BYD Seal : The One to Cast a Shadow on the Tesla Model 3

The Chinese brand BYD unveils its new model named Seal. This vehicle has burst onto the electric vehicle scene with promising flair, ready to compete with established market giants. This so-called sporty sedan, with its 530 horsepower, integrates cutting-edge technology and an ocean-inspired aesthetic. Not only does it offer an attractive design but also boasts impressive performances like the 0 to 100 km/h sprint announced in 3.8 seconds. BYD hopes it will appeal to the European market which is gradually warming up to Chinese vehicles. Let’s dive in and see if this vehicle lives up to its promises after a week behind the wheel.

Dimensions / Exterior Design

Measuring 4.80 meters in length and 1.87 meters in width, the BYD Seal offers an imposing stature, accentuated by a generous wheelbase of 2.92 meters. This spacious configuration ensures superior comfort inside while contributing to an elegant and dynamic appearance outside. Its height of 1.46 meters, combined with an aerodynamic design, optimizes energy efficiency.

The exterior design of the BYD Seal results from a subtle blend of sportiness and elegance. With sleek lines and a drag coefficient of just 0.219, every detail is designed to reduce wind resistance and enhance performance. The front face adopts an “X” configuration, reflecting the dynamism and energy of the ocean, while the rear is marked by teardrop-shaped lights adding a distinctive visual signature. Hidden door handles, which align with the door when the vehicle is in motion, allow air to pass at high speed.

We must say, the resemblance to Tesla’s Model 3 is striking. One might think it’s a facelift from the American brand, but upon closer inspection, there are some differences that intrigue us more than a cleaner-designed Tesla. The exterior design of this Seal is more refined, and given the choice between the two vehicles, our hearts lean slightly more towards BYD.

Interior Design 

Inside, the Seal excels with a spacious and luxurious cabin, providing a clean and soothing ambiance once aboard. The front seats have a sporty look and are equipped with both soft and firm padding, excellent wrapping, and good support. The driver’s seat is electrically adjustable in eight directions. Heated and ventilated front seats enhance comfort for all passengers. High-quality materials such as leather, microfiber upholstery, and elegant decorative inserts underscore the luxury. Occupants can also enjoy great brightness in the cabin thanks to an oversized panoramic sunroof. And for optimal comfort, the front doors are equipped with double glazing for excellent insulation.

The ergonomics of the BYD Seal are designed for intuitive interaction between the driver and the car. The dashboard features a 15.6-inch rotating screen, providing easy access to navigation and entertainment systems, along with a 10.25-inch instrument screen for essential driving information. This configuration allows the driver to have all controls within reach, enhancing the overall driving experience. However, we regret the absence of physical buttons to control the air conditioning.

Motorizations 

The Seal offers two motorization configurations: a rear-wheel-drive single motor version (BYD SEAL Design) with a power output of 230 kW (313 hp) achieving 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds. The other version is the 530 horsepower all-wheel drive. This latter model, which we drove, combines an electric motor at the front and another at the rear, providing impressive torque and a 0 to 100 km/h acceleration in just 3.8 seconds, highlighting the sedan’s sporty capabilities.

With an 82.5 kWh battery, the BYD Seal promises a range of up to 570 km (WLTP) for the 313 hp version, while the 530 hp version has a maximum range of 520 km. It is equipped with a heat pump that optimizes battery thermal management, thereby extending the range. The car supports fast charging up to 150 kW, allowing the battery to be recharged from 30 to 80% in just 26 minutes, making long trips more practical. On the other hand, the onboard AC charger requires less than 8 hours for a full charge.

Driving 

Driving comfort is ensured by semi-active suspensions that dynamically adapt to road conditions, offering a stable and smooth driving experience. The BYD Seal Excellence is equipped with variable frequency shock absorbers for optimal responsiveness.

Although the BYD Seal offers solid road holding and performance despite its weight of over two tonnes, the braking aspect falls short. Notably, the lack of “one-pedal driving” functionality, often appreciated by drivers of electric vehicles accustomed to this system, could be a drawback for some. Additionally, the regenerative braking does not fully meet expectations, and although some settings can be adjusted via the central screen, they are not intuitive to modify.

In Belgium, the BYD Seal is priced starting at 49,990 euros for the Excellence AWD version, while the rear-wheel-drive Design version starts at 46,990 euros. These prices place the Seal as a competitive option in the premium electric sedan segment.

The Verdict on the BYD Seal

With a very competitive price/performance/equipment ratio and beautiful interior finish, it has everything it takes to overshadow other vehicles in the segment. A serious alternative to market leaders thanks to its refined blend of luxury and cutting-edge technology, it offers impressive performance thanks to its two powerful motors. However, the Seal does not fully meet the “sport sedan” label under dynamic driving conditions, due to certain limitations in terms of sportiness and road handling. Additionally, its still-developing service network could concern potential buyers, especially in Belgium. Nevertheless, for those who prioritize comfortable and secure everyday driving, the BYD Seal is an attractive proposition, all the more so because BYD’s solidity and diversification ensure the vehicle’s reliability and durability, making it the most judicious choice.

 

 

http://www.bydauto.be

 

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