adjustment. It also produces plenty of foam and is just excellent to use. The only negative point is the measuring gauge, which only goes up in 100ml increments, and only has numbering at 500 and 1000ml. But honestly, that was me looking for something I didn’t like. The MJJC Foam Cannon Pro V2 is the best snow foam lance here, a clear winner, and the one I will be using from now on.

Read our full review of the MJJC foam cannon here.

Amazon snow foam lance

Amazon/unbranded Snow Foam Lance – Best Value

RRP: $26.20, buy now. £18.99, Buy now.

Pros:

  • Great value
  • Detailed measurements

Cons:

  • No horizontal or vertical adjustment
  • Falls over
  • No pick-up hose filter
  • Narrow filler neck

Amazon/unbranded Snow Foam Lance in action

Ever since I started using snow foam, this has been my personal snow foam lance of choice. It’s definitely a no-frills experience, but for the money, it’s hard to complain, even though it’s not got much in the way of features. It feels cheap, there’s no pick-up filter, there’s no horizontal or vertical adjustment, and it falls over constantly. It also has a narrow filler neck. But the measuring scale starts at 100ml and gives you numbered increments all the way to 1000ml, which is nice. It’s incredibly easy to use and delivers decent foam. Crucially, you can pick these up for a little over $/£10 if you shop around. Mine has never let me down, and if you’re on a budget, I can absolutely recommend this snow foam lance.

Be sure to read the full review on the Amazon Basics lance here.

Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance

Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance – Approved

Price: £20.95. Not available in the US. Buy the Hydro 360 lance here

Pros:

  • Textured neck indent for extra grip
  • Chunky nozzle grip with horizontal and vertical adjustment
  • Pick-up hose filter

Cons:

  • Very stiff nozzle adjustment
  • Measurements start at 200ml and only go up to 800ml

Hydro 360 Snow Foam Lance in action

The Hydro 360 was the snow foam lance I had the highest hopes for. I expected it to win, but ultimately it just fell short. There’s a lot to like here – there’s a nice-sized filler neck, and I really liked the hand grip indent in the bottle. The nozzle feels nice and chunky and is easy to grip with wet hands. You also get an intake hose filter, though the hose is a little stiff. There’s also horizontal and vertical adjustment. Foam levels are impressive, and it has the biggest spray angle adjustment range of any snow foam lance here.

Unfortunately, the nozzle adjustment is incredibly stiff. This makes it hard to adjust just the spray pattern without also moving the horizontal/vertical adjustment portion. This makes it a little frustrating to use, and you really need a firm grip on the nozzle when adjusting. Also, the measuring markings don’t start until 200ml and stop at 800ml, which is annoying when one liter is the norm. But it’s still an excellent lance overall.

For more advice, check out our full review on the Hyrdro 360 foam lance.

Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance

RRP: $62.95 / £39.95. Buy the Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance here.

Pros:

  • Looks and feels great to use
  • 1500ml capacity
  • Pick-up hose filter

Cons:

  • No horizontal or vertical adjustment
  • Measurements start at 250ml and only have markers every 250ml

Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance in action

The Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance is arguably the nicest-looking lance I tested. This snow foam lance feels expensive and is very nice to use. It has the wider filler neck I want to see and a nice stable base. It also has a filter on the pick-up hose, which, again, is nice to have. It’s the biggest snow foam lance in this test and will hold 1500ml of liquid, which is another selling point. This makes it great if you need to wash something big and you want as much snow foam as possible. There’s no horizontal and vertical adjustment, though, which it gets marked down for. Also, the measuring scale is vague, only starting at 250ml and only having markers at 250ml increments, which is annoying. But otherwise, it’s a solid choice, it performs well and is ideal if you have larger vehicles to wash.

Check out the Auto Finesse Snow Foam Lance full review here.

Autoglym Polar Blaster Snow Foamer 

RRP: $50.77, buy now. £45.99, buy now.

Pros:

  • Feels great to use
  • Widest filler neck on test
  • Neck indent makes it easy to hold

Cons:

  • No measurement scale
  • No horizontal or vertical adjustment
  • No pick-up hose filter

The Autoglym Polar Blaster is a snow foam lance I have been using personally for a while now. It’s a very well-built snow foam lance, and Autoglym has made the effort to make sure it stands out. I like the adjuster knob design, and the nozzle is easy to adjust, with good grips ideal for wet hands. The bottle, meanwhile, has the largest filler neck of any snow foam lance in this test. It’s nice and stable, and I like the hand grip around the neck, as well. There’s no filter on the pick-up hose, but it is soft and flexible, which is nice.

However, there’s no horizontal or vertical adjustment, which is unacceptable at this price point, really. Also, as Autoglym intends it to be used with its own Polar Series products, there is no measuring scale. That’s really annoying, and I actually drew my own with a marker pen. So, while it’s nice to use and delivers impressive foam, it can’t compete with the best snow foam lances here.

For more info, read the full Autoglym snow foam lance review.

MTM Hydro PF22.2

RRP: $84.99, buy now. £85.91, buy now.

