Skoda Octavia G-Tec on test

Among the many engines for the Octavia, the 1.5 TGI with CNG drive is an interesting marginal phenomenon.

It sounds tempting: compressed natural gas (CNG) burns almost particle-free and generates significantly less CO2 than petrol. Added to this is the higher energy content compared to petrol and diesel at noticeably lower fuel prices. Nevertheless, natural gas hardly plays a role in car sales anymore - in the first three months of the year there were just 1,206 new CNG registrations.

50 of these were for the Skoda Octavia G-Tec, which, as a station wagon with dual-clutch transmission, consumed an average of 4.6 kg of CNG for 100 km in the test. For the purse, this means: At 1.10 euros per kg of CNG, the fuel costs are halved compared to a comparable eTSI petrol engine (6.7 liters; 1.49 euros/liter Super).

And the catch? The technology is not free, although the surcharge for the Octavia is limited at exactly 1,000 euros compared to the 1.5 eTSI. In addition, the TGI has to be content with 130 instead of 150 hp and 200 instead of 250 Nm as well as slightly weaker driving performance, but that can be easily overcome. The comfort-oriented character of the G-Tec forces a relaxed driving style anyway, which also easily pushes consumption below 4 kg/100 km.

Adaptive dampers are not available for it, but it irons out most creases in the road surface. And only above 3,500 rpm does the TGI engine run noticeably rougher, which becomes annoying at most at motorway speeds from around 170 km/h. Otherwise, the inconspicuously juggling DSG with the seven gears only allows such high speeds when accelerating vigorously.

Use range carefree

Eco mode is best for gliding. The DSG likes to disengage when overrun and allows the station wagon to roll fuel-efficiently when idling. The G-Tec always uses the instrument display to show how far the gas supply (17.3 kg) still lasts. Although the CNG network is rather wide-meshed with around 900 filling stations, you don't have to be afraid of getting stranded. Because if the supply is empty, the engine switches imperceptibly and automatically to the petrol reserve (9 litres) - so every filling station is within reach.

In the luggage compartment, there is no space under the floor that now just ends with the loading sill - there are still 495 liters. Finally, a tip: Those who do without DSG and a few extras can save with the G-Tec from the very first kilometer - with a manual transmission it is available in the basic Active (from 27,440 euros), the 1.5 TSI only starts from Ambition ( from 28,550 euros).

Conclusion

If you don't have a problem with the thin network of CNG filling stations, you can drive very cheaply with the G-Tec. Apart from the smaller storage space, the other qualities of the Octavia remain untouched.

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