BYD ATTO 3 DRIVEN: new contender or novelty? We deliver the surprise verdict / Electrifying

#bydatto 3 # #electriccars

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The electrical car revolution is currently shocking the vehicle service. Tesla has actually proved that a little producer with no history of making cars and trucks can catapult itself to the top of the sales charts. The latest name to join the fray is – a Chinese electrical brand that has delighted in big success in its domestic market, conveniently outselling all its rivals– Tesla consisted of.

BYD's first foray into the booming UK electrical market is the Atto 3, a mid-size premium SUV that will go head-to-head with the likes of the new Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro and Škoda Enyaq.

The Atto introduces the brand name's acclaimed 'blade' battery innovation to the UK for the very first time. The 60.5 kWh pack utilizes Lithium Iron-Phosphate (LFP) as its cathode product, which, according to BYD, uses a much greater level of safety than traditional lithium-ion batteries. The pack is also cobalt-free and features a brand-new integrated heat pump as standard on all designs. BYD claims that the pump provides the industry's very first direct cooling and heating system, which has the possible to increase the thermal effectiveness by approximately 20% in the winter. Car to Load (V2L) is also fitted as standard to all designs from launch.

In terms of variety, the Atto 3 includes a modest 260 mile WLTP range, which is most likely to provide around 210-220 miles of real world range. Disappointingly, the Atto 3 only uses 87kW rapid charging ability. Although BYD claims that a 10-80% charge can be accomplished in 44 minutes on a 150KW rapid battery charger, the Atto 3's sector rivals (with the exception of the Kia Niro ) provide significantly greater speeds with both the Škoda Enyaq and Volkswagen ID.4 both including 135kW charging systems as requirement.

Sign up with Tom as he takes a deep dive into the Atto 3 on UK roadways for the first time. Is the 3 on your shortlist? Would you think about purchasing from an unidentified brand name like BYD? Let us understand in the remarks listed below.

3 – from ₤ 36,490 – ₤ 38,990.
201bhp, 310Nm of torque.
Front wheel drive, 1-spd.
7.3 seconds 0-62mph, 99mph top speed.
60.5 kWh battery (useable), 261 miles range WLTP.
88kw DC, 7.4 kw AC (optional 11kw), 44 min quick DC, 66min 50kW.
9hr 45 mins on home wallbox.
Weight: 1,750 kg.
Boot: 440-litres/ 1,338 seats folded (No frunk).
Tow: no.
Standard heatpump.
Vehicle-to-load 3.3 kW air conditioning.
5 star EuroNcap.

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41 responses to “BYD ATTO 3 DRIVEN: new contender or novelty? We deliver the surprise verdict / Electrifying”

  1. Alexander Stefanov Avatar
    Alexander Stefanov

    I really like it, the interior is different but it’s also very stylish. Fantastic car, but I’m disappointed it’s FWD, I’d prefer rear motor rwd

    1. hartoz Avatar

      I have heard whispers that there may be a dual motor sport version coming much later. Looking underneath the back of my car, the mounting points for a second drive train are already there.

    2. Letter 101 Avatar
      Letter 101

      Not the right market for RWD at this price point

  2. Phil D Avatar
    Phil D

    I love the look, there are so many bland interiors and this is like a breath of fresh air. Can’t wait for a test drive.

    Wouldn’t life be boring if we all liked the same cars🤪

    1. craig k Avatar
      craig k

      I have one. The interior is good and the door handles feel so natural when you get used to them

    2. Ricky Bryan Avatar
      Ricky Bryan

      Sat in it yesterday it’s less confronting than it is in the videos. It’s a nice place to be.

    3. Phil D Avatar
      Phil D

      ​@Ricky Bryan Did you see it in the UK?

    4. Ricky Bryan Avatar
      Ricky Bryan

      @Phil D a you tube channel that is not this one has a big event in Aust yesterday I sat in it there

    5. Phil D Avatar
      Phil D

      @Ricky Bryan Is the FCS as good as it looks?

  3. Gary Bibby Avatar
    Gary Bibby

    Very into electric buses 😂 well, not into them but seen a few around. Could be a good alternative to MG ZS.

