The Audi Q3 is a compact SUV that Audi launched in the US market in 2015. Since its launch, the Audi Q3 has gained popularity among compact SUV buyers. It has been a buyer’s favorite owing to its attractive design and practicality.
But what we are here to discuss is the Audi Q3’s fuel types and requirements.
All generations of the Audi Q3 have premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of at least 89, but preferably 91 minimum for optimum performance. Using higher octane grades will significantly improve your Audi Q3 engine health and life. However, regular 87-octane gasoline can temporarily be used when premium gasoline is unavailable.
So, while Audi themselves suggests using a minimum octane grade of 87 for the fuel, they indicate that this might reduce engine performance. However, we suggest using higher-grade octane fuels whenever possible and so does Audi.
However, that certainly doesn’t tell the whole story. Below we’ll talk about the different kinds of fuels on the market, what sort of specifications they have, and whether or not Audi recommends them for the Q3 model.
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Does The Audi Q3 Require Premium Gasoline?
Below, we’ll discuss the fuel requirements for the different generations and the different engine types that have been used in the Q3.
2018 – Present
The current generation of the Audi Q3 has one engine type, which is a 2.0L engine and is smaller than its Q8 cousin.
As per the owner’s manual for Audi Q3, Audi suggests that fuels with an octane grade of 87 minimum can be used. We sense that Audi, although suggesting 87, doesn’t feel it is the right choice. Words like “However, this does reduce the engine power slightly.” show some level of the deficit in their confidence.
We suggest car owners go for octane levels of at least 89 or, even better if they opt for 91 minimum. It will certainly do away with the fear of Audi of “reduced engine performance.” Also, using higher octane grades significantly improves engine health and life.
As discussed in the coming paragraphs, these engines can also take other fuels.
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (184 HP)||87-grade octane minimum, 91 recommended|
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (228 HP)||87-grade octane minimum, 91 recommended|
Just like the second generation, the first generation was only available with a 2.0L engine with two different power outputs.
The owner’s manuals of the Audi Q3’s first-generation suggested that fuels with a minimum octane rating of 87 may be used to operate the vehicle. It was stated with the heads-up of reduced power if 87-grade octane fuel was used. In the manual, Audi also suggests that it would be better if higher-grade octane fuels like 91 or above were used.
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (170 HP)||87-octane minimum, 91 recommended|
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (211 HP)||87-octane minimum, 91 recommended|
If you’re interested in the different gasoline requirements for all Audis, please read the article we just linked.
What Types Of Gasoline Can And Can’t Be Used?
With the options available today in the market, it is a good idea to see if the Audi Q3 can take these fuel types or not. So let’s do it without any further ado.
Reformulated gasoline was made to fight the threats of emissions and pollution to the environment caused by vehicles. RFG has been around for quite some time, and car owners, who maintain an environmentally friendly mindset, use reformulated gasoline in their cars.
Audi, however, doesn’t suggest anything on this front. However, from experience, we know that carmakers recommend reformulated gasoline whenever possible. Audi doesn’t explicitly recommend reformulated gasoline in the owner’s manuals because it’s a German brand, and RFG doesn’t exist in Europe.
Gasoline/Oxygenated Blends Or E-85
Oxygenated blends of gasoline are types of gasoline that have 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.
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:
- Never use fuel that contains methanol in any generation of the Audi Q3
- Only use fuel that contains a maximum of 15% ethanol for any generation of the Audi Q3. E-10 and E-15 can, therefore, safely be used, whereas E-85 will result in severe damage to the engine.
Gasoline With Added Materials
Some products that act as additives are also available today, mixed with gasoline. These products serve different purposes. Some are deposit cleaners, cleaning agents, detergents, etc. Based on their level of detergency, the outcome of using such additives can vary quite a bit.
However, it’s good to know that Audi strongly advises against using additives in your Q3, as well as other models like the Audi Q5 as we mention here. 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 toptiergas.com.
Gasoline With MMT
Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl, or MMT, is used as an additive to gasoline for its octane-enhancing abilities. Initially sold as a supplement, MMT was later marketed as an octane enhancer. It is also the case with MTBE, which is an octane enhancer.
As per Audi Q3’s owner’s manual, two points are to be ensured if a car owner wants to use MTBE.
- Fuel to be used must be 87 octane or higher
- The blend should not contain more than 15% MTBE
What If I Hear A Knocking Noise From The Engine After Refilling?
The irritating engine knocking sound is what every driver is familiar with. It ruins the whole driving experience by shifting the driver’s mind from driving pleasure to engine worries. One of the key reasons behind this is low octane-grade fuels.
As Audi suggests, a minimum of 87-grade octane undoubtedly leads to knocking sounds. For more insight into engine knocking check this video:
The best and quickest way to address this issue is by using higher-grade octane fuels when refueling. We recommend using at least 91-octane or above. Almost 100% of the time, the knocking issue gets eliminated by switching to higher-grade octane fuels.
However, if you hear loud engine knocking, it´s best to stop the car immediately and call your dealer. Most likely, your car needs to be drained of its fuel, and the fuel filter will need to be replaced.
Does The Audi Q3 Have Good Gas Mileage?
The Audi Q3 has been sold with 2.0-liter engines in the US markets. Usually, the 2.0-liter displacement is a good choice since it moves the compact SUV around with ease without increasing your fuel bills adversely. Let’s see how good the fuel economy is for the Audi Q3 for both of its generations.
2018 – Present
|Engine||Lowest Combined MPG||Highest Combined MPG|
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (184 HP)||20||28|
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (228 HP)||20||28|
|Engine||Lowest Combined MPG||Highest Combined MPG|
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (170 HP)||20||28|
|2.0-liter 4-cylinder (211 HP)||19||30|
What’s The Gas Tank Size Of An Audi Q3?
When buying a vehicle, especially an SUV, it is vital to consider the fuel tank capacity. One should always know how far one can go on one tank.
We are happy to report that the fuel tank capacity is a non-issue for the Audi Q3. The second generation has 16.2 gallons of fuel tank capacity, and the 1st generation has 15.9 gallons. Given the fuel economy of the Audi Q3, it would be safe to say that one can easily travel more than 250 miles per tank.
|2nd Generation||16.2 Gal|
|1st Generation||15.9 Gal|
In conclusion, the Audi Q3 is designed to perform optimally on higher octane fuels, despite its manual stating a minimum of 87-grade octane. Opting for at least 91-octane will improve engine health and performance, while also minimizing the risk of engine knocking.
For those of you who want to know more fuel-specific information whether that’s mixing different octane gasoline and the dangers associated with that as well as mixing E-85 and unleaded gasoline, we have you covered!
So there you have it! Treat your Audi Q3 right with the proper gas, and it’ll treat you right on the road. Happy driving!
- Audi Q3 Owners Manual 2022
- Audi Q3 Owners Manual 2020
- Audi Q3 Owners Manual 2019
- Audi Q3 Owners Manual 2018
- Audi Q3 Owners Manual 2017
- Audi Q3 Owners Manual 2016
- Audi Q3 Owners Manual 2015
- Audi Q3 Fuel Economy
- Audi Q3 Wikipedia
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!