Acura MDX SUV Forums banner

21 - 38 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I used to have a long commute of 90 miles and experimented with regular (87) in my Acura. Almost always got 10% less mpg than 91 octane. So if 87 octane is more than 10% less than 91 you are $$ ahead. Otherwise it is a wash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
Thanks for the info in manual. Confirms what was said before of being A-OK with using 87 octane or higher for the +22 MDX. The MDX will adjust the timing to reduce or eliminate the knocking. Some parts of NM and west TX only have 86 or 90 octane at the pump is the reason why I only use 90/91 octane (whatever happened to mid-grade).
pump octane rating for "regular" vs. "premium" is adjusted based on the location altitude. At higher altitudes, about 3500 ft or so, premium is 89 octane , regular 85 or 86 octane. The "87" or "91" octane premium called out is based on sea level operation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
I know there are endless online discussions about this topic. From what I'm reading, 87 perfectly fine, given all the sensors and and computer aided timing, but to get maximum performance and efficiency 91 is recommended? Anybody disagree?

What I also don't understand is the Honda Pilot has identical compression ratios, and only requires 87. Are there other elements of the engine that are benefiting from 91? Thanks!
I own a 2014 MDX. In Colorado, 85 octane is offered. I have used 85 since day 1, 80K miles ago. I experience excellent performance still to this day. I tried 91 for a couple of weeks and noticed no difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
I know there are endless online discussions about this topic. From what I'm reading, 87 perfectly fine, given all the sensors and and computer aided timing, but to get maximum performance and efficiency 91 is recommended? Anybody disagree?

What I also don't understand is the Honda Pilot has identical compression ratios, and only requires 87. Are there other elements of the engine that are benefiting from 91? Thanks!
Technically, 87 works only because the
I know there are endless online discussions about this topic. From what I'm reading, 87 perfectly fine, given all the sensors and and computer aided timing, but to get maximum performance and efficiency 91 is recommended? Anybody disagree?

What I also don't understand is the Honda Pilot has identical compression ratios, and only requires 87. Are there other elements of the engine that are benefiting from 91? Thanks!
Technically, if everything is operating correctly, the computer can manage compression, combustion and whatever to accommodate 87 octane. You will necessarily produce less power than using 91 or greater, so fuel economy is better with premium but you pay a premium for that gas. If your car’s computer or its managing components are not operating perfectly, the lower octane can cause knocking/ping and potentially engine damage in the long run. That’s why I’ve always used 93 octane - I won’t quibble over a couple hundred bucks each year to produce more power and to eliminate the risk of engine harm by lower octane gas. Not worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
In SoCal premium fuel is about $0.20 more than regular. If you drive 12,000 miles a year and your MDX gets about 15 miles per gallon, then you're paying about $160 a year more for fuel. That equates to about $13.33 a month...or less than 3 Venti coffees at Starbucks. Put the recommended fuel in and call it a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,212 Posts
If you drive 12,000 miles a year and your MDX gets about 15 miles per gallon, then you're paying about $160 a year more for fuel. That equates to about $13.33 a month...or less than 3 Venti coffees at Starbucks.
And since the 3rd gen MDX gets better mileage than 15mpg the extra cost for premium amounts to even less.

And since I don't drink coffee and have never purchased anything at a Starbucks I have plenty of money to just use the recommended premium fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
997 Posts
In SoCal premium fuel is about $0.20 more than regular. If you drive 12,000 miles a year and your MDX gets about 15 miles per gallon, then you're paying about $160 a year more for fuel. That equates to about $13.33 a month...or less than 3 Venti coffees at Starbucks. Put the recommended fuel in and call it a day.
That's your CA calculation with Starbucks. In TN as I posted above the difference in premium over regular is $.74-$1.00 per gallon. Using $.80 to make it easy, or four times your difference, is $640 per year. That equates to 40 12-packs of Stella, or 53 12-packs of Budweiser. A significant difference. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: sytheguy

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,212 Posts
In TN as I posted above the difference in premium over regular is $.74-$1.00 per gallon. Using $.80 to make it easy, or four times your difference, is $640 per year. That equates to 40 12-packs of Stella, or 53 12-packs of Budweiser.
Funny comparison.

