Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

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Nowizard
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Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Nowizard » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm

How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim

denovo
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by denovo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:30 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
Last edited by denovo on Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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KlangFool
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
Sometimes folks like me made a mistake. I bought my 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL not knowing that.

KlangFool

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dm200
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by dm200 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?
Tim
In my case, I would probably never buy a car that required premium gasoline.

denovo
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by denovo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
Sometimes folks like me made a mistake. I bought my 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL not knowing that.

KlangFool
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

The Wizard
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm

denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:30 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
Right.
A Mustang GT, for instance, will get you to your destination 30-60 minutes faster than a plain vanilla Ford Focus.
Time matters to some folks...
Attempted new signature...

stan1
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by stan1 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:44 pm

I recently bought a Honda Accord 2.0T EX-L instead of a BMW 330i. The BMW that "requires" premium unleaded was better in every way (performance, interior, seats). I even preferred the smaller dimensions of the 3 series over the Accord. In the end I decided the Accord was good enough and saved about $20K. Using the cheaper regular unleaded pump is nice also.

randomguy
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by randomguy » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:50 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
What is the question? Of course you put in the fuel that your car requires. Is premium fuel the reason to not buy a BMW 3 series versus a Honda Civic? Probably not. Fuel costs are in the noise compare to the 15k higher sticker price.:). There aren't very many cases where you are getting similar cars(size, cost, accelleration, NVH,...) where the only difference is premium versus non premium gas.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by TN_Boy » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:59 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
I think the answer is quite obvious, it's a preference for the car requiring the premium. I don't know anybody that says "Wow, I want to pay more for gasoline!" So yeah, I consider the gasoline cost, but it is simply one of the factors that influence the buying decision.

"Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience."

The first part of your sentence might be true. I find the opposite true for the second part of your sentence. A lot of cars requiring premium have nice engines with good performance. That doesn't mean you can't find good performance in cars that take 87.

bhsince87
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by bhsince87 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:02 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm
denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:30 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
Right.
A Mustang GT, for instance, will get you to your destination 30-60 minutes faster than a plain vanilla Ford Focus.
Time matters to some folks...
As an fyi, my Mustang GT runs fine on regular. The manual says it will work fine with anything over 84.

I can get 10-15 more hp with higher octane, but I have no desire for that.
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Admiral
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Admiral » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:06 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
I drive less than 5000 miles per year. The price delta b/w regular and premium is immaterial to me. And keep in mind that cars that "require" premium fuel will run on regular ole unleaded, at the price of some engine knocking, reduced performance, and (possibly) lower fuel mileage.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:06 pm

denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
Sometimes folks like me made a mistake. I bought my 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL not knowing that.

KlangFool
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
denovo,

To each its own. My 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL is too fast and too powerful for me. It can coast at 100MPH and I won't even know it. So, I bought my latest 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SV. It has a smaller and less powerful engine.

KlangFool

Teague
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Teague » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:18 pm

Engineering types correct me if I'm wrong, but can't a car running premium gas get better mileage provided that the driver takes it easy on the throttle? (By allowing more spark advance, therefore starting combustion earlier in the compression stroke, and so capturing more of the available chemical energy to convert to mechanical energy.) I acknowledge that high octane fuel has marginally less energy density, the difference being so small it should be immaterial.

But of course that requires a disciplined driver to actually behave that way, and I would fail to live up to that standard. :)
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Kenkat
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Kenkat » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:21 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:02 pm
The Wizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm
denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:30 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
Right.
A Mustang GT, for instance, will get you to your destination 30-60 minutes faster than a plain vanilla Ford Focus.
Time matters to some folks...
As an fyi, my Mustang GT runs fine on regular. The manual says it will work fine with anything over 84.

I can get 10-15 more hp with higher octane, but I have no desire for that.
Right, the engine computer will dial back performance to account for the lower octane. On a Mustang GT, that leaves plenty still.

Typically higher performance engines have higher compression to generate more horsepower; higher compression can cause pinging / early detonation on lower octane fuels hence the recommendation for premium to get the performance the engine was designed for.
Last edited by Kenkat on Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by whodidntante » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:27 pm

High compression engines are more efficient and produce more power for the same displacement. High compression engines are used to improve efficiency in areas where fuel costs are high and where the culture or regulations places a higher importance on efficiency and carbon footprint (not the USA). High compression engines are also used in high performance engines, since the output of the engine is increased significantly. Downsides are cost of the engine (has to use sturdier components), higher temperatures, and that the benefits are not seen if the owner uses lower octane fuel.

