Ranking Car Battery Brands: From Worst to Best

Shopping for a car battery is often a mundane task in the realm of car ownership. Typically, it follows numerous failed attempts to start the vehicle or a call to AAA for a jumpstart due to a dead battery. The reasons for battery replacement can vary, from a defective cell to a battery that’s simply reached the end of its life. Regardless of the cause, the journey to replace a battery seldom sparks excitement. Compounding this frustration is the overwhelming array of batteries available in auto parts stores, dealerships, and big box stores, making the decision of selecting the best battery a daunting one.

Before stepping inside to purchase a new battery, it’s crucial to note a few key details: the battery’s group size, the cold cranking amps (CCA) of the current battery, and its age. The latter could be the deciding factor between receiving a full replacement under warranty or having to pay for a new battery. Additionally, determine whether the battery is a traditional lead-acid design or a more modern AGM-style that needs replacing.

Even with this information at your disposal, selecting a battery brand remains a significant and potentially costly choice. Should the driver opt for the original manufacturer’s battery brand or a reputable aftermarket alternative? Is the priority price, or are power and reliability more important? Continue reading to gain insights into the major car battery brands available and understand why some stand out from the rest.

10.EverStart

Walmart’s Everstart store brand offers affordability in its lead-acid variants, though some users have reported issues with reliability and lifespan. Despite this, the batteries garner positive reviews on Walmart’s website and EverStart provides a broad selection of battery sizes.

The EverStart Value line lives up to its name, offering a budget-friendly option that can suffice in a pinch. With lower cold cranking amps—such as the EverStart Value Group 65 rated at 650 CCA compared to the Maxx’s 850—and a one-year warranty, it still covers a wide range of group sizes, both in-store and online. For shoppers prioritizing cost, it meets the criteria with most group sizes priced under one hundred dollars.

The EverStart Maxx represents a balanced choice, delivering good value for its price and standing as the top pick within the EverStart range. The three-year warranty of the EverStart Maxx adds to its appeal, particularly for those living near a Walmart store. This warranty is a compelling reason to opt for an affordable EverStart, as replacing a failed battery is straightforward—simply bring the old battery and the receipt to a Walmart Auto Center for testing and exchange.

9.Interstate

The distinctive green-labeled, and occasionally green-topped, Interstate batteries are readily available at numerous independent shops, their own Interstate All Battery Centers, and through Costco stores. Known for their reliability and intriguing history, Interstate batteries come in a wide array of group sizes and applications.

Founded in 1952 by a visionary who began selling batteries from the back of his pickup, Interstate has grown to distribute 19 million batteries annually. They are renowned for their widespread availability and comprehensive range of group sizes. Their warranties are competitive, starting at 18 months and extending up to 48 months for their premium AGMs.

What sets Interstate apart is also what complicates a straightforward recommendation. Unlike many batteries on our list that are produced by Clarios, Exide, or Delphi, Interstate batteries are a blend of several manufacturers under a shared brand. Although these manufacturers are generally held to specific standards for each brand they produce, maintaining consistency can be challenging when the batteries are sourced from different plants or factories. Therefore, while Interstate’s historical reliability is not in question, this aspect is worth considering.

8. Motorcraft

Ford Motor Company’s in-house brand of batteries is readily accessible at Ford dealerships and establishments like O’Reilly Auto Parts, enabling enthusiasts who prefer OEM parts to easily find replacement batteries. Typically, warranties are honored at all these locations, offering peace of mind. A key advantage of opting for Ford’s brand is the assurance that the batteries are precisely matched to Ford vehicles, minimizing the risk of incorrect aftermarket selections by store personnel.

Clarios, the manufacturer behind Ford Motorcraft batteries, is a leading producer of automotive batteries in the United States. This association provides reassurance to DIY Ford aficionados and technicians alike, knowing that these batteries are crafted by a reputable company. While each brand has its unique labels and specifications, the overall quality of Clarios and the reliability of Ford’s parts brand make Motorcraft batteries a commendable choice for drivers of the iconic American automaker’s vehicles.

7. AC Delco

AC Delco batteries, available through third-party retailers and directly from GM, offer a diverse range of group sizes and performance ratings at competitive prices. They come with a standard warranty (18-48 months, depending on the pricing tier), a variety of group sizes tailored to fit GM vehicles, and a selection of AGM options. Although they are officially endorsed by General Motors as “the only batteries recommended by GM” for their vehicles, they do not boast extraordinary features or options.

However, like Ford’s Motorcraft batteries, GM’s AC Delco branded batteries have a distinct advantage: they are designed by the manufacturer specifically for their own vehicles. This ensures reliable fitment and the necessary power for dependable starting. They also share the same manufacturer, Clarios, with Ford.

A notable feature of most AC Delco batteries, which sets them apart, is their sturdy, integrated handles. While this may seem trivial, it becomes invaluable when installing a replacement battery into the tight confines under the hood of a modern vehicle, especially in challenging weather conditions like snow. Battery installers will undoubtedly appreciate this thoughtful addition.

6. Bosch

Bosch occupies a well-deserved middle spot in our rankings, offering a reliable and well-regarded battery at an attractive price point. Their range spans from the affordable S3 line with a one-year warranty to the higher-end S6 series of AGM batteries, which boast four years of full replacement coverage. Bosch caters to a wide spectrum of quality tiers and group sizes, ensuring there’s a suitable option for every vehicle.

