Best Overall
Optima RedTop

A great replacement for your OEM battery with outstanding power output and durability.

Best Lead-Acid
DieHard Platinum

A lead-acid battery with an exceptionally long warranty period.

Budget Pick
ACDelco Gold

A high-quality AGM battery with a thoughtful design and a number of features.

Most Reliable
DieHard Gold

An affordable automotive battery with one of the best grid designs in the industry.

Most Versatile
Odyssey Performance Series

A quality car battery with deep cycle capabilities and long service life.

New car batteries can cost at least $150, and the best car batteries often run even higher. Many cars will need a battery replacement at some point. Learning about battery maintenance, battery replacement, and the types of car batteries can save time, stress, and money.

In the hopes of helping customers find affordable car batteries that stand the test of time, our review team researched some of the most popular options on the market. Whether you need a car battery that performs in cold weather or extreme temperatures, we’ve recommended a range of high-quality batteries. This guide also offers some tips for battery maintenance and replacement.

7 Best Car Batteries

Car batteries sit on a shelf in an auto parts store.

  1. Best Overall: Optima RedTop
  2. Best Lead-Acid: DieHard Platinum
  3. Budget Pick: ACDelco Gold
  4. Most Reliable: DieHard Gold
  5. Most Versatile: Odyssey Performance Series
  6. Longest-Lasting: Optima YellowTop
  7. Braille Intensity Battery

#1 Best Overall: Optima RedTop

Pros Reserve capacity of 100 minutes 12.0 volts and 800.0 cold cranking amps (CCA) SpiralCell Technology
Cons Not designed for deep cycle use

Our pick for best car battery is a maintenance-free choice that can be a smart choice for SUVs, RVs, pick-up trucks, and street cars due to its extreme resistance to battery failure. The battery is spill-proof and can be mounted in virtually any position.

What differentiates the Optima RedTop from the competition is Optima’s SpiralCell Technology. Inside every Optima battery are a number of spiral-wound cells composed of one positive lead plate and one negative lead plate. This design of car battery allows it to be 15 times more vibration-resistant than standard batteries.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $240 to $290
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Battery type: AGM

What Customers Are Saying

According to customer reviews, the Optima RedTop is an excellent replacement battery for Mazda vehicles. Many report getting several reliable years of use from this battery. In some cases, there are reports of the battery failing after a year, and experiences with Optima customer service are mixed.

This battery comes with a three-year warranty, and some reviewers reported no issues getting a replacement while others claim they had a lot of difficulties contacting Optima support.

#2 Best Lead-Acid: DieHard Platinum

Pros Increased lifespan for a lead-acid battery Exceptional four-year warranty
Cons Older battery type may not be compatible with new vehicles

The runner-up pick for best car battery is the DieHard Platinum. This series is specifically designed for older vehicles that use standard flooded batteries. It’s built for medium power demands, though the new stamped grid design provides more starting power and an extended lifespan compared to typical lead acid batteries.

One thing that makes this battery stand out is the exceptionally long warranty. DieHard also sells an AGM model for this battery, though the warranty for that version is only three years.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $200 to $240
  • Warranty: Four years
  • Battery type: Flooded

What Customers Are Saying

While we couldn’t find many reviews online for the DieHard Platinum line specifically, there is a lot of customer feedback for other DieHard batteries, including the Gold series. Few users report issues with DieHard customer service, making the four-year warranty a fairly safe guarantee.

#3 Budget Pick: ACDelco Gold

Pros Relatively inexpensive Batteries fully-tested before shipment Long-lasting
Cons Does not ship fully-charged

With the ACDelco Gold battery, electrolytes are absorbed through the fiberglass mat separator, eliminating acid stratification and preventing spillage and corrosion. Additionally, the electrical system is fully tested to prevent early battery failures.