Most modern automobile engines are able to retard timing if they detect detonation and run with reduced performance and reduced efficiency on low octane fuel. Racing engines, some exotic cars, and some motorcycles are the exceptions. You can destroy those engines by feeding them low octane gas.

denovo
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by denovo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:35 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:06 pm
denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
Sometimes folks like me made a mistake. I bought my 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL not knowing that.

KlangFool
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
denovo,

To each its own. My 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL is too fast and too powerful for me. It can coast at 100MPH and I won't even know it. So, I bought my latest 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SV. It has a smaller and less powerful engine.

KlangFool
That wasn't the premise of the OP's thread. He said you can get the equivalent performance from regular, unleaded cars. You acknowledge you went to a weaker car.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:36 pm

It is something I consider along with the other ongoing costs of the vehicle. If everything was equal between two cars except one took premium and one took regular, that would sway me. That is unlikely to happen though. Especially for me since I don't like blowing money on expensive cars.

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wabbajack
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by wabbajack » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:48 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?
Define comparable torque and acceleration. Did you use a stopwatch to time the same car on regular vs premium? Is this a metric that matters to you?
stan1 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:44 pm
I recently bought a Honda Accord 2.0T EX-L instead of a BMW 330i. The BMW that "requires" premium unleaded was better in every way (performance, interior, seats).
(...)
In the end I decided the Accord was good enough and saved about $20K.
Cost of gas is immaterial when comparing the cost of cars that can take advantage of premium vs regular.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:59 pm

While some of the above technical explanations are truly hilarious, I'm going to stick with simply answering the OP's question.

Why people buy a car that requires premium fuel is because they like the car, like the performance and are willing to pay the extra.
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KlangFool
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:03 pm

denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:35 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:06 pm
denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:37 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:31 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
How many consider the type of gasoline an automobile uses when purchasing? Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience. What justifies the choice of significantly more expensive fuel other than simply a preference for a model requiring it?

Tim
Sometimes folks like me made a mistake. I bought my 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL not knowing that.

KlangFool
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
denovo,

To each its own. My 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL is too fast and too powerful for me. It can coast at 100MPH and I won't even know it. So, I bought my latest 2014 Nissan Altima 2.5SV. It has a smaller and less powerful engine.

KlangFool
That wasn't the premise of the OP's thread. He said you can get the equivalent performance from regular, unleaded cars. You acknowledge you went to a weaker car.
denovo,

I do not know whether that is true in the context of Nissan Altima. After the 2006 model, the newer model like the 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 does not use premier gas. I would assume that 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 is at least as powerful as the 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL.

KlangFool

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:08 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:59 pm
While some of the above technical explanations are truly hilarious, I'm going to stick with simply answering the OP's question.

Why people buy a car that requires premium fuel is because they like the car, like the performance and are willing to pay the extra.
Seems like the obvious and most parsimonious explanation. That is why I did it.

Leesbro63
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:09 pm

A few years ago when I was trying to decide between the Lexus RX and the Lexus NX, the fuel thing was part of my decision to go with the bigger vehicle (RX). Oddly, the NX requires premium but the RX does not. And even though the NX is a smaller vehicle, when you factor in the cost of premium, the cost to run both vehicles was exactly the same. True, the RX cost about $4000 more, so I'm not saying gas was the only thing. But I guess the little birdie in the back of my head was saying "if you're gonna compromise on a smaller vehicle, you are not getting any fuel savings for doing so". It's the old American-car thinking that bigger is better.

I'm surprised that Lexus doesn't make a regular-gas version of the NX. Not everyone cares about turbo-charged zip versus better fuel economy, even in a luxury vehicle.

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JoMoney
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by JoMoney » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:10 pm

Why does someone buy a Corvette ?

Why does Colorado sell 85 octane ?

Do people believe some brands use 'special' detergents in their gas that is worth paying a premium on?
Last edited by JoMoney on Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tim1999
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by tim1999 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:13 pm

The octane of fuel required is probably the least thing I care about when buying a car. The cost difference between 87 and 91 octane makes zero difference in my life. I'm not going to not buy a car I otherwise really like, just because it requires premium fuel. That being said, I'm a "car guy", the last 5 cars I've owned have all required premium fuel.

Teague
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Teague » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:19 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:59 pm
While some of the above technical explanations are truly hilarious, I'm going to stick with simply answering the OP's question.

