The Best Synthetic Oil

If you want to ensure that your vehicle starts and runs smoothly in all weather conditions, including extreme cold, synthetic oil is a great choice. It also helps to keep your engine and its components lubricated for a longer period of time than conventional oils.

Finding the best synthetic oil for your vehicle means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available blends and configurations. With the right synthetic oil, keeping your vehicle running in peak condition can become a quick, over-and-done with task.

We reviewed dozens of synthetic oils to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, how well they performed in cleaning tests, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated synthetic oils vehicle owners can purchase to ensure a smooth running ride.

Top Pick
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Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Meets the performance requirements of nearly all North American passenger cars.

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$28.96 USD

We’ve identified Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil as the best synthetic oil out there. Since it meets the performance requirements of nearly all North American passenger cars, this synthetic oil is one that will keep your vehicle running in tip top shape. These benefits allow you to trust your vehicle will start, even on the coldest of days.

The 5 Top-Rated Synthetic Oils

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallValvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil4.8
Runner UpMobil 1 120760 Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-404.8
Best Budget BuyAmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil4.7
Best Synthetic Blend OilShell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend Diesel Motor Oil 15W-404.5
Best Full Synthetic OilCastrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil4.7

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil took the top spot on our list of the best synthetic oils, thanks in large part to the fact that it meets the performance requirements of nearly all North American passenger cars. This makes it a versatile choice for any driver. It is suitable for use in nearly all naturally aspirated, turbocharged, and supercharged engines, and helps to prevent sludge buildup. It offers a high level of protection under severe driving conditions in both high temperature and cold temperature settings.

Those who purchased and reviewed this synthetic oil appreciated the value this oil offered for the price. People found it gave better mileage than some other synthetic oils, and even helped with improved acceleration.

With a price tag of around $23/5 quarts, it’s not overly expensive, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.8 on Amazon with nearly 300 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil Key Features:

  • Compatible with gasoline engines
  • 0W-20 formula
  • Helps maintain fuel efficiency

Our Runner Up Pick: Mobil 1 120760 Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-40

Runner Up
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Mobil 1 120760 Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-40

Meets or exceeds the latest OEM and industry approvals.

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$42.12 USD

Mobil 1 120760 Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-40 took the runner-up spot on our list of the best synthetic oils, and meets or exceeds the latest OEM and industry approvals. The full synthetic formula has been approved for use in most European cars, including Mercedes-Benz, VW, Porsche, and Audi. It helps to clean dirty engines in order to provide noticeably improved performance.

Those who purchased and reviewed this synthetic oil appreciated that it stood up in high performance driving situations, including extreme heat and cold. While some people found the price a bit expensive, others felt it was a good deal for a full synthetic compatible with European cars. A couple people mentioned that the container would leak if placed on its side, so be sure to store it upright.

At a cost of about $39/5 quarts, it doesn’t come cheap, but the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.8 on Amazon with more than 600 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Mobil 1 120760 Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-40 Key Features:

  • Available in single or multi-packs
  • 0W-40 formula
  • Excellent low temperature capabilities help to prevent dry starts

Best Budget Pick: AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Best for Budget
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AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil

A full-synthetic motor oil in a budget-friendly package.

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$22.99 USD

The AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil is an excellent choice for those looking for a synthetic oil that won’t break the bank. It offers all the benefits of a full synthetic oil without the hefty price tag of some other brands. It has been specially formulated for longer drain intervals, and to help reduce friction for improved fuel economy and protection against engine wear.

Those who purchased and reviewed this synthetic oil appreciated that it offered all the benefits of a brand name oil at a fraction of the cost. People liked that it still had API certifications, and were even using it on their high mileage vehicles without issue. There were a couple complaints about not having a strip to see how much oil was left in the container, which is something to keep in mind if you aren’t using the full container at once.

At a cost of approximately $20/5 quarts, this synthetic oil is a solid choice for those looking for a synthetic oil option on a budget. It has a rating of 4.7 on Amazon with more than 200 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at keeping their engine running smoothly as its more expensive counterparts.

AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil Key Features:

  • Available in a choice of sizes
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Best Synthetic Blend Oil: Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend Diesel Motor Oil 15W-40

Best Synthetic Blend Oil
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Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend Diesel Motor Oil 15W-40

Proprietary technology protects against wear, deposits, and oil breakdown.