Pros:

  • Lovely action on adjuster knob and nozzle
  • Horizontal and vertical adjustment
  • Measurements in 50ml increments

Cons:

  • Narrow filler neck
  • Bottle feels cheap
  • No pick-up hose filter
  • Narrow spray pattern
  • Expensive

The MTM Hydro PF22.2 is a snow foam lance that promises a lot. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the most disappointing foam cannon to use. That being said, it does have some very nice features. I love the action on the adjuster knob with its soft clicks. It also has the nicest nozzle of any snow foam lance in this test. The spray pattern adjuster is easy to turn and shows you which way to twist for a narrow or wide spray pattern. The horizontal and vertical adjuster is equally well-designed. It clicks into place beautifully and has markers for horizontal and vertical spray orientation.

The scale is also very comprehensive, with markers every 50ml. The bottle has a wide base and a textured section for extra grip. However, there’s no filter, and the pick-up hose is stiff. The bottle looks and feels cheap and has a narrow filler neck. But worst of all is the spray pattern. It has a tiny range of adjustment, and even its widest setting delivers a disappointingly narrow spray pattern. Add in the high price, and it’s hard to recommend this snow foam lance.

For a closer look at its pitfalls and potentially redeeming features, read our full review of the MTM Hydro PF22.2.

How Each Product Was Tested

I assessed each snow foam lance on several criteria. Size, functionality, ease of use, features, and price were all considered. I checked how well each snow foam lance performed in a variety of key areas. The amount of foam, the spray pattern, and what it was like to use were also taken into consideration. I have been using various snow foam lances for years, so I know what makes a good one, and I’ve found some new favorites among this selection.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Snow Foam Lance

The perfect snow foam lance will have several useful features. You want a nice, wide filler neck, which makes life easier. A wide base means it won’t topple over when you’re not using it. You want a wide range of spray pattern adjustment as well. This allows you to quickly coat the whole car or just spray a small section.

Horizontal and vertical spray pattern adjustment is also very nice to have. A measuring scale on the side of the bottle is essential for ease of use. Finally, soft pick-up hoses and filters are a nice bonus that’s well worth looking out for. This can make all the difference between a good snow foam lance and a great one.

Looking for the right products to use in your new lance? We’ve got you covered with our guide to the best snow foam in 2023.

The post Best Snow Foam Lance In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Suspension for Nissan Skyline GT-R

Looking for the best suspension for a Nissan Skyline GT-R? Well, whatever the type of build you’re going for, we’ve got you covered.

What’s the point of a beefy engine if your car doesn’t want to go around corners? For that reason, suspension is one of the most important upgrades you can make to your car. Not only can it improve drivability, but it’ll also inspire more confidence when you’re behind the wheel. Not to mention more grip and better handling. Add those things together, and your lap times should begin to tumble.

When it comes to upgrading suspension, it’s not simply a case of ‘one size fits all’. Instead, you’ll want to opt for a different set-up depending upon two things: A, which Nissan Skyline GT-R generation you own, and B, what sort of build you want to turn it into.

So, without further ado, here’s the best Nissan Skyline GT-R suspension that the aftermarket has to offer.

The side of a modified Nissan Skyline R32

Best Suspension for a Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

What’s it like as standard?

Fresh from the factory floor, the R32 GT-R came with independent double wishbone multilink suspension at both the front and rear. You’ll find a pair of coil springs and an anti-roll bar at either end of the car, as well as unequal upper and lower control arms at the front.

The front end of a pristine white example.

Best street suspension for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

We’ll start with suspension set-ups designed for the street, because let’s be honest, that’s where most of us will spend 99% of our time behind the wheel.

Coilovers are naturally the way to go to improve the vehicle’s handling and achieve an attractively low ride height, however you don’t want to go too extreme with a street build. Instead, this sort of project requires a bit of compromise. After all, no matter how much of a hardcore racer you are, you don’t want to give yourself a back ache every morning on your commute. For that reason, it’s best to go with a suspension kit that offers tangible handling improvements without sacrificing comfort entirely.

BC Racing are a good benchmark brand for this sort of thing. Their BR Series of coilovers can fit an R32 and sell from $1214 (£999). At that price point, you’ll be getting a product that you can trust to be reliable (and effective!) without totally blowing your budget. However, if you do have a bit more cash that you’re willing to splash, then we’d recommend going for an Ohlins Road & Track kit. These are arguably the best multipurpose coilovers on the aftermarket, and will set you back $3290 (£2663).

Front 3/4 driving shot of HKS Nissan Skyline GT-R R32

Best circuit suspension for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

Let’s say that your R32 GT-R isn’t your daily driver though. What if instead, you’re turning it into a purpose-built track car, designed to be trailered across the country and eat up every closed circuit it encounters? Well, in that scenario, you’ll want something a bit different.

When comfort isn’t really a consideration, you can unlock a whole new world of coilover set-ups. These extra-firm kits are designed to maximize your car’s ability to deal with pesky apexes, while providing excellent feedback to the driver. However, you wouldn’t want to drive with them on bumpy public roads.

One of the best hardcore track suspension kits you can get for the R32 GT-R is APEXi’s N1 Evolution Damper package. A well-known brand from the heyday of JDM tuning houses, APEXi is still active in motorsport today, and that means they’re pretty well set-up to provide you with a top tier track kit. The N1 Evolution system will cost you $2799 (£2440) but for that you get a custom package developed specifically to your driving style and goals – whether that be track days, time attacks, or even drifting. There’s 25-way manual damping force adjustability built into the kit too, incase you want to fettle with things further.