Why people buy a car that requires premium fuel is because they like the car, like the performance and are willing to pay the extra.
When the hilarity wears off and the guffaws calm down, how about sharing a "nutshell" version of two or three salient easy-to-understand technical bullet points, to educate we the unwashed masses?
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Alexa9
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Alexa9 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:20 pm

Why do people buy Ferraris? Why do people buy Camrys?
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Rupert
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Rupert » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:21 pm

Stated succinctly, if not any differently from what others have said above: A person who can afford a premium car isn't going to be bothered by (or even notice) the additional price of premium gas. Why do some people prefer a Rolex when a Timex will do?

badger42
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by badger42 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:43 pm

Gasoline is a pretty small portion of the TCO. In our case, ballpark, it's maybe 20% of our fully loaded car costs.

At least here, the cost difference between regular and premium is about 10%.

For a 2% difference in TCO, premium vs regular is pretty far down the list of things I care about. I care far more about safety, utility, ergonomics, handling, etc.

FireSekr
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by FireSekr » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:50 pm

I consider:

1. Type of vehicle and what I plan to use it for (coupe, 4 door etc)
2. Comfort/Ergonomics
3. Handling/fun
4. Performance/refined power delivery
5. Efficiency

BMW, Honda, Mazda, Porsche tend to be the brands that offer the right balance of the above factors for my preference, but everyone has different priorities.

I couldn’t care less about type of fuel. Usually cars requiring premium will provide greater levels of performance with the same level of efficiency as a vehicle requiring regular due to the higher compression and other factors mentioned above.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by denovo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:54 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:03 pm


denovo,

I do not know whether that is true in the context of Nissan Altima. After the 2006 model, the newer model like the 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 does not use premier gas. I would assume that 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 is at least as powerful as the 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL.

KlangFool
You wanted to compare cars 8 years apart in production?
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KlangFool
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm

denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:54 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:03 pm


denovo,

I do not know whether that is true in the context of Nissan Altima. After the 2006 model, the newer model like the 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 does not use premier gas. I would assume that 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 is at least as powerful as the 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL.

KlangFool
You wanted to compare cars 8 years apart in production?
My point is in this particular case, it was abnormal for a Altima 3.5 to use premium gasoline.

Klangfool

boatdriver79
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by boatdriver79 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm

Not to get too far off topic but I have always wondered when I go to the pump and buy premium fuel, is the first gallon or so of the gas I get from the pump the grade of fuel the previous customer had? For instance if the guy before me bought 87 Octane and I then step up next and buy 91 Octane, isn't there about a gallon or so of 87 still in the hose/pump/lines from him?

denovo
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by denovo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:01 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm
denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:54 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:03 pm


denovo,

I do not know whether that is true in the context of Nissan Altima. After the 2006 model, the newer model like the 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 does not use premier gas. I would assume that 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 is at least as powerful as the 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL.

KlangFool
You wanted to compare cars 8 years apart in production?
My point is in this particular case, it was abnormal for a Altima 3.5 to use premium gasoline.

Klangfool
Which is not even the point of the OP's post and your original comment, which we have strayed from. OP's post and your follow-up indicated you could get equivalent vehicles re: torque and acceleration that use premium vs regular unleaded. I say that premise is false. Your reply indicated you went with a weaker car. Pick any recent model year and prove that premise. My example was finding a model year with a 0-60 of less than 4.5 seconds with regular unleaded.

Let me know what you can find.
"Don't trust everything you read on the Internet"- Abraham Lincoln

finite_difference
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by finite_difference » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:07 pm

badger42 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:43 pm
Gasoline is a pretty small portion of the TCO. In our case, ballpark, it's maybe 20% of our fully loaded car costs.

At least here, the cost difference between regular and premium is about 10%.

For a 2% difference in TCO, premium vs regular is pretty far down the list of things I care about. I care far more about safety, utility, ergonomics, handling, etc.
Premium fuel costs 30% more here.

If you drive 150k miles, at 20 mpg, that’s 7500 gallons of fuel. Assume $3/gallon for regular, that’s $22,500, or $29,250 using premium.

So the savings difference is $6,750.

I would argue that’s closer to 10% of the cost of a luxury car.
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KlangFool
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:07 pm

denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:01 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm
denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:54 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:03 pm


denovo,

I do not know whether that is true in the context of Nissan Altima. After the 2006 model, the newer model like the 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 does not use premier gas. I would assume that 2014 Nissan Altima 3.5 is at least as powerful as the 2006 Nissan Altima 3.5SL.

