Difference Between Premium and Unleaded

February 17th, 2022 by

There are many factors you need to consider when you’re buying a vehicle. You ask yourself questions like, “How many seats do I need?” “How much storage space should it have?” “Do I need a four-wheel drive?” and “How good is it on gas?” When you’re choosing a car, one important question you should ask is what type of fuel is recommended for that vehicle.

This is a common question because there is more than one type of gas in the United States. It’s important to know what type of gas a car should get before you buy it and after you own it to ensure you’re getting the most from it at all times. To help you answer this question, we’ll explain the differences between the different types of gas, along with which Volkswagen vehicles might need a special kind of gas.

The Difference Between Premium and Unleaded Fuel

In the United States, there are essentially three types of gas: regular, midgrade, and premium, with regular and premium being the most common. What separates the types of gas from one another is their octane level. The octane level is the quality of the gasoline, with higher levels meaning the gas is less likely to knock, which is a premature ignition within the engine.

Regular gasoline, also known as unleaded, has an octane level of 87, while premium is usually around 91 or 93. In some cases, when the octane level is 93, the gasoline may be labeled as “super-premium” or “ultra.” Gasoline with an octane level of 89 is typically labeled as midgrade.

The other major difference between premium and unleaded fuel is the cost. Premium gasoline typically costs more than unleaded. This is generally why people want to know if they really need to use premium gasoline in their vehicles, as the difference in cost between the two fuel types can add up over the life span of a vehicle.

Why Do Some Vehicles Need Premium Fuel?

Some vehicles require premium fuel because their engines need it to operate at peak efficiency. In other words, according to the manufacturer, that vehicle’s engine will perform at its best if it uses premium gasoline. It all depends on the quality of the engine, as some more high–performance engines require fuel with a higher octane level. That being said, most engines will operate fine with regular gasoline, but premium gasoline delivers slightly better performance.

Which Volkswagen Models Need Premium Fuel?

Whether you should use premium or regular gasoline in your Volkswagen vehicle depends on a few factors. As a general rule, if your vehicle was made before 2016, then it’s likely that you need to use premium gas. For vehicles made after 2016, you can probably use regular gasoline. The exception is if your newer Volkswagen vehicle has a turbocharged engine. Turbocharged engines work best when they have premium gasoline, so it’s recommended that you use this type of gas whenever you can.

Some Volkswagen vehicles that can come with turbocharged engines include:

  • The Volkswagen Tiguan
  • The Volkswagen Jetta
  • The Volkswagen Passat
  • The Volkswagen Atlas
  • The Volkswagen Arteon

To determine if a specific Volkswagen model needs premium gasoline, you have a few options. Your first option is to look up that specific vehicle online. You may be able to discover what type of engine comes with that model or what type of gasoline is recommended. Another option is to look at the owner’s manual for any Volkswagen vehicle. Inside, it should list the type of gasoline that’s recommended for that engine.

Finally, you can contact the sales staff at Capistrano Volkswagen. We’d be happy to provide you with any information you need about a Volkswagen model to help ensure that you know what you’re buying and that you put in the correct type of gas.

What Happens if I Use the Wrong Type of Fuel?

If you were to use the wrong kind of gasoline in a vehicle that recommends premium, it could result in a loss of efficiency from your engine or even some problems like reduced fuel efficiency. While using different gasoline besides premium may not result in your vehicle breaking down immediately, it’s still typically better to go with the manufacturer’s recommendation if you want to get the most out of your vehicle.

At the same time, if you use premium gas in your vehicle when regular is recommended, you likely won’t face any problems. At worst, you’re simply spending more money than you need to, as premium gas is more expensive than regular. However, premium gas is also a little better for your car’s engine, so using it could provide some long-term benefits.

Learn More at Capistrano Volkswagen

As you can see, the difference between premium and unleaded gasoline is pretty simple. It’s just a matter of how efficient that gasoline is and whether an engine performs better with that type of gas. The most important thing you need to ask yourself is whether premium gasoline is recommended for the vehicle you’re driving or thinking about getting. If it is, you’re better off using premium gasoline at all times. But if you forget once in a while, it likely won’t have significant long-term impacts on your vehicle.

Capistrano Volkswagen is here to help you learn more about which vehicles use which type of gas. We can show you the latest Volkswagen models and let you know whether you should use premium gasoline for the model you’re interested in. We also have a wide selection of used vehicles available and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about them, including which type of gas you should use.

Our goal is to make sure you know everything you need to before buying your next vehicle so that you are comfortable with the purchase. To get started, simply browse through our inventory online or contact us today. You can also come by our dealership at any time to meet with us in person.



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