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$24.23 USD

Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend Diesel Motor Oil 15W-40 offers an excellent choice for those who are looking for a synthetic blend oil, and boasts a proprietary technology that helps to protect against engine wear, deposits, and oil breakdown. It controls engine wear 37% better than the maximum wear requirements in API CK-4 engine wear tests, and its new formula helps to deliver improved oxidation performance for increased resistance to breakdown under high temperatures.

Those who purchased and reviewed this synthetic blend oil appreciated that it worked well even in high mileage vehicles, and was affordably priced. People said they noticed reduced blow by and less burning off when using this oil, and even found it broke down slower compared to conventional oils.

At a cost of about $18/gallon, it’s pretty affordable, and the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.5 on Amazon with more than 100 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend Diesel Motor Oil 15W-40 Key Features:

  • Suitable for use in heavy duty diesel engines
  • 15W-40 formula
  • Available in single or multipacks

Best Full Synthetic Oil: Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Best Full Synthetic Oil
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Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Decreases engine deposit formation to help maximize engine response.

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$25.47 USD

Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil is an excellent choice for those looking for a full synthetic oil. It works to help decrease engine deposit formation in order to help maximize engine response. It features fluid Titanium technology for maximum engine performance, and helps to reduce metal-to-metal contact across a range of driving speeds. Even under extreme pressure, it still protects the engine between drain intervals, and meets the strict requirements of several different vehicle manufacturers.

Those who purchased and reviewed this synthetic oil appreciated that it helped to reduce engine noise, and was suitable for use in even high mileage vehicles. Reviewers claim that this oil lubricated better than others, and provided noticeable improvements in performance and fuel efficiency.

With a price tag of around $25/5 quarts, it’s a pretty affordable choice, and the quality craftsmanship associated with the brand, as well as the ease of use more than justifies that price. It has a rating of 4.7 on Amazon with more than 200 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing vehicle owners to make the investment.

Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil Key Features:

  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines
  • Available in single or multi-packs
  • 5W-30 formula

Who Should Buy a Synthetic Oil

A synthetic oil is an essential choice for anyone whose vehicle owner’s manual requires the use of synthetic oil. Higher end, luxury cars often require full synthetic oil, and most car manufacturers nowadays recommend it anyways.

If you don’t want to be performing oil changes as frequently, synthetic oil might also be a good choice for your vehicle. Synthetic oil can last anywhere from about 8,000-10,000 or more miles before needing changed, whereas conventional oils generally only last about 3,000-5,000 miles. That said, synthetic oil costs about two or three times as much as conventional oil, so can be an bit more of an investment.

If you’re driving your vehicle in extreme temperatures or conditions, especially cold temperatures, a synthetic oil is a good choice as it helps to reduce cold starts and other performance issues. Synthetic oil is also a good choice for older vehicles, where engine wear and deposit buildup can become problematic. Finally, if you make plenty of short trips, conventional motor oil may not warm enough to burn off moisture and impurities, making synthetic the better choice for your vehicle.

If you’re looking to replace your car’s battery or spark plugs along with your oil change, we have detailed shopping guides to help you find the best ones for your vehicle.

Top Pick
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Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Meets the performance requirements of nearly all North American passenger cars.

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$28.96 USD

Important Features to Consider

Not all synthetic oils are created equal. A synthetic oil should be compatible with your engine and affordably priced. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best synthetic oil for your vehicle:

  • Weight. Arguably the most important consideration when it comes to choosing the best synthetic oil is the weight. The weight of an oil is expressed using a numerical code system created by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and grades motor oils according to their viscosity. The higher the number, the thicker the oil is. Most oils have two number on them, the first is followed by a W (for winter) to indicate its viscosity in cold weather, while the second number indicates normal temperatures. You can check which weight oil your vehicle needs by referring to the owner’s manual.
  • Additives. Many synthetic oils contain additional additives to help improve engine performance, as well as detergents to help clean the engine. If this is something that is important for you, compare different brands of oils to find the best one for your vehicle.
  • Blends. If you prefer the higher performance of a synthetic oil, but just can’t stomach the price point, a synthetic blend offers a good compromise. They perform better than conventional oils, but don’t cost as much as a full synthetic. Keep in mind that they also won’t last as long as a pure synthetic oil.
  • Size. Oils come in varying container sizes, from 1-quart – which are ideal for top-ups – to 5-quart or larger – suitable for complete changes. When purchasing synthetic oil for your vehicle, consider how much you’ll need. Your owner’s manual should have exact specifications.
  • Price point. Finally, consider how much you are willing to spend on a synthetic oil. Synthetic oils vary in price from $20-$50 or more per container.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is synthetic oil and how does it work?

