Car batteries

We find top performers for just $75

Last reviewed: November 2010
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Inexpensive car batteries often perform as well or better than those that cost more than twice as much, our latest tests show. EverStart Maxx batteries, which cost just $75, were particularly impressive overall; nine of them were CR Best Buys.

Our tests, which include draining and recharging each battery 3,000 times, testing their strength at freezing, and measuring how long they can maintain their current under load, found other winners. They include Bosch batteries, found at Pep Boys stores. Bosch is top-rated in two group sizes.

Sears Holdings, which markets DieHard batteries, recently moved some of its production to a different manufacturer. Because of that, we've removed seven DieHard models from our Ratings (available to subscribers). We'll test the new ones as soon as they're available and publish an update when testing is complete.

We also found that some absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries, such as DieHard Platinum models, are top performers but can cost more than twice as much as conventional batteries. They might not be worth the money for most buyers. And we've added a new group size, Group 48, to our testing this year. It's appearing more in European models and some General Motors cars.