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Types Of Gas A Toyota Prius Uses (All Generations)

We do a lot of digging to find the answer to the questions you might have about different cars. In this post, we will talk about “What Kind of Gas Does Toyota Prius Take?” For this, we have gone through the owner’s manual of the Toyota Prius manufactured from 2012 to 2021 to give you detailed information about Toyota Prius gas intake.

Toyota Prius models, from 2012 to the present, including Prius AWD, eco, Prime, and V, are designed for regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87, irrespective of the 1.5L or 1.8L four-cylinder engine. The use of premium fuel isn’t recommended, as its primary benefit is preventing spark knock without increasing power or efficiency.

This typical of most Toyota vehicles and because they’re designed with the average consumer in mind, you’ll find that everything from Corolla to the Avalon typically runs best on regular octane 87.

However, this is not the whole story of Toyota Prius gas intake. Below, we will talk in detail about the type of gas or diesel one should use for the specific model of your Toyota Prius. Since the durability of your car’s engine is an essential factor, we will see which gas is better or worse for your car’s performance. 

Furthermore, in the blog, we will discuss what gas you should consider or should not, the size of the fuel tank, and the cost of filling the fuel tank of Toyota Prius.

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Infographic about the fuel types for a Toyota Prius.

Fuel Requirements Based On Engine Type

2021-Present Day

2021 Toyota Prius with 1.8L four-cylinder is designed to use unleaded gasoline only with an octane rating of 87. Toyota Prius AWD, Prius eco, and Prius Prime also have the same octane rating 87 with 1.8L, four-cylinder.

Since premium gasoline provides more benefits than regular gasoline, premium type is still not recommended in the engine. The only use of premium is to prevent spark knock and not offer any more power or efficiency.


2016-2020 Toyota Prius 1.8L, four-cylinder uses regular unleaded gasoline only as leaded gasoline can cause damage to your vehicle’s three-way catalytic converters, which can cause malfunctioning to the emission control system. It is recommended to use octane 87 for Prius.

2016-2020 Toyota Prius C has 1.5L; four-cylinder also recommends an octane rating of 87.

2016-2017 Prius V has 1.8L, four-cylinder uses regular unleaded gasoline and has an octane rating of 87.

2019-2020 Prius AWD has 1.8L, four-cylinder uses regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87.


2012-2015 Toyota Prius with a 1.8L four-cylinder Automatic (variable gear ratios) uses unleaded gasoline.

Use of unleaded gasoline with an octane rating lower than 87 may result in engine knocking. For optimum performance, Toyota Prius recommends the use of octane 87.

Does The Prius Require Premium Fuel?

No, the Toyota Prius does not require premium fuel. It is designed to run efficiently on regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. Using premium gasoline does not improve the vehicle’s performance or fuel efficiency. Thus, premium fuel isn’t necessary and can be an unnecessary additional expense.

What Type Of Gasoline Can And Can’t Be Used?

Gasoline, being an energy-dense secondary fuel, is also known as petrol. It acts as a fuel for a vast proportion of cars and provides power to many heat engines. It is crucial for running most internal combustion engine cars.

The significant advantages are that it is efficient, easy to refuel, cheaper, has lesser emissions, is light-weighted, has fewer vibrations and less noisy than diesel engines, has smooth acceleration, and has a better burning rate.

These are the reasons that make gasoline one of the most widely used petroleum products. A broad range of petrol and diesel is available in the market apart from this regular conventional gasoline. One can change the brand of gasoline if there is continuity in driveability.

Let’s see what kind of gasoline is or is not recommended for Toyota Prius.

Reformulated Gasoline

These types of gasoline have their composition and characteristics altered to reduce vehicular emissions of pollutants. It is required in cities with high smog levels. The RFG program is combined with other industrial and transportation controls for Clean Air Act amendments to reduce smog-forming and toxic pollutants in the air.

Toyota recommends using low-emission gasoline that has been reformulated or fuel that contains oxygenates such as ethers and ethanol for the Prius 1.8L four-cylinder engine.

It contains oxygen-rich chemicals in lesser concentrations and is formulated to reduce certain toxic chemicals found in conventional and winter oxygenated fuel. It helps in excellent durability and performance to all the parts of the car.

About 75 million people breathe cleaner air because of reformulated gasoline. RFG is currently used in 16+ states and the District of Columbia. Not only this, gasoline sold in the U.S is 25% reformulated.

Gasoline Containing Added Materials

Detergent additives are essential chemicals that help prevent deposits from being formed in the combustion system of engines. Due to unclean combustion systems, there is a loss of horsepower, poor fuel economy, increased emissions, and poor idling.

So additives help in restoring overall engine performance and help in preventing new or additional accumulation.

Toyota strongly recommends using Top Tier Detergent Gasoline for your Prius as it improves engine performance by reducing engine deposits and in-use emissions. Deposits are removed from intake valves, fuel injectors, and other fuel system components.

Gasoline Containing MMT

According to research, gasoline containing MMT increases the Mn-containing deposits on the engine, contaminating the engine components and exhaust emission control system. Even a low level of MMT can increase the emission of conventional pollutants such as HC, CO, and NOx, which has been most evident for Low-Level Emissions Vehicles (LEV).

It is a matter of concern among the automakers that the use of MMT will exceed the emission standards of these vehicles.  Over the years, there were various customer complaints of blocked and ineffective catalysts due to MMT in gas.