Synthetic oil is a motor oil made from synthetic materials. Whereas conventional motor oil is made from crude oil, synthetic is not. Synthetic oil is often used in vehicle engines instead of conventional oils, as it provides superior mechanical performance, increased gas mileage, and reduced engine wear at extreme temperatures. It works by lubricating your engine’s system as the vehicle is running.

What is the difference between synthetic blend and full synthetic oil?

The difference between synthetic blend and full synthetic oil is that full synthetic is made with 100% synthetic material, whereas synthetic blend uses a mix of both conventional and synthetic oils. Blends offer better performance than conventional oils, but don’t cost as much as a full synthetic. It is important to keep in mind that a synthetic blend won’t last as long as a pure synthetic oil.

How long does full synthetic oil last?

Full synthetic oil can last anywhere from about 8,000-10,000 or more miles before needing changed, whereas conventional oils generally only last about 3,000-5,000 miles. Some synthetic oils even claim to be able to go up to 20,000 miles between drain intervals.

Is it ok to mix different brands of synthetic motor oil?

It is perfectly fine to mix different brands of synthetic motor oil, and you can also safely mix conventional and full synthetic oils without problem. Since all synthetic oils are made in the same manner – just using different additives – it won’t affect your vehicle performance should you decide to mix different brands.

Other Synthetic Oils We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Meets the performance requirements of nearly all North American passenger cars.

buy now
$28.96 USD

We looked at 20 other synthetic oils. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best synthetic oils list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your vehicle. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Full Synthetic Oils

Castrol 03124 EDGE 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Castrol 03124 EDGE 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

This full synthetic oil boasts a premium formula that provides protection even under extreme conditions, and helps to reduce metal-to-metal contact across a range of driving speeds.

Key Features:

  • 0W-20 formula
  • Contains 5 quarts
  • Helps decrease engine deposit formation

Cost: $33/5 quart

Mobil 1 (120769) High Mileage 5W-30 Motor Oil

Mobil 1 (120769) High Mileage 5W-30 Motor Oil

This full synthetic oil boasts high mileage protection that makes it suitable for use with engines with more than 75,000 miles on them, and is available in a variety of viscosities.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Reduces sludge and deposits

Cost: $42/5 quart

Motul 007250 8100 X-cess 5W-40 Synthetic Gasoline and Diesel Engine Oil

Motul 007250 8100 X-cess 5W-40 Synthetic Gasoline and Diesel Engine Oil

This full synthetic oil is suitable for use with both gasoline and diesel engines, and boasts high temperature high shear stability and very low volatility.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 liters
  • 5W-40 formula
  • Suitable for use with a variety of makes and models

Cost: $169/5L

Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil

This full synthetic oil offers superior wear protection and helps to leave critical engine parts four times smoother. It helps to prevent harmful sludge build-up while maintaining fuel efficiency.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 0W-20 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Cost: $27/5 quarts

Royal Purple 51530 API-Licensed SAE 5W-30 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil

Royal Purple 51530 API-Licensed SAE 5W-30 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil

This full synthetic oil provides superior corrosion and wear protection, while increasing fuel efficiency. Proprietary additive technologies help to optimize engine performance.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Cost: $73/5 quarts

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-40

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-40

This full synthetic oil boasts a unique formula that works to clean pistons, improve fuel economy, and protect horsepower while providing unsurpassed protection to other engine components.

Key Features:

  • Contains six 1-quart bottles
  • 0W-40 formula
  • Provides oil stability and endurance under extreme conditions

Cost: $50/6 quarts

Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil

Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil

This full synthetic oil provides a high level of protection against wear, and is suitable for use with both gasoline and diesel engines. It can be used in extreme temperatures, and helps to prevent deposit buildup.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 liters
  • 5W-40 formula
  • Available in single or multi-packs

Cost: $49/5L

Royal Purple 06520-6PK API-Licensed SAE 5W-20 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil

Royal Purple 06520-6PK API-Licensed SAE 5W-20 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil

This full synthetic oil provides superior corrosion and wear protection, while increasing fuel efficiency. Proprietary additive technologies help to optimize engine performance.

