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A new car battery is likely to cost at least $150, and the best car batteries can run even higher. That's why it's worth learning about the different types of car batteries as well as how to replace one.

In the hopes of helping customers find affordable car batteries that stand the test of time, our review team conducted thorough and unbiased research on the subject. Whether you need a car battery that performs in cold weather or extreme temperatures, we’ve found a range of different high-quality batteries for you to choose from.

 

In this article:


5 Best Car Batteries

best car batteries
  1. Optima 35 RedTop
  2. ACDelco Gold 94RAGM
  3. DieHard Gold
  4. Odyssey ODP-AGM96R
  5. Optima D35 YellowTop

Best Overall: Optima 35 RedTop

 

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Featuring a reserve capacity of 90 minutes, the Optima 35 RedTop is our review team’s choice for the Best Overall car battery. This maintenance-free car battery can be a smart choice for SUVs, RVs, pick-up trucks, and street cars due to its extreme resistance to battery failure. The Optima 35 RedTop is 12-volt and offers 720 cold cranking amps (CCA). Additionally, this battery is spill-proof and can be mounted in virtually any position.

What differentiates the Optima 35 RedTop from the competition is Optima’s SpiralCell Technology. Inside every Optima battery is a number of spiral-wound cells composed of one positive lead plate and one negative lead plate. This design of car battery allows for it to be 15 times more vibration-resistant than standard batteries.

Our Rating: 5 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: $260 - $280
  • Weight: 31.7 pounds
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • SpiralCell Technology
  • Spill-proof
  • High vibration resistance

What Customers Are Saying

With over 1,700 reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say that the Optima 35 RedTop is one of the most well-reviewed car batteries on the market. A whopping 85 percent of reviewers rate this product 4 stars or higher, and it has an average ranking of 4.4 out of 5 stars. About 78 percent of reviewers give the car battery a perfect 5 stars.

Individual reviews note impressive cranking power and how the Optima 35 RedTop is a good AGM battery. Many reviews speak to the long life and reliability of this car battery if used frequently and taken care of properly. Overall, customers are pleased with the battery life and high-performance of the car battery.


Best AGM Battery: ACDelco Gold 94RAGM

 

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The ACDelco Gold 94RAGM offers 800 cold cranking amps while being virtually maintenance-free. Electrolytes are absorbed through the fiberglass mat separator, which eliminates acid stratification and prevents spillage – in turn preventing corrosion. The electrical system is fully tested to prevent early battery failures.

Ultimately, the ACDelco Gold 94RAGM’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.

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: $160 - $170
  • Weight: 51.6 pounds
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Valve-regulated cover design
  • Fiberglass mat separator
  • Fully tested electrical system

What Customers Are Saying

There aren’t as many customer reviews for this battery on Amazon as there are for competing products, but just over 400 reviews that are available are mostly positive. A total of 85 percent of reviewers rate the ACDelco Gold 94RAGM 4 or more stars. Seventy-seven percent of reviewers rate this product 5 stars and it has an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Specific reviews note the freshness of the battery terminals and how much better their new battery is compared to the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) lead-acid battery preinstalled in their vehicle. Many reviewers mention that they tested the car battery’s charge with a battery charger or charging system and were impressed by the fact it arrived fully charged.


Best Budget Battery: DieHard Gold

DieHard Gold

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Built to not only meet, but also exceed vehicle starting and reserve capacity power requirements, the DieHard Gold can be an excellent choice of car battery. Our review team deemed the DieHard Gold to be the Best Budget Battery in the industry. This car battery offers enhanced reliability as it is designed to have 30 percent longer battery life than a standard flooded battery. Additionally, this 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.

Our Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: $210 - $230
  • Weight: 30.3 pounds
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Stamped Grid Technology
  • Long battery life
  • Maintenance-free

What Customers Are Saying

The DieHard Gold car battery features 180 reviews on Advance Auto Parts with an overall customer review rating of 4.86 out of 5 stars at the time of publication. Individual customer reviews mention ease of installation and being impressed with the power of the battery. Many reviewers also note the affordable price of this product compared to their old battery.


Odyssey ODP-AGM96R

 

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The Odyssey ODP-AGM96R has been specially designed to handle the increased use of onboard accessories in vehicles. The car battery hails from the Odyssey Performance Series and combines long service life with high reliability. It features 12 volts, 600 CCA, and a reserve capacity of 90 minutes. Additionally, the battery has deep cycle capabilities.

What separates the Odyssey ODP-AGM96R 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 means more surface area, which ultimately means more power.

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: $290 - $320
  • Weight: 42.0 pounds
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Thin plate pure lead technology
  • Deep cycle capabilities
  • Long service life

What Customers Are Saying

There is a small batch of customer reviews for the Odyssey ODP-AGM96R on Amazon. Two customers each gave the battery a 5.0-star rating, signaling they were pleased with the performance of the device. However, Odyssey batteries have been in the industry since 1996 and are known for their performance over more than 25 years.


