Audi A5 blue with visible fuel cap - gas type

Audi A5 Gas Type: Regular or Premium? Find Out What’s Best!

So, you’re researching the Audi A5, or maybe you already own one.

Either way, picking the right gas type for your vehicle might seem like a tiny detail, but it can make a world of difference.

So, can the Audi A5 use regular gasoline, or does it need premium?

The Audi A5 can run on regular (87 octane), mid-grade (89 octane), or premium (91/93 octane) gas. Although regular gas is safe, Audi and many experts recommend using premium gas to maximize performance and the engine’s lifespan.

Ready to fuel up on knowledge? Let’s start!

At a Glance: What gas can be used for your Audi A5?

Alright, let’s get straight to the point.

You’re here because you want to know what gas to use for your Audi A5 without diving into all the technical jargon. Gotcha!

  • For the standard Audi A5: If your car is the base model with the 2.0-liter TFSI turbo engine, it’ll drive just fine with regular (87 octane) gas. However, the experts (and your car’s manual) recommend using premium (91 octane) gas. Why? We’ll discuss it in a bit, but in a nutshell, it’s all about taking care of your engine.
  • For the high-performance Audi models: Driving an Audi S5 or the top-of-the-line RS5? First off, excellent choice! It’s straightforward for these; they require premium (91 octane) gas. Sure, they can tolerate regular gas occasionally, but for that thrilling performance you bought it for, premium gas is the way to go.
  • Tuned Audi A5: If you’ve given your (base) Audi A5 a tune (for example, using a RaceChip), then be sure to use premium (at least 91 octane) fuel.

If you prefer a table overview, here is what you should know:

CategoryTypeIs It OK?Notes
GasRegular (87 octane)Minimum required octane level by Audi, the car will run safely.
GasMid-grade (89 octane)
GasPremium (91 octane)Recommended octane level by Audi, the engine will be more resistant to knocking.
GasPremium (93 octane)
GasEthanol-based (E10)Same as the typical gas at most pumps.
GasEthanol-based (E15)!Not optimal for the car, but it won’t be a danger in the short term. It can only be used for Audi A5s from 2001 or newer.
GasEthanol-based (E85)!Mostly not OK. It can only be used if your A5 has a flex-fuel system.
GasReformulated Gasoline (RFG)A type of gas that burns more cleanly, about 30% of the gas sold in the US is RFG. (Source)
AdditivesFuel injector cleaner!Be careful; it can potentially damage the engine when overused.
AdditivesOctane booster!Be careful; it can damage the engine when misused.
AdditivesFuel stabilizer!Be careful; it can damage the engine when misused.

Lastly, here is a table overview of the recommended gas type per production year of the Audi A5:

ModelRecommended gas type
2023 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2022 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2021 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2020 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2019 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2018 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2017 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2016 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2015 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2014 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2013 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2012 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2010 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2009 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2008 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)
2007 Audi A5Premium gasoline (91 octane or higher)

Stick around if you’d like a deeper dive into why these recommendations exist. Otherwise, happy driving, and treat that Audi well!

Does an Audi A5 require regular or premium gas?

Time to delve a little deeper!

Per the owner’s manual of an Audi A5, regular gas (87 octane) is the minimum required fuel type, but premium gas (91 octane) is recommended:

Audi A5 owner's manual: gas type

In simple terms, if you fill up your Audi A5 with regular (87 octane) gas, it will run safely. Any lower-octane fuel (lower than 87), and you risk damaging the fuel system or engine.

Tip: The correct gas type for your Audi A5 will always be written on the inside of the fuel filler cap.

But here’s the thing – just because someone can survive on fast food doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for their health.

Similarly, your A5’s engine is designed to reach its full potential with premium (91 octane) gas. Audi’s engineers and the manual agree that premium gas will positively impact your fuel economy, engine performance, and long-term maintenance costs.

Audi A5 sportback grey

If you have a performance-oriented version of the Audi A5, like an S5 or even an RS5, the gas recommendation is more stringent. These high-performance models thrive on premium (91 octane) gas.

Can you fill up an S5 or RS5 with regular gas? Technically, yes.

If the only available option is 87 octane, it won’t instantly harm your car. However, consistently using regular gas is like making an athlete continuously run in ill-fitting shoes. They might manage, but it’s not ideal.

And what about tuned Audi A5s?

Modifications like RaceChip can increase the horsepower of your Audi A5. And when you upgrade the engine’s performance, its diet needs an upgrade too.

Just as an athlete on a rigorous training regime needs specialized nutrition, a tuned A5 needs the high-octane boost of premium (91-octane) gas.

Ultimately, using regular gas, especially in the performance models or tuned versions, might initially save you a few bucks at the pump.

But in the long run, it can affect your car’s performance, fuel efficiency, and even its lifespan.

Reduced acceleration, less-than-smooth rides, and more visits to the mechanic? We’d rather avoid that, wouldn’t we?

Difference between regular, mid-grade, and premium gas

Now that we’ve discussed the recommended gas type for your Audi A5, you might wonder, “What do these octane numbers mean?”.

Octane ratings are a measure of the fuel’s resistance to knocking.

