7 Best Car Batteries of 2022

Read our review for the best car batteries available today. We outline what you should consider when buying a new battery and help you find the right battery.

5 Best Car Batteries

If you keep finding that your vehicle won’t start in the morning, or if you can’t get it moving again after you finish shopping for groceries, there’s a good chance that it’s time for a new car battery. Sure, you can go to Wal-Mart and get the cheapest option off the shelf, but experience shows that you’re going to spend more in the long run if you do that.

We don’t want you to find yourself right back in the same situation any time soon, and it’s why we decided to highlight seven of the best car batteries out there in this guide.

Not only that, but we included a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will help you determine if you need a new battery, and it’ll walk you through everything you need to know to get the perfect battery for your vehicle the first time.

You need to buy a car battery with the right dimensions and specifications for your car model and engine. Check your owner’s manual or contact your authorized dealer for more information.

Disclaimer – This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Top 7 Best Car Batteries

1. ACDelco Gold – Best Car Battery Overall

Acdelco Gold Battery
  • Cold-cranking amps: 760
  • Connection Type: Top post
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Warranty: 36 months
  • Weight: 45.5 pounds

If you’re looking for the best overall battery for your car or truck, look no further than the ACDelco Gold. It’s an outstanding mix of price and performance, coming in as one of the more affordable options without any kind of performance drop-off.

Not only does it perform well, but it lasts a long time before you need to replace it. ACDelco guarantees that this battery will last for at least 36-months with a free replacement if it doesn’t, but it can easily last much longer than that.

For most people, that’s everything you want in a battery for your car. It’s affordable, does a great job, and lasts a long time. However, this battery isn’t completely perfect.

First, it’s a little bit heavier compared to some other options. If you’re all about performance, every pound matters. Second, it only has a top post mounting system.

This is what most vehicles use, but some vehicles use a side post mounting system. Double-check what kind of system is in your vehicle is in your car so you don’t get this battery only to find out that you can’t install it.

Pros

  • It comes with a 36-month replacement warranty
  • More affordable option
  • Reliable AGM battery
  • Higher cold cranking amps rating
  • Very durable and long-lasting battery

Cons

  • It does not work with side posts
  • Heavier battery option

2. Optima Red Top – Best AGM Battery

Optima Red Top Car Battery
  • Cold-cranking amps: 720
  • Connection Type: Top post and side post
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Warranty: 36 months
  • Weight: 31.7 pounds

Optima is one of the largest names in the battery industry and there’s a good reason for that. They only make AGM batteries, and they’re all top-notch.

By far their most popular choice is the Optima Red Top, and it’s an outstanding choice for most daily drivers. With 720 cold-cranking amps it can easily handle most environments, and it’s powerful enough to get larger engines started with ease too.

Even better, since this battery has both top and side posts, it works great for just about any vehicle. However, keep in mind that you’ll still need to verify the actual physical size of the battery and the battery compartment to ensure this battery fits in your vehicle.

The Optima Red Top is also a lighter-weight battery, so if you are looking for something for a performance vehicle, it’s a great choice there too.

It is slightly more expensive compared to some other battery options out there, but since they last so much longer, it really offsets the higher initial price. When you look at the cost per year that you get out of an Optima Red Top, it’s really one of the best deals out there.

Pros

  • Great 36-month warranty
  • Decent cold-cranking amps
  • It has both top and side post connections
  • Very long-lasting AGM option
  • Lighter weight battery

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive

3. Optima Yellow Top – Premium AGM Battery

Optima Yellow Top Battery
  • Cold-cranking amps: 750
  • Connection Type: Top and side post
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Warranty: 36 months
  • Weight: 43.5 pounds

While the Optima Red Top is all most vehicles need, if you drive a vehicle with a much larger engine or have a high amperage usage, then you might need the extra power the Optima Yellow Top offers. The Optima Yellow Top is everything the Red Top is, but with just a bit more oomph.

Of course, that extra power comes with a few tradeoffs, and it all starts with the price. It’s still a great deal considering how long they last, but there’s no denying it costs a bit more compared to the Red Top.

