Major Car Battery Brands Ranked Worst To Best

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Car battery shopping has to be one of the least exciting parts about owning a car. Usually, it comes after several attempts at starting the vehicle, or after you had to call AAA to jump a dead battery. Sometimes it's a bad cell, sometimes the battery keeps dying, and sometimes the battery is just ready to be replaced. Whatever the reason, the trip to replace a battery is never a thrilling event. Adding to that frustration is the fact that there are so many batteries available in every auto parts store, dealership, or big box store, making it hard to decide which battery will be best.

A few things to remember before you head inside are to locate the battery's group size, the cold cranking amps (CCA) of the battery in the vehicle, and the age. That last factor might mean the difference between a full, free replacement under warranty and a full-priced new battery. Also, find out if it's a lead-acid design or a newer AGM-style battery that needs replacement.

However, even with that information in hand, choosing a brand of battery is an important and potentially expensive decision. Does the driver want to stick with the original manufacturer's battery brand or a well-known and trusted aftermarket option? Is price the most important thing to this owner, or is it power and reliability? Read on to learn a bit more about the major car battery brands available and why some are better than others.

EverStart

Walmart's store brand Everstart is affordable in the lead-acid varieties, but buyers have encountered unreliability and short lifespan. However, they are well-reviewed on Walmart's site, and EverStart has a fairly wide variety of battery sizes.

EverStart's Value line is what it says on the tin. It's a very low-cost battery that will get the job done in a pinch. The cold cranking amps are low –- an Everstart Value Group 65 is rated at 650 CCA versus the Maxx's 850 -– and the warranty is only a year long, but there are plenty of group sizes available at most stores and online. If cost is a shopper's main concern, it hits that mark with a sub-hundred dollar price point on most group sizes.

The EverStart Maxx is, at best, a compromise. It's a good battery for the price and the best EverStart for the money. The EverStart Maxx's three-year warranty factors into its value, especially if the driver lives near a Walmart store. The warranty will definitely be a strong reason to grab a low-cost EverStart as exchanging the failed battery is as easy as stopping in with the core and a receipt, as long as there's an Auto Center on-site to test the battery.

While there's an EverStart AGM option available as well, nearly every other brand on this list offers a better alternative at a similar price.

Interstate

The green-labeled -– and occasionally green-topped -– Interstate batteries are available at many independent shops, at their own Interstate All Battery Centers and through Costco stores. A reliable replacement battery with an interesting history, Interstates are available in a large number of group sizes and applications.

Interstate started out as a company that sold batteries out of the back of one man's pickup in 1952 and expanded to selling 19 million batteries a year. They are well known, available almost everywhere, and provide nearly every group size known to man. Their warranties are in the middle of the pack, starting at 18 months and going up to 48 for their best AGMs.

What makes Interstate interesting is also what makes it tough to recommend. While many of the batteries on our list are produced by Clarios, Exide, or Delphi, Interstate batteries are kind of an amalgamation of several manufacturers that share a branding. Even though manufacturers are typically held to certain standards for each brand they produce batteries for, it's difficult to maintain consistency when the batteries are produced by different plants or factories. So, while by no means is that fact a condemnation of these historically reliable batteries, it's something to consider.

Motorcraft

The Ford Motor Company's house brand of batteries is available at Ford dealerships as well as places like O'Reilly Auto Parts, allowing folks who want to maintain OEM parts on their vehicles to access replacement batteries almost anywhere. Typically, warranties are also accepted at all of these same facilities. The most obvious benefit to that decision is that Ford knows exactly what batteries fit which Ford vehicles, reducing the chance that the kid at the parts desk might grab the wrong aftermarket option when three are presented in their parts database.

Clarios is the manufacturer of Ford Motorcraft batteries, meaning DIY Ford enthusiasts and technicians can take solace in the knowledge that these batteries are made by the company that makes most of the automotive batteries in the United States. While the labels and specs make each brand unique, the overall quality of Clarios and the reliability of Ford's parts brand make Motorcraft batteries easy to recommend to drivers of the legendary American automaker's products.

AC Delco

Available from third-party retailers and directly from GM, AC Delco batteries come in a variety of group sizes and performance ratings and are competitively priced. They offer a standard (18-48 months, depending on pricing tier) warranty, a range of group sizes designed to fit GM's vehicles, and a few AGM options. While they are officially recognized by General Motors as "the only batteries recommended by GM" for their vehicles, they don't offer anything spectacular when it comes to features or options.

That being said, GM's AC Delco branded batteries have the same advantage as Ford's Motorcraft batteries -– they're designed by the company for their own cars and trucks and, therefore, can be relied upon in those vehicles to have the right fitment and power needed to start reliably. They also share a manufacturer with Ford in Clarios. 

Most AC Delco batteries also have something we haven't mentioned up until now -– sturdy, integrated handles. That feature might seem like an unnecessary thing, but when you're trying to slot a replacement battery into the increasingly snug battery housing under the hood of a newer vehicle while it's snowing outside, battery installers will appreciate that extra bit of plastic.

Bosch

Bosch lands in the middle of our rankings for a good reason — they're a brand that provides a dependable, well-regarded battery at a good price. From their affordable S3 line with a one-year warranty up through the S6 series of AGM batteries that come with four years of full replacement coverage, Bosch runs the gamut of both quality tiers and group sizes. Bosch batteries are available at their own service centers for those not interested in installing their own batteries. For the DIY crowd, Bosch batteries can be purchased through other online dealers.