But I checked this out on AAA and they say the diff in Tennessee is currently about $.66 per gallon and in California about $.30 per gallon so one underestimated and the other overestimated for the Starbucks/beer comparison with the reality being somewhere in between. And the important point is - gas is so cheap in Tennessee compared to California that Tennesseeans can probably drink all the beer or Starbucks they want just based on the savings of non-California gas (due to ridiculous taxation in California).

The same AAA site that has the gas prices also states -
Do vehicles that recommend, but do not require, premium benefit from the higher octane fuel?
Since 2010, the price gap between premium- and regular-grade gasolines has steadily risen. Drivers of vehicles that recommend but do not require premium gasoline should look at their driving habits and weigh the potential benefits against the increased costs of choosing premium-grade gasoline.

Vehicles tested by AAA in partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California found modest improvements in both fuel economy and performance when simulating extreme driving scenarios such as towing, hauling and rapid acceleration. However, there was less of a benefit in typical city or highway driving situations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Funny comparison.

But I checked this out on AAA and they say the diff in Tennessee is currently about $.66 per gallon and in California about $.30 per gallon so one underestimated and the other overestimated for the Starbucks/beer comparison with the reality being somewhere in between. And the important point is - gas is so cheap in Tennessee compared to California that Tennesseeans can probably drink all the beer or Starbucks they want just based on the savings of non-California gas (due to ridiculous taxation in California).

The same AAA site that has the gas prices also states -
Certainly I can't speak for the entire state of California nor have I ever been to TN, but I just filled up yesterday and the OC price difference is about $0.20. Granted we pay a ridiculous price compared to most of the country, but we're talking about the difference not the overall price.

IMO if you seek to save $$ by putting in 87 octane (why else would you make that decision), then you probably should have purchased a Honda Pilot. Same powertrain, similar vehicle, 87 octane. Getting an Elite is damn near an MDX.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MDXshopperguy

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,212 Posts
but I just filled up yesterday and the OC price difference is about $0.20
And I don't even bother to check the price difference - it's just not that big of a deal to me to just go with the recommended premium. I don't even pay that much attention to the price per gallon for gas since I'm going to buy the gas regardless. It is, however, eye catching to drive cross country from California and see that gas is cheaper everywhere else and in some places 'really' cheaper.
 

·
Registered
2017 Acura MDX Tech FWD
Joined
·
960 Posts
Certainly I can't speak for the entire state of California nor have I ever been to TN, but I just filled up yesterday and the OC price difference is about $0.20. Granted we pay a ridiculous price compared to most of the country, but we're talking about the difference not the overall price.

IMO if you seek to save $$ by putting in 87 octane (why else would you make that decision), then you probably should have purchased a Honda Pilot. Same powertrain, similar vehicle, 87 octane. Getting an Elite is damn near an MDX.
87 is REQUIRED on the MDX, and 91/93 is RECOMMENDED. I know some Prius and Corolla owners use 93 octane in their little pos econoboxes. Using 87 does save a ton of money, and honestly, let's be real here... Not everyone's salary is getting raised in proportion to inflation and higher gas prices.

Here is the difference between the Pilot and MDX: The pilot is meant for soccer moms and families (3rd row is useful) and using as a truck, whereas the MDX is meant for soccer dads and not meant for families (3rd row is very pointless) and using as a truck. And with knowing Honda is trying to be as green as possible, they made sure to put an 87 octane tune on the MDX for MPGs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Here is the difference between the Pilot and MDX: The pilot is meant for soccer moms and families (3rd row is useful) and using as a truck, whereas the MDX is meant for soccer dads and not meant for families (3rd row is very pointless) and using as a truck. And with knowing Honda is trying to be as green as possible, they made sure to put an 87 octane tune on the MDX for MPGs.
We can agree to disagree. I'm not sure about the Pilot to MDX comparison as our good friends have a new Pilot and I would say both are soccer Mom vehicles and both 3rd rows are useless. I'm a baseball Dad and drive a Jeep Gladiator and my wife is the soccer Mom MDX driver.