The other tradeoff is the weight. While it’s not as heavy as the bulkiest options, it’s more than ten pounds heavier than a Red Top.

Still, there are some things Optima refuses to compromise on, and one such thing is durability. An Optima Yellow Top will last just as long as a Red Top, and it’s why it comes with a 36-month warranty. But while it’s a 36-month warranty, in many climates a Yellow Top battery can last over ten years.

So sure you’re going to spend a little more upfront for this powerful battery, but if it sits in your vehicle for the next decade you’re getting a phenomenal price per year of use.

Pros

  • More power for high voltage applications
  • Very long-lasting option
  • It includes both top and side posts
  • It does great in high movement applications

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • Slightly heavier option

4. Odyssey Extreme Series – Best Off-Road Battery

Odyssey Extreme Series
  • Cold-cranking amps: 850
  • Connection Type: Top and side post
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Warranty: 36 months
  • Weight: 49.5 pounds

It’s fun to get off the pavement and see what the wilderness has to offer. But if that’s something you plan on doing in your vehicle, you need a battery that’s up to the job. The most important thing for your battery when you’re off-roading is that it can handle all the bumps and jumps you throw at it.

The Odyssey Extreme Series is more than up to the job. Furthermore, since many off-road vehicles come loaded up with electrical accessories, you need a battery with enough power to handle all the extra juice those accessories need.

With 850 cold-cranking amps this battery has enough power for that and for start after start in some of the roughest conditions out there. Even with all these features you get a 36-month warranty on the Odyssey Extreme Series, so you won’t need to worry about replacing it any time soon.

Add in the fact that this battery has both top and side posts, so it works in just about any vehicle, and it’s hard to find things not to love about this battery. However, it is a much heavier battery weighing just under 50 pounds, and it’s a much more expensive option.

You can expect that for a battery with all these capabilities, but if you want a battery that can withstand some of the most extreme off-roading trips, it’s well worth the extra upfront cost.

Pros

  • Long-lasting AGM battery
  • Great warranty program
  • Very high cold-cranking amps
  • Handles jostling and movement very well
  • It has both top and side posts

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • It is a heavier battery

5. Interstate Batteries – Best for Larger Vehicles

Interstate Batteries
  • Cold-cranking amps: 800
  • Connection Type: Top post
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Warranty: 48 months
  • Weight: 47 pounds

If you’re driving a much larger vehicle, then you need a battery that has the power to turn it over and get your vehicle started. Keep in mind that we’re not talking about F150s here, it’s more like an F550.

If you do have a larger vehicle like that, then a battery like this Interstate Battery is exactly what you want. It has an impressive 800 cold-cranking amps, which is more than enough power to get your vehicle started, even on the coldest mornings.

Not only will it start your vehicle, but it will start it fast, meaning less time cranking. Furthermore, it has enough power to keep all the accessories in your vehicle working just like they should.

It is a heavier battery option at 47 pounds, but for a larger vehicle, the little added weight isn’t a big deal. Second, it’s a much more expensive option. However, it does have the longest warranty of any battery on our list, with Interstate offering a 48-month warranty from the date of purchase for every battery.

Just keep in mind that it only has top posts, but that’s what most larger vehicles use anyways. Finally, if you are thinking of using this battery for a smaller vehicle, keep in mind that this is a physically larger battery, meaning it won’t find in many smaller vehicles’ battery boxes.

Pros

  • Very high cold-cranking amps
  • Phenomenal 48-month warranty
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Provides quick and reliable starting power

Cons

  • More expensive option
  • It only has a top post
  • Heavier option

6. Optima Blue Top – Best for RV and Marine Use

Optima Blue Top Battery
  • Cold-cranking amps: 800
  • Connection Type: Top post
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Warranty: 24 months
  • Weight: 38.4 pounds

While the Optima Blue Top isn’t something you want to put into a typical automotive application, we wanted to highlight it here for two reasons. First, it’s the last battery option Optima has and it’s the only one not on our list.

