From articles I have read and a conversation with a fuel delivery truck driver, it seems this top tier thing is more of a marketing strategy than a real benefit. I use to buy into the whole top tier thing, then several articles and a conversation with a fuel delivery guy changed it for me. Numerous articles indicate the fuel we buy regardless of brand all comes from the same refineries. This was confirmed to me when I was at a Chevron station and spoke to the driver of the fuel truck, I asked him about these articles I was reading and his answer was, when I am done here, my next stop is across the street to the so called no-name brand selling their fuel for .13 sents per gal cheaper. He also went on to say, "look at my truck, do you see Chevron's branding painted on it?" It was a generic fuel delivery truck and then asked "when was the last time you saw a Chevron, Shell or Texaco truck at a station?" I had to admit I could not recall when I had, and since then, I have not seen any. So since then I purchase my fuel at whatever is available at the best price. One of the stations in my area I frequent does happen to be on the "top tier" list" (QT) but only because of convenience and price. When I have filled up with non top tier fuels I have not noticed any reduced performance or loss of mpg. Based on my experience, I have a hard time justifying paying a premium price for a name.