Optima D35 YellowTop

 

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Featuring 12 volts, 650 CCA, and a reserve capacity of 98 minutes, the Optima D35 YellowTop rounds out our review team’s list of best car batteries. This battery offers outstanding cyclical capabilities through its 300-plus deep discharge and recharge cycles. The Optima D35 YellowTop has premium cranking power, making it a smart choice for those with a host of onboard accessories in their vehicle.

The difference between the Optima D35 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.

Our Rating: 4.1 out of 5

Key Features

  • Cost: $280 - $290
  • Weight: 36.4 pounds 
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Use on vehicles without alternators
  • SpiralCell Technology
  • Great cyclical capabilities

What Customers Are Saying

With just shy of 1,000 customer reviews on Amazon, the Optima D35 YellowTop has three-quarters of reviewers rating it a perfect 5 out 5 stars and an average rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. In general, customers are happy with the product, with 81 percent of reviews rating the vehicle battery 4 stars or higher.

Specific customer reviews point to the fact that they received this battery under Optima’s free replacement warranty and mention that it is a great deep cycle battery. Many reviewers rave over the vibration-resistant and spill-proof design of the battery, while others note the difference between the Optima YellowTop and their old flooded battery. Negative reviews draw attention to the short life cycle of the battery.


Car Batteries Buying Guide

Knowing the difference between car battery types save you money in the long run and prevent you from purchasing something that either won’t fit your vehicle or won’t perform properly.

When selecting a battery, you may want to consider the battery type, size, and terminal location. Check your owner's manual to determine the correct type of battery for your car.

Battery Type: Standard Flooded Vs. AGM

There are a number of battery designs, but the two most commonly used in automobiles are flooded batteries and absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries.

  • Standard flooded: Also called a wet cell battery, this is the most common type of car battery. The battery is filled with an electrolyte solution and may need to be occasionally topped off with water. A flooded battery allows you to start your vehicle and use a relatively standard amount of onboard accessories. 
  • Absorbed Glass Mat: An AGM battery contains fiberglass mats that absorb the electrolyte solution and is therefore considered a "dry" battery. AGM batteries are highly vibration-resistant, non-spillable, and maintenance-free. This type of battery offers a superior lifespan to standard flooded batteries and can handle large power demands.

Generally, AGM batteries are better because they last longer, perform better in cold temperatures, and require less maintenance. However, AGM batteries are also more expensive than flooded batteries, and your car may not need this type of battery.

If your car came with a flooded battery, you can upgrade to an AGM battery. If your OEM battery is an AGM battery, we wouldn't recommend switching to a flooded battery.

Battery Size

Different automakers use different battery sizes depending on vehicle model or generation. Brands like Nissan, Honda, and Toyota tend to use different sizes than American manufacturers, but check your owner’s manual for the best option for your vehicle.

Terminal Location

The terminals on your battery connect the battery to your vehicle's computer. There are different layouts for terminal locations and you need to be sure to select the correct layout for your vehicle so that it can be properly installed.

Starter Vs. Deep Cycle

Depending on your driving style and specific vehicle you drive, your car batteries have various demands.

  • Starter: This type of battery delivers a quick but large burst of power to start your engine. These batteries aren’t designed to withstand multiple discharge and recharge cycles like a deep cycle battery.
  • Deep cycle: This type of battery offers a consistent amount of power over a long period of time. It can be used to start your vehicle’s engine but is better known for its ability to handle multiple onboard accessories.

Our Review Standards

To select the five car batteries in this review, our team searched Amazon and Advance Auto Parts for top products, looking at factors like customer ratings, price, superlatives, and Prime shipping eligibility.


FAQ: Best Car Batteries

Who makes the best quality car batteries?

According to our review team’s research, Optima batteries are some of the industry’s best quality car batteries. The Optima RedTop model was our team’s choice as the Best Overall car battery available in 2022. Additionally, Optima’s YellowTop model made our top five.

What is the average lifespan of a car battery?

The average lifespan of a car battery is approximately three years. Several factors can influence the lifespan of a car battery, such as the brand of battery, vehicle type, area’s climate, your car care, and your driving patterns. We recommend using jumper cables and jump starters to double check that your battery has died before purchasing a new one.

How often should you change your car battery?

You should plan on changing your car battery every three years at minimum. You may need to change your car battery sooner due to several factors that can affect the lifespan of your car battery, such as driving patterns and battery brand.

How can I extend the life of my car battery? 

Every battery will one day become a dead battery. To prolong the life of your purchase, maintain regular maintenance, check for loose connection points often, and consult your owner’s manual to choose the best type of battery.

What battery brand lasts the longest? 

In terms of longevity, the best battery brands are ones that use an AGM construction, but these are typically better suited for newer or heavy-duty vehicles. Deep cycle batteries are also designed to provide more consistent power than a starting battery. 

How do I know if I need a new car battery? 

If you find yourself regularly needing to jump-start your car, it might be time for a new battery. Most cars are equipped with a warning light that flashes when a battery is running low on power. You can also have your battery’s charge tested at auto parts stores.

*Data accurate at time of publication.