KlangFool
You wanted to compare cars 8 years apart in production?
My point is in this particular case, it was abnormal for a Altima 3.5 to use premium gasoline.

Klangfool
Which is not even the point of the OP's post and your original comment, which we have strayed from. OP's post and your follow-up indicated you could get equivalent vehicles re: torque and acceleration that use premium vs regular unleaded. I say that premise is false. Your reply indicated you went with a weaker car. Pick any recent model year and prove that premise. My example was finding a model year with a 0-60 of less than 4.5 seconds with regular unleaded.

Let me know what you can find.
What would I do that? I don't care about car at all.

Klangfool

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:12 pm

Teague wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:19 pm
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:59 pm
While some of the above technical explanations are truly hilarious, I'm going to stick with simply answering the OP's question.

Why people buy a car that requires premium fuel is because they like the car, like the performance and are willing to pay the extra.
When the hilarity wears off and the guffaws calm down, how about sharing a "nutshell" version of two or three salient easy-to-understand technical bullet points, to educate we the unwashed masses?
Any car that requires premium does "something" when it detects regular octane fuel. Sure, if you have an older turbo car, like a turbo Trans Am from the late 70's, it's going to ping itself to death and kill the engine. If it's an SI Drive Subaru, it pulls timing enough that it's noticeable and will "bog" in a long wide open throttle situation. But for street driving staying away from WOT, it's fine. Mazda does similar things.

Yes, higher compression or turbo boosted with advanced timing and high octane gives you more power. What's going on to do this? Let's focus on octane and what it buys you. With premium, as the piston is still in advance of top dead center, the spark plug sparks (advanced timing). Because high octane is harder to ignite and its flame front is slower, it doesn't hit the piston until at or after TDC. Then it follows the piston down, pushing all the way since its slower burning. It may even have unburned fuel left at the end of the cycle that gets pushed out the exhaust. Why is this more power than low octane? Lower octane burns faster and ignites easier. So the ignition has to be closer to TDC (less advanced). But it burns quickly and likely burns completely before the end of the stroke. So the duration of the flame front (what's giving you power) is less.

Power and torque can be made many ways. More cubic inches, higher RPM capability, boosting the charge with a turbo or turbos or a supercharger. Cooling the charge (air and fuel) increases the amount of fuel that can be shoved into each cylinder each cycle. In boosted cars, this is done with an intercooler that cools the charge that was heated by the supercharger or turbo. Drag racers build an ice box (usually using dry ice) for the air to run through. In general a smaller turbo engine can make equal power/torque to a bigger non-boost engine.
But in the end, if you want a particular type of car, you might not have a choice. Or maybe you do. An Audi using a turbo and some tuning vs a larger engine might give you the opportunity to make a choice. I once chose an Audi 2.8 Quattro over a 1.8T Quattro (turbo). But if you're looking to get what an STi gives you without a turbo, I can't think of anything that's not turbo (and require premium) that's available.
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kjvmartin
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by kjvmartin » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:14 pm

denovo wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:30 pm
Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.

Oh really, please tell me any cars that use regular, unleaded that can go 0-60 in less than 4.5 seconds?
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killjoy2012
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by killjoy2012 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:21 pm

What most of the people in this thread are missing is, that since the US government has been pushing CAFE standards higher and higher, the only way the OEMs can meet the mandatory fleet requirements is to produce an increasing number of vehicles using smaller and more efficient engines/technology, which generally means more turbocharging. There's a reason you now commonly see mid and full-sized trucks & SUVs, like the F150, with a v6 turbo option. And this is generally true across the board.

Does turbocharging add cost to the vehicle/engine? Yes. Does a turbo require premium gas? Yes. But neither really matter since the OEMs are being forced to meet CAFE standards and hopefully the increased power, torque and efficiency of the turbocharging offsets any additional cost of premium gas.

The OP's statement/hypothesis doesn't really make sense though. A turbocharged engine is going to make more power and torque than the same engine minus the forced induction... so their opinion that started this thread is generally flawed. If you don't want to pay for premium gas - fine, buy a car that doesn't require it. But one that does likely makes more power and gets better MPG (assuming you keep your foot out of it) than the same non-forced induction, at least to the point where you'd need to do the math on paying an extra 10% at the pump vs. performance that the superior engine provides.
Last edited by killjoy2012 on Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vitaflo
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by vitaflo » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:22 pm

Nowizard wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:28 pm
Automobiles using regular, unleaded gasoline typically, I think, get better mileage and have comparable torque and acceleration in my experience.
That's not really true. Any performance car will have an engine the requires higher compression ratios and thus require premium fuel. For many (like those with turbos) you will often get both better performance and fuel economy with high octane fuels.

