Volvo XC90 Real World MPG

gis514gis514 Member Posts: 4
edited April 2014 in Volvo
I have a 2006 XC90 2.5t mpg non AWD model now with with 1500 miles on it. I'm getting around 13 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. My problems is that 95% of my driving is in the city. I have 1500 miles now. The city mileage truly sucks. The highway miles however are as advertised or a bit better 23.5mpg. I'm looking for someone who shares my issue and found a dealer fix for it. I called volvo and was told to wait until 5000 miles to allow the engine to break in. Not satisfied with this advise, I called the service mgr and scheduled a fuel consumption test. They basically checked the computer for faults and checked for fuel leaks. They then filled my tank and took it for a road test. Guess where they road tested it? You guessed it, on the
highway (23 mpg). I was told to monitor the next 3 full tank
fills/odometer/trip reading and do manual calculations. Then, if still
not satisfied, take it back with receipts for further eval. I'm on my third tank from full to empty and get 13.2mpg. Has anyone found a dealer fix for this?


  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    You'll be much more likely to get feedback from other XC90 owners if you post your question in the main Volvo XC90 SUV discussion.

    tidester, host
  • merckxmerckx Member Posts: 565
    As a Volvo sales consultant,I often drive new XC90s....With a light foot,i usually get 24mpg(really!) around the suburbs. Clients,who are usually testing acceleration,get about 18mpg...
  • gis514gis514 Member Posts: 4
    We live in Miami, Fl. The terrain here is flat and the only hills are the on-ramps into the expressways. City traffic is pretty bad-stop and go. Average city speed in around 20 mph. We also drive with a light foot. I'm looking for possible dealer/technical/programing solutions. The obvious slow acceleration, proper tire inflation, manually checking consumption full to empty, changing gas octane, etc...Have done nothing to improve mpg.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Fast Eddy! Haven't seen you at the chat lately. Didn't know that you really had switched from teaching to selling cars.

    Come over and check out image too.

    Steve, Host
  • merckxmerckx Member Posts: 565
    Neat site,Steve!....I'll be on often...
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    Mileage is a tricky issue.

    The XC90 won't be broken in until around the 2-3,000 mile mark.
    Since the car is behaving as advertised on the highway, I doubt anything is wrong with the car itself.

    How do you drive the car?
    Do you do alot of short trips?
    Alot of stop and go driving?
    Do you accelerate briskly when you drive?
    What type of fuel are you using?

    If you do alot of short trips and stop and go driving, the car isn't going to match the city EPA cycle because that is not how it was tested.
  • gis514gis514 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input.

    We live in Miami, Fl. The terrain here is flat and the only hills are the on-ramps into the expressways. City traffic is pretty bad-stop and go. Average city speed in around 20 mph. We also drive with a light foot. I'm looking for possible dealer/technical/programing solutions. Others are reporting similar issues. Yet some are getting much mileage. The obvious slow acceleration, proper tire inflation, manually checking consumption full to empty, changing gas octane, etc...Have done nothing to improve mpg.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    The car isn't broken.
    @ an average of 20 mph you won't reach EPA numbers.
    The EPA city cycle test is at an average of 30 mph.
  • lev_berkovichlev_berkovich Member Posts: 858
    As per our host's request,
    2004 2.5T AWD 7 seats
    17.0 MPG - city
    22-24 - highway

    18 MPG - average with mostly city driving.
  • eliaselias Member Posts: 2,209
    87 octane non-oxygenated, highway 23 mpg @ 70
    93 octane oxygenated/E10, highway 20 mpg @ 70

    city mpg with oxygenated, any octane: 17 mpg max, 15 in winter
  • scooterzscooterz Member Posts: 20
    North East driving
    32 avg. mph (mostly city)
    16 mpg
    87 octane

