Opitma batteries are like Ipods – you can get one in any color you want (well, not really –red,blue, and yellow), however, the real color you need to look at is the case color. The black case, being the starting battery, has thinner lead plates, giving more surface area for strong cold cranking amps (CCA). The light grey case which is the duel purpose battery gives you both cranking power and some more reserve capacity thru thicker plates and less surface area. The top color of these batteries (the red, blue, and yellow) seem to represent the terminals choices (SAE automotive terminals or threaded studs). Yep, Optima batteries bar none are the most recognizable and well branded batteries going. However, you hear this all the time from hardcore Optima battery buyers, “Optima batteries were better when they were made in Colorado” (now that Johnson Controls bought Optima they moved the manufacturing to Mexico).
One thing I can tell you is Optima batteries have always been an “edgy” battery. Who else makes that spiral design? Johnson controls touts all that good stuff – virgin lead, vibration resistance, and a high quality case. All true, but how do they perform? Opitmas are an amazing starting battery . Yes, you can get better specs for starting in an Odyssey but you will pay more, so Opitma fills that niche nicely. Where Optimas come up a little short is in the Reserve Capacity. Compared with a group 31 Deka (AGM) which has 200 minutes of Reserve Capacity, the Optima has 155 minutes. However, the Deka cannot deliver the same CCA’s the Optima can. Maybe the old timers are right – they were better when they were made in Colorado, but Optima still delivers the goods with impressive starting power and limited reserve capacity making it a dual purpose battery . Still these batteries are by far the best looking battery on the planet.