Audi e-tron navigation system provides detailed petrol information to drivers (UPDATE)

(Credit: Audi)

It appears that while the Audi e-tron is a solid-built all-electric SUV with a premium price to match, the German automaker might have neglected to adjust some of the vehicle’s finer details. Take the e-tron’s navigation system, for example, which was recently observed to have a very interesting, and notably humorous feature: it gives drivers useful information about nearby petrol stations and current gas prices.

The e-tron, similar to other electric vehicles such as Tesla’s electric cars, uses its navigation to help drivers find rest stops and charging spots during trips. This is incredibly important for electric vehicles, particularly SUVs like the e-tron that only have a rather limited 204 miles of range per charge as per the vehicle’s EPA rating. Tesla’s electric cars perform this feature flawlessly, with vehicles laying out a route for drivers that clearly indicates where charging services are available.

As noted by drivers who shared images of the e-tron’s navigation in action, the all-electric SUV’s infotainment screen displays information about petrol stations on a selected route. The information is quite detailed too, as it includes the current price of petrol in selected locations. Images shared by Robin Engelhardt, for one, showed that the SUV had information about diesel prices in the area.

While humorous, the bug in the e-tron’s current navigation is likely due to the fact that the all-electric SUV’s infotainment system is taken from other vehicles in the company’s lineup. The e-tron melds well with Audi’s other vehicles in the way that its design theme is very similar to the company’s internal combustion cars. As such, components like the e-tron’s infotainment system are likely used for gas-powered vehicles as well.

The gas stations and diesel price information on the e-tron’s navigation system are likely the result of an honest oversight from Audi, and it is one that could be addressed through a software update. Nevertheless, the quirk does highlight a notable lack of attention to detail on the carmaker’s part. Audi is a premium brand, and the e-tron is not a vehicle that is designed for the mass market. At prices that are closer to the Tesla Model X than the Model 3, consumers purchasing the e-tron would likely expect a car that was meticulously tuned as an electric vehicle. Having a navigation system that is optimized for petrol stations does not help much in this sense.

This is especially notable considering that the e-tron continues to receive glowing reviews from organizations such as Consumer Reports, whose reviewers actually listed the vehicle’s infotainment system as a strong point of the all-electric SUV. Consumer Reports has warmly received the e-tron, even describing the vehicle’s deliberate acceleration as a more of an “elegant pull away.” That said, the e-tron remains a pretty solid vehicle, as revealed by its stellar safety ratings from the IIHS, which recently gave the SUV a Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Update: An Audi spokesperson has reached out to us with regards to the e-tron’s Navigation quirk. Following is the carmaker’s statement:

The Audi MMI navigation system is designed to aid in everyday situations, including finding stops along the way of any given journey. Oftentimes, that means stopping at gas stations where drivers and passengers can stop for breaks or food. While the Audi e-tron is fully electric, these conveniences go a long way toward helping our customers, and displaying gas prices can be turned off in the MMI’s sub-menus. Additionally, the Audi e-tron comes with an up-to-date roster of available charging stations throughout the U.S. and elsewhere in its navigation to support long-distance driving.

"Simon Alvarez : @https://twitter.com/ResidentSponge Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.."
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