I was all set to buy a Altima until I found out Nissan recommends premium gas. How important is it to actually use premium?
You can Search this controvertial question by going to the top of the page, click on Search, and keyword Premium or Regular. You can, then, choose whichever answer you prefer.
Two key words. “recommends” and “requires”. Recommends means it will run fine on regular. Requires means it will PROBABLY run okay on regular but it might not.
Ten years from now, when it’s second or third owner is filling it up, it will CERTAINLY run on regular…
If enough people reject these 'Premium Fuel Only" cars, they will quickly disappear from the market place…
Some motors have a “knock sensor” which can compensate for a low octane fuel. This motor would say premium fuel “recommended” in the owner’s manual. Other motors simply are set up for premium fuel period, these would say premium fuel “required” in the owner’s manual.
I’m not that familiar with Nissan, but the Altima you are considering must have the V6 motor. The in line 4 cylinder should be fine with regular.
I agree with the above, but I would add, that IF you use regular it WILL reduce power and mileage. How much is hard to determine as it will vary depending on driving conditions and engine.
If you want the power of the Altima, then you need to use the premium fuel.
As some who used to sell Nissans. I can tell you that the VQ V6 is very sensitive to octane ratings. It will run on 87 octane, but you will see a power and fuel mileage decrease of around 12%-15%. This is more than other cars that recommend premium, but require regular. Personally I always use what the manufacturer recommends. In the overall picture of the cost of owning a car the cost between premium and regular in the grand scheme of things is negligible.