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

hand pumping gas

If you often wonder about the difference between premium and regular gas, and whether these qualities explain the price difference, then you’ve come to the right place. The team at Cox Mazda in Bradenton is intimately familiar with how cars operate and can explain the differences when you’re faced with premium vs. regular gasoline. As always, if you have questions about gas quality or anything else car-related, feel free to reach out to our service center.

Do Mazda Cars Need Premium Gas?

Car owners often ask us here at Cox Mazda: “Do I have to use premium gas in my Mazda?” For the most part, the answer is no. With that said, some Mazda vehicles will benefit from premium gasoline. For example, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 has a turbocharged engine that can get a boost of about 25 horsepower with premium gas, something you may delightfully notice as you cruise the Tampa streets.

What is Premium Gasoline?

Both premium gas and regular gas are produced from crude oil and are a necessary component of combustion within your engine. The difference between regular and premium gas? Octane levels. Premium gas often has an octane level of 90 or above, which means your engine causes less pollution and performs better in some instances.

What is Regular Unleaded Gasoline?

Regular unleaded gas is the most common type of fuel used for cars and will work well for most vehicles. Typically, it has an octane rating of about 87, and is better for the environment than gasoline that contains lead.

Difference Between Premium and Regular Gas

Despite their similarities, the differences between premium and regular gas are important. Here are a few:

  • Octane Rating: Again, the higher octane rating of premium gas will help your engine run better. It also reduces the chance of engine knock or pre-ignition, which can damage your vehicle.
  • Engine Suitability: Engines with low compression ratios work well with regular unleaded gas since it burns faster than premium gas. Vehicles with high compression ratios, on the other hand, benefit from premium gas.
  • Price: The most apparent difference between the two types of gas is price. As you’ve noticed, premium gas is often 10 to 20 cents more than regular unleaded gas.

Contact Cox Mazda to Find Out More!

Remember, if your car doesn’t recommend premium gas, there probably won’t be a performance boost. Also, regular gas typically won’t harm a vehicle that requires premium gas, though it may be necessary to use premium gas to get the most out of vehicles that have turbocharged engines. If you have any additional questions regarding the gasoline that you should use in your car, or other subjects like how often you should check your fluids, feel free to contact us. Our service center is happy to answer any questions, from learning about how to clean leather car seats to i-ACTIV AWD®!

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Cox Mazda

3101 CORTEZ ROAD WEST Bradenton, FL

Phone: (941) 749-2790,3101+Cortez+Road+West,Bradenton,FL


Phone: (941) 749-2790

3101 CORTEZ ROAD WEST Bradenton, FL


Phone: (941) 749-2701

3101 CORTEZ ROAD WEST Bradenton, FL
27.4618091 -82.5926101
Cox Mazda 27.4618091, -82.5926101.