Key Features:

  • Contains six 1-quart bottles
  • 5W-20 formula
  • Suitable for use with gasoline engines

Cost: $55/6 quarts

Castrol 03087 EDGE Extended Performance 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Castrol 03087 EDGE Extended Performance 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

This full synthetic oil provides protection for up to 15,000 miles, and is suitable for use with gasoline engines. Suitable for use in severe conditions, it helps to reduce metal-to-metal contact across a range of driving speeds.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Available in single or multi-packs

Cost: $29/5 quarts

Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic Diesel Motor Oil 5W-40 CJ-4

Shell Rotella T6 Synthetic Diesel Motor Oil 5W-40 CJ-4

This full synthetic oil provides improved fuel efficiency, and is suitable for use in vehicles with heavy duty diesel engines. It contains proprietary additives that help to prolong engine life.

Key Features:

  • Contains 1 gallon
  • Available in a choice of sizes
  • 5W-40 formula

Cost: $22/gallon

Idemitsu Full Synthetic 0W-20 Engine Oil SN/GF-5

Idemitsu Full Synthetic 0W-20 Engine Oil SN/GF-5

This full synthetic oil is suitable for use with gasoline engines, and helps to maximize fuel economy while protecting engine components by combining synthetic base oils with advanced proprietary additives.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 0W-20 formula
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $23/5 quarts

Synthetic Blend Oils

Lucas Oil 10115 Semi-Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil

Lucas Oil 10115 Semi-Synthetic 2-Cycle Oil

This synthetic blend oil boasts a low-smoke formula that has been specially designed to prevent carbon deposits to the piston rings, skirt, crown and under crown areas.

Key Features:

  • Contains 1 gallon
  • Suitable for use with two-stroke engines
  • Prediluted for mixing at all temperatures

Cost: $36/gallon

Valvoline 10W-40 DuraBlend Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

Valvoline 10W-40 DuraBlend Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

This synthetic blend oil combines synthetic base oils with advanced proprietary additives in order to help maximize fuel economy while protecting engine components.

Key Features:

  • Contains six 1-quart bottles
  • 10W-40 formula
  • Offers increased protection in tough driving conditions

Cost: $49/6 quarts

Castrol 03111 GTX High Mileage 10W-40 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

Castrol 03111 GTX High Mileage 10W-40 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

This synthetic blend oil boasts a high mileage formula that is suitable for use with vehicles with more than 75,000 miles on them, and helps to prevent emission system failure.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 10W-40 formula
  • Contains seal conditioners to reduce leaks

Cost: $19/5 quarts

Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend Diesel Motor Oil 10W-30

Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend Diesel Motor Oil 10W-30

This full synthetic oil provides improved fuel efficiency, and is suitable for use in vehicles with heavy duty diesel engines. It contains proprietary additives that help to prolong engine life.

Key Features:

  • Contains 1 gallon
  • 10W-30 formula
  • Superior cold cranking properties

Cost: $18

Valvoline 5W-30 DuraBlend Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

Valvoline 5W-30 DuraBlend Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

This synthetic blend oil boasts a blend of premium synthetic and conventional base oils combined with advanced additive technology to help protect your engine longer while improving performance and fuel efficiency.

Key Features:

  • Contains six 1-quart bottles
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Cost: $49

AmazonBasics High Mileage Motor Oil – Synthetic Blend – 5W-30

AmazonBasics High Mileage Motor Oil - Synthetic Blend - 5W-30

This synthetic blend oil is ideal for use in high mileage applications, for vehicles with over 75,000 miles. It helps to reduce low speed pre-ignition and friction, and minimizes exhaust emissions.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Cost: $17

Kendall GT-1 High Performance Synthetic Blend SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil

Kendall GT-1 High Performance Synthetic Blend SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil

This synthetic blend oil provides enhanced protection in all driving conditions, and boasts an exclusive Liquid Titanium additive which helps to protect against engine wear.

Key Features:

  • Contains 1 quart
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Cost: $16/quart

Valvoline High Mileage with MaxLife Technology 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

Valvoline High Mileage with MaxLife Technology 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

This synthetic blend oil boasts a high mileage formula that is suitable for use in vehicles with more than 75,000 miles on them, and features easy-pour packaging to help prevent spills.

Key Features:

  • Contains 5 quarts
  • 5W-30 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Cost: $29

Honda Genuine Fluid 08798-9036 0W-20 Full Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

Honda Genuine Fluid 08798-9036 0W-20 Full Synthetic Blend Motor Oil

This synthetic blend oil has been specifically formulated for Honda ultra fuel efficient vehicles, and offers protection from corrosion while reducing engine wear and sludge buildup.

Key Features:

  • Contains 12, 1-quart bottles
  • 0W-20 formula
  • Suitable for use in gasoline engines

Cost: $10/quart

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