  4. hartoz Avatar

    I own one of these, (in Australia). I have had it since October and am very happy with it. Australia doesn’t get the full range of EVs the UK gets (no VW, Opel, Renault or Peugeot etc), and I needed a car big enough to take a Great Dane in the boot and 4 adults. This limited my choices as the only (relatively) affordable options were the BYD Atto 3 or the Tesla Model Y.
    In Australia the Tesla Model Y was at the time $30,000AUD more expensive than the Atto 3 (which was $47,000AUD when I bought it (about 25,000UKP)) so obviously BYD (or the distributor are marking the Atto 3 up a lot in the UK).
    What Tom said about the steering is true if you leave it in Comfort mode, if you change that mode to sport mode it’s a lot more direct.
    Performance wise, I have put a VBOX on the car and measured the Acceleration from 0 to 110kmh (62mph) at 7.3 seconds and have seen it hit 6.8 seconds occasionally (if the battery is at above 95% it will overdrive the motor a little giving 167kw instead of 150kw, but you have to engage drag mode to get this)).
    Efficiency is bang on, and I regularly get below 15kwh per 100km and that is with AC running all the time as temps where I live average 32 degrees C even in Winter.
    Build quality is good, and comfort is high. Storage space could be better, and I am looking at getting a drop in module for under the bonnet to give me a reasonable frunk to store all the cables etc (it’s just empty space in there).
    I did a lot of research prior to buying as I had one of the very first export cars, and BYD is vertically integrated and probably the world’s second largest EV manufacturer.
    Note: I did test drive a MG ZS EV, and it was smaller slower, and just felt like a generation behind the BYD in every way.

    1. Dave Avatar

      Thanks for this very detailed comment, now I’ve seen two reviews for the price of one! Hope you enjoy your car

    2. David Kent Avatar
      David Kent

      I own two BYD Atto 3 60kWh here in New Zealand that my family drives. They have been excellent so far and are very efficient. We can get over 400km under most conditions and it charges on a fast DC charger at up to 89kW. The interior is funky but very practical. Reliability is excellent. Most importantly, it will do over-the-air software updates similar to my Tesla. Most other EV manufacturers cannot make this work yet.

    3. Billy Heywood Avatar
      Billy Heywood

      Yup, car brands have been ripping us off in the UK for decades 😕

    4. phoarey Avatar

      The price gap is closer to AUD23k now with a TY $72k and Atto3 $52k minus a $3k rebate in Queensland. I use a 7″6″ surfboard which pokes through to the armrest of my Mazda CX5. I wonder whethter it would poke to far toward thye windscreen in the Atto 3.

  5. 1MrBryn Avatar

    Very impressed about the battery not using the usual rare earth material

  6. Peter Maule Avatar
    Peter Maule

    Tom, you gave an excellent unbiased, informative view of the Atto 3. You said that they were “in the middle” when it comes to the competition. Do you think BYD know this but have introduced this model anyway to judge the response as a precursor to improved models yet to come ?

    1. craig k Avatar
      craig k

      I have had an Atto 3 since September and his review was wrong about a few things 🙁

    2. Peter Maule Avatar
      Peter Maule

      @craig k
      Can you be a bit more specific?

  7. Ólafur Víðir Guðbjargarson Avatar
    Ólafur Víðir Guðbjargarson

    The battery tech really interests me, I lost about 60% of the range on my e-Niro this winter (was -20°C and windy), so this tech could actually be useful here.

    1. Greg B Avatar
      Greg B

      LFP tend to do worse in cold weather, so test this car in that temperature range

  8. Carl Arrowsmith Avatar
    Carl Arrowsmith

    I like the design of it inside and out, it’s just the right size too. It’s well speced, all round cameras, fingers crossed UK ones get the built in dash cam that Australia & NZ get. The Kia Niro/ Hyundai have bigger batteries but usually only charge to 80 % LFP in Atto 3 is happy to charge to 100% all the time.

    I have a test drive booked for Friday. I’d happily get one if it’s comfortable for someone that’s 6f4 and still has space in the back.

    1. craig k Avatar
      craig k

      I have an Atto 3. The cameras are very good with good resolution. The guy in this review is wrong on a few of his points

    2. Carl Arrowsmith Avatar
      Carl Arrowsmith

      @craig k Australia and NZ reviews seems very positive so not sure why they have a downer in the UK.

  9. narvuntien Avatar

    It is very similar to the MG ZS EV but its software is actually quite good, nice and fast.
    The cheaper Dolphin hatchback is on the same platform and it starts being as expensive as a corolla hybrid.
    The Seal appears to be the one where they finally improve the driving dynamics which is gunning straight at the Tesla Model 3

  10. pipsicle Avatar

    I actually really like that. And hooray, an EV with a rear wiper. Finally!