Second, if you need a battery for an RV or some other application, it’s a battery you’ll want. It has tons of cold-cranking amps, but it’s not a battery that can handle full cycling, which is why you shouldn’t install it in a regular vehicle.

Instead, it’s a good choice only for an application where you only have to start an RV. It does handle movement extremely well, and that’s key for a battery that goes into RVs that often find their way well off the pavement.

It can also sit a long time between starts, and it’s a lighter-weight option so you don’t have to worry about it weighing down your rig. Still, it doesn’t last quite as long as other Optima batteries, and that’s why Optima offers a shorter warranty of only 24-months.

It’s also a more expensive option, and when you pair that with the shorter service life, it makes no sense to get this battery for a typical automotive application. But for select RV and marine applications, it’s a solid choice that Optima offers.

Pros

  • Tons of cold-cranking amps
  • Handles movement extremely well
  • It can sit a long time between starts
  • Lighter weight option

Cons

  • Shorter warranty period
  • More expensive option

7. Deka Intimidator – Notable Mention

Deka Intimidator
  • Cold-cranking amps: 600
  • Connection Type: Top post
  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Warranty: 36 months
  • Weight: 40 pounds

While we couldn’t give the Deka Intimidator its own specific accolade, it does enough things right that we didn’t feel right leaving it off our list completely. It’s a battery that offers a good mix of price and durability, allowing you to get a longer-lasting option without breaking the bank.

It comes with a 36-month warranty, but you shouldn’t have any problem getting much longer out of your Deka battery if you live in at least a semi-moderated climate.

It does a great job even in off-road conditions too, although it doesn’t have enough power for systems with tons of accessories.

Of course, you’re getting this battery for a great price, but there are two tradeoffs. First, it only has top posts, so it won’t fit inside post setups. Second, it has a lower cold-cranking rating compared to any other battery on our list, and that’s why it couldn’t earn an accolade past notable mention.

But if you’re on a tighter budget, drive in a temperate climate, and need a great battery, it is worth checking out.

Pros

  • Lightweight option
  • Good mix of price and durability
  • Handles movement well

Cons

  • Lower cold-cranking amps
  • Only has top posts

Car Battery Buyer’s Guide

With so many great batteries to choose from it can be a challenge to narrow it down to just one. Not only that but sometimes there’s a lot of confusion out there about whether you actually need a new battery or not.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and that’s why we came up with this comprehensive buyer’s guide to clear the air. Not only will we help you decide if you actually need a new battery, but we’ll walk you through all the different specifications to help you figure out what you need for your vehicle.

How Do You Know You Need a New Battery?

Before you drop any money on a new battery it’s best to figure out if you actually need a new battery. Sure, part stores like AutoZone will test your battery for free, but did you know that you can only get 100 percent accurate results by testing a fully charged battery?

That means if you take your battery to AutoZone right after it died, they can’t reliably tell you if it just needs a charge or if you need to replace it. Even worse, since they’re a part store trying to move product, they have a lot of incentive to tell you to replace the battery.

Meanwhile, you can end up replacing the battery only to realize that another part was faulty. The part store won’t refund you anything for the battery, but they’ll happily sell you the part you actually need.

Because of this we highly recommend getting the battery fully charged and then testing it with a high-quality battery tester yourself. They’re more affordable than you might think, and they give you an unbiased result you can trust.

RELATED: How to Check Car Battery Health at Home (8 Steps)

How Long Should a Battery Last?

There are a ton of factors that go into determining how long a battery will last, but the three most important are the environment the battery is in, the type of battery, and how you drive your vehicle.

For most climates you can expect a regular lead-acid battery to last anywhere from three to five years, but in that same environment, an AGM battery can last anywhere from six to ten years. Furthermore, if you don’t drive the vehicle enough, or if you only drive it in short spurts, it won’t maintain a full charge which can shorten its overall lifespan too.

And while this is the case for most climates, it’s certainly not the case everywhere. For more extreme climates like Alaska or Phoenix, it’s not surprising for a regular lead-acid battery only to last about two years. Meanwhile, an AGM battery should still last at least four to five years.

