Best Car Battery 2017 [Reviews and Buyer’s Guide]
I think you'll agree with me when I say:
It ain't easy to find the best car battery for your car.
Or is it?
In this article I'm going to review the top 5 car batteries in the market (as of 2017) to help you out on this task.
If you don't know the exact size you need for your car, stop reading this article, read this other one first and then come back, don't worry, I ain't going anywhere.
I've spent over 200 hours researching and testing models to come up with this 5 recommendations for your car battery needs. Let's jump right into it!
Car Battery Comparison Chart
|Optima RED Top||880||n/a||100'|
|Optima Yellow Top||650||n/a||98'|
|XS Power D3400||1000||65||n/a|
Car Battery Reviews
1. Optima Batteries RED Top
If you've read anything about batteries before landing here, then you already knew I was going to talk about Optima.
The Red Top, is my go-to battery whenever I have to do a service for someone who's battery died and needs a pickup. Affordable, and best quality around.
Let's have a look at the specs of this LSI battery and you'll see why I never hesitate to recommend it.
For the specifications of this particular battery, you’re going to get a 12-volt battery with 800 cold cranking amps and the measurements of this particular battery are 10” x 6 7/8" x 7 13/16” and it has dual SAE & GM posts as well.
Optima Batteries use an exclusive technology that makes them the top player right now. It is called Spiralcell.
It also comes with a reserve capacity of around 100 minutes of constant performance and the battery also is sure to deliver you optimal starting power no matter what conditions it might face, including extreme cold temperatures and bad weather.
One of the biggest problems with some batteries lies in the fact that the vibration of the car can cause some serious problems to the battery.
However, this battery is fifteen times more resistant to vibrations, which makes it a great choice for strength and durability.
Does it fit your car?
When it comes to fitting, as always, make sure you know the size of your battery box, and that you know on which side you have your Positive and Negative terminals.
- Great value for money
- Maintenance Free
- Spill free
- Massive starting power
- They last for a really long time.
- Not meant for deep cycling, so they are to use exclusively for starting up (then let the alternator do its job)
- If it gets fully discharged (lights left on) it can mean the end of its useful life.
- For the price, the Yellow Top offers better overall performance
2. Optima Batteries Yellow Top
Another absolute best seller is the Yellow Top from Optima.
And it's quite clear why: They rock.
Meant for deep cycling, this is the perfect battery for those with a lot of lightbars and leds and foglights and sound systems and what not on their cars.
Being just slightly more expensive than the Red Top, we would call this one the Best Car Battery of the year, overall.
Once again talking about the specifications of this particular battery, you’re going to enjoy a 12 volt battery with 650 cold cranking amps.
It weighs in at a pretty average weight of just over 36 pounds and it measures 9 5/16” x 6 13/16” x 7 5/8".
When it comes to the measurements, always make sure that you measure carefully or consult a guide to make sure that it is going to fit your vehicle properly.
This battery also has a 98 minute reserve capacity so that it can deliver consistent performance to your car without skipping a beat.
Similar to the battery above this one, it also has a new feature that allows it to be 15 times more resistant to the vibrations that it experiences in the car, which means that it is going to do it’s job much more efficiently.
The battery is also wired to make sure that you’re going to have optimal starting power no matter what situation you might find yourself in.
Whether it is cold weather or just bad weather all around, the battery should start up with little to no problems at all thanks to the cold cranking amps included in the battery.
- Best Deep Cycle battery on the market for the price
- Spiralcell technology
- Maintenance free
- Spill free
- Less CCA than the Red Top.
3. Odyssey PC680
When it comes to buying a battery for your car, you might want to consider buying one of the cheaper batteries on the market because odds are good that you’re not gonna wanna spend a ton of money.
This is probably the best car battery for the money and it does offer some features that you’re going to appreciate.
Specifically, the warranty offered on this battery is one of the best out of any other battery that we reviewed on this post. I
t comes with a limited 2-year full replacement warranty so that if anything goes wrong and it is covered by the warranty, you will receive a full replacement, not just parts.
The CCA on this battery is definitely one of the lower ones out of what we have reviewed so far but it does have a longer cycle life because when compared to other batteries, it is an average of 70% longer than the conventional batteries that it was compared again and it has up to 400 cycles at 80%.
When compared to any sealed lead battery on the market, you’ll find that this battery has the highest recharge efficiency out of any of the other.
It will recharge 100% in just 4-6 hours and can be mounted flexibly and has a non-spillable design.
The measurements of this particular unit come in at 7.3” x 3.1” x 6.7”.
In addition to everything discussed above, this particular battery also has vibration resistance so that it will be protected against high impact shock and vibrations that are caused by the movement of the car.
Additionally, temperature has no effect on this battery as it is resistant to most extreme temperatures. We name this battery the best car battery for the money.