Ultimately, the ACDelco Gold’s valve-regulated cover design is what separates this car battery from its competitors. The design of the valve-regulated cover avoids penetration of external oxygen, which reduces the oxidation of negative plates. Additionally, this design reduces oxygen escape, which then supports oxygen recombination and reduces water consumption.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $135 to $160
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Battery type: AGM

What Customers Are Saying

Customers report exceptional longevity with the ACDelco Gold, with some using this battery reliably for seven years. Some note that the battery does not ship fully charged and recommend topping it off before installing it into your vehicle.

#4 Most Reliable: DieHard Gold

Pros Maintenance-free Long-lasting
Cons Flooded battery type may not be compatible with newer vehicles

Built not only to meet but also to exceed vehicle starting and reserve capacity power requirements, the DieHard Gold can be an excellent choice of car battery. This car battery offers enhanced reliability, as it is designed to have a 30 percent longer battery life than a standard flooded battery. Additionally, the battery is maintenance-free.

The largest differentiating factor of DieHard Gold compared to its competitors is its Stamped Grid Technology. This grid pattern is optimized for full grid utilization, which provides enhanced electrical flow and better connectivity. Stamped Grid Technology is 30 percent more corrosion-resistant than other standard grid patterns, according to DieHard. It should also be noted that the manufacturing process uses 20 percent less energy than other manufacturing processes.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $200 to $230
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Battery type: Flooded

What Customers Are Saying

Across the different DieHard Gold sizes, this battery has an excellent reputation, with most reviewers on Advance Auto Parts rating the battery 5 out of 5 stars. In most cases, users report that the battery works, fits well in their battery block, and provides years of reliable power.

#5 Most Versatile: Odyssey Performance Series

Pros Long service life High power output
Cons Expensive

The Odyssey Performance Series is specially designed to handle the increased use of onboard accessories in vehicles. The car battery combines long service life with high reliability and has deep cycle capabilities.

What separates the Odyssey Performance Series from the competition is the fact that it is engineered with thin plate pure lead technology. The flat plates are made out of 99 percent pure lead, which means there are more flat plates in the battery, as they can be made thinner. More flat plates mean more surface area, which ultimately means more power.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $320 to $360
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Battery type: AGM

What Customers Are Saying

Odyssey Performance Series batteries are not as extensively reviewed on Amazon or Advance Auto Parts as some of the other batteries we recommend. However, what reviews exist are mostly positive. This battery fits well and works reliably. There are few reports of major issues or problems. This battery simply works. At least one reviewer found it an effective replacement for their classic car.

#6 Longest-Lasting: Optima YellowTop

Pros Over 300 discharge and recharge cycles 12.0 volts and 750.0 CCA 120-minute reserve capacity
Cons Typically the most expensive Optima battery

The Optima YellowTop offers outstanding cyclical capabilities through its 300-plus discharge and recharge cycles. This battery offers premium cranking power, making it a smart choice for those with a host of onboard accessories in their vehicle.

The difference between the Optima YellowTop and competing products is its SpiralCell Technology. SpiralCell Technology is unique to Optima, and both the RedTop and YellowTop models feature this technology. However, the YellowTop can be used on vehicles without alternators, which makes it unique to the industry rather than simply being brand-specific.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $280 to $390
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Battery type: AGM

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers report that this battery works well in their Dodge vehicles. The battery is good at maintaining a charge even when unused for long periods of time. It also performs well in the heat. There are a number of reviewers that claim this type of battery often lasts beyond the three-year warranty.

#7 Braille Intensity Battery

Pros Racing-grade lithium-ion battery Extremly lightweight Maintains charge when not in use
Cons Expensive Not suitable for most standard vehicles

Braille Intensity lithium batteries are racing-grade batteries designed to provide high CCA while being lightweight. For most drivers, this battery is not necessary or appropriate for their vehicles, but if you need to power a race car, the battery offers superior performance.

Unlike an AGM or flooded battery, this battery can sit for a long time without losing charge. Even after a year of storage, many Braille Intensity batteries will maintain 90 percent of their charge.