Admittedly, $2799 is a bit steep, but for about a grand less you could bag yourself some TEIN Mono Racing coilovers instead. You get slightly less adjustability with these, but TEIN are still well-regarded enough for you to be confident in this kit’s performance.

Pandem Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

Best stance suspension for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

For the best results when going for a slammed look that you can actually drive, you’ll want an air suspension kit. If you’re already clued up about these, you’ll know that air kits tend to be on the pricey side. AirRide will hook you up from $2404 (£1979), though you’ll need to pay extra if you want the management system as well.

Airdynamiks are another stance specialist that caters for the R32. Its kit costs a comparable $2340 (£1894), though again, you’ll need to pay about 50% of that retail price on top to get your hands on a management system.

The Best Budget Options for a Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R

Up until this point though, pretty much all the options we’ve spoken about cost north of $1000 – but that’s out of financial reach for many of us. So, what if you’ve got less than a grand to spend, but still want to pick up some aftermarket suspension that’ll give you both performance and aesthetic gains? Well, the key is not to scrape the barrel. If you’re paying anything less than 500 quid for a full set of coilovers, then chances are it’s a mod that isn’t worth doing.

However, some trusted brands do cater for more cost-conscious car enthusiasts. TEIN are a great example of this. Their Street Advance Z package provides damping adjustability and a twin-tube structure for $771 (£624). Or, for more control over your R32’s ride height, TEIN’s Flex Z package can be had for $993 (£804) instead. Of course, these won’t offer the same end results as higher-tier products, but at least with a company like TEIN you can be relatively confident that the low price point won’t come back to bite you.

Peripheral Suspension Parts

Suspension isn’t just about springs and dampers. If you want to maximize your R32’s handling capabilities, you’d be wise to sort out its bushes and anti-roll bars as well. The R32 comes with rubber bushes from the factory, but by now they’re bound to be rather tired. You could simply replace them like for like, or, if you don’t mind trading a bit of comfort for performance, you could even look to swap them with firmer polyurethane ones from the likes of SuperPro. Upgraded anti-roll bars are also crucial to counteracting body roll. Cusco supply these for $315 (£255) apiece.

For a closer look at the best ways to modify your Nissan Skyline GT-R R32, check out our dedicated R32 tuning guide. Or, if you’re in the market for one, check out our R32 buyer’s guide instead.

Close up frontal shot of a silver Nissan Skyline GT R R33 driving on a race track

Best Suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

What’s it like as standard?

In standard guise, the R33 GT-R’s suspension looks almost identical to the R32’s, albeit now part of a longer wheelbase and with stiffer camber at the front. However, upon release, the R33’s size – and consequently, the way it handled – was a slight point of contention for enthusiasts. Realistically, a stock R33 GT-R isn’t quite as bad as people make it out to be, but suspension is nonetheless one of the first mods you’ll want to do to improve its dynamic traits. So, here’s our advice on how to make that happen…

Modified Nissan Skyline GT-R R33

Best street suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

Ohlins offer their Road & Track set-up for the R33 GT-R as well as the R32, so naturally it takes the top spot here as well.

However, if you’re looking for something different, HKS’ Hipermax S package is well worth a look. Priced at around the $1800-mark (£1500) depending upon supplier, HKS Hipermax S coilovers aim to maximize comfort while still offering solid performance gains.

Alternatively, you could go for a MeisterR ZetaCRD set-up. These can be used for occasional track days, but like the HKS package, are best suited to public road use instead. You still get 32-point damping adjustability though in order to tailor the ride to your specific preference. Available for $1245 (£1008), these are on the more affordable end of the premium-quality spectrum.

Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 cornering shot

Best circuit suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

The similarities between the R32 and the R33 suspension set-ups mean that some aftermarket options will cater to both cars. For example, the APEXi N1 Evolution track kit mentioned above is also available for the R33, though it’ll cost you an extra $100 (£82) compared to the R32 version.

Alternatively, if you’re after a *slightly* more affordable set of circuit coilovers, the MeisterR GT1 package is worth a look. Manufactured and designed in the UK, they’ll set you back $2283 (£1879). The GT1 package’s party trick is its bespoke Staggered Digressive Valve technology, which promises to retain the car’s quality of steering response and control while providing excellent damping over uneven track surfaces.

Best stance suspension for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

Sadly, air suspension is no cheaper for the R33, so if you want to stance your car while keeping it usable, you’re looking at a cost of at least three grand.

KS Racing will sort you out for $6600 (£5432) if you want their full kit complete with digital management system. On the cheaper end of things, AirRide provides an R33 suspension kit without the management system for $2404 (£1979). If you want to add the management system into the package though then the price will start to creep up towards that of KS Racing.

The best budget options for a Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R

We sang the praises of TEIN’s Street Advance Z and Flex Z coilover packages when referring to cheaper options for the R32, and since they also supply similar kits for the R33, we’ll shout them out again here.

Peripheral suspension parts

The same advice about bushes and anti-roll bars applies with the R33 GT-R too. However, if you want to take things a step further, Nengun will sell you a range of peripheral Nismo suspension parts; including arms, links, and tension rods – all of which are stronger and more durable than their stock equivalents. Each Nismo set costs between $250-$500.

For a closer look at the best ways to modify your Nissan Skyline GT-R R33, check out our dedicated R33 tuning guide. Or, if you’re in the market for one, check out our R33 buyer’s guide instead.

The front end of a Fast and Furious Skyline

Best Suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

What’s it like as standard?