    We have not seen improvement with 93 octane. When having a large percentage of highway use we barely break 18 mpg. Disclaimer is that these numbers are mostly based on trip computer which is reset after each fill up.
  • chomondelychomondely Member Posts: 15
    2.5 awd, 7 seat, flat land, 146,000 miles so it is broken in.
    I average 22.5 mpg mostly highway burning regular fuel.
  • jccai1jccai1 Member Posts: 113
    2.5T AWD 7-seat model with 16k miles. Driven in a flat and hot area (no hills but AC always on), usually loaded with 4 people. I get 15-17mpg in the city and 22-23mpg on highways. Not very good mileage for such a small engine, but the car is quite heavy.
  • jccai1jccai1 Member Posts: 113
    BTW, I always fill it with premium gas.
  • larscalarsca Member Posts: 60
    I drive a 05 Pilot. It has a 250 (or something around there) hp V6. EPA states city 17, highway 22. I do mostly highway and average 17-18 mpg (14-15 if mostly city) and I drive like a grandpa. So it sounds like the XC 90s in general get pretty darn good milage, 'cause the Pilot's sux!
  • bandemommybandemommy Member Posts: 20
    We have an 05 Pilot, and average 18-19 around town, and when we go on a mostly highway trip, we average 22-23 MPG. We also have a Volvo XC90 and average 18 around town and 22 on highway. I am pleased with both vehicles.
  • albellalbell Member Posts: 185
    Hello all:

    I will be picking up a 2004 CPO T6 on Wednesday. Got a good deal on a loaded Sapphire Black with 11,800 miles.

    Before wading through all 4700 posts, I am wondering what the real life MPG experience has been on the T6.

    This is my first Volvo and I am looking forward to owning, driving and learning about the XC 90.
  • jwg543jwg543 Member Posts: 2
    I have a T6. I average 20MPG and get more on a run. Drover from Yellowstone and got 24.6 MPG. I have fitted a vortex generator in the air intake which I got from ebay
  • jwg543jwg543 Member Posts: 2
    I am thinking of changing from a T6 (discontinued) to a V8 and would like some real MPG info
  • gambiamangambiaman Member Posts: 131
    I have 16K on my XC90 and get a little over 19 MPG in mixed driving. In all city driving it goes down to about 14-15 MPG in stop and go. Also no problems with car.
  • zkaudiozkaudio Member Posts: 60
    I get around 15-16 in city with the new 07 3.2l 6 cyl... =/ That's what it says on the computer display under "avg" mileage. I believe I have only driven about 200 miles max of 1100 now on the highway.
  • shellzshellz Member Posts: 48
    I have about 1000 miles on a 2006 XC90 V8. In all city driving, I get about 13 miles per gallon.
  • fluid15fluid15 Member Posts: 60
    Just bought an '07 3.2L 6 cyl with 28 miles on it. Driving has been approx. 60/40 (highway/city). After using the first full tank of gas the results are:

    Calculated mpg: 16.0 (321.8 miles / 20.1 gallons)
    Computer mpg: 17.1

    I hope it gets better.
  • albellalbell Member Posts: 185
    I've had my 04 T6 for a few weeks now, and over the first 1000 miles (80/20 hwy/city) have averaged 21.5 mpg. On the last highway trip (about 110 miles)the trip computer showed 24 mpg. With 12k miles on the odometer, the engine is nicely broken in.
  • jrynnjrynn Member Posts: 162
    Wife's T5AWD/5seat has recorded this MPG through 7800 miles:

    Avg: 16.47 (mostly urban/suburban)
    Best: 24.39(twice) (pure highway)

    (All manual calculations)
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Member Posts: 877
    I own a Freestyle, a foot longer vehicle than the XC-90, and sharing the same basic chassis design that Ford borrowed from Volvo. Its interesting that my 203 hp version of the XC-90 gets 20 city / 27 highway, and my real-world results mirror that, while the XC-90 2.5T, with similar power, doesn't quite equal it. Mine is a FWD (not AWD) model, so that's good for 1 MPG more, but that still doesn't explain it. Whats happening inside the XC-90 to soak up that MPG?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    First of all, the Freestyle is much closer in character to the XC70 than XC90.
    The XC90 is bigger, taller, has a larger frontal area, and sits higher off the ground
    It also weighs 4500+ lbs compared to 3900+ lbs for the Freestyle.
    The XC90 is rated @ 17/23 for a fwd.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Member Posts: 877
    Actually, the Freestyle is slightly larger than the XC-90.
    The XC-90 is taller, though. Here are the numbers:

    Exterior XC90 vs. Freestyle
    Length 189.3 in., 199.8 in.
    Width 74.7 in., 74.4 in.
    Height 70.2 in., 65.9 in.
    Weight 4400 lbs. 3900 lbs
    Wheel Base 112.6 in., 112.9 in.
    Ground Clearance 8.9 in., 8 in.
    EPA City/Hiway MPG: 17/23, 20/27