Key Features

  • Cost: About $950 to $1,900
  • Warranty: One year
  • Battery type: Lithium-ion

What Customers Are Saying

As a high-performance battery, there aren’t many people reviewing the Braille Intensity battery. As a mark of confidence, a large number of global race teams use Braille Intensity batteries in their vehicles.

Best Car Battery Side-By-Side Comparison

AwardModelBattery TypeCCA
Best OverallOptima RedTopAGM800
Best Lead-AcidDieHard PlatinumFlooded750
Budget PickACDelco GoldAGM800
Most ReliableDieHard GoldFlooded640
Most VersatileOdyssey Performance SeriesAGM600
Longest-LastingOptima YellowTopAGM800
Also ConsiderBraille Intensity BatteryLithium-ion1150

Car Battery Buyers Guide

There is no one best car battery for every vehicle. When looking for a new car battery, you should look for a replacement with specs similar to your old battery. The important details to match are:

  • Battery type
  • Group size
  • Cold cranking amps (CCA)
  • Reserve capacity (RC)

Battery Type

There are a number of different car battery technologies out there. Standard lead-acid (SLA) and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries are the most common. Lithium-ion batteries are also becoming more common for cars.

  • Standard flooded lead acid: This is the most common type of car battery. The battery contains liquid battery acid and will require more maintenance than an AGM or lithium-ion battery. This type of battery is most common in older vehicles (pre-1980).
  • Absorbed glass mat: An absorbed glass mat battery is highly vibration-resistant, non-spillable, and maintenance-free. Battery acid is absorbed in fiberglass mats, which prevents leakage or spillage. This type of battery offers a superior lifespan to standard flooded batteries and can handle large power demands. It is the most common type of car battery in modern vehicles.
  • Lithium-ion: Lithium-ion batteries can be much smaller and lighter than AGM and SLA batteries. They offer a very fast charging rate and are maintenance-free. This type of battery tends to outlast AGM batteries.

Choose a battery type that matches your existing battery. AGM batteries are the most common type of car battery. If you replace an AGM battery with an SLA battery, your car may not start or function properly.

Group Size

Your car battery rests in a specifically sized battery box. If your replacement battery is too small, it won’t be properly secured. If it is too big, it won’t fit in your vehicle. In addition to battery dimensions (length, width, and height), terminal location is also critical to proper fit.

Fortunately, you won’t need to get out the measuring tape to match battery dimensions. All batteries should have their group size listed somewhere on the label. This is typically a two-digit number. You can also check your owner’s manual, which may list the group size, or try searching Google for your group size based on your vehicle’s make, model, and year.

Below are some common group sizes:

Group Size Common Vehicle Fit
24/24F (top terminal)Acura, Honda, Lexus, Nissan, Toyota
35 (top terminal)Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Honda, Toyota
47/H5 (top terminal)Buick, Chevy, Volkswagen
48/H6 (top terminal)Audi, BMW, Cadillac, GMC, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Volvo
49/H8 (top terminal)Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai
51R (top terminal)Honda, Nissan
65 (top terminal)Large vehicles and SUVs

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

CCAs refer to a battery’s ability to turn a cold engine. The higher the CCA, the more powerful the battery. As with group size, your current battery’s CCA should be listed somewhere on the battery label.

Each car is engineered with the factory battery CCAs in mind, which is why it’s a good idea to match the CCA of your current battery – rather than attempt to “upgrade” your battery to one with more CCAs, as this can lead to decreased battery life.

Reserve Capacity (RC)

Reserve capacity refers to a battery’s ability to keep essential car accessories powered after a vehicle’s alternator fails. With more and more cars using computers and battery power for essential systems, RC has become an important battery feature.

As with CCA, try to match your new battery’s RC with the original battery. If you choose a new battery with a lower RC, it could fail to properly power your car’s critical systems.

Warranty

Once you’ve found batteries that match the specifications of the one you are replacing, consider batteries with longer warranties. These are guarantees that you won’t have to shell out for a replacement within the warranty period.

Most car batteries come with at least a one-year warranty, but some offer warranties up to three or four years long.