After a slight wrong turn with the R33, for many people the R34 generation of Skyline GT-R signaled a return to form for Nissan. The comparatively shorter platform of the R34 made for a slightly better handling package fresh out the box. However, even the mightiest of JDM hero cars can begin to feel a bit soft when you really push it hard. Don’t get us wrong, the R34 makes for a great drive even in stock guise, but if you want to maximize its potential, the aftermarket suspension industry has you covered.

Mine's Skyline GT-R R34

Best street suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

Ohlins’ $2490 (£2015) Road & Track kit is also applicable to the R34 GT-R, so it gets another mention as our top choice.

Alternatively, JDM icon brand HKS provides a range of options for this car. The Hipermax R set-up is the pinnacle of HKS suspension technology, offering features such as lighter springs, improved shock fluid and 30 steps of rebound adjustment. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to $2580 (£2124) though, you could spend around half a grand less on a HKS Hipermax S kit. This is a slightly older design that isn’t quite as cutting edge (for example, it lacks pillowball mounts), but is still highly capable for street use.

A third option is BC Racing’s premier ER series. BC Racing ER coilovers are comparable to HKS Hipermax offerings, and will cost you $2223 (£1799).

Front 3/4 shot of Tuned Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

Best circuit suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

If you’re serious about circuit driving, or even official time attack events, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s a wide range of high-end track suspension kits for the R34 GT-R.

For example, the Nitron NTR R3 kit has been designed for serious grassroots/semi-pro motorsport, so should be more than capable of handling some track days. Given that these are designed for circuit-only builds, expect the ride to be fairly unforgiving on the street. They aren’t cheap either. This coilover kit sells for as much as $4822 (£3903).

Don’t worry if you can’t stretch that far but still want to get serious with your racing lines. Nitron themselves sell a slightly more restrained ‘R1’ kit for $3657 (£2960), while Ksport offer tailored R34 GT-R suspension kits for circuit, asphalt rally, drag, and drift builds! The road rally, drag, and drift coilovers tend to sell for around $1600 (£1295).

Realistically though, if you’re only doing a few track days every so often, upgraded street suspension like the options mentioned in the previous segment should do the trick nicely.

Liberty Walk ER34

Best stance suspension for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

If you want to achieve the perfect stanced look with your R34 GT-R, AirREX is the company to go to. Their premium kit is hardly cheap at $4647 (£3825), but crucially it provides impressive performance capabilities for when you aren’t parked up.

If nigh-on four grand is too much though, Airdynamiks will hook you up for $2340 (£1926), though don’t expect as much adjustability or indeed as much poise through the bends. They sell a kit for the R33 GT-R too, in fact.

Best budget options for a Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R

BC Racing are a highly reputable suspension brand, and if you can’t afford their premium ER coilovers, maybe you’ll fancy the BR kit instead. Although admittedly not as capable as the ERs, you still get important features like 30-way damper adjustability for a price of $1214 (£999).

We haven’t forgotten about TEIN either. These budget heroes are able to help with your R34 GT-R build too. The Flex Z coilover kit mentioned in the R32 and R33 segments is available for the R34 as well for $770 (£623).

Peripheral suspension parts

There’s plenty of supporting suspensions mods to go along with your fancy new coilovers. Cusco will sell you aftermarket anti-roll bars for around $315 (£255) apiece, or Whiteline will do you a front and rear combo pack for $600 (£461). Camber arms, track rods and bushes are all part of Hardrace’s catalogue, meanwhile.

For a closer look at the best ways to modify your Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, check out our dedicated R34 tuning guide. Or, if you’re in the market for one, check out our R34 buyer’s guide instead.

Driftworks HICAS eliminator kit.

HICAS Lock-Out

The R32, R33, and R34 generations of Nissan Skyline GT-R all feature the HICAS four-wheel steering system (not to be confused with ATESSA E-TS four-wheel drive system, which all three cars have too).

The purpose of HICAS is effectively to reduce the amount of AWD understeer that the Skyline has to deal with through corners, however it does have its downsides. By now, your Skyline’s HICAS system may be faulty, given its age. Or, even if it’s still working as it should, you might not like the way it feels to drive. Some owners feel that the system makes the car a bit too twitchy and unpredictable when you’re really pushing it.

Happily, if you want rid of HICAS, Driftworks offers a full Eliminator Kit. This removes every part of the Nissan rear steer system, replacing it with fully adjustable, heavy-duty rod ends and toe control arms giving precise adjustment and more confidence inspiring handling.

Geometry

Finally, it goes without saying that whichever generation of Skyline you have, and whatever type of build you’re striving for, you should always get a geometry alignment carried out after installing new suspension parts or aftermarket wheels & tires. Your average garage should be able to ensure that everything’s straight, but if you want to dial in some custom camber or toe set-ups, then head to your nearest specialist instead.

For some extra background info on suspension matters, feel free to check out the following resources:

The post Best Suspension for Nissan Skyline GT-R appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Engine Coolant In 2023

Coolant protects your engine from overheating, so it’s pretty important. Your engine deserves good coolant, and we’ve picked some of the best engine coolant for your car.

