Normal Cars that Need Premium Gasoline

Even if you don’t buy a sports or luxury car, you need to pay attention to what you’re buying. Most cars that need premium gas can run on regular as well, but there’s a big difference in the price, performance, fuel economy and obviously health for the engine.

The price difference between regular and premium gas is 32 cents nationally. Spending an additional $4.80 on a 15-gallon refuel isn’t an insignificant amount of money, and you could save it if you buy a similarly efficient car at a similar price that runs on regular gasoline.

High-compression engines and engines using superchargers and turbochargers are more susceptible to engine knocking and need higher octane fuel to keep fuel burn in control. Usually relegated to performance and luxury cars, high compression engines and turbochargers are finding their way into more pedestrian cars because in many applications they increase the efficiency of smaller engines.

2013 Acura ILX Hybrid

From the owner’s manual: Unleaded premium gasoline, pump octane number 91 or higher. Use of lower octane gasoline can cause occasional metallic knocking noise in the engine and will result in decreased engine performance. Use of gasoline with a pump octane less than 87 can lead to engine damage.

2013 Chevrolet Volt

From the owner’s manual: Use premium unleaded gasoline with a posted octane rating of 91 or higher. If the octane is less than 91, you could damage the engine.

2013 Dodge Dart Aero (1.4 liter turbocharged)

From the owner’s manual: This engine is designed to meet all emission regulations and provide satisfactory fuel economy and performance when using high-quality unleaded regular gasoline having an octane rating of 87. For optimum performance and fuel economy the use of 91 octane or higher is recommended.

2013 Lexus GS450h Hybrid

From the owner’s manual: Use of unleaded gasoline with an octane rating lower than 91 may result in engine knocking and significantly reduced performance. Persistent knocking can lead to engine damage and should be corrected by refueling with higher octane unleaded gasoline.

2013 Smart ForTwo

From the owner’s manual: To maintain the engine’s durability and performance, premium unleaded gasoline must be used. fuel economy using premium is approx. 3 mpg better than regular fuel.