Car Battery Replacement Tips

If you need to replace a dead battery, you can take it to an auto mechanic for diagnosis. A mechanic will have the tools to diagnose and quickly change your car battery. Labor costs for battery replacement can range from about $37 to $47, according to RepairPal. That said, those costs don’t account for the type of battery you’re purchasing. 

If you’d prefer to change your own car battery, this is possible for a layperson, though it can be an involved procedure. Specifics may vary from vehicle to vehicle, as battery positioning is not the same for every car. Search for guide videos specific to your vehicle’s make and model.

Whichever type of car you have, there are some tips to keep in mind when performing an at-home car battery replacement.

  • Put safety first. Modern AGM and lithium-ion batteries are mostly safe to handle, but SLA batteries can slosh highly corrosive acid that will damage your skin and eyes. Wear proper safety equipment including goggles, long sleeves, and gloves when handling a car battery. It’s also a good idea to keep some baking soda handy, as it can be used to neutralize any spilled battery acid.
  • Keep your car’s memory alive. Modern vehicles are highly dependent on computers to operate major and minor systems. When you disconnect your car battery, it can turn off the computer, effectively resetting the onboard computer. This can cause some systems to work improperly until they are reset. Some cars will reset automatically after a few weeks, while others may require hours of diagnostic fiddling to restore. You can prevent this hassle by using a power supply cable to keep your computer powered while you replace the battery.
  • Be gentle. Don’t attempt to smash or roughly shove your battery into place. The same goes when attaching the terminal clamps. If your terminal clamps are too tight, use a terminal spreader to widen battery terminals rather than banging on your battery to force them down.
  • Recycle. Car battery recycling must be done at specific locations. Check your city website to find guidelines on hazardous waste disposal. Many offer dropoff or pickup services. You can also recycle old batteries at certain stores. Advance Auto Parts and AutoZone both offer battery recycling services. These stores also offer free battery testing.

How Much Should Car Batteries Cost?

Newer car batteries that have higher CCAs and use advanced technology are going to cost more than replacement batteries for older vehicles. While more expensive, these batteries also tend to last much longer, so can be cheaper in the long run.

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 for a new car battery. SLA batteries are usually the least expensive, followed by AGM batteries. If you choose a lithium battery, you might pay upward of $1,000.

Depending on the CCA, RC, and group size, the same model battery can vary in price up to $100.

Why Do Car Batteries Go Bad? 

Climate is probably the greatest opponent your car battery will face. Even the best car batteries can struggle to crank in extreme temperatures, so more temperate climates typically mean a battery lasts longer. 

The other is that having a car sit idle for a few weeks or months will usually result in a dead battery. That’s because it is not utilizing enough of the car’s charging system, which is dependent on the car running, to recharge. 

If your car battery failed within two to three years of purchase, check the parts store’s replacement warranty, they may offer a free replacement.

Our Review Standards

To select the five car batteries in this review, our team searched top retailers like RealTruck, Amazon, and Advance Auto Parts for products, looking at factors like warranty length, customer ratings, and cost. We tried to recommend a variety of battery types.

Why You Can Trust Us

Each year, we review over 1,000 auto products. Our team of product experts thoroughly researches top products and tests items on real vehicles when possible before making our recommendations.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

Car Batteries: Bottom Line

When selecting a new car battery, keep in mind that you’ll want to find a battery size and type that matches the OEM battery. Most modern vehicles are designed to use AGM batteries (that are able to provide more power for the many onboard electronics common in new vehicles).

Our favorite AGM battery is the Optima RedTop. Optima is a reliable brand and the RedTop model is a high-powered battery at a reasonable price. Those with older cars looking for a lead-acid battery might consider the DieHard Platinum series, which utilizes stamped-grid technology to extend battery lifespan.

Those in need of an extremely lightweight, high-powered battery for racing vehicles might consider the Braille Intensity Battery, though this is a niche battery not suitable for typical drivers.

Best Car Battery: FAQ

*Data accurate at time of publication.