It’s also important to note that the more a battery dies, the shorter the battery’s overall lifespan. So, if you have a battery that keeps dying because of a faulty alternator, it can dramatically shorten the battery’s overall lifespan.

Furthermore, recharging the battery correctly mitigates the damage, while a jump start or a fast charge can lead to a shorter battery lifespan too.

So how long should a battery last? It’s really hard to say, but most of the time a lead-acid battery will last three to five years, while an AGM battery will last six to ten.

RELATED: How Long Do Car Batteries Last?

Using a Battery Warranty

Every battery on our list comes with a battery warranty, and it’s a great feature to have. While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to use it, it does give you some peace of mind that you won’t need to drop any more money on an automotive battery in the near future.

But while a battery warranty is nice, there are a lot of misconceptions about how you use it. You don’t need to bother to reach out to the person you bought the battery from, in fact, they probably won’t help you.

Instead, reach out to an authorized service shop for the battery you’re using. If you’re not sure where this is, the battery manufacturer can point you in the right direction. From there, keep your proof of purchase, with the date on it, and bring it in.

They’ll test and charge the battery for you, and if it doesn’t check out, they’ll replace it for you for free. It’s a pretty simple process, but plenty of people go through loads of frustration because they keep reaching out to the wrong people and can’t figure out how to use the warranty.

Verifying Fitment

The last thing you want is to order a battery only to realize that it physically doesn’t fit into your vehicle and you can’t use it. Always double-check fitment before you order and look into these three different specifications to ensure it’ll fit into your vehicle.

First, see if it uses a top post or a side post system. These systems are not interchangeable so don’t think you can just make it work if they don’t line up. Second, look at the physical dimensions of the battery.

Batteries come in different sizes, and if you get the wrong size you might not be able to fit into the battery box in your vehicle. Finally, look at the hold-down. There are a few different hold-down styles, and while most of them work with different battery types, they’re not all completely interchangeable.

How Many Cold Cranking Amps Do You Need?

Cold-cranking amps are by far the most important thing you need to look at when deciding which battery is right for your vehicle, but how many cold cranking amps do you actually need and is more always better?

Well, the general rule of thumb is that for every cubic inch of engine displacement with a gasoline engine, you want at least one cold cranking amp, with a diesel engine you want two cold-cranking amps per cubic inch of displacement.

Not everyone knows the cubic displacement of their engine though, but for most engines, it’s well under 400. That means every battery on our list has more than enough cold cranking amps to get the job done.

For reference, a 6.7L Power Stroke V8 engine that you find in a Ford F350 has 406 cubic inches of engine displacement, and that’s a massive engine for a consumer vehicle.

Of course, this is for general conditions, and the more extreme the climate, the more cold cranking amps you’ll need. And since batteries lose some of their capacity over time, having a little extra to work with is always a good thing.

Furthermore, this is all for stock setups. If you’re putting an aftermarket sound system or other equipment that draws power, you need a larger battery, and potentially an alternator, to account for it.

In short, you likely don’t need all the cold-cranking amps than the batteries on our list offer, but more is always a good thing.

Can You Mix and Match Batteries?

Some vehicles have multiple batteries, and while it’s usually advisable to replace them together, that doesn’t mean you have to. But if you are just replacing one battery, do you need to get the same model and type for the other one?

While you can technically mix and match batteries as long as they’re both the same type (lead-acid vs AGM), we recommend sticking with the same battery.

It’s all about getting equal output from each battery so they’ll both last up to their full potential. If one battery is pulling more of the load, then it can shorten the battery life.

AGM vs Lead Acid Batteries

When you’re looking at replacing your battery, you have two options to choose from, a typical lead-acid battery and an AGM battery. While there are some technical differences between how each battery works, from a consumer standpoint it’s clear that AGM batteries have tons of advantages.

They are a little more expensive upfront, but since the last two to three times as long they’re the better cost per year option. Furthermore, AGM batteries hold up better to movement, and they have more versatile mounting options.