For those who prefer professional installation, Bosch batteries are available at their own service centers. Meanwhile, the DIY enthusiasts can find Bosch batteries through various online dealers.

A standout feature of many Bosch batteries is their higher-than-average cold cranking amps (CCA), making them an excellent choice for drivers who rely heavily on aftermarket electrical options and accessories. Additionally, Bosch sets itself apart by offering free roadside assistance for owners of the S4 line and above while their batteries are under warranty—a rare and valuable perk in the industry that gives Bosch a competitive edge in the midgrade market.

5. Antigravity Batteries

Antigravity Batteries is a recent entrant into the car battery market, carving out a niche not by offering the most power, like competitors such as XS, but by providing a more eco-friendly solution with their lithium-ion batteries. These rechargeable batteries, commonly used in household products, are primarily utilized in motorsports due to their significantly lighter weight compared to AGM or lead-acid designs.

Although Antigravity Batteries is just beginning to make its mark in the passenger vehicle market, they already offer several group sizes, including 47, 35, 94R, and 24. What’s truly exciting is the introduction of their RE-START Technology—a wireless jump-starter integrated into the battery itself, activated by a keyfob button. This innovation means that owners no longer need to open the hood when stranded; the battery maintains a reserve charge for a jump start even as it drains. Additionally, there’s a Bluetooth battery tracker available that allows users to monitor their battery status directly from their smartphone.

4. XS Power4

XS Power is a relatively new player in the automotive battery market, quickly gaining recognition for its impressively powerful batteries—some might even say they possess an abundance of power. Their batteries are distinguished by a light gray aesthetic, bold labeling, and a unique connection terminal setup tailored for users who link these batteries to high-end audio and electrical accessories. The company also provides digital dashboard mounts to track power consumption during intense usage.

Rather than relying on traditional lead-acid technology, XS Power opts for AGM and lithium options for passenger vehicles. They also exclusively use new lead, setting them apart from the majority of battery manufacturers who utilize recycled materials. This approach aligns with XS Power’s dedication to demanding applications such as auto racing and the competitive car audio market. The company takes particular pride in the performance of its batteries in audio competition vehicles. However, it’s important to note that terminal posts might be required for those planning to use an XS Power battery in their everyday vehicle.

3. Odyssey

Odyssey Batteries stand out in our rankings, thanks to their commitment to overengineering, which has earned their batteries a reputation for reliability. They boast a longer service, cycle, and shelf life compared to their competitors. In the rare event of a failure, Odyssey provides a generous four-year full replacement warranty on several of their battery lines, surpassing the industry standard by at least a year.

The Odyssey Extreme series is celebrated for its ability to reliably start a car in the most extreme temperatures, living up to its name. Odyssey’s design choices, such as brass terminals and pure lead plates, contribute to their batteries’ longevity, typically outlasting their competitors by years.

Odyssey batteries also excel in harsh climates, with the Extreme series capable of starting a vehicle in temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees. For drivers facing extreme temperature variations, these performance metrics are likely to outweigh the relatively high price tag of Odyssey’s batteries.

2. DieHard

This is the battery that your dad recommended for your first car. DieHard continues to be a top choice in the aftermarket realm, even after Sears sold the brand to Advance Auto Parts in 2019. A revitalizing campaign in 2020, which paired the DieHard battery with the iconic “Die Hard” film hero John McClane, successfully reintroduced the brand to a new generation and highlighted its nationwide availability at Advance Auto Parts stores. Despite the change in ownership, the quality of the DieHard battery remained consistent, as Clarios continued to manufacture it regardless of whether it was purchased from a Sears Auto Center or an AutoZone.

DieHard offers various performance tiers in their lead-acid and AGM battery lines, all backed by industry-standard warranties. In a significant environmental milestone, DieHard became the world’s first automotive battery to receive “circular economy validation” by UL in 2022. As Tom Greco, president and CEO of Advance Auto Parts, stated in a press release, “every new DieHard AGM battery is made from recycled material from old batteries that are returned to an Advance or Carquest store.”

This commitment to recycling, especially for a product that typically poses environmental challenges, is a commendable factor to consider when selecting a new battery.

1. Optima

Optima Batteries stand out with their unique six-pack design and spiral-wound cells, offering a distinct alternative to conventional heavy plastic boxes. While not the cheapest option—a 1996 Ford Ranger battery costs $250—they are renowned for their reliability, trustworthiness, and solid warranty.

Optima’s product range includes the RedTop for most vehicles and the YellowTop AGMs for newer vehicles with numerous electronic accessories. These batteries are widely available, though warranties from Amazon purchases may not be honored.

The spill-proof and vibration-resistant six-pack design is a hallmark of Optima’s RedTop, YellowTop, and BlueTop batteries. The RedTop, in particular, is highly regarded for its high cold cranking amps, excellent cost-to-value ratio, and robust reserve capacity. Optima backs the RedTop with a three-year, full replacement warranty.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, navigating the world of car battery brands can be a daunting task, but our comprehensive ranking from worst to best aims to simplify your decision-making process. Whether you prioritize reliability, affordability, or environmental sustainability, there’s a battery brand out there that meets your needs. From the innovative designs of Optima Batteries to the trusted durability of DieHard, each brand offers unique features that cater to different preferences. As you consider your options, remember that the right battery can significantly enhance your vehicle’s performance and provide peace of mind on the road. With this guide, we hope you feel empowered to make an informed choice that keeps your car running smoothly for years to come.

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