It could not be better
Natural gas? Still an exotic drive. But the Audi A3 Sportback g-tron refutes the prejudices in the endurance test.
No risk of rust in the gas tanks
Time to introduce him in more detail: The A3 Sportback g-tron, for 28,350 euros base price including s-tronic to 3100 euros more expensive than an equally powerful gasoline engine with 1.2 TFSI, came with many extras to over 45,000 euros. And yet there was little tinsel: “An equipment that does not fool prosperity, but just looks good and substantial,” said editor Christian Steiger. Although the Sportback looks like a station wagon in short pants, it is not good for families. The rear is too narrow, the gas tanks are 100 liters away from the normal trunk: The loading floor is always in the upper position, which is only enough for the luggage of a couple. Under the floor are the gas tanks, which consist of composite plastic. Therefore, there is no risk of rust as in the VW Touran, where individual steel containers have even exploded.
Every 150 to 300 kilometers the tank is empty
When driving the gas limits the everyday benefits amazingly little. Although a gasoline engine mauled over rougher idle or less turbo kick than in the 1.4 TSI, but “the 110 hp are sufficient in everyday life, more power I have rarely wished,” noted tester Berend Sanders after a 3000-kilometer tour. Occasionally, the DSG transmission jolted slightly from start to stop when starting up, which eased in the eco-driving program. Seats, chassis and noise level are absolutely long-distance, they make the more frequent fuel stops bearable: Every 150 to 300 kilometers – depending on the gas foot – the 14-kilo gas tank was empty, then it went to the 50 liters of gasoline. Switching (first gasoline, then gas) is not possible. Although would be together up to 900 kilometers range, but the cheaper price attracted many drivers, using the good Navi-guide to head for the next tank and only use the gas supply: At 88 cents per kilo, the cheapest gas price in the endurance test, cost only 250 kilometers Eleven euros – it could not be cheaper.
Impressive fuel balance with a touch of adventure
Such incentives even effectively trained the test team, we drove more than 60,000 kilometers on CNG. The 4.1 kilograms per 100 kilometers test cut (just under 20 percent over factory specification) correspond to 108 grams of CO2 per kilometer. How much fuel was used in the bottom line? 3057 kilos of natural gas and 2487 liters of super cost over the entire test 6720 euros. For comparison: The Golf 1.4 TSI, in How To Cars in the Endlostest on the road, comes for the same distance to 10 505 euros for fuel. An impressive balance, which turns out even better when the gas column is located on the road. Because the adventure is not when gas, but when refueling at one of the nearly 900 gas stations in Germany: Sometimes there are small detours to drive, the tank is closed at night or requires a time-consuming procedure: “go in, sign up car, unlock column, insert card, does not work, then – it's a pity that efficiency can be so difficult “, scolds editor Stephan pulse. And only Italy, Austria and Switzerland offer a similar network.
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A possible solution – a larger gas tank – Audi selects in the new A4 / A5 g-tron, the 19-kilo tank and 2.0-liter engine promise more range and power. In reliability, they do not surpass the A3: 100,000 kilometers no damage, no failure, nothing except a remote key with water damage to North Sea contact. The g-tron goes with the grade 1+ in our eternal hit list to the top – certainly the cleanest side of the natural gas.
|Rating: Audi A3 Sportback g-tron|
|Error points max.|
|Engine / gearbox failure||0x15||0|
|Defective drive / functional parts||0x5||0|
|Additional short workshop visit||0x3||0|
|Additional several days workshop stay||0x5||0|
|Defective and special works (radio / sat nav / liquids etc.)||0x2||0|
|Defective small parts (lamps etc.)||0x1||0|
|Long-term quality (from disassembly)|
|Body (preservation, paint, carpets, coverings)||0-5||0|
|Engine (power, tightness, deposits, tracks)||0-5||0|
|Transmission (tightness, abrasion, condition, coupling)||0-5||0|
|Exhaust system (condition, catalytic converter, suspension, shielding plates)||0-5||0|
|Suspension (axles, suspension, steering, attachment)||0-5||0|
|Electrical (cables, plugs, control units, fuses)||0-5||0|
|Everyday Score / Driving|
|This results from the entries in the logbook||0-10||0|
|0 points: 1+; 1-4 points: 1; 5-8 points: 1-; 9-12 points: 2+; 13-16 points: 2; 17-20 points: 2-; 21-24 points: 3+; 25-28 points: 3; 29-32 points: 3-; 33-36 points: 4+; 37-40 points: 4; 41-44 points: 4-; 45-48 points: 5+; 49-52 points: 5; 53-56 points: 5-; from 57 points: 6.|