This means if you do plan on getting off-road some, AGM batteries are clearly the way to go. Moreover, AGM batteries typically have more power and a higher voltage output compared to lead-acid batteries. This means if you have more accessories or a larger engine, AGM batteries offer a clear advantage.

AGM batteries tend to be superior to lead-acid batteries in every way, and it’s why every battery on our list is an AGM battery. Save yourself the frustration of replacing the battery in just a few years, go with an AGM battery from the start.

RELATED: AGM vs. GEL Battery: Differences (& Which is Better?)

Tips for Recharging an AGM Battery

If you do get an AGM battery, keep in mind that you can’t use a traditional battery charger on it. You need an AGM-specific battery charger to avoid damaging the battery.

It also means that any automotive shop you take the battery to needs to have an AGM battery charger too. Most automotive shops do but double-check before just dropping the battery off and hoping for the best.

The good news is that with an AGM-specific battery charger, AGM batteries tend to recharge completely a little bit quicker compared to a traditional lead-acid battery.

Replacing the Battery

Some people think that you need to take your vehicle to a shop to swap out the battery. The truth is that it’s one of the easiest automotive jobs, and all you need is a crescent wrench to complete the job.

Pop the hood, loosen the nut on the negative terminal, take the negative terminal off, and tuck it out of the way. Do the same thing with the positive terminal next, then loosen up the battery hold down.

Remove the hold-down and the battery and install the new battery. Install the positive terminal, then the negative terminal, then reattach the hold-down. That’s all you need to do!

There’s a reason part stores like AutoZone will replace the battery for you for free, and those guys don’t have any automotive-specific training. You should be able to complete the entire job in five to ten minutes, so don’t stress out about doing it yourself!

What Battery Do You Want for Off-Roading?

While all the batteries on our list will get the job done for some light off-roading, if you want the best option out there for that it has to be the Odyssey Extreme Series. The higher cold-cranking amps that it offers gives you the versatility to put on and use any aftermarket accessories you want.

But if you don’t have all those accessories, keep in mind that since every battery on our list is an AGM battery, they are all great choices for getting off the pavement.

What Battery Do You Want for an RV?

While you can get any battery for an RV, they don’t have the same demands as a typical automotive battery. If all it does is start an RV, then you don’t want a battery that handles full automotive cycling.

That’s why a battery like the Optima Blue Top excels for RVs. They hold power for a long time, and they don’t need as much charging as a typical automotive battery.

However, you can’t mix the two, so you’ll get less than ideal results with a typical automotive battery in an RV or a RV battery in a car or truck.

Car Battery FAQs

Which brand of car battery is best?

Optima is probably the best car battery brand if you ask us. Optima can be quite expensive, so if you don’t want to spend the money, there are also other good options like AC Delco.

Which car battery lasts the longest?

Which car battery lasts the longest depends on how you will use the battery. However, we have found that Optima car batteries last a very long time and you will most likely save some money even if they are expensive.

What is the lifespan of a car battery?

A battery’s lifespan will vary depending on the battery model, the type of car, how often the car is driven, and a number of other factors. However, most batteries will have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years.

How can you tell if your car battery needs replacing?

There are a few signs that your battery may need replacing, including sluggish engine starts, dim headlights, and frequent engine stalling. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to get your car to a trusted mechanic for further diagnosis

Final Thoughts

The last thing you want is to wonder whether your vehicle is going to start when you get behind the wheel. So, once you narrow it down to the battery, get a new one on order sooner rather than later.

That way when you swap it out, you can rest easy knowing that every time you go to start your vehicle, it’ll work, no matter how long it’s been between starts or how cold it is in the morning!

And if you’re still trying to figure out what battery is right for you after reading through the reviews and the buyer’s guide, go with ACDelco Gold or the Optima Red Top. They’re great choices for 99.9 percent of automotive applications.

Don’t overthink, those batteries will do a great job for years and years, so you don’t need to worry about replacing the batteries again anytime soon.

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