Skip to Content

The Types Of Gas An Acura MDX Takes (Explained)

The Types Of Gas An Acura MDX Takes (Explained)

We’ve written extensively about the Acura MDX, its capabilities, and various features on this blog. Today, we will talk about what fuel this sedan needs and what fuels are strictly prohibited. Let’s start with a quick answer:

All model years of the Acura MDX manufactured from 2001 onwards require 91-octane gasoline or higher for optimum performance, except for the first-generation models, which can run on regular 87-octane. 10% ethanol is allowed in all generations, whereas the fourth generation also takes 15% ethanol.

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ve outlined recommendations and requirements for different fuels and fuel additives. We’ll also detail the compatibility of the MDX with oxygenated blends. Furthermore, we discuss the tank size of these generations. Read on!

Want to save money on gasoline? earn up to $0.25/gallon every time you fill up? GetUpside is a free-to-use cashback app for US gas stations. Use coupon code THEDRIVERADVISER25and earn an additional $0.25/gallon the first time! Click here to download the app for Android or iOS.

Infographic explaining the fuel types for an Acura MDX

Does The Acura MDX Require Premium Gasoline?

The current generation of the Acura MDX, manufactured from 2022 onwards, has a 3.5L V6 or a 3.0L V6 Turbo for the Type-S variant. Both these engines require premium gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher.

The third generation, made between 2014 – 2020, has the same engines (although the 3.0L isn’t a turbo, and it’s used for the hybrid version); also, for this generation, 91 octane gasoline is recommended.

87 octane, 89 octane and 91 octane fuel levels explained

The second generation MDX was made between 2007 – 2013 and had a 3.7L V6 engine that required 91 octane gasoline or higher. 91-octane gasoline was also required for the 3.5L V6 used in the first generation of the MDX made between 2001 – 2006.

If you’re interested in the different gasoline requirements for all Acuras, please read the article we just linked.

Reformulated Gasoline

Another topic we need to talk about is the use of reformulated gasoline. Reformulated gasoline is the gasoline that’s mandatory in more than 19 areas of the United States. It was first introduced in California in the ’90s, and since then, it has been gaining ground.

The reason for its popularity is that this gasoline is designed to burn more cleanly, which results in fewer emissions. Therefore it’s mainly mandatory in regions of the USA where air quality is considered poor.

However, can the Acura MDX also take this gasoline? The answer to this is yes. Reformulated gasoline is safe to use with the MDX. Even better, Acura actively recommends the use of reformulated gasoline whenever it’s available.

Gasoline/Oxygenated Blends Or E-85

Oxygenated blends of gasoline are gasoline that has been blended with a certain amount of ethanol or methanol. These chemicals are mainly helpful during winter when temperatures drop lower and lower. This provides a more difficult starting point for the engine. Ethanol and methanol help the engine start more quickly.

Ethanol levels for cars explained, E10, E15 and E85

However, you can’t get just ethanol or methanol whenever you please. These chemicals are pretty dangerous for the engine and the fuel system, and using them should be done by following these rules:

  • From 2014 onwards, the Acura MDX can take gasoline with an ethanol level of 15%.
  • Between 2001 – 2013, the Acura MDX could only take gasoline with an ethanol level of 10%.

Gasoline With Added Materials

The final gasoline-specific topic we will talk about is the use of additives that need to be mixed into your fuel. These additives are widely available on the market these days. Supposedly they do a whole range of different things, such as:

  • Boost the octane level in your fuel, thereby giving it better performance.
  • Help the engine clean itself more effectively.

However, it’s good to know that Acura strongly advises against using additives in your Acura. This is because these additives can contain materials such as silicon or metallics that will seriously damage the engine and the fuel system.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you buy fuel that already has all the proper additives mixed into it. This kind of fuel can be purchased at certified TOP TIER gasoline retailers. These retailers sell gasoline that will provide the optimal performance for your engine and clean it as well as possible without damaging it. You can find a retailer at

What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling?

Knocking is a widespread phenomenon caused primarily due to low octane fuel. If you are experiencing this knocking issue right after you refill your tank, most probably, the quality of that fuel is lower than expected.

This knocking phenomenon happens due to premature combustions. When the fuel has lower octane, the resistance to burning decreases, and the fuel burns when it is not supposed to in the cylinder; thus, the firing order is disturbed, and you hear this metallic sound.

Suppose the knocking persists even when you have refilled better-quality gas; your engine needs service. Acura recommends stopping your vehicle immediately and calling your dealer or mechanic to have it towed and drained from its fuel.

Does the Acura MDX Have Good Gas Mileage?

Acura MDX belongs to the midsize luxury SUV category; thus, the mileage numbers won’t necessarily be good. We divided all the engines into generations, and we will put down all the data for you to see. You can see your particular MDX and the mpg you should be getting.

Fourth Gen Acura MDX (2022–Present)

red 2022 acura mdx parked in driveway
EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.0L V6 Turbo1721
3.5L V61925

Third Gen Acura MDX (2014-2021)

2014 bordeaux red acura mdx
EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.5L V6 6-speed automatic2028
3.5L V6 9-speed automatic1926
3.0L V6 (AM-S7)2627

Second Gen Acura MDX (2007-2013)

grey 2007 acura mdx driving down the street
EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.7L V6 5-speed automatic1520
3.7L V6 6-speed automatic1621

First Gen Acura MDX (2001-2006)

2003 silver acura mdx parked on sand dune
EngineLowest Combined MPGHighest Combined MPG
3.5L V61521

What’s The Gas Tank Size Of The Acura MDX?

  • 2022 – present Acura MDX have a gas tank of 18.5 gallons
  • 2014 – 2021 Acura MDX have a gas tank of 19.4 gallons
  • 2007 – 2013 Acura MDX have a gas tank of 20 gallons
  • 2001 – 2006 Acura MDX have a gas tank of 20.4 gallons


Have More Questions? Join Our Facebook Group!

Do you have any more questions that weren´t answered in this blog post? Join our free Facebook group and ask your question there. We promise you you´ll get an answer from one of our team members. Join the group here!