Higher than average CCA in many of their batteries means Bosch is great for drivers making full use of aftermarket electrical options and accessories. Notably, Bosch also offers free roadside assistance for owners of the S4 line and above while their batteries are under warranty. That's a perk not often seen in this industry and gives Bosch an edge over its midgrade competition.

Antigravity Batteries

A recent addition to the car battery market is Antigravity Batteries. Their niche isn't in providing the most power like competitors such as XS do but in providing a greener solution to automotive power with lithium-ion batteries. The same kind of rechargeable battery used in products all around the house, Antigravity Batteries are primarily used in motorsports, as their batteries are significantly lighter than either AGM or lead-acid designs.

Even though they're just getting into the passenger vehicle market, Antigravity Batteries already offers several group sizes, including 47, 35, 94R, and 24. More exciting is the batteries' RE-START Technology, a wireless jump-starter built into the battery itself that's activated by a keyfob button. No longer will owners stranded in the snow or sun need to pop the hood — the battery retains a reserve even as it drains down, so a jump is available. There's also a Bluetooth battery tracker available to monitor battery status on the user's phone.

XS Power

XS Power is a newer automotive battery brand, and one that's made its mark in the industry with some wildly overpowered batteries — in fact, some of these batteries might even have what one might even call excessive power. Their batteries feature light gray designs with aggressive labeling and a unique connection terminal setup for users connecting these batteries to expensive audio and electrical accessories. The company also offers digital dashboard mounts to monitor the power drain during high-intensity usage.

XS Power does not make batteries using lead-acid, opting for AGM and lithium options for passenger vehicle applications. They also use only new lead, as opposed to the recycled product most battery manufacturers use. These decisions are based on XS Power's commitment to more intense applications like auto racing and the competitive car audio market, and the company is especially proud of its batteries' performance in audio competition vehicles. It's worth mentioning, however, that terminal posts might be necessary if the driver is planning on using an XS Power battery in their daily driver.

Odyssey

Odyssey Batteries have a number of features that have pushed them high on our rankings, and their commitment to overengineering has given their batteries a reputation of reliability. They claim a longer service life, cycle life, and shelf life than their competition. In the event of a failure, Odyssey offers a four-year full replacement warranty on several of their battery lines -– at least a year more than most batteries.

The Odyssey Extreme series is renowned for the ability to reliably start a car in even the most extreme temperatures –- hence the name. Odyssey touts their design choices like brass terminals and pure lead plates, and their batteries typically last years longer than their competitors. 

The brand also does well in harsh climates, as Odyssey Extreme batteries can start a vehicle in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 140 degrees. For drivers in extreme temperature ranges, those numbers are likely far more important than the admittedly high price tag on Odyssey's batteries.

DieHard

This is the battery your dad told you to put in your first car when you bought it. DieHard remains a great aftermarket option even after Sears sold the brand to Advance Auto Parts back in 2019. A relaunch in 2020, pairing the DieHard battery with "Die Hard" film hero John McClane, was a popular advertising campaign that reintroduced the brand and its new availability at Advance Auto Parts stores nationwide to a new audience. However, that new ownership didn't affect the actual product because whether the DieHard was purchased from a Sears Auto Center or an AutoZone, the battery was still manufactured by Clarios.

DieHard offers several performance tiers in their lead-acid and AGM battery lines. All are backed by industry-standard warranties, and in 2022 DieHard became the world's first automotive battery to receive "circular economy validation" by UL. This means that "every new DieHard AGM battery is made from recycled material from old batteries that are returned to an Advance or Carquest store," as Tom Greco, Advance Auto Part's president and CEO, announced in a press release

That commitment to recycling their batteries, which generally aren't the nicest thing for the environment, is a responsible factor to take into account when choosing a new battery.

Optima

Optima Batteries use several unique design choices that move them to the top of our list. Their six-pack design and spiral-wound cells are used in both the lead based and AGM versions of their batteries, leading to an instantly recognizable and wholly unique battery in a world of heavy plastic boxes. They aren't inexpensive –- the most affordable option for a 1996 Ford Ranger is $250 -– but they're reliable, trusted, and have a good warranty backing the product.

Optima currently has a couple of different lines of car batteries, each with its own focus. The RedTop is a great option for most vehicles, while YellowTop AGMs are great for newer vehicles with lots of electronic accessories. They're available at most auto parts stores and on Amazon, although forums warn that warranties may not be honored on batteries purchased from Amazon.

That Optima six-pack design, used in most of their RedTop, YellowTop, and BlueTop batteries, is spill-proof and resistant to vibration, and the dual-post configuration featured on some Optima batteries allows them to be used in multiple group size applications. The RedTop, in particular, is frequently rated as one of the best batteries on the market, with high cold cranking amps, a great cost-to-value ratio, and a good reserve capacity to help make sure driver's cars start on the first try. If they don't, Optima offers a three-year, full replacement warranty on the RedTop.

Methodology

Qualities considered in the construction of the brand list above include product reliability, power, and ease of use — including replacement, and service. User reviews, hands-on tests, and professional reviews were considered in tabulating this list.