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Best Gas Type & Gas Station?

Hello everyone! Which is the best gas type for my new 2014 Toyota Corolla (Reg, Mid, Prem)? I know that my owner’s manual says to use anything over 87 Octane Rating but my parents keep insisting me to use Mid Grade Gas because it is a newer car. Also I looked up the gas station brands on top tier, which gas brand is the best to use? Thanks!

Midgrade isn’t that much more expensive. Technically, your car doesn’t need it, and if you bought the car with your own hard-earned money (did you?) it’s your decision to make, but it’s worth the few extra bucks to make your parents feel like they’re helping you in your life. Give them that. Acquiesce, if only to give them a purpose in life.

If they bought the car for you, it’s a no brainer… it’s their call. Period.

Congrats on the new car, by the way.

Regular is fine, I would use it (as I did in my Lexus ES300), and I buy a ‘Top Tier’ gas, the major name brands qualify, as does Quick Trip near me.

Octane has nothing to do with quality. It’s just a chemical property of the gas. Paying for a higher octane than your car requires is just throwing money away.

Not if it makes your parents happy…
As an old fart whose body parts are all failing, nothing gives me more of a sense of happiness than one of my kids respecting my advice.
Besides, I still believe that if the OP’s parents paid for the car (as yet unknown to us) they have every right to tell the OP what gas to use.

My response isn’t technical, it’s true, but IMHO it’s much more important than the technically correct answer.

Gasoline is a commodity bought and sold on world markets…The gasoline sold in the U.S. and most other countries meets strict government quality standards designed to protect automotive emissions systems. So use the cheapest you can find in your neighborhood, It’s virtually all the same…But I would not drive very far to save $.05 a gallon, it’s simply not worth the effort…

I don’t think you will have a problem with any of it. My hat is off to you for doing something that the vast majority of car owners never do; you read the owners manual.

Caddyman, regarding your comment about driving to save gas money how about this one. A few years ago one of the local TV stations did one of those consumer blurbs on their late evening news about “cheap gas” and cut to one of their reporters at some convenience store in southeast OK City where gas was about 10 cents a gallon cheaper than most other places.

The reporterette asked some guy standing there filling up his Ford F250 a few lame questions and the truck owner stated that he drove there to take advantage of the 10 cent saving.
This guy also stated that he lived in Harrah, OK which is an outlying community in far NE OK City.

This meant the guy took off before 10 at night and drove about 25-30 miles one-way through traffic in a gas sucking Ford truck to save what; 2 bucks or so on a tank… :frowning:

Oil is the commodity bought and sold on the world markets. Not gasoline.

That oil is then refined into gasoline along with other products.

Once the gas is refined then the additives are added. And if the the gas is a Top Tier gas, that’s when the proper additives are added to meet the Top Tier certification.

So, not all gasoline is the same.


I have driven a lot of miles and burned a lot of gasoline in many different cars and I have NEVER had a problem that could be traced back to “Bad Gas”…The cheapest gas around here is COSTCO, which meets “Top Tier” standards.

Regular and Premium Unleaded Gasoline is sold on the petroleum futures market as a commodity…I suspect the additive packages are pretty much standard amongst the different brands…There are several low-price marketers on the “top tier” list so the increase in detergent content can’t be that expensive to provide…In my opinion, the differences between gasoline brands is negligible…

Then you must know more than BMW, GM, Honda, Toyota, VW, Mercedes Benz, and Audi.

Because from their testing, they found that gasoline without the proper detergent levels caused deposits to form in the engines. And when deposits form, not only does it effect engine performance, but can effect the control of emissions from the vehicle. Which is the main reason they recommend Top Tier gasoline for their vehicles.


In 1994, 20 years ago, the EPA required ALL gasoline sold in the U.S. to have detergent additives sufficient to keep engines clean…Some car makers wanted their own higher standards used and they got them with the so-called “Top Tier” gasoline. In Denver, it’s hard to buy gasoline that’s not top tier… But if you look a a Valero station, a major refiner, you could get some “Bottom Tier” gasoline and I bet it works just fine…

Go here.

And read the second paragraph.


Top Tier is in the business of promoting top tier…It’s their web-site so you can expect them to beat their own drum… I buy my gas from Phillips, Conoco Shell or Costco so like millions of others I’m burning Top Tier…I think it’s more a marketing tool than anything else…

Top Tier is a science.

Not a business.


I never see much difference in quality of gasoline. I do buy top tier gas though just so I don’t get water in my gas tank. Off brand gas stations usually don’t maintain their tanks that well. The main thing that drives where I buy is price. If the price is lower…that’s where I fill up.

@Caddyman … I avoid Valero because of one fact…they buy up every gas station that has closed and gone out of business in my area. I bought Valero once and had regrets until the stuff left my tank. I was out in the boonies and everything was owned by Valero so I didn’t have much choice. I’m not saying all of their stations have problems but they do have that possibility because of the stations they buy. My gripe is that they offered an “octane booster” instead of removing the water laden gasoline. They are getting a bad reputation in my area and it seems it’s justified.

I don t go to Valero stores. they all seem to be shabby and run by fellows who hate me and all I love

Gas type or gas station? I consider this one of the things on my list of things not to worry about. We have been to almost every state in the USA and the only thing we look for is a clean looking safe place.

Virtually ALL the information about “Top Tier” gasoline originates on this web-site…It then gets cut and pasted all over the internet…

SOMEBODY has put up, paid for and maintains this web-site…They would have you believe that originally a small group of German automakers got together and developed detergent level standards they felt were necessary to protect their sometimes finicky engines…As time went on, more car makers joined in and more gasoline marketers joined in offering “top tier” gasoline. It would seem there is some sort of organization that works backstage setting the detergent formulations and testing samples for compliance…I find it surprising that stations selling this product seldom advertize the fact…

The original question from the OP was based on octane. The quality of gas does change from certain fuel stations, top tier vs non-top tier, but the quality of gas has nothing to do with octane rating. Using an octane rating higher than the car’s engine needs is just wasting money and provides zero benefit.

No matter the brand name on the sign…
Each station is independently run by different people.
You can have sheisters hiding under a top brand sign…
and you can have no-name independents that beat all the others.

Buy from any station that you like…ie; you like the people, the real estate, the pumps , and ,If you can find this out, the age and condition of the holding tanks.
I buy from an arab run indy ( Duke City Fueling ) that has a great restaraunt inside with middle eastern quisine. at one point I had notice I’d consistently get better mpg with their gas so I just keep buying from them.

Much of the same brand gas comes from hundreds of different refineries all mixing the formulas at their discretion. Same brand in Idaho may act different in your car than the same brand in New Jersey.