To answer your question, I purchased an auto that uses premium gas because I wanted a performance car with a turbo. Simple as that.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by shunkman » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:42 pm

JoMoney wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:10 pm


Do people believe some brands use 'special' detergents in their gas that is worth paying a premium on?
According to AAA and Consumer Reports using gasoline brands with "special detergents" is worthwhile.

"Location and price drive gasoline sales, according to a new survey by the American Automobile Association. But an extensive study also conducted by AAA, reveals that consumers would be wise to factor the quality of the gasoline in their purchase decision.
Using an independent engine testing lab that specializes in fuel analysis, AAA sought to answer the question: Is “Top Tier” gasoline worth the price? The short answer is yes."


https://www.consumerreports.org/car-mai ... tra-price/

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:49 pm

Isn’t this a way to scam/goose-up the CAFE numbers? A certain ehicle gets 25MPG out of premium gas but only 20MPG from a the same vehicle with a different engine, using regular gas. So it helps the CAFE numbers for the manufacturer. Isn’t it just a matter of time until government accounting catches up to reality and makes, say, a 20% fuel economy reduction adjustment for cars requiring premium gas? Sorta like the now-closed loophole that started the SUV boom where “trucks” were not a part of the old CAFE calculation for “cars”.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by inbox788 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:52 pm

Leesbro63 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:09 pm
A few years ago when I was trying to decide between the Lexus RX and the Lexus NX, the fuel thing was part of my decision to go with the bigger vehicle (RX). Oddly, the NX requires premium but the RX does not. And even though the NX is a smaller vehicle, when you factor in the cost of premium, the cost to run both vehicles was exactly the same. True, the RX cost about $4000 more, so I'm not saying gas was the only thing. But I guess the little birdie in the back of my head was saying "if you're gonna compromise on a smaller vehicle, you are not getting any fuel savings for doing so". It's the old American-car thinking that bigger is better.

I'm surprised that Lexus doesn't make a regular-gas version of the NX. Not everyone cares about turbo-charged zip versus better fuel economy, even in a luxury vehicle.
The luxury marketing goes like this. Premium cost more so it must be better. If a car doesn't take better fuel, it must be worse than the one that does. Even if a luxury car doesn't need premium fuel, requiring premium signals that it's a better luxury car. If the buyer is willing to spend more money on better gas, they'll definitely pay more for the car. With most luxury cars, those that are willing to pay more for the car are also willing to pay more for gas, so they're not giving up a lot of sales by requiring premium fuel. You could say with the RX and a few other luxury cars that the engineering makes premium unnecessary, but I think it's more the marketing for this lot of drivers and a sufficiently large percentage who would be turned off by the higher octane and cost requirement.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:56 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:52 pm
Leesbro63 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:09 pm
A few years ago when I was trying to decide between the Lexus RX and the Lexus NX, the fuel thing was part of my decision to go with the bigger vehicle (RX). Oddly, the NX requires premium but the RX does not. And even though the NX is a smaller vehicle, when you factor in the cost of premium, the cost to run both vehicles was exactly the same. True, the RX cost about $4000 more, so I'm not saying gas was the only thing. But I guess the little birdie in the back of my head was saying "if you're gonna compromise on a smaller vehicle, you are not getting any fuel savings for doing so". It's the old American-car thinking that bigger is better.

I'm surprised that Lexus doesn't make a regular-gas version of the NX. Not everyone cares about turbo-charged zip versus better fuel economy, even in a luxury vehicle.
The luxury marketing goes like this. Premium cost more so it must be better. If a car doesn't take better fuel, it must be worse than the one that does. Even if a luxury car doesn't need premium fuel, requiring premium signals that it's a better luxury car. If the buyer is willing to spend more money on better gas, they'll definitely pay more for the car. With most luxury cars, those that are willing to pay more for the car are also willing to pay more for gas, so they're not giving up a lot of sales by requiring premium fuel. You could say with the RX and a few other luxury cars that the engineering makes premium unnecessary, but I think it's more the marketing for this lot of drivers and a sufficiently large percentage who would be turned off by the higher octane and cost requirement.
But the Lexus RX and NX serve very similar, overlapping, market segments. Your theory that requiring premium signals a better car makes some sense, but not in this case.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by CppCoder » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:57 pm

