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Friday, February 6, 2015

RON 95 or RON 97? which one better?

“Should I use RON 95 or go for the more expensive RON 97 fuel?” That’s a very common question among our readers and general Malaysian motorists alike. More recently – with fuel prices coming down and the difference between the two less significant than before – the issue has become more pertinent then ever.

Needless to say, there are countless theories on this matter scattered across the Internet: some for, and others against the use of higher-RON petrol fuels. 

We at thought it would be much simpler – not to mention conclusive – to just compare the two fuel grades directly, head-to-head against each other.

So RON 95 vs RON 97 – which one’s better, or rather, which one should you use? We gathered two units of the Volkswagen Polo Sedan and two Jetta TSIs to find out.

RON_95_vs_RON_97_Fuel_Test_Malaysia_ 008

Why two pairs of vehicles, we hear you ask? Well, you’ve heard it all before: modern, more technologically advanced engines respond more to higher-grade fuels, you get bigger gains with a turbocharged engine compared to a naturally-aspirated one, so on and so forth. So, we though we’d cover both bases at once.

The Polo Sedan with its naturally-aspirated 1.6 litre MPI (multi-port injection) engine represents traditional, old-school vehicles, while the 1.4 litre twin-charged (turbocharged and supercharged), direct-injection TSI motor in the Jetta plays for the other team here.

First up, the test itself. We arranged a lengthy 230 km-odd route, including heading into the Kuala Lumpur city centre on a regular working week day (during rush hour, no less), then on to equal shares of both highways and twisty backroads to Tanjung Malim and back.

Heavy stop-wait-and-go traffic, clear and busy highways, tight B-road stretches – we 
covered them all, and then some. It’s as real-world as it gets, we think, as far as single-day fuel tests go, encompassing all variations of driving conditions in Malaysia.

Before we started, we had emptied all the cars’ fuel tanks as much as we dared to, and filled them up with their respective fuels the day before the test. The cars were then driven around for a bit to get the engines accustomed to each fuel type. To maintain absolute parity between the vehicles, each car’s tyres were also pumped up to the recommended pressures.

On to the actual fuel test. For consistency’s sake, each car was filled up to the brim using the three-click method (wait for the fuel nozzle to automatically stop, repeat three times after 10 second intervals) with the same re-fuelling kiosk.

So we now had one Polo Sedan running on RON 95 fuel, with the other on RON 97. Ditto with the pair of Jettas. Off we went, then.

The four vehicles travelled in a loose convoy throughout the entire journey, each taking turns to lead. We changed drivers at the halfway point (between each pairs) to eliminate the effects of different driving styles (and the drivers’ weights too, of course). The air-con settings were kept identical between the two pairs too.

To keep the test as “real-world” as possible, the drivers followed the natural flow and speed of other road users, which meant that we kept a minimal distance to the car in front during traffic jams, and cruised between 100 to 130 km/h on the fast lane through clear highways. It wouldn’t have been realistic any other way, right?

RON_95_vs_RON_97_Fuel_Test_Malaysia_ 052

At the end of the route, the convoy covered exactly 236.7 km of mixed driving conditions. Each car was then re-fuelled to the brim again with the same process described above (identical three-click method, using the same petrol kiosk) to see the exact amount of fuel used.

The results are as such: the Polo Sedan on RON 95 used precisely 18.160 litres of fuel, while the one on RON 97 used 17.612 litres. Those figures correspond to 13.03 km per litre (7.67 l/100 km) for the car on RON 95, and 13.44 km per litre (7.44 l/100 km) for the RON 97 test car. That’s a difference of 3.15% in favour of RON 97 (using RON 95’s number as the baseline).

As for the Jettas, the RON 95 car used 17.505 litres (averaging 13.52 km per litre or 7.40 l/100 km), compared to the RON 97 test car’s 17.857 litres (13.26 km per litre or 7.54 l/100 km). The difference stands at -1.92%, in favour of RON 95. And yes, this surprised us too.

Refer to the table above for the full results. In short, with the Volkswagen Polo Sedan 1.6 MPI, using RON 97 fuel brings a fuel economy gain of 3.15%. The Jetta 1.4 TSI, on the other hand, suffered a small deficit of 1.92% with the higher-grade fuel.

