Its is funny that you post this. A co-worker and I was just talking on this topic last week. I alway run the lowest octane possible in my cars. If there is any engine knock, I go up to the next level. I've done this in vechicles such as 300zx, Dodge hemi, chrylser 300 ect. I think that for most cars higher octane gas is a rip off.
I've tried the higher octanes in several vehicles (including my Titan) and have looked very hard for differences in performance and gas mileage, and have found none. I think the attraction to higher octanes (for normal vehicles) is mental. That being said, I don't think I'd be dumping 87 octane into my Bugatti Veyron!!
Up here in Canada the difference between 87 octane and 89 octane is about .05 / litre... On a fill that is around 5$ (diff is 1.05 for regular, 1.09 for plus ). For true 91 you spend about .15 more, which is more of a factor.
As gas goes up in price, that 0.05 is going to seem less and less significant. I am not sure how much it helps, but if it gets even a 5% improvement in fuel economy, or reduces carbon build up at all, it is money well spent. I know the octane rating doesn't help the latter, but sometimes the premium gas contains better additives.
Of course I am not certain of either of those benefits just yet
Another article that covers the octane myth:
"In theory it does (boost performance), but the difference would be minuscule or hard to notice by any average driver," Kelly said.
"While premium gas won't help most cars run perceptibly better, high octane fuel has another benefit: "You get a slight advantage in fuel economy," Sundstrom said."
Is what's been said all along. There is a slight HP increase...even if only 5 - 10 HP (such is the case with our Endurance engine). To some (not me though), every little bit helps. I use regular and it runs and tows just fine. A little better throttle responce is found as well as another mile or two per gallon using premium. It's just not worth it to me to pay the extra fpr premium fuel. You'll find articles that claim there's absolutely NO benefit to using premium as well as ones that claim what I've said above. Most would not notice the difference IMO.
I've always thought that it was interesting how the QX56 foor door says "Premium Fuel Is Recommened For Best Performance" instead of "Premium Fuel Only." I think what this really means for the QX (as well as several other Nissans that recommend premium) is that you will loose some HP by running a lower octane, but by golly it should adjust. I know several Nissan owners who don't run premium on their premium fuel vehicles and don't have knocking issues.
On my 97 Mountaineer with the 5.0L V8, I got worse performace and fuel economy with premium than on regular; at least that's what the timeslips kept showing. I don't see a point in premium unless it is recommended by the manufacturer.
i'll stick with premo! i dont care about the cash, it works out well for me. i even put premo in my 94 probe gt today that i bought for 600 bucks. it does state that premo is required when i looked online. and with that article saying that regular can be used in turbo and supercarged cars BS. my friend has a grand prix gtp (supercharged) he wants me to dare some1 to go on clubgp.com and say they have a 04 grand prix comp G and say that you use regular. be warned you will get cussed out!
everyone can put what they want in their tank, but if i found a turbo or s/c car and i found receipts in it that showed that they used regular instead of premium i probably wouldn't get it. if reg is put into a FI engine it can cause knocking and reduce the life of the engine. if there is no point to premium then why is there race gas???? lets put 87 octane in a engine that boosts 20-30+ psi and have the engine blow to bits. i could care less bout the 20 cents to go from regular to premo, its less of a worry to me that i could potentially have a engine problem because i put cheap gas in. the probe i have has 9.2 to 1 compression and it requires premo, and the titan has 10 to 1 if i'm correct so y not put premo in???
I put what's recommended from the factory. On the titan, it says the cheap stuff is fine, so that's what I'm using. If money is not an issue then of course, by all means, put top quality fuel in your vehicles.