  11. Ying Ho Ting Avatar
    Ying Ho Ting

    If I want to choose a Chinese EV is gonna be a nio ET7, but I really want a Ioniq 6 ❤

  12. James Prince Avatar
    James Prince

    Stylistically it’s a lot more cohesive than most EVs, particularly the gopping MG4.

    1. David Colin Avatar
      David Colin

      I don’t think that the MG 4 is that bad. Granted, the interior is fairly meh (especially in the all-black that is the only choice in the UK), but the 4 at least has real buttons which include 2 programable ones. And then there’s the price. Nearly 10 grand more for the BYD? I know that the interior is a bit mad, but I reckon you’s have to BE completely mad to prefer the ATTO 3 over much of the competition.

    2. James Prince Avatar
      James Prince

      @David Colin I agree as to the MG being the better overall choice, I just feel that the styling is ‘mishy mashy’ it detracts from the car. A bit from this model, a slice of that manufacturer, this bit from there…etc. I’m not against MG or EVs one bit, I just don’t think that anyone (possibly Honda aside) has come up with a genuinely good looking one yet.

  13. petelmrg hubert Avatar
    petelmrg hubert

    It’s been priced at what they think they can get away with at present; with the volatility in the market it will be interesting to see how they fare – or if they sustain that price..

    1. craig k Avatar
      craig k

      The price is crazy in the UK for cars. When I got my Atto3 it was about 28K ponds. When only have one model and it seems to be the same as your top of the range one.

  14. Greg B Avatar
    Greg B

    The one problem for me that only affects a small number of people is the fixed headrest, as it digs into my shoulders and lower neck making it a very uncomfortable drive

  15. Mr SWR Avatar
    Mr SWR

    All these new EV models are still £10k over hat we need. That at £29k absolutely would sell like hot cakes not too sure around £38k…

    1. Recuperative PT Avatar
      Recuperative PT

      I agree when we were told the ‘chinese’ ev was coming, I was led to believe that this phenomenon would be a market disruptor…really it isn’t. The pricing is just slightly below European brands. I wonder if this because many ‘european’ brands are actually being built in China.

  16. Don Nairn Avatar
    Don Nairn

    I also am in Australia and had an Atto 3 for six months.
    What appealed to me was it seems an easy transition from an ice car.
    It is high enough to get in and out of easily (my legs are not so good)
    On the open road on Australia at 110 km/hr whit the air conditioning and all the driver assist functions on you will get about 300 km of range 20 kw per 100 km with gentle driving around town you will get more like 450 km range there are several BYD facebook groups based in Australia and NZ.

  17. Mikethecabbie Avatar

    The rotating door catches have been done before. We had several holidays in a borrowed Citroen Ami8; and that car had exactly the same thing in 1970s…

  18. Ian Allso Avatar
    Ian Allso

    I haven’t driven a BYD yet, but the owners I have spoken with all seem happy with their choice. They are at the same price point as the MG ZS which I wasn’t impressed with.
    In terms of looks, I think it is more interesting than my Kia Niro, but that is not hard, the Niro is not about looks but bang for buck.
    I will test drive a Atto3 in the near future, just for the sake of keeping a finger on the pulse, but I’m not in the market in the short term so won’t be buying one at this stage.

  19. Roger Brand Avatar
    Roger Brand

    I test drove one of these a few months ago in Aotearoa New Zealand.
    I have a classic Ioniq with paddle regen and really hated the lack of any regenerative braking in the Atto 3;
    but I have been told I am wrong about it and that the car does have significant regen capabilities but it doesn’t happen when you lift off the accelerator.
    Apparently you get regenerative braking when you lightly press the brake pedal, then the friction brakes take over as you press further.
    If this is the case (I’ll have to drive one again I guess) why is it that people who are test driving or reviewing these cars aren’t being told this?

    1. Ken WONG Avatar
      Ken WONG

      This just shows how well the reviewers know what they are receiving.

  20. Billy Heywood Avatar
    Billy Heywood

    Nice review Wookie. I like a lot about the Atto 3, I just couldn’t live with that ribbed (for her pleasure) dashboard. They really need to pay some European designers to sort out the interior, then they would have a competitive car

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