In South Africa and China, the use of MMT has led to emissions deterioration and spark plug fouling. Disabling neurological impairments in movements and speech with symptoms like Parkinson’s disease are known to be caused by airborne manganese.

Therefore, American Automobile Manufacturers Association has also advised the consumers not to use manganese gas additives to avoid possible damage to the automotive systems.

Due to the loss in fuel economy, vehicle emission performance, and durability of your car. Therefore, Toyota also does not recommend the use of gasoline that contains an octane enhancing additive called MMT for your Prius.

Blended Gasoline

Toyota does not recommend using flex-fuel or gasoline that contains 15% or more ethanol, also labeled as E15. E15 includes 5% more ethanol than E10 and has a higher octane value of 88, while E10 has an octane rating of 87.

It is composed of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. Gasoline containing ethanol of more than 15% can cause premature engine damage and mislead fuel gauge readings. E30, E50, E85 are few examples of fuel containing more than 15% ethanol which is not recommended for Toyota Prius.

Toyota recommends using gasohol in your Prius only if it has an octane rating of not less than 87.

Many people believe that there is an immense improvement in the performance of your car by opting for higher-grade gasoline, but that is not the truth. Octane ratings do not indicate performance but instead the fuel’s resistance to pre-ignition.

So higher grade gasoline increases the resistance to pre-ignition, which can damage your engine. Thus, it is advisable to stick to the octane rating of 87, which is the peak efficiency of your Toyota Prius.

Gasoline containing Methanol is also not approved for your Toyota Prius as it has the significant drawback of being corrosive for nature. Some non-metallic parts tend to swell when in contact with Methanol.

Uncontrolled use of Methanol can result in high concentration leading to additional wear and damage to the fuel system.

What Should Be Done If You Hear A Knocking Voice From The Engine?

Toyota Prius has a performance-tuned engine for an octane value of 87. So if fuel is put in which has too low of an octane value than 87, a knocking sound may be experienced. The 87 rated high octane fuel burns more uniformly and resists knocks, whereas the lower octane fuel burns more readily under pressure and ignites spontaneously when subjected to too much pressure.

Solution- Adding an octane booster to your Toyota tank will increase the octane to a better range of the currently installed fuel. After the tank gets empty, you can refuel it with the proper rated fuel as mentioned in the owner’s manual of Toyota Prius.

What Is The Mileage Of Toyota Prius?


For 2021, the Toyota Prius, Prius AWD, Prius eco, and Prius Prime with 1.8L were rated at 54/50 MPG highway/city has a combined MPG of 52.

You can also check out this video for a real-world mileage test of the 2023 Prius:

Whereas Toyota Prius AWD with 1.8L is rated 51/47 Highways /city has a combined MPG 49. The Toyota Prius ECO has 1.8L is rated at 58/ 53 highways/city has a combined ratio of 56 MPG.

1.8 L54MPG50MPG52MPG
AWD 1.8 l51MPG47MPG49MPG


For 2016-2017, Toyota Prius with 1.8L has a combined MPG of 52 and was rated at 54/50 highway/city. In contrast, an AWD 1.8L engine has a combined MPG of 49, rated at 50/48.

Toyota Prius C with an engine of 1.5L is 48 MPG for highway and 43 MPG with a combined MPg of 46.

1.8 L54MPG50MPG52MPG
AWD 1.8 l50MPG48MPG49MPG
Prius c 1.5l48MPG43MPG46MPG


For 2012-2015, EPA ratings for Toyota Prius AWD 1.8L is 50MPG for highway and 48 for the city and has a combined MPG of 52. In comparison, Toyota Prius C  with 1.5L was rated at 58/53 highway/city and had a combined MPG of 56. Toyota Prius V with a 1.8L engine was rated at 43/39 highway/city and had a combined MPG of 41.

1.8 L54MPG50MPG52MPG
AWD 1.8 l50MPG48MPG49MPG
prius c 1.5l48MPG43MPG46MPG
prius v 1.8L43MPG39MPG41MPG

What Is The Gas Tank Size Of Toyota Prius?

The 2012 – 2015 Toyota Prius has a standard tank size of 11.9 gallons or 45 liters. In contrast, the 2016- 2021 Toyota Prius has a standard tank size of 11.3 gallons or 42.7 liters.

Prius has a sizeable fuel tank, with FWD models having a capacity of 11.3 gallons and AWD models having a capacity of 10.6 gallons.

The 2020 Toyota Prius can travel up to 655.4 miles in the city and 598.9 miles on the highway with this tank size.

How Much Does It Cost To Fill Up Toyota Prius?

On average, it will cost 52.8$ to fill up the fuel tank of Prius produced between 2012-2015, in California, the state with the most expensive gas, while it would cost around 33.6$ to get your tank filled once if you are in Texas, the state with the cheapest gas.

The cost would be similar for other models too. This cost is estimated for regular gasoline; Premium gasoline may cost slightly higher.

Closing Thoughts

Through our deep-dive into the Toyota Prius’ gas intake, it’s clear that regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 is the ideal choice across all Prius models from 2012 to the present. Premium fuel, while beneficial in preventing spark knock, does not enhance power or efficiency, making it unnecessary for the Prius. In fact, any fuel with an octane rating lower than 87 could result in engine knocking.

Remember, appropriate fuel choice and understanding fuel-related factors are key to maintaining your Toyota Prius’s performance and longevity. Keep driving and enjoying your Prius!


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