The small gain in fuel economy is more than outweighed by premium's higher price.
So even if the manufacturer recommends it, premium gas may not be worth it, given the premium price, AAA researchers have concluded. "AAA already proved that there is no benefit to using premium gasoline in cars created to run on regular".
Following on what was a comprehensive, 41-page report, AAA joined with the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center to investigate whether auto owners can gain anything from putting premium fuel in vehicles that recommend but don't require it.
You may think it's better than "Regular" gasoline because, well, it is called "Premium" and it costs more.
"The gap between premium and regular gas has been steadily rising since 2009, with the most dramatic increase occurring in the last two years", Jeanette Casselano, AAA gas price expert, said in a release.
Last year, almost 1.5 million new vehicles sold in the U. But that's just an average.
The tested cars were the Audi A3, Cadillac Escalade, Ford F150, Ford Mustang, Jeep Renegade and Mazda Miata. But under extreme conditions, such as when towing a trailer or driving in extremely hot weather, using Regular could lead to damage.
Horsepower for test vehicles averaged an increase of 1.4 percent.
"I have a Mustang Cobra that I have to use premium in because I really tell difference in power and stuff". The story could obviously be different in vehicles that require premium, but in many cases these are high-performance cars where owners are happy to pay up for a boost in horsepower.
Automakers sometimes advertise higher horsepower figures they attained using premium to attract enthusiasts, and buyers who don't know how little the difference will mean to them. Higher levels of octane allow engines to run at higher compression ratios without knocking.
In any event, to save money on gas and prevent straining your engine, follow the recommendations in the owner's manual.