We know that coolant is there to prevent your engine from overheating, and keeping it topped up is essential car maintenance. However, it does so much more than that. It contains antifreeze to prevent your engine from freezing solid when temperatures plummet. It also lubricates the parts it comes into contact with. This means it helps to protect your water pump, head gasket, cylinders and pistons. As it’s so important for a healthy engine, you don’t want to scrimp when it comes to coolant. There is an awful lot to choose from, but we’ve picked a handful of the best engine coolants to help you buy the right one.

How we chose these products

Although I haven’t had the chance to test each of these products directly, I’ve owned and maintained cars for many, many years. As such, I know which brands have a good reputation in the automotive scene, and crucially what sort of specifications are important for coolant to have.

Best Engine Coolant

Prestone engine coolant

Prestone Coolant/Antifreeze

RRP: $10.38 (1ga). Buy now.

Prestone Coolant/Antifreeze is an excellent choice of engine coolant. Available in 1-litre and 4-litre bottles, either ready-to-use or concentrated, it delivers superb performance. Prestone can safely be added to existing coolant/antifreeze without causing damage. This means it’s perfect whether you’re flushing your coolant, or just topping it up. Rigorous testing means Prestone Coolant/Antifreeze delivers corrosion protection for 150,000 miles/10 years. And it protects from -37°C all to way to 129°C. It’s easy to see why this is such a popular engine coolant, and you can’t go wrong.

Evans engine coolant

Evans Waterless Engine Coolant

RRP: $51.95 (1ga). Buy now.

While it might be more expensive than traditional coolant, Evans’ waterless range has a lot of benefits. These engine coolants contain no water, which eliminates the problems caused by water-based coolants, increasing reliability and extending engine life. The Evans Waterless range protects from -40°C up to 180°C, eliminating the risk of overheating and boil-over you get with water-based coolants. Waterless coolant also generates 75% less vapor pressure, significantly reducing strain on hoses, seals and gaskets. It also reduces cavitation erosion by 75% compared with water-based coolants and eliminates oxidation corrosion.

Finally, Evans Waterless Coolants eliminate pre-ignition and detonation caused by overheating, increasing combustion efficiency and delivering more power. If you’ve got a high-performance car and are looking for a coolant upgrade, you need to check out the Evans Waterless range.

Comma Xstream Engine Coolant

Comma Xstream

RRP: £15.77 (not available in the US). Buy now.

The Comma Xstream range of coolants has something for every engine. Suitable for petrol and diesel engines, it’s a superb choice of coolant for your car. This advanced Organic Additive Technology antifreeze and coolant uses an advanced silicate additive package. It works from exterior temperatures of -36°C up to 45°C, and protects your engine against corrosion, erosion, overheating and freezing. Delivering year-round protection and peace of mind for up to five years, Comma Xstream is a superb coolant.

Zerex

Valvoline Zerex G05

RRP: $20.99 (1ga). Buy now.

This extremely popular engine coolant is an excellent choice to keep your engine happy. Suitable for both petrol and diesel engines, its original long-life chemistry is specially formulated with the highest-quality virgin ethylene glycol and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology. Zerex has been designed to deliver exceptional protection against corrosion, leaking, and deposits as well as freezing and boiling. The low-silicate, reduced pH, phosphate-free formula protects all cooling system metals from corrosion.

Zerex contains nitrites that protect diesel-engine cylinder liners from cavitation, while deposit control additives guard against hard-water deposits and scale. This means that radiators, water pumps and other metal cooling system parts stay clean and your antifreeze flows properly. Whether you’re just topping up your system, or performing a full flush, Zerex won’t disappoint.

Carplan

CarPlan Premium Red Antifreeze & Coolant

RRP: £11.99 (not available in the US). Buy now.

Premium Red Antifreeze is a concentrated antifreeze and summer coolant. It is Ethylene Glycol-based and incorporates the latest in Silicate Organic Acid Technology. CarPlan Premium Red Antifreeze & Coolant uses a synthetic process and additive package. This means it offers superior corrosion resistance over extended service periods. According to CarPlan, it can be left in as a coolant and rust inhibitor for up to five years. It can be diluted 1:3 for summer use or 1:1 to deliver protection down to -36°­C. A good-value choice of coolant that does a good job.

The post Best Engine Coolant In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.

Best Dash Cam: Top Car Cameras Tested For Every Budget

In today’s world, video recorders are a common tool for streetwise road-users. So, join us as we search for the best dash cam for your car, including products from the likes of Garmin, Nextbase, and Thinkware.

Dash cams – I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that they’re all pretty much alike, but honestly, you’d be surprised how different they can be. Naturally, image quality is a big deal – are you happy enough with 1080p resolution, or will you not settle for anything less than 4K these days? And what about frame rate? Then you need to consider the actual functionality of the dash cam; do you want GPS data, driver assistance, or SOS software? Maybe you want a package that records out the rear window, as well as the front. Heck, if you’re reading Fast Car, you might even want your dash cam to help you achieve faster lap times at your local track.

By now, hopefully you’re getting the idea. Unless you’re clued up about what’s available and what you truly want, it’s easy to end up buying the wrong dash cam. This article will hopefully help you avoid that disappointing fate, as I’ve managed to test out a whole bunch of items first-hand. You can find all the best ones in the compilation below, along with all the key tech info and links to more in-depth reviews. So, happy dash cam hunting!

How we reviewed these products

With each of the products I tested, I wanted to make sure that I was able to portray a comprehensive ownership experience. That meant reporting on everything from the installation process, to the effectiveness of included extra features. I’ve even embedded footage from each dash cam into their own individual reviews, so do make sure to click through if you want to see that with your own eyes.