    So for a slightly larger (longer) vehicle, the Freestyle is a little lighter and gets better MPG. The extra weight and ineffecient tranny in the XC-90 probably soaks up the MPG. The Freestyle has an efficient CVT tranny. The extra height certainly hurts the MPG as well.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Member Posts: 5,238
    Freestyle is LONGER, not LARGER.
    Look at the volume stats
    the longer nose on the Freestyle translates to better airflow.
    That, and the lower weight and lower clearance of the Freestyle.
    Bottom line is that they are different vehicles.
  • coldcrankercoldcranker Member Posts: 877
    The XC-90 is taller than the Freestyle, consuming MPG. The Freestyle has the same wheelbase as the XC-90.
  • houstonkenhoustonken Member Posts: 28
    We also have a 2006 XC 90 2.5. 17 mpg in basically city driving in summer. 19 mpg in basically city driving if AC is not on.
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    Driving with with a very light foot and staying mostly in the right lane at between 60 and 70 mph I got 25.7 mpg for the 370 mi leg from east of Vicksburg MS to my house in Dallas TX. The OE Michelin 4X4 Syncrone 235-65/17 104H tires were inflated to 40 psi.

    Overall on the roundtrip from Dallas to Gulfport MS (and numerous sidetrips) we logged 1550 miles and used 66.8 gal of gasoline for an average of 23.2 mpg.

    The EPA hwy estimate for this vehicle (FWD 3.2L 6-cyl 6A 4300lb curb weight) is 22 mpg, the city mpg is 17 mpg. Mountains or serious hills would of course significantly lower the mpg.

    Using the instantaneous mpg readout I found in one trial that on level ground this XC-90 version uses 20% more fuel to travel a given distance at 70 mph than it does at 60 mph. The high ground clearance, fairly large tires, and overall height take their toll.

    70 mph.....25.1 mpg => 0.0398 gal/mi
    65 mph.....27.0 mpg => 0.0370 gal/mi
    60 mph.....30.0 mph => 0.0333 gal/mi
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    This XC-90 is still "breaking in",if there is any significant break-in with this engine. At the beginning of the trip the odometer had only 773 miles and at the end 2322 miles. The odometer had only 6 mi at purchase. The above mpg values are calculated using the gas pump values for fuel delivered and the trip odo values for distance. The computer seems to be giving a higher value for average mpg. I'm not sure I properly understand how to initialize it, but right now I don't trust the computer mpg values.

    I am hoping that after break-in on level interstate hwy at a speed of no more than 65 mph this SUV might get close to 27 mpg. It does take some discipline to keep the speed this low however.

    I plan to get a trailer hitch on the XC-90 and tow a light, aerodynamic cargo trailer, which will increase the fuel use some, but I hope not too much. The one I have in mind is this one, but I cannot decide which one.
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    In the three tanks of mostly city driving we have gotten 17 mpg twice and 13 mpg once with this 3.2L 2WD XC-90. The 13 mpg was with all very short trips.
  • fluid15fluid15 Member Posts: 60
    I'm replying to my own message (#26) ...

    Update: I haven't hand calculated it, but the few times i drive the XC90 the computer now indicates ~ 19.3 mpg. Seems to have gotten better but I'll need to verify it at the pump.
  • garrickgarrick Member Posts: 30
    Anyone know the mpg difference between FWD and AWD in the xc90?
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    The other day in the 07 XC90 3.2 FWD (7500 mi on ODO) I got a computer mpg of 27.3 mpg for 50 miles of highway travel at about 60 mph. This is the highest I have ever seen in computer average over any significant distance. Just prior to this trip I had changed the oil to Mobile1 0W-40 "European Car Formua", but I am not claiming this is the source of significantly improved highway mpg.

    Highway cruising at 60 mph is kinda tame in a vehicle where the max on the speedometer is 160 mph!

    I am not claiming that "I got 27 mpg", but still this is a pleasant event. It makes me think that now that the vehicle is broken-in I may get better highway mileage than at first. The computer now reads 20.7 mpg on this same tank after a few days of short to medium trips in Dallas, not in rush-hour traffic.

    I had driven about 80 miles, then filled-up with Shell Premium 93 octane AKI right next to US 75 (not Interstate, but IH quality ). In Dallas we do not get AKI 91 octane. Shell is a "top-tier" fuel, which means it has a very high detergent content, but, as far as I know, it does not have a higher energy content in BTU/gal. I use Shell because I think it will keep the injectors cleaner. Sometimes I put in equal parts of Shell 89 and 93 to get 91, which Volvo says is the recommended fuel, even though the owners manual prominately states the regular AKI 87 is acceptable.

