Audi Q7 nardo grey - Which gas type?

Audi Q7 Gas Type: Regular or Premium? Find Out What’s Best!

If you’ve landed on this page, you may have gotten the keys to your Audi Q7 and want to properly take care of it from the start.

One of the most frequent questions we hear from new Audi owners is: “What gas type does my Audi take?” And more specifically, “Do I really need to pay extra for premium fuel?”

We’ve done the homework so you don’t have to, and in this article, we’ll tell you everything we’ve found.

The Audi Q7 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.

But there’s more to it, so let’s dive!

At a Glance: What gas can be used for your Audi Q7?

Alright, let’s get straight to the point.

You’re here because you want to know what gas to use for your Audi Q7 without diving into all the technical jargon. Gotcha!

  • For the standard Audi Q7: 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 Q7 with the 3.0-liter V6 engine or even an SQ7? First off, nice choice! In that case, it’s a clear call; both require premium (at least 91 octane) gas. Sure, they will tolerate regular gas occasionally, but for that thrilling performance you bought it for, premium gas is the way to go.
  • Tuned Audi Q7: If you’ve given your (base) Audi Q7 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 Q7s from 2001 or newer.
GasEthanol-based (E85)!Mostly not OK. It can only be used if your Q7 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.

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 Q7 require regular or premium gas?

Time to delve a little deeper!

Per the owner’s manual of an Audi Q7, regular gas (87 octane) is the minimum required fuel type, but premium gas (91 octane) is recommended:

Audi Q7 owner's manual: gas type

In simple terms, if you fill up your Audi Q7 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 Q7 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 Q7’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.

2015 Audi Q7 white

If you have a performance-oriented version of the Audi Q7, like the SQ7, the gas recommendation is more stringent. This high-performance model thrives on premium (91 octane) gas.

Can you fill up an SQ7 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.

Learn more: Audi Q7: What Years To Avoid & Which To Buy? (2024 Guide)

And what about tuned Audi Q7 models?

Modifications like RaceChip can increase the horsepower of your Audi Q7. 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 Q7 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 Q7, 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 Q7 gas choices

Not convinced by the benefits of premium gas? Let’s check out some real-world experiences from Audi Q7 owners!

1. No issues with regular gas

One Audi Q7 owner shares he never had an issue with regular gas:

2017 Q7 3.0 almost 6 years old 95,000 miles always used 87 octane never had an issue. I am a conservative driver but here in Louisiana it’s very flat so highway cruising at 80 mph with light load yields about 26.5 mpg. Burns about 3/4 quart of oil every 10,000 miles…


2. A recommendation of testing it yourself

On the other hand, there’s an Audi Q7 owner who noticed an improvement in fuel consumption when using higher-octane gas:

I would suggest doing a few tank fulls of higher octane and then testing your milage. Last year when gas was stupidly high and I noticed that the higher octane was only the usual .20 or .30 higher yet gas overall was nearly $4.00 per gallon. I switched to the higher octane.

I got like 2-3 more MPG. In those days of super high gas prices I actually SAVED money buying higher octane. The fact that the gas companies didn’t adjust the variance in price more when gase prices increased shows what a scam the whole thing really is.

Anyway it just boils down to how exactly your car reacts to the better gas. If it is able to improve MPG with higher octane then you may still be able to at least break even using a higher octane.


3. Saving money with regular gas

Then, here’s a Q7 owner that has always used the cheapest gas available, and never had a problem:

My 2018 Audi Q7 calls for 91 octane. Since day one I’ve put in the cheapest gas I could find. Usually 89 octane. Never had a problem and saved a fortune in the 55,000 miles I have so far.


Can you use ethanol-based fuels for the Audi Q7?

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 Q7.

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 Q7, but it won’t be a danger in the short term. However, it can only be used for Audi Q7 models from 2015 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 Q7 if you have a flex-fuel kit.

FAQs about gas for the Audi Q7

If you have any more questions about which gas to use for your Audi Q7, take a look at these FAQs:

What happens if I accidentally fill up with regular gas in my Audi Q7?

Nothing will happen if you put regular gas in your Audi Q7. The Audi Q7 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 Q7?

You can use fuel additives or cleaners for the Audi Q7. 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 Q7 take 93 gas?

Filling up an Audi Q7 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

To put it short: Can you run your Audi Q7 on regular gas? Technically, yes.

However, the better question is – should you? Our take? It’s best to use premium gas.

Audi isn’t randomly suggesting premium gas for fun.

It’s all about preserving that engine and guaranteeing your Q7 continues to drive for years to come.

Sure, in the short run, you might save a bit by using regular gas. But think about the long game: lower fuel efficiency and potential repair bills. Suddenly, those upfront ‘savings’ might not feel so significant.

And always remember, if you have any more questions, let us know in the comments!

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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