Naturally, having come into contact with a variety of dash cams while doing this job, I’m well-positioned to assess them against each other and figure out what type of ownership they’d suit best.

Which type of dash cam is right for me?

I’ve decided to collate an array of dash cams, each best suited to different specialized purposes. So, have a look at the list below, and see which category applies best to you. Hopefully, you’ll find something that’s just right!

Best Overall Dash Cam

Nextbase 622GW

Nextbase 622GW

RRP: $399.99, buy now. £269.00, buy now.

Pros: excellent image quality, more features than I thought possible with a dash cam, easy installation.

Cons: quite expensive.

The Nextbase 622GW stands out to me as one of the best overall dash cams on the market. For a start, it offers up to 4K resolution videos, or if you’re more of a frame rate nerd, you can bring the resolution down in the settings to claim up to 120fps. Its Click&Go PRO mount is the best mounting system I’ve come across so far – super easy to adhere to glass, and thanks to its strong magnets you can connect the camera one-handed. The 622GW is also packed full of cool features. The basics like GPS and parking mode are there, but you also get Alexa compatibility, and can even set up What3Words-enhanced SOS messaging if you have a serious crash.

If you want to learn more, make sure to check out my full review of the Nextbase 622GW here.

Tech Specs:

  • Resolution: 4K at 30fps, 1440p at 60fps, 1080p at 120fps
  • Field of View: 140 degrees
  • GPS Speed & Location: Yes
  • Parking Mode: Yes

Best Wireless Dash Cam

Wireless dash cams aren’t necessarily what you may think they are. While it would be nice to be fully rid of power cables, in reality, ‘wireless’ dash cams simply refer to dash cams which can upload footage via the cloud, rather than needing a physical connection to your PC. So, they’re still better and more efficient than a ‘wired’ dash cam, but they’re not quite as good as you might have hoped. Sorry. Better to set things straight first though, right?

Garmin Dash cam Live

Garmin Dash Cam Live with LTE Connectivity

RRP: $399.99 / £349.99, buy now.

Pros: great image quality, easy installation, good app support.

Cons: subscription service is costly in the long-run.

Garmin make some top quality automotive tech products, and you can feel that when using the Garmin Dash Cam Live. It’s equipped with a 1440p HD resolution camera that records in 30FPS, with a 140-degree lens. Those specs amount to a pretty good picture quality, but at this price point you would probably hope for slightly better (see the options below for more). It’s wonderfully easy to install though, and the accompanying Garmin Drive app offers a great deal of functionality. Unfortunately, to gain access to all of those functions, you’ll need to pay a subscription fee which starts from $9.99/£9.99 per month. Overall, it’s a good product but there are certain flaws you need to assess before buying to decide if it’s the right dash cam for you. To find out more, read our full in-depth review!

Tech Specs:

  • Resolution: 1440p
  • Frame rate: 30fps
  • Field of view: 140 degrees horizontal
  • GPS Speed & Location: Yes
  • Parking Mode: Yes

Best Budget Dash Cam

Nextbase 222 in box

Nextbase 222

RRP: $99.99, buy now / £79.99, buy now.

Pros: affordable, good daytime image quality.

Cons: No GPS, underwhelming night performance.

As with the Thinkware mentioned above, this Nextbase 222 proves that you don’t need to buy from an obscure brand to get a competent dash cam on a tight budget. The 222 records in 1080P at 30fps and has a 140° viewing angle. The 6G lens, meanwhile, provides you with high-quality images. You can then view your recordings back directly through the camera thanks to its 2.5” high-resolution IPS screen. One neat feature which isn’t often seen is the 222’s Click&Go powered windscreen mount. This means the power cable goes directly into the mount rather than the camera itself, making it easier to install and remove inside the car.

Read my full review of the Nextbase 222 here.

Tech Specs:

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Frame rate: 30fps
  • Field of view: 140 degrees horizontal
  • GPS Speed & Location: No
  • Parking Mode: Yes

Visit our guide to the best budget dash cam in 2023 for more cheap dash cam advice. 

Best Compact Dash Cam

Garmin dash cam mini 2

Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2

RRP: $129.99, buy now. / £119.99, buy now.

Pros: compact & discreet, good value for money.

Cons: lacks features.

The Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is delightfully compact and super simple to install. Video footage is pretty decent quality – 1080p resolution at 30fps with a 140-degree field of view, to be precise. Dark conditions are where it falls down slightly though, with finer details such as license plates being hard to pick out. Overall, while it may lack some of the extra features and gimmicks that bigger, more expensive dash cams provide, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 represents great value for money if you just want a competent, discreet dash cam.

For a much more in depth look at the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2’s strengths and weaknesses, be sure to read our hands-on review of it.

Tech Specs:

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Frame rate: 30fps
  • Field of view: 140 degrees horizontal
  • GPS Speed & Location: No
  • Parking Mode: No (unless you buy additional OBD2 power cable)

Best Dual Cam Package

Thinkware X1000

Thinkware X1000

RRP: $299.00, buy now. £269.00, buy now.

Pros: equal picture quality at front and rear, excellent night performance.

Cons: no GPS as standard.

