Best Car Batteries of 2020

CR tested 150 this year to separate the positives from the negatives

Installing one of the best car batteries.

At Consumer Reports, we test 150 individual car batteries every year in our lab to help you make smart decisions when it's time to replace your battery. We test five examples of each rated model. 

The tests are tough by design. We charge and discharge the batteries thousands of times to find out how long they’ll last. We put them in a freezer to see how they’ll perform at 0º F, and we track how long they’ll last if you leave your car's headlights on.

There are many factors that have an impact on how long a car battery will last, with weather being one of the most significant. (Hot temperatures are harder on batteries than cold.) That's where our extreme testing can separate the ones with promise from those that come up short. 

More on Car Batteries

Many of the highest-scoring are pricey absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. They're known for having a long service life and being able to tolerate deep discharges—when the battery has been significantly drained to 10.5 volts or below, such as when the lights are left on overnight. But some top-rated lead-acid batteries cost less than many of their competitors, says John Banta, CR's test engineer for batteries.

“Price doesn’t necessarily mean better performance,” Banta says. “We’ve got some batteries that are relatively cheap that score very well.”

Here you'll find the top-performing battery in each category we test: Group 24 & 24F, Group 35, Group 47 (H5), Group 48 (H6), Group 49 (H8), Group 51R, and Group 65. They are ranked by Overall Score. 

And we have advice on the best places to buy a replacement battery. You'll also find information below on how to know what type of battery your car needs and how to choose the right replacement battery.

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