Best Synthetic Oil

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 Synthetic Oil

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

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    Why it's best:

    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.

    Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil

    Castrol EDGE Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

    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

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      Why it's best:

      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.

      Castrol EDGE Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

      AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil

      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

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        Why it's best:

        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.

        AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil

        Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil

        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

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          Why it's best:

          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.

          Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil

          AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Motor Oil

          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

          Why it's best:

          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.

          AMSOIL 100% Synthetic Motor Oil
          Leave a Question or Comment
          108 comments
          • lennyautodoc lennyautodoc

          been using 5/40 mobil 1 turbo diesel oil in everything for years 200k on one car over 300k on two others can go 3 years on an oil change on the lawn mower works great in the HARLEY more power oil runs 10 degrees cooler less friction handles more heat ITS GRRRRRRREAT

          Posted on 5/14/2014 2:42 pm | Reply
          • Houckster Houckster

          None of the above oils are truly synthetic. They are made mostly from Group III petroleum. True synthetic oils don't have petroleum in them.

          Posted on 3/28/2014 11:10 am | Reply
          • pat.treudy pat.treudy

          I've been running Pennzoil Ultra for over 30,000 miles now and my car has never run better.

          Posted on 5/10/2013 7:36 am | Reply
          • pat.treudy pat.treudy

          I've been running Pennzoil Ultra for over 30,000 miles now and my car has never run better.

          Posted on 5/10/2013 7:35 am | Reply
          • david.joyner.988 david.joyner.988

          Where is a list of all oils in this study. How do you list only four and not mention all the others tested. Looks to me they need a larger study. For one that does not have Royal Purple mentioned seems a short study.

          Posted on 10/3/2012 5:55 am | Reply
          • levi.patterson.7 levi.patterson.7

          Anyone using Schaeffer Oil? I have seen a test at a local flea market blowing away every competitor you can imagine! Incredible product! Learn more at http://www.schaefferoil.com/ I use it in my car 1993 Mitsubishi Eclipse with 194K miles and counting! Have not seen any other oil even compare! Check it out!

          Posted on 9/23/2012 12:49 pm | Reply
          • Dapster Dapster

          I've been using Schaefer oil for 3 years now. BEST DAMN OIL OFF THE MARKET. I run it in my 2010 F350, my 2007 Vermeer Rock Saw and my 2013 Bobcat Excavator. I also use a product called (filter mag)......... those go on the outside of your filters and keeps metal shavings from floating around in the piston chambers. GOOD SHIT !

          Posted on 8/21/2013 5:51 pm. In reply to levi.patterson.7 | Reply
          • North Georgia Synthetics North Georgia Synthetics

          Amsoil has proven itself to me over years of racing. I am a ASE master tech and have been using it for years and my vehicles,boat motors, lawn equipment, the list goes on for the family of high quality products in the synthetic oil catagory,become a satisfied perfered customer and the price is no option, for the best synthetic oil known to man. become a perfered customer nga.synthetics@gmail.com and check out my website at North Georgia Synthetics

          Posted on 8/12/2012 6:38 pm | Reply
          • Herb Herb

          For some that don't know, Mobil and others have change their chemisty on their "full syn" oil's. Mobil may say full syn but it's not, it's a hydrocracked grade 3 synthetic oil just like Shell Rotella T6 and others. Due to the high cost of additives these companys cut the additive packages. Still good oil's but can't compare to AMSOIL PAO 100% full synthetics. Other oils are good, but if you want something that's the best Move up to AMSOIL. No other oil comes close and the test data backs it up.Herb LansbergSyntheic Oil SpecialtiesCertified Lubrication SpecialistAMSOIL Direct Jobber

          Posted on 8/7/2012 3:16 pm | Reply
          • TeJay TeJay

          Hi, This is my first post. Taught automotive for 35 years. Also had the opportunity to talk with a 35 years master blender for Valvoline. He swore by synthetics. I've used Mobil 1 for 30 years and have never had a problem. Here's what a local large trucking company (18-wheelers) does. I may not have the information I'm going to tell you exact but it's close. They change filters every 10-K top the oil and run their trucks for 50-K to 100-K and more miles. When they are done with the truck they sell them to Russia. The Russians hook them up to generators and run their factories. Now that's getting some time on engines. By the way Corvette switched to Mobil 1 because they removed the oil cooler to save weight & the oil temp went up. When they switched the temp went back down. ENOUGH SAIDTeJay

          Posted on 5/27/2012 5:35 pm | Reply
          • Liggy Liggy

          This list has been unchanged for quite some time now, and the manufacturer's have updated/improved thier products. I suggest Bestcovery re-do their product analyses and provide a current list of recommended synthetic oils.