The Thinkware X1000 is a really solid dual cam setup. What I really like about it is the fact that both the front and rear camera have the same picture resolution and field of view. Plus, Super Night Vision really does help the camera to reduce glare at night. I did find that its G sensor was a little oversensitive, but it’s better for that to be the case (and then turn it down in the settings) than to have a sensor which isn’t sensitive enough. The one thing that lets it down the most for me is the lack of GPS as standard, but in my opinion the core ingredients are good enough for that extra cost to be forgiven.

Read my full review of the Thinkware X1000 to find out more.

Tech Specs:

  • Resolution: 1440p
  • Frame rate: 30fps
  • Field of view: 156 degrees
  • GPS Speed & Location: Not as standard
  • Parking Mode: Yes

Best High-End Dash Cam

Thinkware U3000 on hood

Thinkware U3000

RRP: $699.99 / £529.00 for dual set. Buy now. Can also be purchased as a front camera only for $549.99 / £399.00.

Pros: very good image quality at front and rear.

Cons: expensive, clunky mounting system.

The Thinkware U3000 is a high-end option, boasting 4K UHD footage up front, and 2K QHD footage at the rear. In standard guise it performs well, however Thinkware also throws in a CPL filter and boosted night vision at no extra cost, so you can upgrade it without paying any extra. As well as being a camera, it’s also a driver assistant too, using radar technology to offer lane departure warnings, collision warnings, and a sensor to prioritize recordings when impacts occur. If that sounds good to you, check out my in-depth review.

Tech Specs:

  • Resolution: 2160p front, 1440p rear
  • Frame rate: 30fps
  • Field of view: 152 degrees front, 128 degrees rear (horizontal)
  • GPS Speed & Location: Yes
  • Parking Mode: Yes

Best Dash Cam For Track Days

Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimizer

Garmin Catalyst Driving Performance Optimizer

RRP: $999.00 / £899.00

Pros: the ultimate robot tutor for weekend track day warriors.

Cons: expensive.

The Catalyst Driving Performance Optimizer has to be one of the best dash cams for track days around. When you’re on a circuit, you’ll be recording footage for one of two reasons – either as a keepsake to watch back, or as a way of assessing how you can improve as a high-performance driver. Happily, this Garmin is packed full of tech which is ideal for either of those reasons.

Endorsed by Motorsport UK, this little camera is a bit like having a silent race engineer. It’ll record your lap times and offer all kinds of analytical data, even going as far as to suggest ways that you can go faster. For instance, it might advise you on whether to take an early or late apex at any given corner. Frankly, this camera and its supporting software has far more up its sleeve than we thought possible from a dash cam. And that’s why it costs as much as it does.

Tech Specs:

  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Frame rate: 30fps
  • Field of view: 140 degrees horizontal
  • GPS Speed & Location: Yes
  • Parking Mode: No
Best Wireless Dash Cam In 2023

No PC? No problem. If you don’t have a computer, you can still get your hands on a great dash cam and still view your footage. Here’s our selection of the best wireless dash cams you can buy.

Even if you think you’ve got the best dash cam already, getting to your recorded footage can be a hassle if it’s a traditional wired model. Not everyone has a computer or even access to one. Even if you do, getting the memory card out of your dash cam is more effort than anyone needs. A wireless dash cam makes life so much simpler.

With built-in Wi-Fi, you can quickly and easily connect your phone to one of these dash cams. From there, you can access your video recordings, download them and share them. This means you can get a dash cam without a screen, which takes up a lot less windscreen real estate. Basically, having a wireless dash cam will just make things that much easier and better. We’ve picked five of the best wireless dash cams that are well-specced but still affordable.

How we chose these products

While not all of the products below have gone through our usual rigorous testing, they have been selected based on a number of features you should expect to find in the best products.

The cameras which have been tested first-hand have been recommended by James, who’s overseen all of the dash cam reviews on our site so far. As such, he’s got a good understanding of which ones are worth your time and money.

How we tested the products

For those which we’ve been able to test first-hand so far, we felt it was important to get a well-rounded view of what ownership with each of these cameras should be like. That meant covering everything from installation, to user ergonomics, and of course product performance. We’ll give you an overview of our findings here, but we’ll also include a link to each individual review so that you can learn about each camera in more detail.

At a glance:

Best Wireless Dash Cam In 2023

Garmin Dash cam Live

Garmin Dash Cam Live

RRP: $399.99, buy now. £349.99, buy now.

At the moment, the Garmin Dash Cam Live with LTE connectivity (catchy name, eh) is probably the most capable wireless dash cam on the market. Its app not only allows you to remotely access video footage stored on the cloud, but also to view all sorts of data which could be vital in a legal or criminal situation. Speed, location, and time data validates your account when you make a claim or defend yourself in court. Plus, if you hook it up to a constant power source, the Garmin app will let you view a direct feed of the dash cam’s view when you’re away from the car. That remote live video feature could prove to be especially useful in conjunction with live location tracking, should your car ever be stolen.

As for the image quality, the camera records in a resolution of 1440p at 30fps, through a 140-degree angle lens. So overall, the footage you get holds up very well in day and night. There is a catch though. And that’s the subscription fee. Yep, if you want to retain full access to remote live video and vehicle tracking, you’ll need to pay $9.99 per month, or more, depending on which tier of subscription you fancy. To learn more, read the full review here.

Z-Edge wireless dash cam

Z-Edge Z3D-2K

RRP: $99.99, buy now. £143.99, buy now.

