2012 Chevrolet Sonic LTZ: Octane Decision
April 25, 2012
Our longterm 2012 Chevrolet Sonic has the same 1.4-liter turbocharged engine as our Chevy Cruze. Last year, the Cruze produced some thought-provoking results when tested on 87 and 91 octane in hot weather. Namely, on a per-mile basis it was cheaper to use 91 (the owner's manual doesn't require octane higher than 87).
There's little reason to believe the Sonic will respond differently in similar conditions. That said, we've not been super-strict about staying with 87 or 91 in the time we've had the Sonic in our care.
Were it your Sonic, though -- and assuming you live where summers are truly hot -- would you switch to 91 in summer months, having internalized the results at the link above? Or is the psychological hurdle of filling with fuel that has a higher per-gallon cost too great to bear? Be honest.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor