: Price/performance of premium vs regular gas.

05-21-11, 02:14 AM
I just took my new 2011 ESV on a shakedown cruise. New York City to Dayton Ohio and back with a few hours break in Dayton. 1400 miles in 28 hours.

It started with about 2800 miles on it.

I kept very careful records of gallons used and miles.

I went outbound on regular gas and back inbound on premium.

I wanted to know if premium was a waste of money.

My ESV drives much much nicer on premium. It moves out more eagerly on premium, and has to be flogged a bit on regular. And the engine pings very faintly on regular. I wanted to know if regular gas gave the same, worse, or better mileage. Some engines, and most old technology engines, will get better mileage on non premium gas, because regular gas burns faster in the cylinder. Engines must be tuned properly to take advantage of premium fuel, otherwise it is a stupid waste of money.

The price of gas today was about 3.88 for regular, about 4.16 for premium. 416/388 = 1.072. So there is a 7.2 percent "premium" for "premium" gas. Sorry for the pun. I got 18.7 MPG on premium, and 17.5 MPG on regular. I used cruise control for the speed limit plus 5 everywhere. Speed limit of 65 mostly, so I cruised at 70. Some faster here and there for passing, or to keep the idiots from passing on my right (which I hate, and is really bad driving form). Traffic slowdowns were about the same both ways. It was rainier going there, and hotter coming back. I am a lead foot, and my foot finds itself on the floor on appropriate occasions. And that engine sure sounds and feels sweet.

18.7/17.5 = 1.068. This means I got 6.8 percent better mileage with premium.

So, the way I see it is, the PREMIUM for PREMIUM GAS, is FREE, within a few thousands of a fraction anyway. At least with todays gas prices and in my car, the way I drove it.

In fact, any time premium gas is less than 7 percent more expensive, then premium will be a better deal.

And with premium I get a lot more power and responsiveness from the engine, so there would be value worth paying for there.

But for us in these vehicles, the power and responsiveness of premium gas comes at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE, because the higher cost is exactly balanced by the higher efficiency.

By the way, it was one sweet ride. The vehicle drives glued to the intended direction, in the lane. It steers almost by reading my mind. The geometry seems to read the road lane. It was extremely smooth and sure footed.

I am very very happy with my ESV. The only complaint is the noise, with wind and resonances etc. We all know about that. I am still working on mine to try to improve it.


05-21-11, 07:10 AM
Great info. Down here in Florida I still can't see any difference but I haven't been on a long trip.
Hey one thing, why were you in the left hand lane if another car was coming up from behind you? It seems like in Florida everyone stays in the left lane on 4 lane roads. That drives me crazy. On I-4 you can make better time and travel faster by riding the right lane especially if it's 3 lanes wide.
The state of Florida is trying to pass a law that it's illegal to stay in the right lane unless passing or going faster then the flow of traffic. Big trucks are already banned from the left lane.

05-22-11, 03:37 PM
I get 25.7 mpg on the highway and 20-21mpg in the city in premium with my escalade hybrid(irrespective of speed: 65-80mph). I get 20 mpg highway and about 17-18 mpg on regular. I used to use shell or other top tier gas companies but have decided to support US based gas and use murphy oil whenever possible and gets the same result.

05-22-11, 10:15 PM
My local gorcery market here (Food City) has Premium price the same as mid-grade (89) on Fridays, so that will be my fill-up day.