The Z-Edge Z3D-2K gives you two cameras in one great-value package. The front camera offers 2K 30fps recording with a 155° viewing angle. The rear camera records in 1080p at 30fps and has the same 155° viewing angle. That means you’ve got four lanes of camera coverage front and rear. The Wide Dynamic Range means clear recording in all lighting conditions. Meanwhile, the Superior NTK96670 CPU boosts low-light settings for improved image quality at night. The Z3D-2K also comes with built-in GPS, plus a G-sensor and parking monitor. Packed full of features, the Z3D-2K is an excellent wireless dash cam.

Thinkware U3000 on hood

Thinkware U3000

RRP: $549.00, buy now. £399.00, buy now.

The Thinkware U3000 is firmly on the other end of the price spectrum compared to the Z-Edge above. So, what has it got to show for it? Well, the app that comes with the U3000 is pretty cool. As well as being able to remotely access your files, you can also tune into a livestream taken directly from the dash cam when you’re away from your car (assuming you’ve hardwired it, or are feeding it power through the OBD2 port). That means that, like a baby monitor, you can check in on your car at anytime to make sure it’s still where you left it, and isn’t in any sort of peril.

The camera quality is good – it records in 4K Ultra HD ensuring you get a crystal clear image, and if you opt for the rear camera add-on, that’ll record in 2K. If you didn’t like the sound of Garmin’s subscription service, you’ll be glad to know that there are no additional costs with this high-end item. So although you pay a lot up front, that’s *all* you pay. Read the full review to find out more.

Rove wireless dash cam

Rove R2-4K

RRP: $173.99, buy now. £289.99, buy now.

With Ultra HD recording, the Rove R2-4K is an impressive piece of kit. You only get one camera, but it records 2880x2160P at 24fps and has a 150° viewing angle. The six-glass lens ensures superb clarity aided by the Wide Dynamic Range. Meanwhile, the combo of NT96660 and Sony IMX335 sensors delivers excellent nighttime recording. There’s also built-in GPS, plus a G-sensor and parking monitor. The Rove R2-4K is a compact wireless dash cam that delivers impressive performance at an excellent price.

Nextbase 622GW

Nextbase 622GW

RRP: $399.99, buy now. £269.00, buy now.

Nextbase dash cams are consistently excellent. The 622GW in particular packs an impressive punch. The camera records 4K at 30fps, but you can turn the resolution down in favor of up to 120fps if you wish. It also has a 140° viewing angle and the 6G glass lens ensures you get crystal-clear video quality. What we really like is the built-in polarizing filter, which reduces glare and reflections. This really improves video clarity in bright conditions, and helps out in urban environments at night too. There’s a 3” touchscreen IPS display, and the powered Click&Go windscreen mount makes attaching and removing the 622GW so easy. There’s GPS, an intelligent parking mode, and an adjustable G-sensor.

What sets the 622GW apart from its rivals, however, are the extra features it offers. There’s Amazon Alexa built-in, which allows you to get directions, play music, check the weather and lots more. There’s also an Emergency SOS function, that will contact the emergency services in case of an accident. It might be more expensive than some of the lesser-known brands, but the 622GW makes up for it in lots of ways. This is a very impressive wireless dash cam that doesn’t disappoint. Check out our in-depth review of it to learn more.

Wired vs Wireless dash cams

If you’re unsure what the difference between a traditional wired and wireless dash cam, we’re here to help. Technically speaking, no matter what dash cam you opt for, it will most likely need powering by a wired connection.  Without a wired power connection, a internal battery would only be able to record a limited amount of footage without running out of power. The “wireless” part is referring to how the footage is stored. There are two methods here:

  • Store the footage locally on a memory card
  • Upload footage automatically to a cloud storage service

If the dash cam only supports storage locally on a memory card, then this would be considered a wired dash cam. You need to plug the dash cam into a PC in order to obtain your footage. If the latter option, whereby footage is upload to the cloud, this becomes a wireless dash cam, as you don’t need to connect your dash to a PC via a data transfer cable. It’s important to note that a dash cam can feature both, the ability to store locally on a memory card as well as provide a backup on a cloud service for the best of both worlds.

What are the benefits of a wireless or internet-connected dash cam?

The first, and arguably most important, is that you can access footage in real-time. This means that if you’re involved in a collision, you can quickly access your footage for evidence should you need it. Often, dash cams can detect rapid deceleration in the event of a collision instantly and upload a period of footage to the cloud without you needing to do a thing.

The second benefit is that the footage uploaded to the cloud is saved securely in one area, meaning you don’t have to search around for the memory card, or a device to connect to the dash cam. It also means that older footage of an incident can be accessed quickly and securely should you need the footage as evidence. Often, the cloud databases are encrypted, meaning you and only you can access the footage.

And finally, a wireless dash cam has much greater storage capability. While a wired dash cam is limited to the physical space on a memory card (or set up to overwrite older footage automatically), a wireless dashcam is only limited to the cloud storage available, which is usually multiple GBs of footage. It also means you don’t have to compromise on camera quality. While you might be encouraged to only record at 720p on your wired dash cam to save space on your memory card, a cloud service allows you to record in full HD or even 2K/4K resolution to ensure the truest picture is painted.

Words by Elizabeth de Latour and James Bowers.

The post Best Wireless Dash Cam In 2023 appeared first on Fast Car.