Taking a petrol hybrid and a diesel car to see how far they'd go on just €20 worth of fuel ended up revealing a lot more than I'd bargained for.
The plan was to drive the cars until one or both conked out - completely empty of fuel.
But first off let's be clear. The exercise was organised by Skoda. Now I have to say they were scrupulously fair and had absolutely no control over how we drove or who drove what. Everything - fuel loading etc - was filmed for authenticity.
My colleague and I remained entirely independent on our assessments. We were in total control of the cars at all times.
Both cars had their tanks purged of all fuel before the €20 worth of petrol and diesel were respectively poured in so there was no lingering litres or residue.
The two cars specifically were:
The important thing to remember is that I am not a proponent of either genre or brand. Skoda clearly understood my position in agreeing to participate. They wanted independent reportage and that's what I'm giving.
I have some reservations about the trial being based on €20 worth of fuel for both cars rather than an equal measure for each. With diesel being a bit cheaper, the Octavia benefited from 0.66 litres more fuel in the tank. Would it affect the outcome? We'll see.
Secondly the Auris had 17in wheels, the Skoda had 16in - again a minor but potentially significant point.
Anyway, after much checking and verifying we took off from Sandyford; me in the Skoda, my colleague in the Auris. We drove through town traffic to Dundrum, Goatstown, Stillorgan, Cabinteely, Bray (right through the town centre). Then we stopped for a cup of tea before taking the motorway to Gorey where we had a quick lunch.