Edmunds Answers



  • estreka 04/30/08 12:04 pm PST

    You can but I highly recommend you not. The engine will backfire periodically and you might even get knocking. If you absolutely have to use mid-grade (ie, a station that doesn't carry premium), drive slowly and get premium as soon as you can. Also, if you are going through a region with scant gas stations (ie, through Death Valley), pick up a few bottles of octane booster. That should help. Poor gas will require more maintenance visists.

  • obyone 04/30/08 12:57 pm PST

    The short answer is no. More so because of the turbo and tuning that comes with it. You also jepordize your factory warranty should any damage come to the engine and it is discovered that you are not using premium.

  • gowings1 04/30/08 1:15 pm PST

    My VW manual also recommends, higher (~91-92 octane). I followed it for a few years, on & off, mixing low and higher octanes to average to the needed, ~91-92. I never had any knocking or lack of needed power. Then, I heard Click & Clack say the higher octane is not necessary. With that said, the earlier response, addressing knocking and possibly using octane booster, may be needed or prudent for any knocking. I think a properly tuned/timed engine, should not knock.

  • 400idriver 04/30/08 2:56 pm PST

    I think you should stick with premium. A turbo engine, by design, compresses the air going into the engine, as opposed to normal engines in which the air casually strolls in. This makes things inside the combustion chamber much more sensitive, that is why it is more important to use the recommended fuel level in turbo engines than regular engines. It is true, in many engines that are well built, you can get away with using mid grade periodically with the danger of premature knocking, but there are many small turbo engines which require premium whereas some much more powerful V6 engines that don't have a turbo recommend regular.

  • subearu 04/30/08 4:58 pm PST

    All the above are correct. I'll just add that using lower octane than recommended or required will cause the engine computer to pull back the timing to reduce preignition knock. That adjustment causes a reduction in engine power and most times also reduces MPG. The engine computer and tuning is optimal when the correct fuel is used.

    The best answer is if you don't want to spend the cash (amounting to a few dollars per fillup) on premium fuel, then you shouldn't drive a vehicle that uses premium fuel. I understand that fuel is already expensive and adding a few extra dollars to each fillup adds on to the pain.


  • sean300 02/12/09 10:09 pm PST

    Consumer Reports advises that most vehicles will run fine on regular gas, even in vehicles for which premium fuel is "recommended." C/R's does however state to follow the manufacturer's recommendation in the manual. If premium is "required" then you have no alternative but to use it. I have seen many people use regular in cars that require premium fuel.

  • jkugler 02/13/09 12:31 am PST


  • darthwheel 10/02/09 12:40 am PST

    The answer comes down to how you intend to drive. If you are intending to use the turbo and drive the car hard then you should likely use Premium or at least a mixture - sometimes use regular and other times use Premium. If you will be driving slow, and not be towing anything or carrying heavy objects in the back then you can get away with regular.
    According to the owner's manual the premium gas is 'recommended'. Therefore you will only experience lower performance, though keep in mind it might require eat up more regular gas than it would if you had premium in it if you will be stepping on the gas often to pass others.



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