- Spill Free
- Maintenance Free
- Made in the USA
- Short on CCA, not the best choice for extreme cold environments.
- Terminals not included.
4. ACDelco 94RAGM
This is our recomendation for truck owners.
With 800 CCA, starting a big fat diesel engine will be no problem even on extreme cold weather.
And with those powerful 140Ah, you can power a 22" lightbar, or a badass subwoofer with zero trouble, no dimming headlights.. nothing. Just power!.
A massive lot of value for your money with this AC Delco battery. We really like AC Delco for heavy duty parts.
This battery has a high density negative pasts and it works to improve the performance of the battery while also increasing the longevity and the life of it as well.
The enhanced life alloy and silver calcium stamped allot not only looks great but it also helps to increase the cycle life and the overall performance of the battery as well. In addition, the calcium lead positive grid means that conductivity is maximised and allows for some of the lowest resistance.
As if all of those features weren’t enough to sell you on this particular product, you’re going to love the Robust Envelope Separator that has a puncture-resistant back to allow for more acid circulation and less shorts.
The reasons for this is because the battery is kept much cooler, meaning that it will have a longer life and will not have to work as hard as a hot battery might have to.
Will it fit my car?
This particular unit measures in at about 12.4” x 6.9” x 7.5”, so make sure that you take the time to measure your vehicle and make sure that this battery fits in there perfectly. While it isn’t a huge deal with the exception of carrying it to the car, the battery weighs about 51.6 pounds, which makes it one of the heavier choices on the list.
- High CCA
- Great Ah
- Three-year warranty
- Spill free
- Maintenance Free
- One of the heaviest choices.
- Really big, make sure it fits!
5. XS Power D3400
If price doesn’t matter at all and you really only care about finding a battery that packs in the most power out of any of the other batteries you’ll find, then this is going to be the battery you’re going to want to own.
It is easily one of the most powerful batteries out of any of the ones discussed on this list and a quick look at the full features of the battery will confirm that.
It is a 12 volt battery that packs in 1000 CCA and 65 amp hours to deliver what could be one of the most powerful battery experiences that you’re going to find throughout your entire search.
This battery is absorbed glass mat, which means that the electrolyte is suspended in fiberglass.
In addition to those great features, you’re going to enjoy the fact that is is spill proof, sealed, valve regulated and is vibration resistant to make sure that you don’t have any problems with the battery that would normally be caused by vibrations in the engine area.
Will it fit my car?
When you’re paying the good money that you would be paying for a battery like this, it’s truly important to make sure that you are getting exactly what you want.
In this case, it’s important to know that the battery as a whole measures 11.7” x 8.2” x 10.7”, which means it’s the perfect size to fit in your car, but always make sure you measure ahead of time.
Last but certainly not least when it comes to the features of the battery, you’re also going to get an ultra low internal resistance to make sure that no matter what happens to the battery, it’s going to withstand what it needs to.
Furthermore, this battery is incredibly easy to mount and install in just about any position, so you can do what you want to do in order to make sure the battery is mounted easily.
This is the best battery for car audio.
XS Power batteries have a lot of appreciation on the competitive scene.
- Highest CCA Value on the market
- High Ah value
Extra: Best Auxiliary Battery
Best Auxiliary Battery: Kinetik HC800 BLU
Perhaps one of the better values out of any of the other batteries that were reviewed on this post, this particular battery is available at a very affordable price and we have even found that it can really make a difference if you decide to want to save some money but still get a good battery.
There are several different battery models available, which is really helpful because that means the odds are good that you’ll be able to find the perfect size fit in your vehicle.
For the sake of ease, the remainder of this review is going to discuss the HC800 model, which measures in at about 6.5 inches by 8 inches by 5.5 inches.
Since it happens to be one of the smaller batteries, it weighs in at just 23 pounds, one of the lightest out of all the ones on this post.
The looks of the battery is second to none as it comes in a beautiful black case with a blue logo that looks great from just about anywhere.
Additionally, this particular battery has an 800 watt maximum power cell along with a 12V high current power cell to make sure that you’re really getting everything that you can out of the battery.
The design of this battery is great in the fact that it has a sealed absorbed glass mat design which means that you get a great battery that is built to last.
This is a great choice as a secondary or auxiliary battery if you run a powerful car audio setup.
- Prices super low for the features and quality
- Display screen is analog, which may be a bad thing for some users
Car Battery Buyer's Guide
Now if you own a car, some basic understanding about the battery does come in handy.
Specially to help you identify obvious signs that the battery is going to give up on you, or a simple question such as: Do they need maintenance?
We know it is hard to keep track of everything you should know about your car.
From the battery to engine oil to tyre pressure to winter emergency kits to how to replace headlights... It all can be a bit dauting. But don't worry, it really isn't that much, nor that hard!
