Sooner or later, your car battery will die. Knowing the dizzying number of options, Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the best affordable car batteries. CR testers evaluated batteries on charge-discharge cycles, available reserve capacity, and cold weather performance. These models didn’t get the highest overall rating from Consumer Reports, but they offer the best value for money. Let’s review the different battery sizes and CR’s top pick in each category.
Your car model determines the type of battery it will need
You might need a 24/24F size battery if you drive a Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Acura, Lexus or Infiniti model. For other Japanese brands, a size 35 battery may be required. Most Chevy, Volkswagen and Buick cars use a size 47 battery, consumer reports Explain.
A size 48 battery is suitable for many American and German brands, including Jeep and Mercedes-Benz. Additionally, many Audi, BMW, and Hyundai models take size 49. 51R batteries are another common size for Nissan and Honda vehicles.
Size 65 batteries will fit most full size trucks and large SUVs.
To know for sure what size battery your vehicle needs, locate one of these numbers on your car’s current battery label.
Here are Consumer Reports’ picks for the best car batteries for the money in each group:
1. NAPA Legend Premium 8424F (Group 24/24F)
CR testers have no complaints about the performance of this battery in usage or reserve capacity. It also has an 18 month replacement warranty and is rated for 725 cold cranking amps (CCA).
For comparison, the average battery only produces up to 500 CCA. NAPA Legend Premium 8424F sells for around $130.
2. Bosch 35-640B (Group 35)
The Bosch 35-640B car battery is slightly cheaper at $125 and comes with a generous 36 month warranty. It also has removable caps so you can add water if needed and an above average CCA rating of 640. However, it doesn’t have the highest reserve capacity among car batteries in this group. .
3. Duracell Platinum AGM 47 H5 (Group 47)
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries do not contain water, so they require less maintenance than standard flooded batteries. AGM batteries are often more expensive, but they also last longer.
Luckily, CR’s top AGM pick for this battery group is only $135. The Duracell Platinum AGM 47 H5 received high marks in all categories and can be replaced free of charge within three years in the event of failure.
4. Interstate Mega-Tron Plus MTP-48/H6 (Group 48)
This car battery has excellent reserve capacity and can produce 730 CCA. It comes with a 30 month replacement warranty.
All five reviews on its CR page recommend the Interstate Mega-Tron Plus MTP-48/H6, with one driver even claiming it lasts over four years. The four-year mark is when most batteries should be replaced on a daily driver. However, at $160, this battery is more expensive than its rivals.
5. Duracell 49 H8 (Group 49)
The Duracell 49 H8 holds up well after frequent charging and is backed by a three-year warranty. Duracell claims this car battery scores 900 CCA, but CR still hasn’t given this battery the highest score in this category. While it also doesn’t have the best reserve rating, it’s still a bargain at $145.
6. Duracell 51R (Group 51R)
Priced at $105, the Duracell 51R is the most affordable car battery recommended by Consumer Reports. Although it got excellent scores in CCA and life tests, its reserve capacity is not as impressive. Nevertheless, a 36-month warranty protects your purchase.
7. ACDelco Professional Gold 65PG (Group 65)
This car battery comes with an above-average 42-month warranty, but it’s still cheaper than several other models on CR’s list. For $125 you also get 850 CCA and a decent amount of headroom power. Although the ACDelco Professional Gold 65PG is not an AGM battery, one satisfied consumer claims it can last eight years.
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