BYD Atto 3: the new electric dream?

Beside the Vietnamese manufacturer VinFast and the Great Wall Motors group and its Ora and Wey brands, another Chinese firm is overshadowing Europeans in Paris Motor Show 2022 : BYD. Three letters which mean Build Your Dreams and which mean everything for a brand which dreams of imposing itself on the Old Continent in the coming months.

BYD is exhibiting its entire range in Paris with the Han and Seal sedans, the 7-seater Tang SUV and especially the Atto 3 SUV, which should represent “the bulk” of the brand’s sales here…

BYD launches its seduction operation in Europe

A few years ago, we looked at the Chinese automakers with a slight smile. A slightly condescending air, as often. But since, the MG name revived thanks to China, Aiways and Lynk & Co are starting to make their mark on the electric market and new names are multiplying regularly. Among them, BYD. A brand whose sound is not ideal in French, but whose meaning, “Build your dreams” (“build your dreams” in VF), testifies to his ambition.

Because in the aisles of the 2022 World Cup, right next to the captivating Hopium stand and opposite the Peugeot-DS duo, BYD got noticed from day one. In particular by organizing a small ceremony on stage in honor of the first 3 European owners… But also by revealing its strategy for the months and years to come.

If BYD is a novice on European roads, the company was born in Shenzhen in 1995. It has become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electric batteries, equipping mobile telephony giants such as Nokia, Motorola or Samsung. Today, BYD Company puts its experience at the service of its automotive subsidiary BYD Auto and the 4 models announced for Europe (100% electric, of course) are not lacking in interest.

The Chinese range will thus be topped by the Han, a premium sedan supposed to compete with models as prestigious as the Tesla Model S or the Mercedes EQE. It must be said that, on paper, the performances are promising, with a power of 516 horsepower, more than 500 km/h of autonomy and a 0 to 100 km/h announced in 3.9 seconds… like the Alpine 110 R !

The Seal can be seen as the “little sister” of the Han (and competitor of the Model 3), since it is also an elegant sedan. We don’t know all the details about it, but with an estimated price of around 40,000 euros, it could well do well.

In another register, the BYD Tang is a 7-seater SUV just under 5 meters long. Equipped with the same engine as the Han, it sports relatively classic lines and is positioned as a competitor to the Tesla Model Y (with a price that should be around €65,000).

BYD Tang

Finally, the Atto 3 is undoubtedly the model that best meets the expectations of European motorists. Not really flashy at first glance, but full of qualities when you look at it more closely…

The Atto 3, new star announced?

Like VinFast, BYD wants to demonstrate that it has its place in the premium segment. But with the Atto 3, the Chinese brand could well adopt a more aggressive positioning. This versatile SUV should be available for less than 40,000 euros in its basic version.

BYD Atto 3 exterior

As mundane on the outside as it is on the inside

If the Atto 3, 4.46m long, could well walk on the flowerbeds of the Peugeot 3008 or (especially) a Volkswagen ID.3it is not thanks to its exterior design, very banal although successful. We can for example note its nicely tapered front face or its third aluminum rear upright.

BYD Atto 3 front panel

But when you get behind the wheel of this SUV, the impression is quite different. Thus, the dashboard offers a nice mix of materials and shape, straight lines and curves, with finishes that seem very qualitative (as always at a show, it will be necessary to check in the standard versions). We are then surprised by the design of the doors, with opening handles concealed in a rounded block, while the pockets clearly evoke a guitar ; there are even strings that you can’t help fiddling with!

Then, quickly, the gaze is drawn to the large 15-inch central screen. Beyond its size, it is its ability to move from a horizontal to a vertical position which surprises. The usefulness may be questionable, but the equipment does its bit!

For the rest, the cabin of this Atto 3 remains welcoming, even for the rear passengers who benefit from generous legroom. On the downside, the trunk seemed rather small to us…

What’s left for others?

Finally, since it is its road behavior that will serve as a judge of the peace, the figures announced by the manufacturer do not have to be ashamed in the face of competition. This 1750 kilo SUV houses a 60.4 kWh battery and a 204 horsepower motor that gives it a range greater than 420 km (WLTP mixed cycle). Its fast charging allows it to recover 80% of its means in less than half an hour and BYD announces that it will have a partner network of 300,000 charging points in Europe.

Icing on the cake, for those who still attach importance to it: the Atto 3 has just obtained the maximum score of 5 stars in the Euro NCAP test

Byd Atto 3 rear

Well finished, well equipped, as attractive on the inside as it is classic on the outside, the Atto 3 is an SUV that is clearly not lacking in assets. And who can count on a strong argument, its price, around 38,000 euros. A crucial element that should not cause this model to do a BYD.

We would like to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this outstanding material

BYD Atto 3: the new electric dream?

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