    I laid into the accelerator pretty good to enter US75 and then settled into the center lane and pretty much stayed there. Traffic was moderately heavy, but moving well so I just stayed out of the left lane. I did not draft on any of the multitude of large semis on this route.

    The vehicle just had its 1st oil change and I gave the Volvo dealer 8 quarts of Mobile1 0W-40 "European Car Formula", one of the recommended oils for the XC90 in the Dallas TX climate. In winter 0W-30 (if it exists) would be expected to give even better mpg, but I expect this current oil fill to last well into the hot Dallas summer. Also, I am not sure that 0W-30 or even 5W-30 is a recommended oil. The owners manual is a little confusing on the recommended oils. In the next change I may switch to Mobile1 5W-30, because we don't hot-rod up steep grades, and right now we don't pull a heavy trailer at high speed in the mountains.

    The Volvo service advisor said they put in 5W-30 Valvoline Synthetic Blend and I could have had this for free as part of the free 7500 mile service. I am pretty careful with money, and it hurt me to pass up a gift of 8 quarts of good oil, but I intended to switch to Mobile1 after break-in, and I had the oil with me, so I requested that they use my Mobile1. Eight quarts of Mobile1 cost me about $50 to $60 at AutoZone. If I had to do it again, I'd probably accept their oil.

    In my 2004 V70 168 hp non-turbo I use Mobile1 10W-30 Extended Performance and change once a year or about 8 kmi whichever comes first. I am considering extending the oil change interval to 10 kmi -12 kmi or one year.
  • cactus13cactus13 Member Posts: 1
    Hello, 1st time poster. I have a 2005 XC90 V8 AWD, 39K miles. In LA traffic best average computer mpg is 15.6. My question, has anyone had any experience with dealer reprogramming either the engine/ fuel system or the transmission expressly for better mileage? Our car seems to spend a lot of rpm's looking for the right gear to be in and it seems the converter could lock up earlier. Any experience with changing to synthetic oil for more MPG? I keep the tires inflated and am considering next size larger, +3/4 - 1" diameter. Thanks for any help.
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    The XC90, Accura MDX, BMW X5, VW Toureg all have about the same EPA mpg estimates--something like 15-17 city / 20-22 hwy. This leads me to believe that this is what a vehicle like this can attain. I do not believe that the mpg you are seeing is due to anything that you can change in the vehicle setup. The one variance I make is to inflate the tires to 40 psi.

    Changing to synthetic oil cannot do any harm and might reduce engine wear and reduce the formation of deposits. I supplied the dealer with Mobile1 0W-40 (one of the recommended grades for the 3.2L I6) for the first change at 8000 miles on my wife's 2007 FWD XC90 3.2 (takes 8 quarts). I did not see a significant mpg improvement, but I intend to continue to use Mobile1. In my 2004 V70 non-turbo 2.4L I5 5A I have used Mobile1 10W-30 from the first change. It gets 20 mpg city and over 30 mpg highway--lightly loaded 34 mpg at 75 mph on the IH. The best I have ever seen with the XC90 is 24 mpg over several hundred miles on flat IH at 65 mph with the tires at 40 psi.

    I have wondered if the Volvo dealer could make a software change to improve fuel economy, but I haven't asked them. I'm reluctant to mess with a vehicle that works even though I'd like better fuel economy. I think a lot of people spend money on various mods which have no benefit and which do potential or actual damage to their vehicles.

    You would be wasting money to change to tires 3.5% larger in diameter and this might adversely affect the stability control and braking sustems. Would 3.5% larger tires even fit without rubbing? Then you'd have to pay to have the odometer and speedometer recalibrated. The tires on my wife's 2007 XC90 3.2 FWD are 235/65-17, which have a diameter of 29.0 inches. This is plenty of tire for this vehicle. I would not substitute my judgement for that of the Volvo engineers unless I got an authoritative opinion that this would be appropriate.

    235/70-17 (if it exists) has a diameter of 30.0 inches which would raise the vehicle another 0.5 inch off the ground. Could this affect stability in emergency maneuvers? Size 255/65-17 (if it exists) has a diameter of 30.1 inches and would likewise raise the vehicle 0.5 inch.
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    I just looked over records on the 2007 XC90 3.2 FWD and I see that on one 1550 mile trip the vehicle used 66.75 gal giving 23.2 mpg ave for the trip which included some non highway use.