boatdriver79 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm
Not to get too far off topic but I have always wondered when I go to the pump and buy premium fuel, is the first gallon or so of the gas I get from the pump the grade of fuel the previous customer had? For instance if the guy before me bought 87 Octane and I then step up next and buy 91 Octane, isn't there about a gallon or so of 87 still in the hose/pump/lines from him?
From everything I've read, the residual gas in the hose is about 1/3 gallon. It probably matters more in a motorcycle than a car. I guess if this is a concern, you need to know your cars and get in line behind the ones that you know use premium. When in doubt, get behind the priciest one :).

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by jdb » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:58 pm

Well of course I considered it. One of many reasons we now have two Tesla vehicles. Have not been to a gas station in years except for my 87 octane Colorado pickup. In fact been over six years since my wife was at gas station. Waiting for Tesla to come out with pickup truck so I can say the same. Good luck.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by iamlucky13 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:06 pm

boatdriver79 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm
Not to get too far off topic but I have always wondered when I go to the pump and buy premium fuel, is the first gallon or so of the gas I get from the pump the grade of fuel the previous customer had? For instance if the guy before me bought 87 Octane and I then step up next and buy 91 Octane, isn't there about a gallon or so of 87 still in the hose/pump/lines from him?
Quick calculation: Assuming the ID of the hose is 1", and the hose is 10 feet long back to the valve inside the pump, then you might get about 0.4 gallons of the previous customer's selection.

If you buy 15 gallons worth of fuel, then your octane rating has dropped from 91 to 90.89.

So consider it a non-issue for a typical car fill up. Now that you mention it, however, it occurs to me when I go buy a gallon of 91 octane for my chain saw, the dilution is more significant. If I remember right, though, it only requires 89 octane. I will have to double check the manual.

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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Nowizard » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:20 pm

Ah, so y'all have educated me on the fact that there is a difference in gasoline required based on compression, but unless peak performance is an issue,a major reason to purchase a vehicle using premium is simple preference for a specific vehicle that may ideally require premium, but can run on regular gasoline. Stupid me, I thought that 2005 V6 Honda Accord was pretty fast, along with several policemen met on highways :happy
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daytona084
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by daytona084 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:23 pm

At some point, this question might become irrelevant. Auto makers are pushing for a "single grade" of fuel (premium) and design all engines to run on it. They say there is a benefit (fuel mileage and performance) if all cars consumed high octane fuel.

http://www.autonews.com/article/2018051 ... hanol-fuel

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FrugalInvestor
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:34 pm

I didn't read every response so apologize if this has been discussed....

Most modern vehicles for which premium fuel is recommended will run fine on regular fuel with no resulting damage to the engine. Most will state this in their owners' manual. My new vehicle, a Mazda, even has clear specs for HP and Torque for each grade (HP goes down but torque stays the same).

The reason for this is the newer vehicles have knock sensors and computers to automatically adjust timing. Knocking (pre-ignition) can cause damage to an engine but retarding the timing will stop the knocking at the expense of power and, perhaps, mileage. However, I've tested all of the vehicles I've owned over the last 15 years and have noticed no difference in either power or mileage. That's not to say that power isn't reduced somewhat but it hasn't ever been noticeable to me. I've put well over 100,000 miles on two of these vehicles with no ill effects.

There may be a few very high performance vehicles that actually require premium fuel but I'm confident that this would be clearly stated in the manual and probably in terms of the octane number and not just "regular" or "premium."
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Re: Why Purchase an Automobile using Premium Gasoline?

Post by Leesbro63 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:35 pm

daytona084 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:23 pm
At some point, this question might become irrelevant. Auto makers are pushing for a "single grade" of fuel (premium) and design all engines to run on it. They say there is a benefit (fuel mileage and performance) if all cars consumed high octane fuel.

http://www.autonews.com/article/2018051 ... hanol-fuel
This sounds like a good idea, but even the article says we're talking 20 years until the system really evolves to a full change. And by then we might be on all-electric cars anyway.

"It's also important to keep legacy fuels widely available for older vehicles, up to 20 years," he added, "so consumers can continue to purchase the fuels for which their vehicles were designed, certified and warrantied."

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