Premium vs. Regular Gas: What’s the Difference?

Filling Up Gas

We’ve all seen the labels on the gas pump, but what’s the real difference between premium and regular gas? Premium gasoline has a higher octane component than regular or “unleaded” gasoline, but unless your vehicle requires premium, the practical differences are minor. Keep reading to learn more to find out what’s required for your vehicle. Here’s an overview of premium vs. regular gas to get you started:

  • Premium gasoline and regular gasoline are both produced from crude oil, but premium tends to have an octane level of 90 or above. Regular gasoline usually has an octane rating of 87 or lower.
  • A high-performance engine tends to be more sensitive. Using premium fuel reduces the risk of “engine knocking,” which is why it’s recommended.
  • Premium gasoline is more expensive than regular, but it also keeps your engine cleaner. This might not generate any practical performance advantages, but it will reduce your emissions.

Premium vs. Regular Gas: A Deeper Look

You’ve seen the basic difference between premium and regular gas, but if you’re the type who really wants to understand the technical aspects of your vehicle’s performance, you’re going to want to go deeper!  Here’s what you should know if you’re considering premium gasoline for your vehicle:

  • An octane rating is a measure of how much pressure a fuel can withstand before it detonates and ignites. So, a premium gasoline with a higher octane rating is less likely to ignite by accident.
  • Accidental fuel ignition is also referred to as pre-ignition, or more colloquially, as engine knocking. An engine knock is essentially a small, unintended error in your vehicle’s normal engine cycle, and over time, they can damage an engine and lead to a decline in performance.
  • Many vehicles have engines which are designed to withstand a certain amount of wear and tear. So, for most vehicles, choosing a premium gasoline won’t make much of a difference. However, if you drive a “high-performance” vehicle, the results of engine knocking are a whole lot more noticeable!
  • It’s no secret: Unleaded gasoline is generally 20 to 40 cents less expensive than premium gasoline.

Which Honda Vehicles Require Premium Gasoline?

Technically speaking, no Honda vehicles require premium gasoline. That’s right: Unless you’re especially concerned about your carbon footprint, you’re able to use regular gasoline whenever you drive around Vista and Poway. Have you heard that vehicles with turbochargers often require premium gasoline? Honda Civic, Honda Accord, and Honda CR-V models have been made available with turbocharged engines, but even here, gasoline with an octane rating of 87 is the recommendation you’ll find in your owner’s manual.

Any Questions? Turn to Honda of Escondido.

If you still have questions about premium vs. regular gas, feel free to contact our service team at your leisure! If you think you’ve noticed some engine knocking in your vehicle, and you want an expert to take a look, it’s easy to schedule service in Escondido using our online form.

Curious about where your Honda was made? Find out with our team!

More from Honda of Escondido

  • What is the 2019 Honda Ridgeline Towing Capacity?

    The 2019 Honda Ridgeline might be built on the same platform as the Honda Pilot, but it’s a pickup truck, through and through. So, how much can the Ridgeline tow? It depends on your drivetrain: A Honda Ridgeline with front-wheel drive can tow up to 3,500 pounds. This setup is standard across most of the…

  • What Are the 2020 Honda Pilot Configurations?

    The 2020 Honda Pilot will impress San Marcos drivers from all walks of life with its five trim levels—the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, Elite, and Black Edition. As you move from the base trim to the top-of-the-line model, you’ll enjoy access to more upscale exterior and interior features. With its powerful V6 engine, advanced safety suite,…

  • What Are the 2019 Honda CR-V Configurations?

    If you are shopping for a capable compact SUV, the Honda CR-V is worth a double take. San Marcos families can find the features they are looking for among the 2019 Honda CR-V configurations. Enjoy two engines options, a continuously variable transmission (CVT), and a 1,500-pound towing capacity on the Honda CR-V, along with the unique…

Connect With Us

Saved Vehicles ×


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us ×


(855) 520-7969

Call Now


(855) 520-7971

Call Now


(855) 572-8996

Call Now

1700 Auto Park Way • Escondido, CA 92029

Get Directions

Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 8:30am-8pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

Honda of Escondido

1700 Auto Park Way Escondido, CA

Phone: (855) 520-7969,-117.1107557,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dbf4ec216495fd:0x1248165d5860e740!8m2!3d33.1171929!4d-117.1089237


Phone: (855) 572-8996

1700 Auto Park Way Escondido, CA


Phone: (855) 520-7969

1700 Auto Park Way Escondido, CA


Phone: (855) 520-7971

1700 Auto Park Way Escondido, CA
33.1174503 -117.1086885
[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="" name="Honda of Escondido" description="" street="1700 Auto Park Way" city="Escondido" state="CA" postalcode="92029" country="United States" email="" phone="(855) 520-7969" logo=""]
Honda of Escondido
Honda of Escondido
1700 Auto Park Way
Escondido, CA, 92029 United States
(855) 520-7969
Honda of Escondido 33.1174503, -117.1086885.