    The vehicle was moderately loaded with 2 human occupants, 3 dogs, and camping gear. On one all interstate leg of 369.8 mi it used 14.362 gal giving 25.7 mpg. This was on the OE oil, not the Mobile1 10W-40 "European Car Formula". I personally wonder a little about the prescription in the owner's manual for using 0W-40 oil, but it was there so I did it. I may start using Mobile1 10W-30 Extended Performance like in my 2004 V70, or maybe M1 5W-30 Extended Performance.

    Why would Volvo recommend an oil with "40" as the viscosity index at operating temperature?
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    Analyzed one way my results do not show any significant mpg improvement with Mobile1 0W-40.

    1. Original oil was changed at 7251 mi and 385.2 gal of fuel used => 18.8 mpg. This included 1550 mi of a mostly interstate hwy trip requiring 66.75 gal, so the non-trip mileage and fuel used was 5701 mi / 318.45 gal => 17.9 mpg.

    2. Distance and fuel use on the Mobile1 0W-40 is 1715 mi /96.9 gal = 17.7 mpg.

    I still intend to use Mobile1 probably 0W-40 because that is a viscosity grade recommended in the manual.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,992
    We purchased an '05 2.5T AWD with 23k miles last week. I was hoping to get near the EPA highway number, but so far have been unable to. That seems to be a feat I can only achieve in a car with a manual transmission. Thus far, in somewhat mixed driving, I have averaged around 20 mpg. Still not too bad. With our '05 Pacifica AWD, we were getting 18-18.5, but with our '03 Pilot, we were getting near 21. So I'm not complaining about the volvo ... was just hoping, that's all.

    Has anyone noticed significant gains by using higher octane fuel? I'm not sure what my wife put in it. I'll have to ask. But I did tell her regular would be "ok," so that's probably what she did.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    The Volvo owner's manuals for our 2004 V70 2.4L non-turbo and 2007 XC90 3.2 I6(naturally aspirated) recommend premium AKI 91 octane or better "for optimum performance", and state that AKI 87 octane is the minimum acceptable. You may get slightly better fuel economy with 91 octane. In the affluent western European countries 91 octane AKI is the "standard" fuel, and lower octane fuels are not available. Volvo designs its vehicles to work best on 91, but has engine controls which allow it to use US regular. Generally speaking turbo-charged engines require higher octane fuel than naturally aspirated engines.Unless the owner's manual recommends it, I do not think it is advisable to use regular 87 octane in a turbocharged Volvo, even the light pressure turbo.

    Check the manual!

    Some Volvo owners do use regular 87 octane and depend on the knock sensor and computer controls to protect the engine. I habitually use 91 or better, although a few times I have experimented with 89 and have used 90 octane on a trip where that was the highest available. I have had no driveability problems with any of these grades, and I have not tried to see if the higher octane gave a higher mpg.

    In my home town the pumps dispense three grades: 87 octane regular, 89 octane mid-grade, and 93 octane premium. Usually I add approximately equal vols of 89 and 93 to give 91. Once you get used to doing this it's not much trouble and my wife does it too. We save about a dollar per 20 gal over straight 93, but mostly I do it to not use higher octane fuel than the vehicle can take advantage of.

    I think there is a possibility (admittedly remote) that 91 would give slightly higher mpg than 93! My thinking (which I have not tried to verify by researching the matter) is that the energy content of 91 could be higher than 93. It could be that 90, 91 and 93 are the same base gasoline with progressively higher levels of octane boosting compounds for the higher octane fuels. These compounds (for example, ethanol, which like MTBE is both an "oxygenate" and an octane booster) have a lower energy content that the gasoline base. I want to use the fuel with the highest energy content that has the necessary octane rating.

    To keep the fuel injectors and the valves clean we use so called "top-tier gasolines" (usually Shell) because it has the highest detergent level.
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    "Fuel Economy

    Do You Really Need Premium?
    And Answers to Other Gasoline Questions
    By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor
    Date Posted 08-30-2007
    Buying premium gas is like taking vitamins — you can't always feel the difference and yet you know it's the right thing to do. But as gas prices climb, paying the extra dime per gallon for premium is like adding insult to injury. Eventually, the thought is bound to jump into your head: Do I really need to pop for premium?
    Volvo cars call for "premium fuel [91 octane or better] for optimum performance and fuel economy," said Wayne Baldwin, product/segment manager for the S60/S80. "However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using 87 octane, as the knock sensors and engine management system 'protect' the engine from knocking."

