Odyssey vs. Optima Batteries: Differences & Which Is Better?

Compare the Odyssey and Optima batteries in terms of their features, performance, value, and more. Find out which model is the better choice for your car.

Odyssey Vs. Optima Batteries

When it comes time to choose a car battery, you need to know the differences between brands to ensure you get what you want. Two of the most popular brands include Optima and Odyssey, both of which provide a lot of benefits to drivers. So, what are the differences between Odyssey vs. Optima batteries?

In this article, we break down both batteries to see which one suits you better. We look at the pros and cons of both battery brands. Additionally, you will see the comparison of similarities and differences between the two. Plus, there’s a section in this guide that answers your top battery questions. 

Odyssey vs. Optima Batteries: Which Is Better?

If you have a tight budget, you may prefer the Optima battery because of the slightly lower cost, yet you aren’t sacrificing a lot of power or features. However, Odyssey batteries may last slightly longer and tend to have a better CCA rating, but for an additional cost.

With either brand, you will be able to find batteries that fit many applications. You also don’t have to worry about maintenance other than keeping the battery charged. 

Determining which one is best for you requires you to look at your needs. Do you want to save money today and replace the battery more often, or would you rather pay a little more now for a longer service life?

Odyssey

Odssey Batteries

Odyssey batteries are produced by EnerSys Energy Products Inc. In total, the company has acquired more than ten other manufacturers over the years, providing it a leader to contend with. Its headquarters is located in Reading, Pennsylvania and the company has been in business since 1999. Odyssey batteries are produced in 17 countries, making them a widespread option. 

Over the years, Odyssey batteries have become synonymous with a long service life and high-quality power production. The company provides a two-year replacement warranty, but it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to use it. 

Odyssey Pros

There are many things that the Odyssey brand does right. Here are a few of the advantages to consider. 

  • Long service life
  • Maintenance-free options
  • Wide temperature range
  • Good reserve capacity rating
  • Vibration resistant
  • Good warranty coverage

Odyssey Cons

With all that Odyssey does right, it’s easy to overlook a couple of faults. Here are some to consider.

  • Costs slightly more
  • Difficult to jumpstart
  • Hard to restore

Optima

Optima Battery

Optima batteries are part of Clarios, which is owned by Johnson Controls. The company hasn’t been around as long as Odyssey but has been in business since 1972. Currently, the batteries are produced in a plant in Mexico, but there are more than sixty locations worldwide where the business operates. 

Many of the top automakers and retailers use Optima batteries, including BMW, Toyota, Sears and Walmart. With a wide variety of batteries to choose from, it’s easy to get one for a vehicle, RV, marine applications and more. 

Optima Pros

There are so many things that the Optima brand does right. Here are just a few. 

  • Good price/performance ratio
  • Reliable power
  • No maintenance
  • Good warranty coverage
  • Wide availability

Optima Cons

With so many pros to look at, don’t forget to evaluate the few shortcomings of these batteries. 

  • Shorter lifespan
  • Takes time to charge
  • Smaller temperature range

Key Differences Between Odyssey And Optima Batteries

There are many aspects between the Odyssey and Optimal lineup of batteries that are similar. Instead of focusing on what both brands do, let’s look at where there could be some differences. We take a closer look at the prices, customer service, technology and the cold cranking amps (CCA) rating

1. Prices

Comparing batteries between the two brands head-to-head, you see that Optima are usually slightly cheaper. On average, you may spend $250 for a high-quality Optima battery, while Odyssey models can cost $300 or more. 

Determining the value of something is far different than the price. If you want to look at the per-mile cost of both batteries, you may find that the Odyssey usually beats the Optima. Basically, you may be able to get far more miles for the higher price of the Odyssey battery, giving you a better overall value. However, you have to pay more upfront to take advantage of the longer service life. 

2. Customer Service

Customer Service

While you are paying more for the Odyssey battery, you may be disappointed in the next category. Many Odyssey batteries have a two-year replacement warranty (although some offer more). In comparison, most Optima batteries come with a three-year replacement warranty.

Optima has also been known for better customer service. When a warranty claim occurs, Optima is quick to send out a new battery without a lot of hassle. Odyssey isn’t as quick to turn over new batteries to customers, without a lot of investigation. 

With this in mind, the difference could come down to trust in the product. Odyssey might be less willing to send out new batteries because the company knows its product is good. Optima might be handing out batteries like candy because it knows they don’t always last. 

3. Technology

Both battery brands produce AGM batteries. An AGM (absorbed glass mat) battery has a special glass mat separator wicking the electrolyte solution in between the battery plates. AGM batteries deliver larger bursts of energy and run for a longer amount of time. Aside from being AGM batteries, these two brands do offer something a little different from one another. 

Optima uses Spiral Gem technology, which is effective but also takes up more space than what’s needed. In comparison, the Odyssey batteries have a Thin Plate Pure Lead technology that improves the longevity without the unnecessary weight. 

4. CCA Rating

The CCA rating is the cold cranking amps. It’s one of the most important criteria to consider when choosing a new car battery. Odyssey batteries have options with higher CCA than Optima. 

As an example of car batteries, the Odyssey 34 PC1500 CCA is 850, while the Optima D34 only has 750. Of course, with that difference, you do see a stark price increase for the Odyssey over the Optima, so you have to gauge what’s more important to you. 

Similarities of Odyssey and Optima Batteries

Because these are both main brands, there are also several aspects that both companies do well with. Starting with the temperature span, both are greater than 150 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use either battery at temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

With the AGM batteries, there’s also no maintenance for you to worry about. Unlike with the traditional lead-acid battery, you don’t need to fill up the battery regularly. 

Finally, you can find both brands at many local stores. Not only do most auto parts stores carry both brands, but they are also available at Walmart locations around the nation. 

RELATED: AGM vs. GEL Battery: Differences and Which is Better?

FAQs

Are Optima batteries better?

Optima batteries are usually slightly cheaper than Odyssey batteries but may not last as long. However, the brand still makes an exceptional battery lineup available for a variety of purposes. You can find a new battery for your car, truck, recreational vehicle, boat and more at a fraction of the cost.

Are ODYSSEY batteries good?

Odyssey batteries are considered some of the best because of the Thin Plate Pure Technology. These batteries last a long time and are maintenance-free. Plus, Odyssey offers a decent warranty length and has a variety of batteries for many different applications, but you will pay more than you might expect.

How many years will an OPTIMA battery last?

On average, you can expect to see four years or more out of an Optima battery. However, the battery life depends heavily on how you treat it. If you spend a lot of time taking shorter trips and not letting the battery get fully charged, it may not last as long. Your environment plays a role in the life too. 

How long will an Odyssey battery last?

Expect an Odyssey battery to last anywhere from three to eight years, depending on how it is taken care of. Many of the batteries have either a two- or three-year replacement warranty, so you don’t have to worry about premature failure. 

Conclusion

You already have so much to think about; choosing a car battery shouldn’t be difficult too. By singling out a couple of the top brands, you can determine which one is right for you. We’ve looked closer at two brands you may be considering and ones that we have used professionally for years. It shouldn’t have taken long to figure out why both have been popular in our automotive applications and why we recommend them.

What you should keep in mind is that the choice you make also depends on your car model and use case. Generally, we recommend that you go with the brand of battery recommended by your car’s manufacturer.

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Brian Jones
Written by:

Brian Jones is a writer and owner of a used car dealership in the Dallas, Texas area. While he loves just about everything automotive, he has a special place in his heart for trucks, the bigger the better. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his family and hiking new trails. ASE Certified Master Technician.

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