Some fun-to-drive cars can save their owners cash by running on regular, though a few still prefer premium.
You might think that, as we previously reported, with so many “regular” cars engineered to run on premium-grade fuel these days, that all performance-minded cars would require the costlier 91-octane fuel, but that’s not necessarily the case.
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We scanned the Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy database and found 10 bona fide sports coupes and cabrios that are certified to run perfectly fine on basic 89-octane petroleum, which we’re featuring in the accompanying slideshow. Of course, these are, for the most part, base engines. While the 3.6-liter “Pentastar” V6 engine that comes with standard Dodge Challenger runs on regular gas, all the V8s in the line, including those in the 707-horsepower Hellcat and 840-horsepower Demon models, demand premium fuel.
Owning a car that runs on regular instead of premium can save a motorist anywhere from 50 cents to a buck per gallon, depending on where one lives. That can add up to an extra $1,000-$2,500 spent over a five-year period.
At that, while four of the 10 cars on our list fitted with turbocharged four-cylinder engines are EPA-certified to run on regular, it’s something of a good news/bad news situation. You can either pocket some cash and fill the tanks on any of these models with 89-octane fuel, or realize a bit better performance by running them on premium. Among them is the Volkswagen Golf GTI, which comes with the spec-sheet footnote, “Stated horsepower and torque figures (220 horsepower/258 pound-feet) achieved with premium unleaded.”