    I still plan to use 91 octane AKI fuel in both of our Volvos. I want to get the best possible fuel economy, even if it costs more money per mile to do so.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Buying premium gas is like taking vitamins — you can't always feel the difference and yet you know it's the right thing to do.

    We're going to have to have a little talk with Philip. Vitamins 'may shorten your life' :)

    If anyone wants to dig deeper, check out What about fuel types & gas mileage?. Using premium in a car designed solely for regular may shorten its life:
  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    The vitamin analogy was not meant to be an endorsement of the widespread belief that vitamin supplements might, andprobably will, do some good, and certainly cannot do harm. This analogy was just uncritically tossed in to engage the reader. Personally, I think it is entirely plausible that that use of vitamin supplements is not simply a waste of money, but can be harmful, in some cases very harmful. Eating a balanced diet is both a much cheaper and a much safer route to optimum nutrition. Consuming active biochemicals in large amounts could plausibly throw a person's metabolism off, and sometimes these vitamins or supplements have toxic contaminants from a failure in the manufacturing process (like the L-tryptophane case of 20 years ago).

    Getting to the real question at hand. These days there are very few people who would use premium fuel in a vehicle which is designed to run optimally on US regular (87 octane AKI) gasoline. What we are talking about here is the question of what to use when a vehicle mfgr "recommends" premium, but states that lower octane fuel (say down to 87 octane AKI) is the "minimum acceptable". In that case should one use the octane recommended for highest maximum power (and perhaps highest attainable mpg) or can one sensibly use a lower octane fuel?

    The professional article cited goes with "minimum acceptable" is acceptable.

    The Volvo owner's manual seems to suggest that the answer depends on the demands the operator is making on the vehicle. If one hardly ever asks the engine to develop anywhere near max power, then probably the minimum octane acceptable would be the most economical fuel ($ per mile). I don't make a practice of wasting money, but still I'd rather not use 87 octane when Volvo "recommends" 91 octane. For the slight amount of extra money I feel better following Volvo's "recommendation". If the knock sensor would fail, I'd want fuel that would not case knocking.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Usually the trade off is less power and worse mileage. Even if you can't tell that the car is less peppy, the mileage hit may be significant enough to warrant the use of premium, even though it costs more to fill up the tank.

    Pays to keep track of your mpg in either case.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,992
    that's what we're going to do. Wife filled with mid-grade (89) on the first tank and now the same on the 2nd tank. After this one is gone, we'll try up or down a grade and see what happens.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • jim314jim314 Member Posts: 491
    According to the Edmunds site most European mfgrs specify premium required in their turbocharged gasoline engines, e.g., the 2.0L turbo 4-cyl engines in the VW Passat, the Audi A4, Saab 9-3, and in various naturally aspirated Mercedes and BMW models. In fact, the only European manufacturer I can find that varies from this is Volvo which specifies premium recommended (and states that 87 octane can be used) in their turbocharged engines and in their naturally aspirated high compression engines (CR 10.3 in the NA 2.4L 5-cyl and 10.7 in the new NA 3.2L inline 6-cyl.

    I wonder if Volvo actually has different engine controls which permit their engines to use down to US regular 87 octane AKI gasoline, or whether models from these other European mfgrs would also accept down to 87 octane. The difference in octane specifcation could be due to mfgr's perceptions of what the prospective buyers will accept. It could be that BMW, for example, thinks that prospective buyers of their vehicles are not put-off by an unqualified requirement of premium, but Volvo thinks that some of its prospective customers would react very negatively and therefore Volvo allows the use of regular.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,992
    well, I think it might depend on what we're comparing it to. Does the S60R/V70R require premium? What about the S60T5?

    I can see the 2.5T or S40T5 not requiring it because they aren't boosted to incredible levels. I mean, 208-220hp out of 2.5 liters is good, but it is not quite the same as 200hp out of a 2.0 liter (the VW you mention).

    The other side of the coin COULD be that the other manufacturers just don't want to take the chance(?). Better to have the customers use all the best stuff possible to get the most out of their vehicles.

    Just some thoughts.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

This discussion has been closed.