Synthetic oils have become ubiquitous in modern cars, and it's getting increasingly uncommon to find a new vehicle that doesn't come filled from the factory with synthetic oil. Most experts agree that the main benefit of using synthetic oil is the convenience of longer oil change intervals. While conventional non-synthetic oil is recommended to be changed every 3,000 miles, you can typically go 5,000 7,500+ miles on synthetic without worry. And though synthetic is much more expensive, it's worth the extra cost for drivers that dont want to change their oil as frequently.
One of the most notable automotive trends in the past decade is the widespread adoption of turbocharging. What was once a niche technology reserved for high-performance sports cars and top-spec race cars can now be found in popular mainstream models like the Honda Accord and Chevy Equinox. Turbochargers are a great way to boost power output from smaller engines, but the extreme heat and high turbine speeds tend to place heavy demands on the oil used to lubricate and cool their inner workings. If your car is equipped with a turbocharged engine, it's important to make sure that the synthetic oil you select will function well with turbochargers.
That said, when shopping for oil, it's hard to go wrong if you use a brand approved by the manufacturer and the correct viscosity. We've narrowed down our selection based on performance and availability, and factored in user feedback including used oil analysis results. Our picks for the best synthetic oil show consistent performance over long drains.
Mobil 1 is one of the most popular synthetic oils for several good reasons: it offers top performance and protection, and is widely available. Prices have leveled out recently, making Mobil 1 a cost-effective option as well. Read Full Review
Mobil 1 is easily one of the most popular synthetic oil choices in the world today, and is readily available online and in retail stores. It's the factory fill in many new vehicles, and its proven performance under extreme conditions beyond daily commuting make it a great choice for anyone looking to upgrade for the next oil change. Mobil 1 synthetic oil is a known quantity in the racing world as well; NASCAR teams run Mobil 1 full-time, and Porsche GT3 Cup cars filled with Mobil 1 oil compete on tracks around the world. Most versions of Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil are very reasonably priced, and many drivers share feedback regarding engine longevity going beyond 150,000 miles.
Castrol Edge is commonly found as the factory fill oil in many of today's cars, and is widely available online and from retail stores. The standard Castrol Edge in the black bottle performs well and is reasonably priced, making it a great selection for just about anyone. Read Full Review
It's been several years since Castrol rebranded their 'Syntec' line of synthetic oils to "Castrol Edge", but not much else has changed - and that's a good thing. Castrol Edge remains one of the most popular factory fill oils among both American and European manufacturers, and is a proven oil in both street and racing applications alike. Castrol Edge is available in a wide variety of weights and variants; choose the correct weight for your engine and you're good to go. Our recommendation is for the standard Castrol Edge variant that comes in the black bottle - consumers are split on whether the gold bottle "Extended Performance" version provides any extra performance benefits that are worth the increased cost. There's no harm outside of your wallet in spending the extra cash for the gold bottle, so the decision is up to you.
It's strange to see the AmazonBasics name on synthetic oil of all things, but Amazon is also known for vetting for quality before it puts its own name on a product. The AmazonBasics Synthetic Oil is produced by a reputable manufacturer, and is easily found online via Amazon.com (where else?) at highly competitive prices. Read Full Review
AmazonBasics is known for their quality HDMI cables and various electronic accessories, so the brand itself has some real-world staying power. Of all of the random items that carry the AmazonBasics label, synthetic oil is probably one you'd least expect. This particular synthetic oil is produced and packaged by Warren Distribution (the same company that produces oil for Walmart's Super Tech private label, another favorite amongst consumers), and is branded with Amazon's private label and distributed directly by Amazon themselves. It carries extremely positive reviews across the board, and is available in the most popular grades. Best of all, there's no confusion about availability - just select the right grade for your car and order via Amazon Prime, possibly even with same day delivery.
Pennzoil Platinum may not offer the absolute best performance on paper, but for the money, it's hard to beat. This synthetic oil still performs very well and is much more affordable and easier to find than higher-end synthetics such as AMSOIL, making it a well-rounded synthetic oil choice for most consumers. Read Full Review
Pennzoil Platinum performs well, is easy to find at retail locations, and costs much less than boutique synthetic oils such as Redline or Amsoil. You can pick up a 5 liter jug for around $20 from Walmart, making it an excellent value. Used oil analysis of Pennzoil Platinum consistently shows very good results, even with long oil change intervals. Factoring in a combination of performance, availability and value, this is one of the best overall synthetic oil for most drivers.
AMSOIL synthetic motor oil is quite expensive nearly double the price of Pennzoil Platinum but offers leading performance and holds up very well over long drains. The Signature Series (SSO) is particularly known for lasting an extremely long time. If money is no object, this is the best synthetic oil for performance. Read Full Review
Widely considered to be the best synthetic oil money can buy, AMSOIL would be the #1 choice if it weren't for its high price tag (nearly double that of Pennzoil Platinum) and the fact that it's harder to find unless you're ordering online. AMSOIL synthetic oil can withstand extreme temperatures and holds up very well under extended drain intervals, as shown by scores of used oil sample analysis results. If you want the best and don't mind paying for it, it's the way to go.