On this section, you'll find enough information to help you buy the right car battery for you car.
Why Replace The Car Battery?
From the most obvious to some you may not have thought about, there are a few key reasons you may want to replace your car's battery. Let's have a look at them:
It died. Gone. Kaputt.
This is perhaps the most obvious reason when it comes to trying to figure out why you might need a replacement.
You go turn the ignition one morning and nothing happens.
No crank movement, battery light on the dashboard is on...
Now of course it could be you left one light on during the night, couldn't it?
But if this happens a few mornings in a row... Sorry, your battery has left this life.
It Keeps Failing and How to troubleshoot a battery that fails.
Actually, before that first scenario happens, we're very likely to find this one first.
It is extremely important to spot this signs when they happen so we can work in advance and replace the battery before it left us stranded the day we are really late to work or we've got a flight to catch.
Sign 1: When we turn the ignition key, the engine cranks slowly.
Probably the lights on the dashboard dim and the needles on the meters dance or stay down when the engine finally turns on. Extremely clear sign of dying battery
Sign 2: Dimming lights and unstable idle.
Engine does turn on but it seems to have a hard time staying like that, and you percieve the lights dimming.
Either battery is close to die, or the alternator isn't charging.
There's one quick way to troubleshoot the latter: Get your multimeter and measure volts on the battery terminals when the engine is on. Should be 13.8v on idle and 14.7v if you give it some gas.
If it is lower than that, it's the alternator. Alternator charges good?
Then get yourself a new battery.
Upgraded Car Electronics or other electric features.
When we add extra electronic equipment to our cars such as a new stereo, perhaps a fancy double din unit with GPS, and maybe a 4 channel amplifier to power up those brand new speakers you got on Amazon and you're thinking of getting a subwoofer too to get that final depth of sound to enjoy every track as if it were live in concert, you may want to upgrade your battery.
Not just that, but electric powered doors, aftermarket heated wing mirrors, light bars and such stuff increase the electric consumption and you need a bigger, more powerful source.
As mentioned earlier, we understand that not everyone is going to know everything they should know when it comes to car batteries and that’s where this is going to come in handy for you. The following is some of the top things you should look for when it comes to car batteries so that you know exactly what to look for to buy the best car battery for your specific needs
When it comes to battery types, there are essentially two main types that you’re going to need to know about.
Those are the lead acid batteries and the AGM batteries.
The lead acid batteries have both Starting and Deep Cycle batteries.
The starting is designed to give quick bursts of energy while the deep cycle has less instant energy but it is a greater choice for long-term energy.
AGM batteries are short for Absorbed Glass Mat and that essentially means that it allows the electrolytes to remain suspended closely to the plates active material.
This works to enhance both the recharge and the discharge efficiency so that you get a better overall experience with your battery.
To know how good is a battery going to perform, there are two key features we can look at to understand how much power we can expect from a car battery:
Cold Cranking Amps
When talking about car batteries, CCA stands for Cold Cranking Amps.
If you don’t know what that means, essentially it is measured by testers putting the battery in a cold climate and then measure how large the discharge load is for a new, charge battery in 30 seconds.
The reason a cold climate is chosen is because often times, a battery is going to be at it’s worst performance condition when it is in the cold climate, so if it performs well in the cold, then it should perform well in just about any situation.
Despite the importance of the CCA when it comes to cold temperatures, it is probably not worth basing your decision on that particular unit of measure.
However, if you live in a climate that is cold for a considerable amount of time, you should put a lot more weight into the CCA than anyone else.
For car batteries, Ah stands for amp hour and is a standarized measure for batteries.
Typically, you’re going to find that the amp rating is taken for 20 hours. So if you have a 100 Ah rated battery, that means that for 20 hours, it will draw about 100 amps, which would then translate to about 5 amp hours.
What To Look For If You Have A High-Demand System
If you have a high-demand system such as, lets say, four 70w RMS speakers powered by a 4 channel amplifier and a monoblock amplifier for a 2000w RMS 12 inch subwoofer and a 24" lightbar and xenon headlights... a regular battery won't serve you. You are looking then for a deep-cycle battery such as the Optima Yellow top, and most likely an auxiliary battery like the Kinetic 800 to power all that.
Besides, such a big setup will require you to upgrade the big 3 if you really want to get the most out of your system.
With that practical example we mean the following:
Know how power-hungry (watts) are the aftermarket components you install in your car. Get a battery that will power it accordingly or you're in for some baaaad performance.
As you can see, there is a lot of thought and consideration that needs to go into choosing a car battery.
Whether it has to do with the total output you’re looking for or the size of the battery, it can be tough if you have never done something like this before.
Above is a great guide to make sure that you find everything you could possibly need when it comes to buying the best car battery.
If you have any questions, just write a comment below!