We've owned 4 MDX's and the 2022 will be our fifth. Our 2006 MDX had 211K miles when we sold it and it was still going strong. I swear by synthetic oil and the recommended premium fuel. I perform most of the maintenance on my vehicles and am proud to say they've all been very reliable.

Why do I use the recommended premium octane fuel? The octane rating measures its stability during combustion. A high octane rating is more resistant to “knocking”...so the air/fuel mixture is less likely to denotate prematurely. The "knock" wave of air can increase cylinder pressure dramatically. Effects of engine knocking can be noticeable and damaging over time.

So it's an insurance thing...your MDX engine is more likely to last longer with premium fuel. That's a fact. BUT I'll concede that it's not a guarantee. If you lease and turn in your vehicle after 36 months (and don't mind a little less punch at the light), then you can use 87 octane all day. If you want to keep your MDX for an extended period of time, as an owner of 4 MDX's, I'd suggest using the recommended fuel.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gen4Advance

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Plenty of families use an MDX and plenty of the drivers are “soccer moms” while plenty of “soccer dads” drive Hondas. The MDX is one of the most practical cars in its class and absolutely is aimed at families. A significant number of the MDX drivers I know are women.

prices.

Here is the difference between the Pilot and MDX: The pilot is meant for soccer moms and families (3rd row is useful) and using as a truck, whereas the MDX is meant for soccer dads and not meant for families (3rd row is very pointless) and using as a truck. And with knowing Honda is trying to be as green as possible, they made sure to put an 87 octane tune on the MDX for MPGs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,212 Posts
If you lease and turn in your vehicle after 36 months (and don't mind a little less punch at the light), then you can use 87 octane all day.
But if they're willing to burn through cash by leasing in the first place, and 'turning it in' every 3 years on top of that, the cost difference to use premium should be a nit in the equation - insignificant compared to their costly way of car possession.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,129 Posts
I think the reg -vs- premium debate would be less of an debate if you take into account the total picture of our expenses. I think we sometimes look at every purchase as a single action not related to other expenses in our lives.

1000 miles per month
20 mpg combined avg
50 gal of gas used

To keep the math easy:
$100 a month spent on gas @ $2.00 per gallon for regular gas
$125 a month spent on gas @ $2.50 per gallon for premium gas

$25 extra per month on gas OR $6.25 per week extra.

$6.25 per week can be off-set, you can use premium with zero impact to bottom line, and you might even have more $$$ by:
  • one less fast food/take out visit per week
  • changing cell phone plans or keeping your old phone longer (still have my iphone 6S+)
  • cooking more at home
  • stopping internet streaming service you don't use that much or gym membership you don't attend regularly
  • paying down a credit card and being charge less monthly interest
  • paying off another installment bill early
  • adding LED light bulbs in your home for future savings
  • doing more DYI around the house or vehicle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
349 Posts
This shouldn't be a debate because there is not a "right" or a "wrong" fuel to use so long as the fuel is 87 octane or above.

Thank you Acura for giving your customers the CHOICE to use whichever fuel they prefer without causing damage to their vehicle.

For many buyers premium fuel may cost too much more than regular to justify the marginal improvement in fuel economy and performance.
For many buyers the cost difference between premium and regular is negligible, so there is no reason to not use the higher octane blend.

Everybody wins.
 

·
Registered
2022 MDX White w/ Espresso, Tech Package
Joined
·
7 Posts
Personally I will be using 87 octane. Actually this was a deciding factor for me. My wife was looking at the Lexus GX whatever SUV which she absolutely loved. Aside from the outdated technology and the small cargo volume (which was very deceptive as the SUV appears quite large), a big turn-off for me is that the naturally aspirated V8 in that Lexus required premium fuel. Gas mileage rating was something like 16 - 22. Give me a break. I already have two gas guzzlers that require premium. I didn't want a third especially with gas prices on the rise again.
 
21 - 38 of 38 Posts
Top