          Posted on 4/19/2012 11:58 am | Reply
          • raggtopp raggtopp

          I am just a regular driver. I have had my Toyota GT 1995 for 19 years and 121,000 miles. I have used Ford motor co. oil, 10W30 synthetic blend and changed oil every 3K and the filter ever other time. It runs like a top and burns no oil. Walmart sells it about as cheap as you can buy. Why pay more.

          Posted on 4/12/2012 6:17 pm | Reply
          • oldbill oldbill

          I have used Mobil 1 or other fully synthetic oils in cars, trucks, and motorcycles since 1975. I change oil based on mileage and oil condition, not time. I have never had an oil related failure in an engine I have bought new or rebuilt.

          Posted on 4/8/2012 11:32 am | Reply
          • egor0305 egor0305

          OK, now all I hear is Amsoil! Once again I wonder if there are thoughts on Royal Purple? I think that this web site might just be hooked to Amsoil. Yep Royal is a few cents more, but running with some of my friends who race 25 and 500 miles or more, 97% run the Royal Purple. Wonder why?? In the NASCAR circle none use Amsoil. Wonder why?? Anyone?

          Posted on 4/7/2012 8:14 pm | Reply
          • OilMan OilMan

          egor, The reason people are talking about Amsoil is because they know its the best on the market. Amsoil beat out Royal Purple in all kinds of tests, and your wrong about nobody in NASCAR using Amsoil. AL Unser Racing uses Amsoil and is a personal friend of the founder of Amsoil. He said many cars may have other oils as sponsors but if you go in the garage the containers may say Penzoil or Shell or others but thats not what is in the bottles, its Amsoil. As Unser said," I'm paid to win races and I win with Amsoil" bottom line There are a number of them that use Amsoil. Can you go 25-35,000 miles on Royal Purple with out changing your oil? I do!

          Posted on 4/8/2012 10:16 pm. In reply to egor0305 | Reply
          • OilMan OilMan

          For the best synthetic oil and lubes look to Amsoil, it the best for the value. For a catalog just send me a e-mail at pebrown49n@gmail.com and I'll send you a copy of our e-catalog.

          Posted on 4/5/2012 11:59 pm | Reply
          • egor0305 egor0305

          I have heard all the different oils spoken of but I have heard nothing of Royal Purple. I have used it for the past 10 years and all I can say is it WORKS! I have a Plymouth Voyager with 157,200 and it uses no oil and runs great. I have used it for the past 10 years and also in my Nissan Cube with 30,000 miles. Well speak up guys??

          Posted on 3/26/2012 6:50 pm | Reply
          • wbstephe wbstephe

          This analysis is bogus. The top Tier Mobil and Castrol products were not even tested.Mobil 1 Extended PerformanceCastrol Edge with Titanium Fluid StrengthAnd why would you ever choose a product as the Best based on price? Oil is cheap compared to an engine and engine performance.

          Posted on 2/8/2012 6:29 am | Reply
          • frisbee frisbee

          We used to call Pennzoil, Pissoil, when I lived back in PA and no one in our mechanic group would use it, esp after Arnold Palmer (a real oil expert, for sure LOL!!!) started endorsing the stuff. Personally, I'll stick with the best, Mobil 1, and the company that started the synthetic oil business in the USA in the first place. Good old German technology came up with turning dinosaur oil into synthetic oil and EXXON/Mobil is continuing in that fine tradition. And, I'd like to know what experts "agree that the main benefit of using synthetic oil is the convenience of longer oil change intervals". If that is the main reson, you better look for smarter "expert", given that motors oils are relatively inexpensive. I think if honest research was done the main reason for using a synthetic is for the unrivaled protection against heat damage synthetic oils provide for an engine. I've used Mobil 1 in all my vehicles - foreign and domestic, since 1980 - so, I am expert enough. Mobil 1 is the BEST, else why would Corvette, Viper, BMW, ect., all ship with Mobil 1 in their crankcases? And, as far as pricing for Mobil 1, why would anyone shop at Amazon for motor oil? Walmart has excellent pricing for an excellent product. Way, way less than your near $50 price. SHEESH!

          Posted on 1/7/2012 12:02 pm | Reply
          • OilMan OilMan

          frisbee, yes Pennzoil is crap, but Mobil 1 is not the best oil on the market. Ask yourself why does a company sponsor another companies product? "FOR MONEY, THATS WHY" Mobil 1 is not the first to make synthetics, it was Amsoil, they have made it since 1972 and when they made the claim that they were" The First in Synthetics" nobody spoke up and said anything, if they did then Amsoil couldn't claim being the first. They had the chance to speak up and say no we were but Mobil never said anything. Mobil 1 is not out that many years, do your research and you'll find out. I spoke with the Shell Answer man and he said Amsoil was a great product and it was the best on the market, including anything they made at the time.

          Posted on 4/8/2012 10:27 pm. In reply to frisbee | Reply
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