Now, the cost factor comes in. As things stand right now, RON 97 fuel (RM2.00 per litre) carries a 17.65% premium over regular RON 95 (RM1.70 per litre). Even allowing for a 5% margin of error either way, this test suggests that the cheaper fuel is still the way to go from a financial point of view.

As for claims that higher RON fuel offers better engine performance, it has to be said that none of the four drivers felt any discernible difference between the two fuels. Read into this what you will, of course, but based on our results, it looks like the crew will continue to feed our personal cars with RON 95 fuel. Over to you: do you use RON 95 or RON 97, and why?

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1 comment:

  1. Hello semua orang yang saya amat gembira yang mengambil lihat pada bukti besar saya bagaimana saya mendapat keinginan pinjaman saya Encik José Luis yang merupakan maneger José Luis Pinjaman Syarikat, saya ingin cepat menggunakan peluang ini untuk membiarkan semua orang tahu ini, am D. Carlos Bulgheronic dari Buenos Aires Agentina, saya cari pinjaman untuk memulakan perniagaan saya sendiri untuk menyokong perniagaan pertanian saya, perbelanjaan, jadi pergi dalam talian untuk mencari pinjaman apabila saya mendapati beberapa pemberi pinjaman yang menipu dan ditipu wang kecil saya dalam proses masa menjadi ii keliru tidak tahu apa lagi yang perlu dilakukan, kerana wang yang sedikit saya dengan saya dipimpin oleh mereka anak haram penipuan yang memanggil pemberi pinjaman kredit sebenar, jadi yang setia sebagai hari aku melayari Internet untuk mencari pekerjaan saya mendapati beberapa testimoni komen dalam forum D. Carlos, dan Puan Mary Lin dengan cara yang mereka terima bandar pinjaman bank mereka syarikat e-mel:, jadi saya memberitahu diri saya yang hendak Kuberikan ini percubaan kerana saya begitu takut tentang apa yang para peminjam yang lain lakukan kepada saya, jadi saya pergi ke hadapan saya mengambil alamat e-mel peribadi anda yang berada di dalam komen-komen dalam forum, jadi saya menghubunginya untuk memberitahu beliau bahawa saya telah dirujuk kepadanya oleh beberapa pelanggan yang menerima pinjaman mereka syarikatnya, D. Carlos, dan María lin jadi apabila dia mendengar bahawa beliau amat gembira dengan keadaan itu, jadi saya bahawa saya dalam syarikat yang betul kata di mana saya mendapatkan jumlah saya pinjaman keinginan, memberikan saya pinjaman borang permohonan peminjam untuk membentangkan dan belakang, Saya melakukan semua jadi, kerana maklumat yang diperlukan keseluruhan saya tentang saya, jadi saya mendapat terma-terma dan syarat-syarat semua syarikat anda berjalan lancar, tanpa kehilangan masa, tidak kurang daripada 24 jam saya telah dimaklumkan bahawa jumlah pinjaman saya daripada 9,000,000 sah dolar telah didaftarkan dan diluluskan oleh lembaga pemegang amanah pinjaman, jadi dalam proses masa itu saya begitu gembira apabila mereka berkata, saya sepatutnya menghantar mereka perbankan butiran, tetapi agak ragu-ragu untuk berbuat demikian saya berkata kami mempunyai keyakinan dan saya rasa bagi pemberi pinjaman ini dipanggil Encik Abraham memberikan mereka akaun bank jadi ia adalah menghairankan bahawa penerimaan dan menyedarkan bank saya bahawa akaun saya telah dikreditkan dengan jumlah $ 9.000.000 oleh Encik José Luis. Jadi segera menghantar e-mel yang saya terima pinjaman saya berjaya, jadi saudara-saudara di luar sana masih mencari syarikat pinjaman yang tulen saya akan memberitahu anda sila hubungi Encik José Luis dengan e-mel yang sama: dan saya tahu dia juga akan membantu dengan jumlah pinjaman saya ingin anda juga, e-mel mereka hari ini dan anda akan gembira anda lakukan. D. Carlos Bulgheronic dari Buenos Aires Agentina


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