No, it’s not like door-knocking! In car terms, knocking is a rattling or pinging sound you’d hear when the air-fuel mixture in the cylinders detonates earlier than it should. It’s not good for your engine!

The higher the octane rating, the more compression the gas can withstand before it ignites, which reduces the likelihood of knocking and leads to smoother engine performance.

When you’re filling up, you will typically see the following gas types:

  • Regular gas (87 Octane): This is the basic option. It’s the most common and budget-friendly. It’s suitable for many vehicles but not necessarily an excellent choice for high-performance cars.
  • Mid-grade gas (around 89 Octane): Slightly pricier than regular, it’s often seen as a compromise between cost and performance. Perfect for those who want higher-quality fuel without splurging too much.
  • Premium gas (91 Octane and above): Designed for high-performance engines, this gas resists knocking, ensuring smoother combustion. If cars could dream, many would probably dream of this.

The main difference between regular, mid-grade, and premium gas is that regular gas has an octane rating of 87, mid-grade gas has an octane rating of 89, while premium gas has an octane rating of 91 or higher.

Regular (87 octane), mid-grade (89 octane), and premium (93 octane) gas at a pump

Here’s something more to think about: premium gas offers benefits that go beyond preventing knocking. It ensures optimal performance, fuel efficiency, and longevity for cars, especially those designed to be high-performers.

High-end cars (like Audi models) often have advanced engines optimized for higher compression ratios. These engines thrive on the richness of premium gas, which in turn offers better acceleration, fuel economy, and longevity.

Real-world experiences with Audi A5 gas choices

Not convinced by the benefits of premium gas? Let’s check out some real-world experiences from Audi A5 owners!

1. The economic perspective

One Audi A5 owner doesn’t want to take the risk for the minimal financial savings:

93 or bust. 93 is about $0.40 more per gallon than 87 around here. I put close to 20K miles a year on my car and average 26mpg. So over the course of a year it costs me about $300 more per year or $6 per week to put premium gas in the tank. Please don’t risk damaging the engine on a $60,000 car by trying to save $300 a year in fuel costs.


2. Problems with regular and mid-tier gas

Another Audi owner tells about his bad experiences with regular and mid-tier gas:

I’m in the USA and have the same thoughts, after using Shell for 3 months it seems like it does not have the detergent in it like the others do and leads to buildup. I have been using BP 93 which is the highest around here and it runs great. I did try 89 once and did feel a large power loss so I won’t go back down there.


3. Premium gas only

Another Audi A5 owner notes:

I put the highest available in my area which is Chevron 91. Anything less will lead to an accelerated carbon build up and impaired performance


Can you use ethanol-based fuels for the Audi A5?

Ethanol-based fuels are fuels that contain ethanol, which is a renewable fuel made from biomass. Biomass consists of a variety of plant materials.

It looks something like this:

Corn put into the gas tank filler cap of a car

That’s a joke, of course!

In reality, over 98% of gasoline in the US contains ethanol. The most common ethanol-based fuel is E10, which consists of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline.

Ethanol-based fuels reduce air pollution, but at the same time, using gas that contains a high concentration of ethanol can damage your vehicle.

E10 is a standard that’s commonly accepted to be safe for most cars on the road today, including the Audi A5.

However, you may occasionally find E15 gas containing 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. In the US, E15 can be found in 30 states at over 2,400 pumps (source).

E15 is not optimal for the Audi A5, but it won’t be a danger in the short term. However, it can only be used for Audi A5s from 2001 or newer.

Once you increase the ethanol percentage further, it really won’t be too good for your car.

For instance, E85 gas is also available in some places, but it can only be used for your Audi A5 if you have a flex-fuel kit.

FAQs about gas for the Audi A5

If you have any more questions about which gas to use for your Audi A5, take a look at these FAQs:

What happens if I accidentally fill up with regular gas in my Audi A5?

Nothing will happen if you put regular gas in your Audi A5. The Audi A5 is designed to run safely on regular gas. However, if you can, it is advisable to use premium gas.

Can I use fuel additives for the Audi A5?

You can use fuel additives or cleaners for the Audi A5. However, it is important to carefully read the manual beforehand and avoid using additives more than twice a year, as this can damage the engine or fuel system.

Can the Audi A5 take 93 gas?

Filling up an Audi A5 with premium (93 octane) gas will allow it to extract its maximum performance and engine longevity. However, unless you have a high-performance model, 91 octane is just as good.

Final verdict

So, can an Audi A5 use regular gas?

In short, yes, but it is not recommended.

Premium gas, as per Audi’s recommendation, ensures optimal performance and longevity for your A5. You invested in a luxury car, so it’s only fitting to give it the best to ensure it runs at its peak.

From a purely economic standpoint, while regular gas offers initial savings at the pump, the potential longer-term costs, reduced fuel efficiency, and potential wear and tear could nullify those savings.

Now that you know what gas to use for your Audi A5, enjoy the drive!

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to help!

Reader’s tip: Do you need new tires for your Audi? If so, check out this article: Don’t Skid On Safety: The Best Audi Tires For Each Model

Gas Requirements For Other Audi Models

Are you interested in the required gas type of other Audi models?

If so, you can find everything you need to know in the following articles:

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